HUMN 2017 Complex Emergencies and International Guidelines

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 102367

Coordinator Garry Stevens Opens in new window

Description In 2023, this subject replaced by HUMN 3116 - Complex Emergencies and International Guidelines. Over the last five decades, the world has experienced a significant number of disasters, which have occurred in many different forms including natural (e.g. Tsunami or drought) and human-induced (e.g. wars or ethnic conflicts), leading to an unplanned exponential increase in the number of international non-government organisations. This subject examines the causes and consequences of disasters and the application of international guidelines governing humanitarian responses. It provides an outline of theoretical approaches to the understanding of the political aspects of emergencies and introduces real-life case studies that aim to engage students in critical thinking and improve their knowledge of the core humanitarian standard on quality and accountability; the humanitarian charter and minimum standards; and the challenges related to interagency coordination in emergencies

School Social Sciences

Discipline Studies in Human Society, Not Elsewhere Classified.

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 4 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 2 subject

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. Define different types of natural and human-induced disasters and phases of emergencies
  2. Identify theoretical frameworks to explain the causes of emergencies and assess their applications in various emergency contexts
  3. Describe and critically analyse the principles of disaster preparedness and mitigation
  4. Analyse factors and activities associated with various types of disasters
  5. Articulate key players in emergency response and management, their roles and challenges they face
  6. Identify major international guidelines and standards that govern humanitarian responses and assess enabling and disenabling factors associated with the adherence to such standards
  7. Critically analyse challenges and ethical dilemmas associated with various emergency scenarios

Subject Content

1. Disasters: Definition, typology, and evolution
2. The right to humanitarian aid: International laws guiding humanitarian response
3. Theoretical foundations of disasters
4. Principal of disaster prevention, preparedness, and mitigation
5. Phases of emergency management and the relief-development continuum
6. Anatomy of disaster response
7. Core humanitarian standard on quality and accountability
8. The SPHERE project: humanitarian charter and minimum standards
9. Key challenges and dilemmas during humanitarian response
10. Militarization and politicization of humanitarian assistance
11. Case studies and lessons learned: Genocide in Rwanda vs. the Asian Tsunami


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Type Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Reflection 150 words per week (1-8) 20 N Individual
Essay 1,500 words 30 N Individual
End-of-session Exam 2 hours 50 N Individual

Prescribed Texts

  • Renzaho, AMN (Ed) (2016). Globalisation, Migration and Health: Challenges and Opportunities. London: Imperial College Press