Certificates

We offer three different certificates: the „Certificate of Attendance“, the „Intensive Training Program“ and the „Certificate of Advanced Studies“ (CAS). Being a university, Ruhr-University Bochum is able to award ECTS credit points which can be recognized in other study programs. Certified trainings can be conducted by the aha as well as external providers. Our modular approach allows for a matching of “Intensive Training Programs” to a “Certificate of Advanced Studies”. All certificates will be awarded by the aha.

CAS: Foundations of Humanitarian Action

© ADH/Schamberger

Foundations of Humanitarian Action

Never before have so many people around the world been in need of humanitarian assistance as today. In addition, there are more and more protracted crises that strain the capacities of humanitarian organizations over the years. As a result, more newcomers and career changers find their way into humanitarian aid. The “Foundations of Humanitarian Action” program provides you with the most important basics for entering the professional field of humanitarian action.

The humanitarian system is highly complex and shaped by a large number of different actors. Due to the increasing need for humanitarian assistance, not only the actors themselves but also the cooperation between humanitarian actors is subject to high dynamics. This makes it difficult, especially for newcomers and career changers, to get an overview of the structure and functioning of the humanitarian system.

As part of the program you get to know key terms, essential quality standards as well as legal foundations of humanitarian action. You will furthermore receive an overview of the most important actors, forms of financing for humanitarian projects and coordination mechanisms in the humanitarian system. In addition, basic knowledge in the management area is included in the program. You learn how projects are planned and monitored based on indicators and how projects can be designed to be impact-oriented from the start.

Equipped with this knowledge you can start your endeavour in the humanitarian world.

Learning Objectives

  • Create awareness for the legal foundations of humanitarian action
  • Enhance knowledge of the priciples and standards of humanitarian action
  • Enable students to navigate through the humanitarian system
  • Learn about best practices and proven tools and approaches in the management of humanitarian projects
  • Understand the most important debates in the humanitarian sector and learn to reflect them critically

Teaching and Learning Methodology

  • Online and on site trainings
  • Lectures
  • Group work
  • Group discussion
  • Case studies
  • Group presentations

Audience

The advanced training is aimed at staff of humanitarian organizations and students and professionals, regardless of their specialization, who want to work in humanitarian action. Prior knowledge is not required for this, but a short letter of motivation is necessary when registering for the individual courses for definitive admission.

Language

Courses are taught in English and German. Fluency in both languages is strongly recommended. We cannot guarantee that the five courses required to obtain the CAS will be available in one language only.

Accreditation

A “Certificate of Advanced Studies” is a further education degree at master's level. It has a scope of 10 credit points according to ECTS (10 ECTS). Five „Intensive Training Programs“ (ITPs) can be combined to a „Certificate of Advanced Studies“ (5 ECTS). The courses can be chosen individually based on the courses offered on the aha webpage in each core track.  Upon completion of the five ITPs you need to hand in an essay paper which is worth an additional 5 ECTS.

Location

The courses will be held online or in different locations in Germany. The locations are indicated in the course section.

Application and Fees

You need to apply for each individual course of your certificate via the registration button in the course section. Please note that some courses are free of charge and others charge a participation fee. Spots are allocated on a first come, first serve basis. If a course is fully booked, kindly register for another one. Course participants must cover the costs for own transportation, meals besides the course catering, and accommodation. A list of cost-effective accommodation options can be provided by the course organizers.

Schedule

Courses are offered on a rolling basis. Over time, more courses will be added meaning that you can start your certificate whenever you want. Either register for all your courses today, or do it one by one and sign up for the certificate later. It's flexible, just like we are.

Information

If you have any questions, please contact us via the help button in the right hand corner of this page.

Start choosing your courses today!

CAS: Anticipatory Humanitarian Action

Anticipatory Humanitarian Action

The importance of anticipatory humanitarian action has been firmly anchored in humanitarian practice at least since the World Humanitarian Summit in 2016. Among the most relevant concepts are “Forecast-based Financing” (FbF), “Forecast-based Action” (FbA) and “Early Warning, Early Action” (EWEA). The ultimate goal of anticipatory humanitarian action is to predict disasters and their effects in order to provide the necessary support for communities at risk and to enable early action even before disaster strikes. In recent years, individual actors have generated innovations in this field and thus achieved positive results. This program is intended to make anticipatory approaches accessible to a broader target group and to integrate these approaches into the humanitarian mainstream.

