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AHA723 - Fundamentals of Humanitarian Management


2020 unit information

Important Update:

Classes and seminars in Trimester 2/Semester 2, 2020 will be online. Physical distancing for coronavirus (COVID-19) will affect delivery of other learning experiences in this unit. Please check your unit sites for announcements and updates one week prior to the start of your trimester or semester.

Last updated: 2 June 2020

Enrolment modes:Trimester 2: Burwood (Melbourne), Cloud (online)
Credit point(s):1
EFTSL value:0.125
Unit Chair:Trimester 2: Daniel McAvoy



AHL701 unless previously completed

Students enrolled in course A767 - NIL

Incompatible with:


Typical study commitment:

Students will on average spend 150 hours over the teaching period undertaking the teaching, learning and assessment activities for this unit.

Scheduled learning activities - campus:

11 x 1-hour seminars (may be replaced with webinars some weeks for guest lecturers) 

Scheduled learning activities - cloud:

11 x 1-hour webinars (may be replaced with seminar recordings some weeks for guest lecturers)


This unit explores specific issues and challenges faced by humanitarian organisations and managers operating in humanitarian contexts. Topics examined include: the discourse of 'professionalisation' in the sector and its implications for education, training and capacity-building of workers and volunteers in the humanitarian sector; aid worker resilience, well-being and self-management; organisational change, learning and innovation; issues related to operational management in the field; people-management in the humanitarian sector; and safety and security of humanitarian workers. Topics will be explored through the use of case studies to highlight the importance of building trust, communication, accountability, decision-making, coordination and teamwork when working in complex humanitarian emergencies.


These are the Learning Outcomes (ULO) for this unit

At the completion of this unit, successful students can:

Deakin Graduate Learning Outcomes


Critically reflect on personal motivations, competencies and values in the context of increasing professionalisation of the humanitarian sector and evaluate specific attributes required to function effectively in humanitarian contexts

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities

GLO6: Self-management


Evaluate the role of HR operational plans in humanitarian contexts and develop solutions to complex operational problems in crisis situations

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities

GLO2: Communication

GLO6: Self-management


Analyse the changing nature of the humanitarian aid sector and propose best practice strategies for leading and managing multinational and cross-cultural teams in complex environments

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities

GLO4: Critical thinking

GLO6: Self-management

These Unit Learning Outcomes are applicable for all teaching periods throughout the year


Trimester 2:
Assessment Description Student output Grading and weighting
(% total mark for unit)
Indicative due week
Assessment 1 (Individual) - Journal 1000 words 20% Information not yet available

Assessment 2 (Group and Individual) - Analytical report and reflection 

Group -   1500 words, 30% 


Individual - 500 words, 10%

40% Information not yet available
Assessment 3 (Individual) - Essay 2000 words 40% Information not yet available

The assessment due weeks provided may change. The Unit Chair will clarify the exact assessment requirements, including the due date, at the start of the teaching period.

Learning Resource

The texts and reading list for the unit can be found on the University Library via the link below: AHA723 Note: Select the relevant trimester reading list. Please note that a future teaching period's reading list may not be available until a month prior to the start of that teaching period so you may wish to use the relevant trimester's prior year reading list as a guide only.

Unit Fee Information

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