Humanitarian Diplomacy Course: Reports on Action

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Erfani-Ghadimi, Nooshin
Dinnen, Mark
Elseroad, Dave
Whiting, Claire
Powell, Keith
Wood, Jonathan
Sarsfield Collins, Louise
Ferrario, Giorgio
van der Berg, Marieke
Maillot, Alice
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DiploFoundation is celebrating ten years of the Humanitarian Diplomacy course, offered in partnership with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). This booklet marks that celebration with the publication of 23 of the best research papers submitted by course participants over those years. Each paper is the culmination of the study which takes place in the course. The essence of the papers is that they must research the place humanitarian diplomacy has in searching for solutions to a researched issue. They add to eight weeks of work on modules and assignments on the different aspects of humanitarian diplomacy, beginning with an examination of the definition of the term, contained in the policy document adopted in 2009 by IFRC’s Governing Board. This helps the participants use this all-encompassing definition of humanitarian diplomacy as an action-oriented tool which humanitarian diplomats can use in any situation. It includes, of course, action in conflict situations, but the bulk of the participants’ research topics are in non-conflict situations, such as disaster management, public health, migration and capacity-building. A recurring theme is the relevance of humanitarian diplomacy to work with affected communities. It helps build the capacity of organisations to strengthen their relationships with both the communities and the senior people who make decisions and lead opinion. The 23 papers in this booklet are selected from nearly 600 that were submitted by course participants from 122 countries. The basic requirement for the papers is that they cannot exceed 5,000 words and they should be written at approximately the standard that is expected of a university paper for a master’s or graduate diploma course. Papers, as well as the main written work for the course, can be in English, French, or Spanish. Tutors with the requisite language skills are provided to help participants with their work.