Photo Credit: DiasporaEngager, the World's #1 International Diaspora Engagement Social Media Network Platform (, by Courtesy of Dr. Roland Holou. © All rights reserved.
Photo Credit: DiasporaEngager, the World's #1 International Diaspora Engagement Social Media Network Platform (, by Courtesy of Dr. Roland Holou. © All rights reserved.

We are now accepting applications for the September 2019 session of the Humanitarian Diplomacy online diploma course, offered by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in cooperation with DiploFoundation.

This course is currently offered in English, however participants who are more comfortable with French will have the option to write and submit some course assignments and the final research paper in French or Spanish.

The online course will extend the knowledge base and develop the practical skills of current and future practitioners in humanitarian diplomacy and policy.

By the end of this course, participants should be able to:

  • Explain clearly the concept of humanitarian diplomacy and provide examples of humanitarian diplomacy in action.
  • List and categorise the main actors in the field of humanitarian diplomacy and describe their roles.
  • Describe the interplay between relevant international law, including international humanitarian law, and humanitarian diplomacy.
  • Analyse the role of advocacy and persuasion in humanitarian diplomacy.
  • Organise a humanitarian diplomacy alliance.
  • Plan a persuasion campaign, taking into consideration the application of fundamental humanitarian principles.
  • Explain how to shape or influence negotiations through an evidence-based approach.
  • Describe how different humanitarian diplomacy contexts influence negotiation outcomes.
  • Analyse case studies of humanitarian diplomacy, identifying goals, actors, methods, challenges, and implementation.

Who should apply

  • Red Cross and Red Crescent National Society governance, senior management, branch leaders and managers, volunteers, and staff
  • IFRC and ICRC staff
  • Other professionals who need to employ humanitarian diplomacy techniques

Please note that this course is quite demanding in terms of time and commitment, requiring seven to ten hours of study time per week. Before you apply, please consider carefully whether you can commit the necessary time in order to complete the course successfully. Where appropriate, please make sure you obtain the endorsement of your line manager to attend this course.


This 13-week course in humanitarian diplomacy is conducted entirely online, using DiploFoundation’s online classroom and learning methodology. The course consists of two phases: an interactive online course lasting nine weeks, immediately followed by a four-week research phase. Participation in the course requires seven to ten hours of study time per week.

During the online course phase, reading materials and tools for online interaction are provided through an online classroom. The course is based on a collaborative approach to learning, involving a high level of interaction. Each week, participants read an assigned module text, adding questions and comments as hypertext entries. Lecturers and other participants read and respond to these entries, creating interaction based on the module text.

During the week, participants complete additional online activities including quizzes and group tasks. At the end of the week, participants, lecturers, and guest experts meet online in a chat room to discuss the week’s topic. Please note that due to the spread of course participants across time zones worldwide, scheduled online session times will not fall within working hours for all participants. Some participants will need to attend online sessions during the morning or evening hours.

During the research phase, participants apply their knowledge to analysing a humanitarian diplomacy action or activity. Working individually or in pairs, participants select a topic relevant to their work, country or region, and prepare a 5000-word research paper as the final assignment for the course. Each participant receives individual support and feedback from a tutor throughout this phase.

The course materials are in English, and all course discussions take place in English. However, participants who are more comfortable with French or Spanish have the option to submit some written assignments and the final research paper in either of those languages.

Participants who complete the course successfully will receive an electronic diploma issued by DiploFoundation and the IFRC.


Applicants must have:

  • An undergraduate university degree; or at least two years of work experience in the humanitarian or development field.
  • Sufficient knowledge of the English language to undertake postgraduate-level studies (including reading academic texts, discussing complex concepts with other course participants, and writing academic essays). NOTE: the longer course assignments and the final research paper may be submitted in French or Spanish.
  • Regular access to the Internet (dial-up connection is sufficient, although broadband is preferable).
  • Sufficient time for online study, which requires seven to ten hours per week.

Source: International Federation of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies, DiploFoundation / ReliefWeb / UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The content of this article does not necessarily reflect the views or opinion of Global Diaspora News (