SDC-34806 Humanitarian Aid and Reconstruction


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Group work4
Excursion (one day)5
Independent study
Course coordinator(s)dr. BJ Jansen
Lecturer(s)dr. ir. G van der Haar
dr. BJ Jansen
Examiner(s)dr. BJ Jansen

Language of instruction:



The course concerns principles, policies and practices of humanitarian aid and reconstruction during and after conflict or natural disaster. The central ideas and models that guide humanitarian aid and reconstruction are introduced and the major points of debate concerning these interventions are discussed. The course further deals with the organization and politics of aid and its donors, the perceptions and practices of local people, the security context of aid, and the relation with development. The course addresses these issues with a focus on everyday practices and the perceptions and interaction of the key actors: governments, international agencies and NGOs, and affected populations, as well as the surrounding stakeholders, including the military and the media.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
Identify, analyse and critically reflect on the following aspects of humanitarian aid and reconstruction during and after conflict or natural disasters:
- central principles and policy models in humanitarian aid and reconstruction;
- the relevant institutional structures and aid flows in humanitarian aid and reconstruction;
- the key actors and interfaces in humanitarian aid and reconstruction;
- quality and effectiveness of humanitarian aid and reconstruction;
- the relation between emergency aid and long-term development;
- the political and governance impact of humanitarian aid and reconstruction;
- the relevance of the concepts and debates addressed in the course for concrete actual cases of humanitarian aid and reconstruction.


- classroom lectures, individual essay assignment and obligatory participation in peer review sessions, and excursion;
- students are motivated to actively engage in the discussion in class;
- ample use of audio-visual materials and guest lectures by staff of humanitarian organisations help students to grasp the realities of aid in emergency situations.


- written exam with open and/or multiple choice questions (70%);
- essay (30%).
To pass the course both components require a minimum mark of 5.5 and participation in peer review sessions is compulsory.


Will be made available in the form of a reader obtainable at the commencement of the course.

Restricted Optional for: MIDInternational Development StudiesMScB: Economics of Development1AF
MIDInternational Development StudiesMScC: Communication, Technology and Policy1AF
MIDInternational Development StudiesMScA: Sociology of Development1AF
Restricted Optional for: WUFFHBSc Minor Freedom from Hunger1AF