Global Disaster Response


Missioncraft 2016: Missioncraft in Disaster Relief Operations

September 19 - September 23, 2016 Boston MA

This 1-week intensive workshop presents best practices for health personnel in international disaster relief operations, and is designed for experienced humanitarian providers. The workshop aims to enhance skill sets required in leadership roles such as organizational team leader or medical coordinator. Those completing this workshop will gain a comprehensive set of skills in disaster management, clinical appreciation as well as public health competencies necessary for effective leadership and management in the humanitarian space.

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Humanitarian Response to Conflict and Disaster

5-week online program starts 8/30/2016

Harvard edX course. Learn the principles guiding humanitarian response to modern emergencies, and the challenges faced in the field today.

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Humanitarian Response Intensive Course

April 19-May 1, 2016 Cambridge MA

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.

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2016 Exploring Medical Missions Conference - The Evidence Behind Medical Missions

May 20-21, 2016 Kansas City, MO

A CME and CNE Accredited event. Hosted by the Institute for International Medicine & Graceway Church.

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When Terror Strikes: Maximizing Survival during Multi-Site Attacks

March 3, 2016 Boston MA

The evolving global threat environment presents new and challenging implications for first responders and receivers. Join public safety, health and medical professionals for a no-cost one day seminar to hear leadership and firsthand accounts from Parisians involved in the response operations during the November 2015 attacks in Paris.

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Rules for the Road: Global Health, Safety and Security for Deploying Students, Staff, and Clinicians Overseas - CUGH Webinar

Wednesday, January 27, 2016 - 13:00

Global health work and training in underserved areas presents unique opportunities to serve and to learn, but also increases exposure to safety risks. The recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the Nepal earthquake, and the current refugee crisis in Europe and the Middle East highlights’ the need for a strong focus on the health, safety, and security of those working and training globally. The growth of academic global health programs has resulted in increased numbers of staff and students traveling to the field and global health sites, many of which are increasingly remote and in resource limited environments. The threats faced are as diverse as the locations traveled to, ranging from infectious disease exposure in Uganda, to road traffic accidents in India, or terrorist threats in Kenya. Therefore, a key component of global health programming is the safety of the staff and participants. Global health programs have a duty to properly prepare and train staff, faculty and students prior to departure. Health care workers and their employers must understand their respective roles in the protection and support of their global health workforce, including their legal responsibilities, minimum operational standards, and support structures.

This webinar will consist of short presentations with case discussion from the headquarters and field perspective including important roles and responsibilities within organizations and what are the most pressing issues related to health, safety, and security of deploying faculty, students and staff.

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Advanced Wilderness Life Support

October 2-4, 2015 Boston MA

This three day course is an intensive, hands-on primer appropriate for any licensed medical professional or medical professional in training who has an interest in wilderness activities (MD, PhD, PA, NP, RN, Paramedic, EMT). This includes specialized medical professionals who may not see emergency care or general practice responsibilities on a day-to-day basis (ie: podiatrist, OBGYN). Our graduates include outdoor enthusiasts, expedition participants, US Army and other military medical personnel, wilderness medicine academicians, and Wilderness Medical Society Fellowship candidates.

For all the information on this course, please go to and TO REGISTER please go to:

Urban Humanitarian Emergencies Course

July 28-30, 2015 | Harvard University, Cambridge MA USA | Registration: $1195 USD

The Urban Humanitarian Emergencies Course offered by the Humanitarian Academy at Harvard is a three-day workshop designed to train humanitarian professionals on the current issues and practices involved in this unique and expanding area of research and practice. Experienced course faculty will join the workshop to discuss the complexities of urban humanitarian response.   

The three day course will include curriculum covering all aspects of the urban humanitarian environment:
•       Response to Recovery
•       Coordination
•       Communication
•       Assessment and Prioritization
•       Integrated Sectors
•       Finance and Economy
•       Markets
•       Housing and Shelter
•       Delivering Aid
•       Violence and Protection
•       Health
•       Exit Strategy

For more information and registration, please visit the workshop webpage.

Please send any questions about the workshop to

Canadian Disaster and Humanitarian Response Training Program

May 4-17, 2015 | McGill University Campus iMontreal, QC, Canada

This multidisciplinary learning experience offers a unique opportunity to gain the core humanitarian competencies. In‐classroom learning 8:30AM-5:30PM PLUS 3 day Field Simulation

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Humanitarian Response Intensive Course - Simulation Exercise

April 24-26, 2015 | Harold Parker State Forest | North Andover, MA

This is a short reminder that the Humanitarian Academy at Harvard will once again host the HRIC simulation in less than a month, on April 24-26th!  This is an exciting weekend-long educational exercise portraying a complex humanitarian emergency at Harold Parker State Forest (just north of Boston), and this year will involve over 170 students.

Volunteering at the simulation provides a unique opportunity to demonstrate your expertise and share your experiences, as well as interact with participants and faculty from all over the world.  Whether you have played a significant part in past simulations or not, we are looking forward to making this year's simulation a success with your help!  We are looking for hands-on volunteers beginning the morning of Friday, April 24th through midday Sunday, April 26th.

Click here for an RSVP form where you can indicate your interest and availability for the weekend.

***Note: We will hold a pre-Simulation briefing on April 15 at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative offices in Cambridge. More details to come soon.***

International Development Conference at Harvard Kennedy School

March 27-28, 2015 | Harvard Kennedy School Cambridge, MA

Workshop 2: "Building More Sustainable and Effective Healthcare Systems in African Countries with A Robust Prevention and Health Crisis Management Sector". Panel includes Hilarie Cranmer, MD, MPH, Director, Global Disaster Response, MGH Center for Global Health

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Stop Ebola Hack-a-thon

December 13-14, 2014 | MGH Boston, MA

Be part of a global movement to stop Ebola. Come develop innovative medical technologies to protect frontline health providers and save lives in West Africa and beyond. Looking for nurses, physicians, global health experts, engineers, designers and entrepreneurs to identify radical yet implementable innovations in the fight against Ebola. Teams will have 48 hours to tackle pressing challenges from the epicenter of the outbreak, focusing on safe and effective delivery of care. Bring your ideas, your skills and your passion to help change the course of the Ebola epidemic.

Register now - space is limited! Applications due by December 1st at:

Humanitarian Response Field Simulation

April 25 – 27, 2014

The Humanitarian Academy at Harvard is conducting a simulation of a complex humanitarian disaster as a part of their Humanitarian Response Intensive Course. . 

Through our collaborative relationship with the Academy we have arranged to run a field hospital during the disaster simulation to be coordinated by MGH and our partners International Medical Corps.

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.

Course details