This course addresses two main competencies related to advocacy in the humanitarian sector. The first relates to the critical analysis of the definition and dynamics of advocacy for humanitarian assistance – including discussions around the positioning of humanitarian actors towards witnessing, activism and human rights, or assessing public campaigns for policy change or protection. Then, it introduces participants to the methodology that composes an advocacy plan. The course will focus on operational advocacy specifically so that programme managers can learn how to address operational needs and field constraints in the organisation’s advocacy strategy.

More detailed information can be found in this “Course-at-a-glance” document.

At the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • Critically discuss the concept of humanitarian advocacy
  • Understand the dynamics of advocacy within the humanitarian sector
  • Explain the main components of an advocacy plan
  • Analyse an advocacy context and decide on the most appropriate modes of action



Around 20-25 hours of work each week, including:

  • Asynchronous self-study activities (such as case studies, videos, recorded slideshows, readings, etc.)
  • Synchronous live sessions


Structure of the course

  • Concept and origin of advocacy
  • Specificities of humanitarian advocacy and different trends in the humanitarian sector
  • Advocacy contexts
  • Advocacy plan
  • Advocacy modes of action
  • Professionals in the humanitarian, development or social sector looking to develop their competencies in humanitarian advocacy
  • Professionals from other sectors (PR, policymakers, government representatives, grassroots groups, association representatives) who wish to increase their understanding of humanitarian advocacy
  • Graduate students with relevant volunteer or intern experience, looking to undertake a postgraduate course to explore the specificities of advocacy in the humanitarian sector.
  • Claire Barthélémy Claire Barthélémy Designation: Course Director "Humanitarian Leadership and People Management"; CAS Quality Management of Humanitarian Projects

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;
  4. motivation working in the humanitarian sector.


Documents required:

  • CV (Résumé)
  • Copy of your highest diploma
  • Work certificate or official document of your current job position
  • Proof of English language competence (TOEIC/TOEFL/IELTS or equivalent); see details here
  • Scanned copy of passport.


More information about the admission process is available on our application page.

  • Humanitarian advocacy: from bearing witness to activismDates 5 - 16 June 2023
  • Humanitarian advocacy: from bearing witness to activismDuration Two weeks
  • Humanitarian advocacy: from bearing witness to activismLocation Online
  • Humanitarian advocacy: from bearing witness to activismLanguage English
  • Humanitarian advocacy: from bearing witness to activismCREDITS 2 ECTS
  • Fee CHF 1'700
  • Application Deadline 14 May 2023