Call for participation in humanitarian assistance distance learning project

  • Paige Dearing
  • November 4, 2013
Learning from shared experience in human

Call for participants Register online via this link:

Deadline for application: 17 November 2013

Online course starts 18 November and finishes 16 December (4 weeks).

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) invites you to join an online course, open to all humanitarian staff and volunteers who have deployed in at least one emergency operation.

Delegates returning from the field often share lessons learned, whether informally or in formal reports. The course will offer a unique opportunity for humanitarian workers from all over the world to share their stories, experiences and insights.

How do you get better at doing your job? In the humanitarian sector, much learning that matters is informal, grounded in experience, and leveraged through professional networks. How did you fill the gap left by your formal training to get the job done? In this course, participants will work together to gain understanding of how they improve and grow, in order to do more and do better for affected people.

This course is part of an IFRC research project set up by the Geneva Secretariat with support from American Red Cross, with a specific focus on capturing learning and preparation for FACT and ERU delegates. The project is supported by the University of Illinois Scholar team.

Who should enroll

Humanitarian staff and volunteers with at least one emergency operation experience, from the Red Cross Red Crescent or another humanitarian organization.

Added value of this course

Discover how others learn and adapt when ‘stretched’ by challenging roles and tasks, and ! Contribute to the IFRC’s ability to learn from key humanitarian personnel and use this learning to improve IFRC’s global surge and capacity building efforts

What you will get to do in this course

In this course, you will:

  • write a brief case study sharing your experiences and insights from an emergency operation;
  • work with others to analyze how you developed your knowledge, skills and competencies; and
  • reflect on and discuss the experiences of your peers

Registration deadline  

Enrollment deadline: 17 November 2013
Register online by 17 November 2013 via this link:

After registration, you will receive an e-mail to confirm your enrollment. This e-mail contains important information. Please check your Spam or Junk mail folders and ensure that the message is whitelisted (in both your personal account and by your National Society), as it contains important information and additional e-mails will provide further instructions to participate. If you do not receive a confirmation e- mail, please write to


Experience: You should have at least one experience in an emergency operation, and feel comfortable writing, analyzing and reflecting on this and that of others.

Languages: The course’s working language will be English. If you wish to write in a language other than English, we will be organizing groups by language for any group of at least 10 participants who wish to work together in a given language.

What to expect

The class will use an online learning environment that will make it easy for you to communicate with your peers. First, you will develop a short case study describing how you prepared for the operation, what the gaps were in your knowledge, skills and competencies, and how you learned during the operation. Second, you will peer review the case studies of three other participants. Third, you will revise your case study using the inputs and comments received from your peers. In addition, the class will meet online once a week for discussion and presentations by experts in the field. A recording of the online sessions will be made available for those who are unable to attend for legitimate reasons.


3-4 hours per week over 4 weeks (approximately 30-45 minutes per working day). Although online resources and readings will be made available, they are not required to complete the course.

Meetings: One 60 minute online class meeting per week.

Class meeting dates

We will launch with a 60 minute kick-off and course orientation. All class meetings will be held as online class meetings on Thursdays and start at 16h00 Geneva (GMT+1). Support will be provided via e-mail, Skype, and after each live class meeting.

  • Orientation: You will receive an invitation to attend a 30-minute briefing as soon as you have enrolled. Please carefully read and follow the instructions it contains.
  • Week 1 – Discover: 18 November (Online meeting: 21 November)
  • Week 2 – Write: 25 November (Online meeting: 28 November)
  • Week 3 – Review: 2 December (Online meeting: 5 December)
  • Week 4 – Revise: 9 December (Online meeting: 12 December)
  • Course wrap-up: 16 December 

Certificate of completion

IFRC’s Disaster and Crisis Management Department will issue a certificate of completion to participants who successfully complete all of the requirements of the course (draft and revised case study, three peer reviews, and participation in weekly classroom sessions).


Both case studies and peer review will be anonymous. Once you have revised your paper and submitted the final version, they will appear in your personal profile and for members of the course only. The course team will review the case studies and may consider some of them for publication on its web site or other communication, advocacy, and training efforts. If this is the case, the team will of course contact you to request your agreement and, if needed, to address any sensitive issues related to its content.


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