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Online course

Disaster Management: Introduction to Humanitarian Aid

Learn the basic principles and approaches to responding to humanitarian emergencies with this free online course.


  • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • No access to course tests
  • No certificate


  • Unlimited access to the course, for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • Access to course tests
  • A Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course

Find out more

Disaster Management: Introduction to Humanitarian Aid

Explore guiding principles and approaches used by humanitarian teams.

Earthquake, flood, fire, famine and conflict — we seem to be hearing more about these things every day, and watching as they impact communities all over the world. Fortunately, there are many organisations made up of dedicated people who are trained and ready to assist communities affected by disasters.

  • Explore the history of disaster management and humanitarian action
  • Examine the principles of humanitarian action
  • Discover how responses to disaster are coordinated
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What topics will you cover?

There is no such thing as a typical humanitarian response to a disaster. Each disaster requires a unique response that will be dictated by the circumstances involved. There are, however, principles, practice and values that can guide us and inform our actions. This course focused on:

  • exploring the history of humanitarian action
  • reviewing current practice and trends
  • investigating the challenges of complex disasters
  • discovering the key factors in coordinating responses

When would you like to start?

  • Date to be announced

What will you achieve?

  • Explore the history of humanitarian response
  • Identify the key principles and codes of conduct associated with humanitarian action and management
  • Describe the relationship between humanitarian responses, donors and funding

Who is the course for?

This course has been created for those working in the humanitarian sector and those interested in humanitarian issues and leadership but there are no special requirements. It is also a free introduction to a Deakin University postgraduate degree in Development and Humanitarian Action which can be done entirely on FutureLearn.

Endorsed by

Who will you learn with?

Phil Connors

Associate Professor Phil Connors is co-Director of the Centre for Humanitarian Leadership and Course Director for the Master of Humanitarian Assistance.

Matthew Clarke

Professor Matthew Clarke is Head of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Deakin University, Australia. He has more than two decades experience working in the development sector.

Sophie Perreard

Sophie Perreard is Lecturer in Humanitarian Assistance. She works at the Centre for Humanitarian Leadership at Deakin University and has over 13 years of experience in the humanitarian sector.

Who developed the course?

Deakin is Australia’s eighth largest university with over 53 000 students from more than 100 countries, with one quarter choosing to study wholly online at our Cloud Campus.

Buy a personalised, digital and printed certificate and transcript

You can buy a Certificate of Achievement for this course — a personalised certificate and transcript in both digital and printed formats, to prove what you’ve learnt. A Statement of Participation is also available for this course.

Certificate of Achievement + transcript £79.00

Statement of Participation £49.00

Estimate prices in preferred currency

Charges to your account will be made in GBP. Prices in local currency are provided as a convenience and are only an estimate based on current exchange rates.

Course highlights Get a taste of this course before you join: