Building a Better Response

The Academy, in partnership with the International Medical Corps and Concern Worldwide, has developed an e-learning certificate course for professionals as part of the “Building a Better Response:  Strengthening Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Capacity and Engagement in the International Humanitarian Architecture” project.  The course uses interactive tools and scenario-based teaching to build the capacity for national and international NGO personnel to engage with the humanitarian systems in a manner that improves coordination and response to the needs of affected populations.

E-Learning Course

The Humanitarian Academy at Harvard has designed E-learning tools to provide NGOs with an accessible online platform for understanding the structure and function of the international humanitarian architecture. The e-learning component is both practical and action-oriented and fills gaps in existing training for NGOs. The curriculum uses interactive scenarios and simulated coordination challenges to guide users through various aspects of the international humanitarian architecture. The course has been designed with a unifying fictional emergency scenario that runs throughout the entire curriculum. 

The course provides background information on the humanitarian architecture, as well as detailed information on the various aspects of the architecture, including the cluster system, humanitarian finance mechanisms, and underlying standards and principles. 

For added convenience, users are able to take e-learning units individually based on their training needs. The e-learning platform is built using open-source software, allowing organizations to incorporate the curriculum into their own training programs.


Director, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative
Phuong Pham PhD, MPH
Director, Program on Evaluation and Implementation Science / Faculty
Educational Programs and Operations Manager