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University of Pittsburgh    
2018-2019 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog 
  Jun 16, 2024
2018-2019 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog [Archived Catalog]

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Minimum Credits: 3
Maximum Credits: 3
This course examines more than a dozen major humanitarian crises from around the world during the past 25 years. It analyzes key cross-cutting themes and how response and recovery efforts have been managed, while giving additional attention to reducing disaster risks. Through readings, class discussions and negotiation exercises we will consider the performance and respective roles of primary actors such as united nations agencies, Non-governmental Organizations (NGO’s), international organizations, military forces and the official authorities of affected countries. The course has a strong experiential emphasis as reflected by visiting speakers with first-hand field experience, and contact with disaster management graduate students and practitioners in other countries. Students will participate in three simulated negotiations by agencies working in Haiti, Darfur, and Pakistan. They will also work together in comparative research teams, engaging with selected overseas partners, and prepare a joint presentation. Two short papers also will be assigned. Broader themes will include the role of leadership, ethical dilemmas, state-NGO-military relations, policy advocacy by NGOs, the growth of local and national capabilities, the evolution of the international system of humanitarian response, and programmatic ideals such as ‘do no harm’ and ‘disaster risk reduction’. By the end of the course, participants will acquire a deeper understanding of political, military, and humanitarian responses to major humanitarian crises, as well as current initiatives that seek to reduce people’s exposure to future threats. This fifteen week course is designed for graduate students interested in working in humanitarian or international crisis activities, whether on behalf of host governments, institutional donors, civilian international or local agencies, military forces, or the media.
Academic Career: Graduate
Course Component: Lecture
Grade Component: Grad Letter Grade
Course Requirements: Graduate School of Public and International Affairs students only.

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