Humanitarian Response Intensive Course

**HRIC UPDATE** We are excited to announce that the Humanitarian Response Intensive Course (HRIC) is coming back in-person for Spring 2023! The course will run from April 18th to April 30th, 2023. The course will be held in Cambridge, MA and, as before, include a three-day fully immersive humanitarian simulation. Please sign up for the Course Interest List below to be notified when registration opens

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The Humanitarian Response Intensive Course is offered each year to professionals from around the world at Harvard University. Through presentations and hands-on table top exercises offered by faculty and guest lecturers who are experts in their topic areas, participants will gain familiarity with the primary frameworks in the humanitarian field (human rights, livelihoods, Sphere standards, international humanitarian law) and will focus on practical issues that arise in the field, such as personal and team security, rapid assessments, application of minimum standards for food security, shelter, WaSH (water, sanitation and hygiene) and operational approaches to relations with the military in humanitarian settings. Throughout the class, students will participate in pre-assigned learning teams to complete in-class projects designed to compliment a humanitarian case study. At the conclusion of class, student teams will present an aid delivery proposal designed to meet the needs of the population portrayed in the humanitarian case study.

Classes will be held in English. To successfully participate in the course, we recommend that participants have at least a B2 English language level (CEFR).


Participants will utilize knowledge of the humanitarian field gained in the classroom learning sessions during a three-day field simulation exercise. Attendees will spend two nights in the forest and participate in a complicated disaster and conflict scenario. During the simulation, participants will work in teams representing different humanitarian nongovernmental organizations and will engage with a wide range of local and non-state actors (roles developed and filled by faculty, course alumni, and affiliates) to create a service delivery plan.

The simulation will be held rain or shine.

Select Topics covered in the course:
  • Rapid Assessment
  • Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
  • Shelter and Site Management
  • International Humanitarian Law
  • Budgeting and Finance
  • Monitoring & Evaluation
  • Food Aid and Nutrition
  • Media Training
  • Personal and Team Security

Policies and Frequently Asked Questions

For more information and answers to your questions, including payment and cancellation policies, please see a page of frequently asked questions and policies for the course.

Contact Us

All questions, cancellations, and deferment requests should be submitted to: