This Certificate in Advanced Studies addresses the ambition of improving Accountability to Affected People (AAP) within the humanitarian sector. It discusses the components, conceptual underpinnings and practice of AAP in various contexts. It prepares participants to better realize the principle of accountability in their field of expertise, through familiarizing them with existing modalities and organizational practices of accountability and critically assessing these modalities’ promises and limitations.

Online & residential (A combination of self-study, live sessions and one residential week in Kenya). Costs on this will be published soon.

Live online sessions take place 1-2 times per week. All live sessions are in group and mandatory – Usually in early afternoon CEST.

Online course requires 20 hours of dedicated work per week. We recommend that participants allow at least 50% of their time for the course and adapt their professional activity accordingly and with flexibility on working hours.

A printable “Course-at-a-glance” with a more detailed course schedule is available here.

Course Fees

– CHF 5,000 (non-DAC countries)

– CHF 3,000 (for participants from “least developed”, “low income” and “lower-middle income” countries, according to the DAC list of ODA recipients).

The course fees do not include extra costs for the residential week in Kenya (travel, hotel, visa). More information available soon.

For more information the DAC list of ODA recipients (to see which category your country of origin falls under) click here.


      At the end of the CAS, participants will have developed the relevant skills to design and adapt humanitarian strategies and projects related to AAP in line with the specificities of each context.

      More specifically, participants will be able to:

      • Define the AAP concept and relate it to other humanitarian values
      • Explain the origins of the concept of AAP and discuss its boundaries
      • Identify and juxtapose types of accountability (upward vs. downward; formal vs. informal, normative vs. operational etc.)
      • Understand the philosophical, conceptual underpinnings of responsibility, accountability, and moral principles in humanitarianism
      • Argue on the primary and secondary expected outcomes of AAP
      • Differentiate the institutional ingredients of AAP
      • Understand how organizational cultures impact accountability mechanisms on the local/ national/ regional and global level
      • Plan and conduct the evaluation of the AAP strategy in a humanitarian project
      • Appraise their project organization and team through the AAP lens
      • Formulate evaluation strategies and tools adapted to their project/organization
      • Design recommendations useful for their organization/project enhancing practically AAP


Online (combination of self-study and live sessions, plus a residential session in Nairobi, Kenya (12 – 18 June, 2023)


Around 250 hours of work, including:

  • E-learning courses (self-study)
  • Live sessions
  • Individual and group work: readings, videos, pool surveys, self-tests, case studies, reflexive analysis, forum discussions, etc.

Course content

    Module I: The origins and evolution of AAP

    Week 1: What is accountability to affected people (AAP)? (3- 9 April 2023)
    Week 2: Accountability as a relationship (10-16 April 2023)

    Module II: Actors in AAP

    Week 3: Accountability as culture: certifications and standards (17-23 April 2023)
    Week 4: Accountability as evaluation of performance. The role of donors (24-30 April 2023)
    Week 5: Accountability in programming. The practice of professional humanitarians (1-7 May 2023)
    Week 6: Accountability in the practice of civic humanitarians (8-14 May 2023)

    Module III:

    Week 7: Accountability as transparency: giving account (15-21 May 2023)
    Week 8: Accountability as listening: building trust with affected people and taking account (22-28 May 2023)
    Week 9: Accountability as flexible response & adaptation (29 May – 4 June 2023)
    Week 10: Accountability as assessment and learning: holding to account (5-11 June 2023)
    Week 11: Residential session in Nairobi, Kenya (12-18 June)

    CAS assessment

    Week 12: Student presentations of AAP strategies formulated for their project/organization (19 – 25 June 2023)



  • Professionals in the humanitarian, development or social sector looking to improve their provision of humanitarian assistance through accountability lenses.
  • Professionals from other sectors (private, academic, etc.) who wish to increase their understanding of the humanitarian field and develop their competence in accountability to affected people.
For more details on the enrollment process visit this page.

Admission Requirements

  1. a university qualification (bachelor’s degree or equivalent);
  2. at least three years of relevant professional experience;
  3. excellent command of English;

English Language Requirements

Please provide a proof of your English language level according to the following conditions:

(1) You are a native English speaker: please provide a copy of your passport.

(2) You have been working for at least five years in English with MSF or ICRC: please provide a copy of the English test you have undertaken internally with your employer.

(3) You do not meet the conditions (1) or (2): please provide an English language level certification. Please refer to for recognised tests and scores.

Admissions Process

Incomplete applications will not be considered. The Selection Committee examines the quality of the application and aims to reach a balance between the numbers of men and women, educational profile and professional experience, geographical distribution and financial contribution. 20 candidates maximum are selected each year.

Documents Required For Your Online Enrollment

  • Curriculum vitae
  • Copy of the certificate for the highest qualification you have obtained
  • Two letters of reccommendation
  • Evidence of your English language competences (TOEIC / TOEFL or equivalent)
  • Copies of work certificates from your last job position
  • A passport photo (jpg format)
  • A scanned copy of the passport.

Enrollment Submission

To submit your application:

  • duly fill in the form on the online enrollment platform
  • upload all requested documents
  • register to the correct programme
  • submit

You will receive a confirmation by e-mail.

Should you have any question, please contact us at

Students are required to have:

– Broadband/high speed connection – 2.5 Mbps minimum.
– Please note that most weekly content and activities is accessible via phone, but a PC/laptop/tablet is preferred
– Microphone and webcam

  • Accountability to Affected PeopleDates 3 April - 25 June, 2023
  • Accountability to Affected PeopleDuration 12 weeks
  • Accountability to Affected PeopleLocation Online and one week residential in Kenya
  • Accountability to Affected PeopleLanguage English
  • Accountability to Affected PeopleCREDITS 10 ECTS
  • Fee CHF 5,000 (non-DAC countries) / CHF 3,000 (for participants from “least developed”, “low income” and “lower-middle income” countries, according to the DAC list of ODA recipients)
  • Application Deadline 5 March 2023