Free Online Courses on Disaster Preparedness and Humanitarian Response

Thursday, August 25, 2016 0 Comments A+ a-

The worst thing about disasters is that they don't give us enough chance to prepare and develop our coping capacities. As the risk of disasters is growing across the globe, lack of knowledge about disaster preparedness and response could multiply the adverse effects of disasters. Being a professional primarily working in the area of Disaster Risk Management, I realize that more people need to have access to easy and affordable source of information and learning tools. Keeping this in view, I have cataloged another set of free e-learning courses on  topics pertaining to disaster preparedness and humanitarian response. I request to you to share this post in your social networks so that the goodness of e-learning reaches to more and more people in the world.

Personal Safety and Health for Emergency Responders (Multiple Courses)
By- School of Public Health, University of Albany
As a responder, you put yourself in harm’s way in order to help others. Emergencies can occur at any time, often without warning. While rescue and recovery work can be rewarding, response workers are not immune from the physical and psychological toll of disasters. In order to respond safely, you must be prepared, and train for your response regularly. If you become sick, injured or are ill prepared during a response, you may actually hinder the rescue effort. If you are a volunteer, you have made a commitment to be ready to respond in an emergency. If you are an employee of a health department, hospital, or clinic, this emergency response may be part of your expectations as an employee. This course will help the emergency responder understand the types of dangers that may be encountered in a disaster setting, as well as the common injuries and other health impacts that can be sustained during an emergency response. This course will also examine various health and safety preparedness measures a responder may take before, during, and after an emergency. Go to course page by clicking here.

Personal Emergency Preparedness: Planning for the Public Health Worker
By- National Center for Disaster Preparedness, Columbia University
The public health workforce increasingly provides direct and indirect roles and functions during their agency’s emergency response. A most critical element of being professionally prepared is to be personally prepared. This course introduces the learner to a variety of public health roles during a wide range of emergencies. Using an interactive, 5 action-step preparedness model learners will become better prepared for emergencies and disasters, personally and professionally. Three emergency scenarios allow the learner to think through each situation and identify the action steps most helpful to get through the emergency. Go to course page by clicking here.

Public Health Principles in Disaster and Medical Humanitarian Response
By- Collaborating Centre for Oxford University and CUHK for Disaster and Medical Humanitarian Response (CCOUC)
The "Public Health Principles in Disaster and Medical Humanitarian Response" online course was developed by CCOUC in an attempt to make lessons learnt from previous disasters available and comprehensible to key stakeholders in disaster risk mitigation and the civil society. Students enrolled in the course will gain insight and theoretical understanding of the public health issues related to disaster and be empowered personally and professionally to take necessary actions in the individual, community, and national levels to reduce the health risk posed by the increasing frequency and intensity of disaster. Go to course page by clicking here.

Health Care in Danger
By- International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
Are you a doctor wondering how to interact with the media, or a nurse wondering how to treat patient information in difficult circumstances? Are you an ambulance driver unsure of what your responsibilities are? Are you a hospital administrator wondering what to do with overwhelming numbers of deceased patients? If so, the Health Care in Danger project's new e-learning module on the responsibilities of health-care personnel is for you. Go to course page by clicking here.

Engaging Citizens: A Game Changer For Development? (5 Weeks)
By- The World Bank Group
Starts on- March 15, 2017
Whether you are a policymaker, civil society leader, business owner, student, or an interested citizen, this Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) and its learning resources, activities and social elements will provide you with a deep understanding of citizen engagement in the context of development. Why is gaining a comprehensive understanding of citizen engagement so important for development? While citizen engagement is not a magic bullet that automatically leads to better development results, it certainly has the potential to make a tremendous impact when implemented correctly and in the right conditions. By putting citizens at the center of governance, citizen engagement can be a key driver of change and fundamentally alter the relationship between the government and the governed. Ultimately, citizen engagement is essential for governance that works for everyone. Go to course page by clicking here.

