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Mastering humanitarianism? A survey of postgraduate humanitarian courses

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-02-04, 00:00 authored by Adriana Alana Stibral, Nazanin Zadeh-Cummings, Matthew ClarkeMatthew Clarke
AbstractHumanitarian events are increasing globally, both in number and intensity. In response, the international community spends approximately US$30 billion annually to alleviate both the immediate consequences of these climatic, geographic, and human-induced events but also to support mitigation and recovery. Over the past two decades, the humanitarian sector has increasingly professionalised. One under-studied aspect of this professionalisation is an increase in postgraduate studies in humanitarian action over the last 20 years. Despite this increase, there is no agreement on core curriculum or pedagogy across humanitarian studies courses. How do current Masters of Humanitarian Assistance (MHA) offerings converge and differ, and how can such courses further their contribution to the humanitarian endeavour? This paper surveys 26 anglophone courses offered in the United States, Europe, the United Kingdom, Australia, India, and Nigeria, exploring key characteristics of course entry requirements, flexibility, research, practical components, and academic foci. It does not recommend what a core curriculum for humanitarian courses should be, but does argue that core curriculum for humanitarian courses should be identified by relevant and diverse stakeholders such as affected communities, humanitarian agencies, disaster management bodies, and governments, to ensure that courses in this field provide appropriate learning outcomes. The paper suggests how such a ‘charter’ may be developed.

History

Journal

Higher Education

Pagination

1 - 20

Publisher

Springer

Location

Berlin, Germany

ISSN

0018-1560

eISSN

1573-174X

Language

English

Notes

In press

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

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