Introduction to Humanitarian Action

Semester 1

5 Credits

Curriculum Information

This level one module introduces students to humanitarian action.  It explores the moral and ethical imperatives underpinning humanitarianism and analyses the challenges faced in supporting the most vulnerable populations in global societies; those affected by man-made and natural disasters. The module comprises three pillars:(1) an overview of the scale, scope, and moral foundations of crisis response; (2) contemporary issues and challenges in humanitarian action (building on examples from as near home as Northern Ireland to forgotten crises such as Northern Uganda); and (3) mapping the international humanitarian system including the policies and practices of key stakeholders with a particular focus on Irish organizations.  The module uses a multidisciplinary lens to facilitate students from a range of disciplines and emphasis will be placed on the role of sociology, political science, health, nutrition, and agricultural in humanitarian action.

The module aims to give the students the competences to critically analyse contemporary approaches to humanitarian interventions in global disasters. On successful completion of the module students should be able to: describe the origins, values, guiding principles governing humanitarian intervention; comprehend and differentiate between the laws and norms regulating humanitarian intervention; appreciate the challenges facing humanitarian organisations and differentiate the roles and responsibilities of key actors; critically analyse humanitarian interventions in contemporary disasters; describe the roles of Irish agencies and organisations in contemporary disasters; and describe and analyse the key characteristics of humanitarian interventions that make them uniquely humanitarian.

This module does not require prior learning.  This module aims to attract students from across all disciplines in UCD that mirror the competences required of the humanitarian stakeholders mix.  It is envisaged that a broad disciplinary mix with greatly enhance shared learning and active participation of the students.