The Cross-Cutting Themes and Future Directions course from Humanitarian U addresses important cross-cutting issues that must be considered in all humanitarian operations.  A cross-cutting issue is an issue that is of relevance to all areas of concern, meaning that these need to be kept at the forefront of how humanitarians think in the field. The issues explored in this course include gender, disability, environment, protection, HIV/AIDS and DRR (disaster risk reduction). 

Humanitarians must work in incredibly insecure environments and as such security must play an important part in training and preparation for deployment. This course covers security in the field – both pre-departure and on-site - and includes risk assessments, what to do in specific situations, and how to come home safe.

The programme is made up of several Modules. This course contains Module 3; you can find links to additional modules below.

Module 3: Security

Module topics

  • Security - key concepts
  • Trends in security incidents

Learning objectives

  • Identify the difference between personal and operational security
  • Identify what is a threat, a vulnerability and a risk
  • Recall the steps to conduct a risk assessment
  • Define the most common threats humanitarian face
  • Identify best practices to respond safely to a threat


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 45 minutes.