Needs of Vulnerable Groups in Humanitarian Context (Two Courses)
By- Cornerstone OnDemand Foundation
Humanitarian crises affect each person differently depending on their gender, age, disability and other personal characteristics. Older people and people with disabilities are often overlooked in humanitarian relief and response and they may find it harder than others to access the assistance and protection they need. Take the following two courses to explore deeper into the subject:

1. Understanding Older People and Their Needs in a Humanitarian Context
This e-learning course will introduce you to key elements towards a clearer understanding of ageing and the needs of older people in humanitarian contexts. It is intended to guide you to promote an inclusive humanitarian response to ensure that older people are taken into account before, throughout and after the response. Go to course page by clicking here.

2. Basic Principles of Disability Inclusion in Humanitarian Response
This e-learning course will introduce you to key elements towards a clearer understanding of disability and the needs of people with disabilities in humanitarian contexts. It is intended to guide you to promote an inclusive humanitarian response to ensure that people with disabilities are taken into account before, throughout and after the response. Go to course page by clicking here.

E-Learning Activities for Humanitarian Sector (Multiple Topics)
By- Humanitarian Academy at Harvard
The Advanced Training Program on Humanitarian Action (ATHA) seeks to build operational capacity, facilitate learning across organizations in the humanitarian sector, and to mobilize change through a community of practice. These self-paced, interactive e-learning modules are designed to meet the needs of the busy humanitarian professional. Less like lectures and more like hands-on training courses, they provide a great introduction to some of the most challenging subjects in humanitarian action.Go to course page by clicking here.

Building a Better Response
By- Humanitarian Academy at Harvard
The Humanitarian Academy at Harvard, 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. Go to course page by clicking here.

Different Needs - Equal Opportunities: Increasing Effectiveness of Humanitarian Action for Women, Girls, Boys and Men
By- Inter-Agency Standing Committee
This online course provides the basic steps a humanitarian worker must take to ensure gender equality in programming. The course includes information on the core issues of gender and how it relates to other aspects of humanitarian response. The three hour, self-paced course provides information and scenarios which enable you to practice developing gender-sensitive programming. This training is based on the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Gender Handbook and related IASC guidelines, including the Guidelines for Gender-based Violence Interventions in Humanitarian Settings and others. The IASC consists of twenty-one humanitarian organizations and is the primary humanitarian forum for facilitating coordination, policy development and decision-making in response to complex emergencies and natural disasters. Go to course page by clicking here.

Sphere Handbook in Action
By- The Sphere Project
An e-learning course that allows humanitarian workers to undertake an ambitious training programme on Sphere principles and standards in an autonomous manner is now available via the Internet. The course aims to increase the understanding and effective use of the Sphere Handbook, Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Humanitarian Response. The Sphere Handbook in Action elearning course brings the Handbook to life through the use of realistic scenarios, helping the learner to get acquainted with its core messages and to understand how to use it holistically. Taking the course is free of charge. Go to course page by clicking here.

An Introduction to Coordinated Needs Assessment (6 Parts)
By- ACAPS and University of Geneva
In cooperation with Geneva Centre for Education and Research in Humanitarian Action, University of Geneva, ACAPS has developed an online training course, which covers the basics of coordinated needs assessment in emergencies. The training is not exhaustive, and does not cover everything you need to know for humanitarian needs assessment in a crisis. It does provide an overview of important principles that should be applied. It can be used to train teams preparing for field assessments, as an introduction to more in-depth face-to-face training, or for researchers/students wanting an introduction to humanitarian needs assessment. Go to course page by clicking here.

USAID/OFDA Shelter And Settlements Training Course
By- InterAction
This course introduces the basics of humanitarian community shelter and settlements (S&S) activities, including some history and trends related to the sector, best practices in assessments and programming strategy, basic shelter responses, the relationship between shelter and its context (settlements), and how to promote the recovery of affected settlements. This training course is based on many years of USAID/OFDA and humanitarian organization experience in S&S activities, so discussions and case studies are based on real-life situations. Discussions are non-technical and geared towards how to develop strategies and options to appropriately deliver humanitarian shelter and settlements assistance. Additionally, the course provides an opportunity for participants to understand the relationship of S&S activities, disaster risk reduction, sectoral activities, and larger trends such as urbanization. Go to course page by clicking here.

