Fall 2017 : Advanced Policy & Practice in Humanitarian Assistance: The Good News - PPOL 5200



Fall 2017 : Advanced Policy & Practice in Humanitarian Assistance: The Good News - PPOL 5200


Mon. Aug 28, 2017 - Tue. Dec 5, 2017 (15 weeks)
Every Monday from 3:30 PM to 6:00 PM


Minor Hall Rm 130

A unique element of this course is that we will also emphasize learning about and practicing different professional skills that are useful to policy practitioners who work in high-stress complex work environments. Assignments, in-class work, and an organized multi-hour simulation will include:
  • Contemplative practices which research has shown can boost concentration, improve cognitive and academic performance, and increase capacities such as non-judgement, self-awareness, creativity, empathy, compassion, and interpersonal skills. These practices are also increasingly being taught as a critical skill in professional humanitarian trainings.
  • Targeted written and oral communication practices that lead to effective policy development and dissemination in time-sensitive and political environments. As part of this we will each be choosing a current crisis or policy issue to track and present on throughout the semester.
By the end of this course you will be able to:
1.     Critically reflect on your positions on some of the most pressing global humanitarian policies and practices being debated.
2.     Outline critical elements of current crises happening around the world and the policy debates being discussed by practitioners.
3.     Find value in critiquing and justifying the risks and opportunities to new response approaches and policies to respond to global humanitarian need.
4.     Make use of emotional and cognitive practices to navigate difficult and complex subject matter and explore solutions to seemingly intractable problems.
5.     Appreciate, demonstrate and further develop professional skills that that are essential in crisis contexts, but also applicable to the aspiring consultant, public policy practitioner, and development worker. 
6.     Gain ‘global literacy’ and envision and explore your role in engaging in global humanitarian issues.
Note:  This course is Seminar Required. 
Enrollment Requirements: Must have completed one of the following PPOL 3295 or PPOL 5295 or PPOL 6135

Kirsten Gelsdorf (

* 3 Credits