What are the dominant issues in humanitarian action? What is the so-called aid industry? And can professionalization prevent dependence on aid? Find out in this programme.
The 120 ECTS Erasmus Mundus Joint Degree Master in International Humanitarian Action is an inter-university multidisciplinary master. It provides high quality academic education and professional competencies for personnel working or intending to work in the area of humanitarian action. It is offered by 8 European universities in the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Germany, Ireland, Malta, France and Poland. The students can follow the regional training (3rd semester) in various global universities.
Interdisciplinary, multicultural and multilingual teaching and
training by inter faculty members, a combination of in-house
experts and field-experienced guest lecturers. In this
programme you will learn to evaluate humanitarian emergencies. You
will study the causes of conflicts and different coping strategies
for conflicts and disasters, assess intervention and reconstruction
programmes. Also, practical skills are acquired such as management
skills and cross-cultural communication skills.
Graduates have the capacity to act at all levels of humanitarian relief operations and to function in a variety of ways to enhance professional delivery of assistance and sustainable actions.
NB: Application through NOHA network: www.nohanet.org
Work experience NOHA alumna
Nationality: Italian and Brazilian Pre education: BA in Social Communication
In 2003, she worked on a project interviewing Brazilian soldiers who had been in the Second World War in order to build up a Digital Database for students and researchers. When that project was concluded, she took a break from university and went to England to learn English and work babysitting, gardening and waitressing.
After England, she lived and worked as a volunteer in Israel during the conflict with Lebanon. Next stop was Nepal, and there she worked in an orphanage taking care of children, teaching them English and arts, helping with the daily work, and orientating about health care. In India she gave conversation English classes to refugees from Tibet and later on she went to Australia to work as a waitress.
Back to Brazil, three years later, she worked at the BBC History Magazine (Brazilian version) as an editorial assistant and after that in the website of the Ministry of Tourism, where she was a reporter and photographer. At the same time she finished university and started to work on the project of the documentary film "Beyond Madness". a film about the exclusion of people with mental disturbs. A year and a half later, the 23-minute documentary, won the category of TV's 5th edition of the Journalism Award of the ABP 2010.
In the second half of 2010 she left to Asia and Middle East to work as volunteer and as a freelancer journalist. In 2012, she went to France to learn French and work as a volunteer in a spiruline (nutritious algae) farm. In the beginning of 2013, already back in Brazil, she started working as a photographer and as a volunteer teacher.
An international and multidisciplinary academic study that promotes networking, cooperation and expertise
'The Joint Master's Programme in International Humanitarian Action is a one and half year intensive programme that is advantageous for those who would like to perform in the humanitarian sector looking at the complexity and particularity of the humanitarian world.
The complexity of humanitarian actions around the globe makes it indispensable to master the humanitarian principles and to be well equipped with the necessary tools for proper interventions. Hence a number of specific tools are provided in a way that will facilitate your ability to intervene in settings where humanitarian aid is needed to save lives in dignified manners.
It is an international and multidisciplinary academic study that promotes networking, cooperation and expertise for the delivery of high quality services to the ones in need. Since the NOHA programme is basically rooted in a network of universities, during the second semester, students get the opportunity to specialise in a specific area of humanitarian action of their choice, which is meant to deepen and strengthen their knowledge in this particular area. The specialisation in international humanitarian action is unique and offers both theoretical and practical insights regarding the humanitarian field. On the one hand the practical facet allows you to apply the theories. And on the other hand it is an experience that gives the opportunity to shape your professional career as a humanitarian worker.'
What I liked most within my internship is that I worked with people with a different background, which gave me other perspectives on certain issues.
Within the Master International Humanitarian Action an internship is a mandatory part. Throughout my studies I have become very interested in the interaction between military and humanitarian actors, and therefore I decided to get an internship within the specific field of civil-military interaction. During my studies I got in contact with several civil-military professionals, who gave me advice on possible internship placements.
My internship at the CCOE gave me the experience of working within a multi-cultural professional (military) organization. More specifically I learned how to work within a team on a specific project. Furthermore I gained a lot of knowledge with regards to civil-military interaction and doing research, and I learned how to work under time pressure. Although my internship was mandatory I would like to highly recommend students to do an internship, since it gives you real working experience and (hopefully) gives you more insight into your further career.
What I liked most within my internship is that I worked with people with a different background, which gave me other perspectives on certain issues. Furthermore I really liked that I was given real responsibilities, which gave me an idea that I was really part of the team within the CCOE. Lastly I really liked that I could put my academic research skills into practical use. Read more
Placement at CARE India
I had already undertaken placements in Central America so I was already used to working in new environments. This placement taught me how to make decisions under pressure of time and money, based on sufficient relevant training. In addition, I learned to transfer my insights and knowledge to the organization in an accessible way. I also learned how to procure some freedom within a highly hierarchical organization in order to get the desired learning experience.
What I found most impressive were the field visits to a region that had been hit by a giant tidal wave followed by landslides and earthquakes. The situation of many people in that region is deplorable, and their prospects for the future are sobering for someone from a different background. I enjoyed the conversations with people who were building new houses, the hospitality in rural areas, and the feeling of my standard frame of reference being challenged. My research into the operationalization of ‘resilience’ in CARE projects is what made life at the office in New Delhi a fun experience, besides the Indian way of eating lunch together, sharing food, celebrating Indian festivals, and talking with colleagues about cultural differences and local customs. What I would do differently next time is that I would draw up a schedule of feedback opportunities. When you are part of an Emergency Response Unit of a humanitarian organization you never know what may happen next week or whether someone is available or not. This may make drawing up and updating such a schedule a complicated task, but scheduled moments of revision and feedback are essential when you have limited time carrying out your own research and are at the same time going through a phase of personal development.
As you will have lectures from those working in the field, it gives you practical insight alongside the academic theories
The NOHA Joint Master degree has the perfect combination of academic study and practical experiences. As you will have lectures from those working in the field, it gives you practical insight alongside the academic theories. Furthermore, one of the best aspects is that NOHA covers a wide variety of subjects during your studies, which encourages you to think more on an interdisciplinary level, and look at problems from different angles. NOHA students all have different backgrounds, which gives you also the opportunity to work together with a diverse group of people, with differences in culture and knowledge, to establish a common understanding. It makes you aware of all the different points of view and enables you to have interesting discussions with amazing people.