This program will introduce you to the concept of anticipation and offers a range of courses that  provide you with practical tools and inspiring ideas that you can use in order to make a difference and contribute to a more anticipatory and less response-oriented humanitarian system.

The program will not only address the possibilities and limits of anticipatory humanitarian action, but will also introduce you to the instruments that are available to anticipate disasters and their consequences. A particular focus is on the role of geo-data in anticipatory humanitarian action and how this data can be collected, used and analyzed. The challenges of planning and applying these instruments in different contexts will also be considered.

Learning Objectives

  • Create awareness of the importance of anticipation in the humanitarian sector
  • Learn about proven tools and approaches to anticipatory humanitarian action
  • Enable participants to critically reflect on the limits of these approaches

Teaching and Learning Methodology

  • Online and on site trainings
  • Lectures
  • Group work
  • Group discussion
  • Case studies
  • Group presentations

Audience

The program is designed for staff of humanitarian organizations with several years of experience in humanitarian action or in development cooperation. We also admit a limited number of junior professionals who are currently employed by a humanitarian organization and have at least 6 month of field experience. In individual cases, experienced persons with other qualifications can be considered.

Language

Courses are taught in English and German. Fluency in both languages is strongly recommended. We cannot guarantee that the five courses required to obtain the CAS will be available in one language only.

Accreditation

A “Certificate of Advanced Studies” is a further education degree at master's level. It has a scope of 10 credit points according to ECTS (10 ECTS). Five „Intensive Training Programs“ (ITPs) can be combined to a „Certificate of Advanced Studies“ (5 ECTS). The courses can be chosen individually based on the courses offered on the aha webpage in each core track.  Upon completion of the five ITPs you need to hand in an essay paper which is worth an additional 5 ECTS.

Location

The courses will be held online or in different locations in Germany. The locations are indicated for each course in the course section.

Application and Fees

You need to apply for each individual course of your certificate via the registration button in the course section. Please note that some courses are free of charge and others charge a participation fee. Spots are allocated on a first come, first serve basis. If a course is fully booked, kindly register for another one. Course participants must cover the costs for own transportation, meals besides the course catering, and accommodation. A list of cost-effective accommodation options can be provided by the course organizers.

Schedule

Courses are offered on a rolling basis. Over time, more courses will be added meaning that you can start your certificate whenever you want. Either register for all your courses today, or do it one by one and sign up for the certificate later. It's flexible, just like we are.

Contact

If you have any questions, please contact us via the help button in the right hand corner of this page.

Start choosing your courses today!

CAS: Locally-led Humanitarian Action

Locally-Led Humanitarian Action

This program offers important insights into one of the most pressing issues in humanitarian action – the need for a stronger localization and better integration and participation of populations affected by crises. Localization has become a buzzword in the humanitarian sector. A key commitment of the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit and resulting Grand Bargain, localization aims at making humanitarian action as local as possible and as international as necessary. Responding to demands to make humanitarian responses more efficient and inclusive, localization requires a wide range of changes of the ways in which humanitarian organizations are working as well as the structure and functions of the humanitarian sector.  Over the last years humanitarian organizations have sought to live up to their commitments and reformed their way of working – so far with limited progress.

The reason for this are significant challenges and there is still a great need among humanitarian organizations for practical methods that involve the affected population in the planning and implementation of their various humanitarian interventions. For many NGOs, it is a great challenge to find new local partners from a distance with whom they can implement humanitarian projects. Many organizations are unsure how to address difficult issues with their partners without endangering the partnership. There is also uncertainty about the role German humanitarian organizations will play in the future and how they can shape the partnership with their local partner organizations.

This program will introduce you to the concept of localization and offers a range of courses that provide you with practical tools and inspiring ideas that you can use in order to make a difference and contribute to a more inclusive, locally-led humanitarian system.

Learning Objectives

  • Create awareness for the importance of localization in the humanitarian sector
  • Enhance knowledge of commitments and major obstacles for implementing localization in the humanitarian sector
  • Learn about best practices and proven tools and approaches to localization and participation
  • Exchange with other professionals about best-practice localization and partner work

Teaching and Learning Methodology

  • Online and on site trainings
  • Lectures
  • Group work
  • Group discussion
  • Case studies
  • Group presentations

Audience

The program is designed for staff of humanitarian organizations with several years of experience in humanitarian action or in development cooperation. We also admit a limited number of junior professionals who are currently employed by a humanitarian organization.

