Spring 2025
January 27 - April 30
Friday, 12:45PM - 2:45PM
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Global Response to Disasters and Refugee Crises


Climate change, urbanization, and conflict mean that global disasters are on the rise. How should the world respond when disasters force people from their homes? How can we better help the world’s refugees? This course examines the past, present, and future of the international humanitarian response system. We will explore how Doctors Without Borders, the United Nations, the Red Cross, and other aid agencies came to be and how global response standards, international humanitarian law, and new technologies are shaping worldwide disaster relief.Through interactive discussions and case studies, students will learn how aid workers interact with governments, militaries, and civil society to provide refugee aid. At the end of the course on April 28-29, 2023, students can opt to participate as a ‘refugee’ as part of a large, outdoor humanitarian response training exercise with students and professional aid workers from around the world.
Course Notes: Lotteried course, enrollment limited to 30. To enter lottery, go to the course website at https://canvas.harvard.edu/courses/115108/assignments/syllabus and submit lottery responses by 11:59 pm on January 17.

Global Health & Health Policy
Faculty of Arts & Sciences
Course Level
Interest Area
Law & Policy
Public Health & Medicine
Cross Registration
Not Available