Humanitarian communication : Addressing key challenges

Learn how to address the main challenges of communication in humanitarian settings and how to implement a communication plan in the midst of humanitarian action.

About The Course

Communication in humanitarian settings is central to all activities before, during and when closing a humanitarian programme as it is the main medium of interaction between the different actors: the population affected, the humanitarian actors and local stakeholders. It is essential to implementing programmes efficiently.

Although communication is a daily practice, professional communication requires specific competencies, particularly for people working in humanitarian contexts. Taking part in the humanitarian response means to be able to adapt one’s communication to a specific context and to adopt appropriate behaviours with the ultimate aim to benefit of the affected population.

This introductory course focuses on the main challenges linked to communication in humanitarian settings and the main means to address those challenges. It allows participants to understand the objectives and issues of communication in humanitarian settings, to learn about best practices and provides them with tips and tools to implement adapted communication strategies in the field.

This course is coordinated by Prof Doris Schopper, professor at the medical faculty of the University of Geneva and director of CERAH since July 2011.

Frequently Asked Questions

What resources will I need for this class?

An internet connection is necessary. There are no prescribed texts for the course - materials will be linked to each module as appropriate.

Do I have to log in to participate at specific times?

No, you are able to log in and participate when convenient to you. Course materials are released sequentially. You can complete activities each week when convenient. Quizzes and assignments have specific due dates and times so you will need to comply with these if you wish to pass the course. The course is scheduled for a five week period. This means that a large number of students will be taking the course at one point in time allowing for a rich interaction between students.

Will I get a Statement of Accomplishment after completing this class?

Yes. Students who successfully complete the 3 quizzes and the case study resolution will receive a Statement of Accomplishment of the University of Geneva signed by Prof Doris Schopper. However, no credits will be awarded.

What is the coolest thing I'll learn if I take this class?

Communication is key to ensure effective implementation of humanitarian projects. Getting to understand the role of communication, its technics and limits, you will be able to actively contribute to the success of a humanitarian project.

Recommended Background

No background is required, all are welcome!