Language

Courses are taught in English and German. Fluency in both languages is strongly recommended. We cannot guarantee that the five courses required to obtain the CAS will be available in one language only.

Accreditation

A “Certificate of Advanced Studies” is a further education degree at master's level. It has a scope of 10 credit points according to ECTS (10 ECTS). Five „Intensive Training Programs“ (ITPs) can be combined to a „Certificate of Advanced Studies“ (5 ECTS). The courses can be chosen individually based on the courses offered on the aha webpage in each core track.  Upon completion of the five ITPs you need to hand in an essay paper which is worth an additional 5 ECTS.

Location

The courses will be held online or in different locations in Germany. The locations are indicated for each course in the course section.

Application and Fees

You need to apply for each individual course of your certificate via the registration button in the course section. Please note that some courses are free of charge and others charge a participation fee. Spots are allocated on a first come, first serve basis. If a course is fully booked, kindly register for another one. Course participants must cover the costs for own transportation, meals besides the course catering, and accommodation. A list of cost-effective accommodation options can be provided by the course organizers.

Schedule

Courses are offered on a rolling basis. Over time, more courses will be added meaning that you can start your certificate whenever you want. Either register for all your courses today, or do it one by one and sign up for the certificate later. It's flexible, just like we are.

Contact

If you have any questions, please contact us via the help button in the right hand corner of this page.

Start choosing your courses today!

FAQ

What is the academy for humanitarian action?

The academy for humanitarian action (aha) is a platform for continuing education in the humanitarian domain. It works at the intersection of humanitarian practice and research, bringing together expertise from over 25 years of work by the partners involved in the humanitarian context. It is open to all organizations working in humanitarian aid and their staff, as well as to newcomers and career changers in this field.

Who is behind the aha?

The aha was founded in 2020 by three partner organizations with extensive experience in the field of humanitarian aid and adult education. The founding members are the Institute for International Law of Peace and Armed Conflict (Institut für Friedenssicherungsrecht und Humanitäres Völkerrecht, IFHV) of the Ruhr University in Bochum and the Centre of Competence for Humanitarian Action (KHH) of the FH Münster University of Applied Sciences as research institutes for humanitarian affairs, as well as Aktion Deutschland Hilft (ADH) as an association of the largest German humanitarian organizations.

As a cooperation partner, the umbrella organization of development and humanitarian non-governmental organizations in Germany (VENRO) is heavily involved in the course offering as part of an extensive consortium project between IFHV and VENRO. Their course are also recognized as part of aha's certificate programs.

You can find more about the history and background of aha here.

What is the goal of aha?

The objective of aha is to train and upskill humanitarian professionals in a high-quality manner. Through professional inputs and moderated space for exchange between staff members of humanitarian organizations, we want to further improve the quality of work, develop methods for approaching new challenges and strengthen innovations.

What is special about the aha?

The aha is characterized by its open platform character: All actors in the field of humanitarian aid are invited to offer trainings and engage in exchange with others through the aha. The aha is not profit-oriented and pursues the sole goal of training and educating humanitarian personnel.

What is special about our courses is that you can not only participate in individual events, but you can aggregate five trainings from one topic area into a "Certificate of Advanced Studies". More information about the certificates and our self-conception can be found in the corresponding sections on the homepage.

How do I stay up to date?

Here you can find our newsletter, which keeps you posted on all new courses on our site.

Where do the courses take place?

Depending on the organizer, our face-to-face seminars take place at a well-connected seminar location in Germany. However, many of our courses are also conducted entirely online or in a hybrid format (online and face-to-face). You can find detailed information on the respective course page.

Who are the trainers of the courses?

All our trainers have many years of experience in humanitarian aid or development policy practice and are carefully selected by the course organizers. In close coordination, we prepare the courses intensively and target group-oriented, so that at the end of each course the participants and trainers are usually satisfied.

Is there a limit regarding the number of participants in the courses?

The number of places in a course varies depending on the methodology and course content and is closely coordinated with the trainers. The maximum number of participants is displayed on each course page and places are allocated based on availability. If a course is fully booked, you can still register for a place on the waiting list.

Why are some courses fee-based and some not?

