Humanitarian Leadership Program Via NGO and Deakin Uni Collaboration
5 March 2012 at 12:26 pm
Photo: Josh Estey/ AusAID
Australian aid workers now have the opportunity to better develop the skills needed in the management of natural disasters through a new program at Deakin University.
Developed by Save the Children and Deakin University, the Humanitarian Leadership Program, funded by AusAID, will cover areas such as humanitarian coordination and collaboration, disaster risk mitigation, human resource management and financial control.
Said to be the first of its kind in Australia, AusAID says that the program was established in recognition of the need for more specialised training to support people working in humanitarian assistance.
AusAID says that more than 48 senior aid workers working in 24 countries are participating in the course, which also provides an opportunity for collaboration and information sharing between experts in the field.
Ray Bojczuk from AusAID’s Humanitarian Emergency Response Team said that the program has a practical focus to ensure what is being taught in the classroom can be applied on the job.
“We’re hearing from experts in the field and learning about managing humanitarian operations, including the best ways to provide leadership and mentoring in a crisis,” Bojczuk said.
“I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with people from organisations like Save the Children, the Red Cross, Oxfam, World Vision and the United Nations Development Program.”
AusAID is funding the program as part of its Humanitarian Partnership Agreement with NGOs in Australia. Six Non-government Organisations – Care Australia, Caritas Australia, Oxfam Australia, PLAN International Australia, Save the Children Australia and World Vision Australia – are part of the agreement.
AusAID says that the purpose of the agreement is to strengthen the humanitarian partnership between AusAID and NGOs, strengthen community resilience and preparedness and enable effective response to disasters.
It says disasters like floods, cyclones and earthquakes can entrench poverty and wipe out development gains and that strong humanitarian leadership is critical for successful humanitarian responses.
The Federal Government has reportedly contributed around half a million dollars for the course.
“This [the program] is an excellent example of how government, UN, civil society and NGOs can work together to build capacity to save lives in disasters and emergencies,” Bojsczuk said.