Understanding the Ebola Virus and How You Can Avoid It
By- Advance Learning
An outbreak of the Ebola virus has occurred in West African countries, and infected individuals have died in Spain and America. The mortality rate from the Ebola virus is extremely high and an outbreak of the virus can have serious consequences for the health of individuals who are infected by it, and on the health resources of communities and countries where the outbreak
occurs. This course will be of great interest to any learner who lives in or near regions where an outbreak of the Ebola virus has occurred and who would like to learn more about the virus and how to avoid becoming infected. It will also be of great interest to all health workers would like a free resource to help individuals and communities better understand the Ebola virus and how an outbreak of it can be controlled. Go to course page by clicking here.

Emergency Management (3 Weeks)
By- Massey University, New Zealand
Starts on- March 20, 2017
This course will take you on a journey through contemporary risk-based emergency management. From the origins of risk management in the ancient world, to new hazards and risk management approaches of the industrial era, command and control models introduced in the Cold War era, to more contemporary “all-hazards” to current “risk management” approaches. You will explore the rapidly growing and increasingly influential discipline through a study of real-world risk understanding, reduction, readiness, response and recovery examples.You will have opportunities to discuss what you learn with other students and build and test your growing knowledge through accessible tests. Go to course page by clicking here.

Disaster Management: Introduction to Humanitarian Aid (2 Weeks)
By- Deakin University, Australia
Starts on- March 6, 2017
Learn the basic principles and approaches to responding to humanitarian emergencies with this free online course. Explore guiding principles and approaches used by humanitarian teams. Earthquake, flood, fire, famine and conflict - we seem to be hearing more about these things every day, and watching as they impact communities all over the world. Fortunately, there are many organisations made up of dedicated people who are trained and ready to assist communities affected by disasters. Go to course page by clicking here.

Set of 4 Courses on First Aid and Life Support 
By- First Aid for Free!
1. CPR, AED and First Aid
This course will prepare you to respond to life-threatening emergencies in multiple populations with life-saving interventions.
2. Pediatric Advanced Life Support
This course will prepare you to respond to life-threatening emergencies in the pediatric population with advanced interventions.
3. Advanced Cardiac Life Support
This course will prepare you to respond to life-threatening emergencies in the adult population with advanced interventions.
4. Basic Life Support
This course will prepare you to respond to life-threatening emergencies in multiple populations with life-saving interventions.
Go to course page by clicking here.

First Aid for Free
By- Advance Learning
Self-paced is a free online first aid resource, with a mission to increase awareness of first aid & lifesaving skills. After you have completed all the modules you can download a free online first aid certificate in PDF format. Please note you’ll need to register an account with us before you can access our free online first aid course. was setup by John, a first aid trainer & lifeguard of many years. Frustrated by the lack of free, reliable & accurate first aid information available on the internet, John set out to develop a number of interactive first aid resources. Go to course page by clicking here.

Toward Resilience - Principles in Practice
By- Cornerstone OnDemand Foundation
The Toward Resilience Guide has emerged as the recognized ‘go to’ resource on incorporating disaster risk reduction & climate change adaptation principles into relief and development programming. Based on 10 principles that support integrated programming, this 75-minute eLearning course helps practitioners better understand how these principles can be put into practice in areas where communities are threatened by disasters and the effects of climate change. Based on real world case studies, the companion course illustrates the benefits and key elements of an integrated approach to building resilience to disaster and climate change risk. Go to course page by clicking here.

Planning for Community Based Adaptation (CBA) to Climate Change
By- Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
The e-learning tool 'Planning for Community Based Adaptation (CBA) to Climate Change' supports training on community-based climate change adaptation in agriculture. The tool links research-based knowledge on climate change impacts with examples and experiences on CBA drawn from FAO field projects and a range of country-specific case studies. The intended outcome of the tool is to assist all actors, who face the challenge of initiating and facilitating adaptation processes at community level. This tool is designed for development practitioners, specifically national agricultural extension workers, community based organizations and field level professionals who are interested in improving their understanding of climate change adaptation in agriculture. Go to course page by clicking here.