The courses at aha are offered by various partner organizations with many years of experience in humanitarian and development project work. Some of the courses can be financed by third party funds and are therefore free of charge for the participants.

You will find more information about the partners and organizations behind aha here.

What do I get for the course fee?

From the course fee we cover all costs related to the organization of the training, including working materials and catering during the course. In the case of face-to-face training, travel, meals outside of training hours and accommodation costs have to be covered by the participants or their employers.

Are courses also offered in French, Spanish or Arabic?

Currently, we offer many courses in German or English. In the future, however, we would like to expand our offering and include other languages.

Are courses also offered in a hybrid format?

Yes. Not only due to the limitations of the Covid pandemic, we try to use innovative formats to offer a positive learning experience within our courses to as many participants as possible. Hybrid formats with online and face-to-face time as well as flexible participation options are just one of many ways to achieve this goal.

I am a student. Is the aha also interesting for me?

Our courses are aimed both at employees of humanitarian organizations with experience in humanitarian action or development cooperation and at newcomers or career changers who are looking to work professionally in the field of humanitarian aid.

Our certificate program "Foundations of Humanitarian Action" offers you a wide range of courses, which are accessible without much previous experience in humanitarian work.

I am an employee of a humanitarian organization and work abroad. Can I participate in the courses?

Yes! We strive to offer many of our courses in an online or hybrid format so that participation from abroad is easily possible. We are happy to have participants who bring current experiences and ideas from abroad into our courses and see your participation as an enrichment for the professional exchange at the aha.

I am a trainer. How can I offer a course at the aha?

For our growing training program, we are constantly looking for experienced trainers on topics related to program work, regional developments, critical reflection and innovations in humanitarian aid and international cooperation. We would be happy to add you to our database of trainers

For more information, please contact us at: aha-trainings@ruhr-uni-bochum.de or via the contact form on this page. We are looking forward to meeting you!

I was not satisfied with the course I attended. Who can I contact?

We are constantly improving our course content and organization. The aha training courses have therefore received very good evaluations to this point and are characterized by a high level of participant satisfaction. If something still was not right in your course, please contact us at support@aha-trainings.de or use the contact form on this page. We appreciate your feedback!

How far in advance can I register for a course?

Our courses are usually posted online at least 12 weeks before the start of the course and can then be booked. For updates on new courses, sign up for our newsletter here. It will notify you of every new course that is activated.

I have registered and received a confirmation email. Does that mean I am surely registered?

After your registration in the registration form you will receive an automated confirmation of receipt. This is not yet a final confirmation of participation, as we first check the payment of the participation fee and whether you are among the target group. You will receive your final confirmation in a separate mail within two weeks after the registration, however at least three to four weeks before the course starts.

I have registered but have not received a confirmation email. What should I do?

After you have registered in the registration form, you should receive an automated confirmation of receipt. Later we will contact you again with your final confirmation.

If you have not received the confirmation of receipt, please check the spam folder of your mailbox first to see if it is there. If you do not find a confirmation mail there either, we will be happy to help you via the contact form or support@aha-trainings.de. If possible, please let us know in your message which browser and browser version you are using, when you tried to book the course and which error message you potentially received. We will try to solve the problem and get back to you as soon as possible.

I have registered for a course but cannot attend. What should I do?

Please let us know as soon as possible if you no longer want or can no longer take your place. Our courses often have a limit of participants and a waiting list, so we can give your place to another person.

In case of a paid training, you can withdraw free of charge up to four weeks before the training starts. After that we reserve the right to withhold the participation fee proportionally. You can find our detailed cancellation conditions here.

What does CAS stand for?

CAS means "Certificate of Advanced Studies" and is a further education degree at Master´s level. The aha´s CAS is worth 10 ECTS credits and consists of five courses or "Intensive Training Programs" (ITPs), each worth 1 ECTS credit, and a final exam, which is worth another 5 ECTS credits.

We currently offer CAS in three core areas of humanitarian action: “Foundations of Humanitarian Action”, “Anticipatory Humanitarian Action” and “Locally-led Humanitarian Action”. Courses in each core area can be individually selected from a pool of courses and completed in a flexible manner. After completing five courses in the ITP format, you must write an essay as a final exam. You will be given a choice of topics for your essay and will receive your certificate upon successful submission.

More information about the CAS can be found here.

What is an ITP?

