The programme is made up of 4 Modules. This course contains Module 1; you can find links to additional modules below.

Module 1: Humanitarian Context, Systems and Standards

This course sets the scene for humanitarian action, providing a portrait of the contemporary humanitarian environment while highlighting the complexity and diversity of humanitarian contexts and response. The course explores the Humanitarian Context, Humanitarian System, Humanitarian Actors and Humanitarian Principles and Standards. As we delve deeper into these 4 areas, you will get a fascinating insight into the workings as well as the challenges associated with humanitarian action.

Module topics

  • Trends in humanitarian emergencies
  • Types of humanitarian emergencies
  • Complex humanitarian emergencies

Learning objectives

  • Identify what defines the humanitarian context
  • List the current trends that are having an impact on humanitarian emergencies
  • Identify the types of humanitarian emergencies
  • Define a complex humanitarian emergency


This module is suitable for all humanitarians, in particular those who are new to the sector, those who are keen to refresh their knowledge, and volunteers in humanitarian response. 


1 hour.

About the programme

The Humanitarian Context, System and Standards programme is part of Humanitarian U's The Core Professional Humanitarian Training Programme. This Core Professional programme offers a complete competency-based curriculum that prepares both aspiring humanitarians and those who are already working in the sector for the challenges they will face in the field. 

Designed and taught by experts from around the world, the programme combines academic rigor, evidence-based practice, standardized learning objectives, interesting learning activities, case studies and testing to measure performance. 

The other modules in the Context, System and Standards programme are available on Kaya:

Module 2

Module 3

Module 4

PHAP Credentialing Program logo

PHAP Credentialling Program: Understanding the Humanitarian Ecosystem

This course will help you prepare for the PHAP Credentialing Program certification in Understanding the Humanitarian Ecosystem.

In particular, the course addresses some aspects of segments 1.1, 1.3 and 4.1 of the certification assessment outline.

Read more about the PHAP Credentialing Program