IDHA 2009 kicked off last week at Fordham’s Lincoln Center campus. The monthlong International Diploma in Humanitarian Assistance program for humanitarian workers and administrators is run by the University’s Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs (IIHA), headed by Kevin M. Cahill, M.D. (FCRH ’57).
Humanitarian work is changing quickly, requiring a greater level of professionalism and accountability. Practitioners work in increasingly complex situations that require a multidisciplinary approach. The intensive four-week IDHA program enables aid workers to receive training with a minimal disruption of their field responsibility, and reproduces some of the complexity and intensity of conditions faced normally in a field situation. The course includes lectures, case studies, practical exercises and scenarios. A wide range of disciplines involved in humanitarian programs are studied, including management, logistics, health, psychology, social sciences, anthropology, engineering, communication, agriculture, environment, education, conflict resolution, international law, civil/military relations, security, media, politics and economics.
(For an overview of the program, see: IDHA: Building the Profession of Humanitarian Aid.)
This year’s program ends June 26, and is directed by Dr. Cahill and Larry Hollingworth, CBE. The course participants will learn firsthand from UN, International Red Cross/Red Crescent and non-governmental organization officials as well as political, diplomatic and academic figures.