ITP stands for "Intensive Training Program" and refers to all courses at the aha that can be credited toward the CAS. An ITP course consists of at least 24 training hours and ends with a final exam. If you successfully participate in the course exam, you will receive a certificate of participation for the ITP, which is worth 1 ECTS credit point in the European University System.

If you successfully participate in the course without an exam, you will receive a certificate of participation in any case.

Click here for more information about the ITP.

Can I also participate in a course without the wish to obtain a CAS?

Yes! Each of our courses can of course be booked without participation in a certificate program. If you successfully participate in the course without an exam, you will receive a certificate of participation in any case.

Who is the CAS-program for?

The certificate program of aha is open for every participant of our ITP courses. No matter if you are at the beginning of your master program at a German university or already in the middle of your professional life - it is a further education program that adapts to your life and your learning. You can flexibly put your CAS together piece by piece with different courses and in the end have a certified further qualification.

You can find more information about our current certificates here.

How can I acquire a "Certificate of Advanced Studies"?

The procedure for obtaining a Certificate of Advanced Studies has two stages. First, you have to complete five courses in ITP format, each worth one ECTS point, from the respective subject area. Afterwards, you can register for the final examination in the form of a 10-to-15-page essay by sending an e-mail to aha-trainings(at)ruhr-uni-bochum.de. You will receive all relevant information for the final exam as well as a selection of possible questions by e-mail. Once you have passed the final exam, we will immediately issue your certificate.

What types of CAS are there?

We currently offer CAS in three core areas: The CAS  “Foundations of Humanitarian Action” covers all the basics of humanitarian action and is particularly recommended for newcomers and career changers with little prior experience. The certificates covering "Locally-led Humanitarian Action" and "Anticipatory Humanitarian Action" deepen important core topics of humanitarian aid with localization and anticipatory humanitarian action and are rather aimed at humanitarian NGO staff with prior experience. Courses in each core area can be individually selected from a pool of courses and completed flexibly.

For more information on our current certificates, click here.

What courses can I choose from to complete a CAS?

For each "Certificate of Advanced Studies" there is a given pool of courses from which you can freely choose five ones - according to your preferences and depending on availability. You can find out which courses are assigned to the respective certificates on the individual certificate pages of our homepage for the CAS in "Foundations of Humanitarian Action", "Anticipatory Humanitarian Action and Locally-led Humanitarian Action. You will also find further information material there.

Can I get credit for a course in more than one CAS program?

A CAS generally consists of five courses plus a final exam. Therefore, you can only receive credit for each of your courses in one CAS. Some courses may be part of two different certificate programs - for example, if the course is a localization course but also an introductory course for newcomers and career changers; however, as a participant you have to decide and can only have the course credited for one of the two certificates and not for both at the same time.

How long does it take to obtain a CAS and when can I start?

The start and duration of a certificate depends on the courses you choose and your flexibility. There is no fixed start, you can choose your courses within the CAS and write the final essay whenever you meet the requirements and feel ready - you only need five completed courses until the essay. Of course, we are available if you need help choosing courses or editing your essay.

What does it cost to obtain a CAS?

The costs of a certificate consist of the individual course fees and, if applicable, the costs of travel, meals, and accommodation for the individual trainings. Many of our trainings are sponsored and therefore free of charge. You can find the fees for the individual trainings on the respective course page.

How do I register for the CAS?

If you have completed 5 ITP courses and would like to write your essay, please contact us at aha-trainings@ruhr-uni-bochum.de. We will send you more information about the writing of the essay by mail and issue your CAS.

I have already taken several ITP courses at the aha. Will my ITP certificate of attendance expire at some point?

No. It does not matter in which time period you complete the five ITP courses required for a CAS. We want to offer you the greatest possible flexibility in obtaining your continuing education degree. Therefore, there is no deadline for obtaining a CAS and your certificates of attendance do not expire.

I have earned ECTS credits at aha. Where can I have them credited?

On the one hand, you can have the individual credits acquired through ITP courses credited to you within our certificate program in order to obtain a certified continuing education degree in the form of a "Certificate of Advanced Studies".

On the other hand, you can also have the ECTS credits or your "Certificate of Advanced Studies" worth 10 ECTS points earned at the aha credited your bachelor's or master's degree if the committee responsible for the degree program agrees to its recognition. 10 ECTS points roughly correspond to the usual scope of a single subject module in European bachelor's or master's degree programs.