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Online Diploma Course in Humanitarian Diplomacy

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We are now accepting applications for the September 2020 session of the Humanitarian Diplomacy online diploma course, offered by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in cooperation with DiploFoundation.

This course is currently offered in English, however participants who are more comfortable with French will have the option to write and submit some course assignments and the final research paper in French or Spanish.

The online course will extend the knowledge base and develop the practical skills of current and future practitioners in humanitarian diplomacy and policy.

Who should apply

  • Red Cross and Red Crescent National Society governance, senior management, branch leaders and managers, volunteers, and staff
  • IFRC and ICRC staff
  • Other professionals who need to employ humanitarian diplomacy techniques

Please note that this course is quite demanding in terms of time and commitment, requiring seven to ten hours of study time per week. Before you apply, please consider carefully whether you can commit the necessary time in order to complete the course successfully. Where appropriate, please make sure you obtain the endorsement of your line manager to attend this course.


This 13-week course in humanitarian diplomacy is conducted entirely online, using DiploFoundation’s online classroom and learning methodology. The course consists of two phases: an interactive online course lasting nine weeks, immediately followed by a four-week research phase. Participation in the course requires seven to ten hours of study time per week.

During the online course phase, reading materials and tools for online interaction are provided through an online classroom. The course is based on a collaborative approach to learning, involving a high level of interaction. Each week, participants read an assigned module text, adding questions and comments as hypertext entries. Lecturers and other participants read and respond to these entries, creating interaction based on the module text.

During the week, participants complete additional online activities including quizzes and group tasks. At the end of the week, participants, lecturers, and guest experts meet online in a chat room to discuss the week’s topic. Please note that due to the spread of course participants across time zones worldwide, scheduled online session times will not fall within working hours for all participants. Some participants will need to attend online sessions during the morning or evening hours.

During the research phase, participants apply their knowledge to analysing a humanitarian diplomacy action or activity. Working individually or in pairs, participants select a topic relevant to their work, country or region, and prepare a 5000-word research paper as the final assignment for the course. Each participant receives individual support and feedback from a tutor throughout this phase.

The course materials are in English, and all course discussions take place in English. However, participants who are more comfortable with French or Spanish have the option to submit some written assignments and the final research paper in either of those languages.

Participants who complete the course successfully will receive an electronic diploma issued by DiploFoundation and the IFRC.


Applicants must have:

  • An undergraduate university degree; or at least two years of work experience in the humanitarian or development field.
  • Sufficient knowledge of the English language to undertake postgraduate-level studies (including reading academic texts, discussing complex concepts with other course participants, and writing academic essays). NOTE: the longer course assignments and the final research paper may be submitted in French or Spanish.
  • Regular access to the Internet (dial-up connection is sufficient, although broadband is preferable).
  • Sufficient time for online study, which requires seven to ten hours per week.

Información sobre tarifas

Fee is 990 Euros.due upon acceptance into the course. A limited number of partial bursaries will be available to selected candidates from developing countries who work or volunteer with their local RCRC National Society, or with other humanitarian organisations. Please indicate if you are requesting a bursary on your application form and provide the name and contact details of a reference person at your National Society or organisation.

Cómo registrarse

Please fill out the online application form.

Please upload the following supporting documents with your application:

  1. your current CV
  2. initial ideas for your research project (300-500 words), keeping in mind that your project should be about a humanitarian diplomacy action which took place (or is currently taking place) locally, nationally, regionally or internationally
  3. a motivation letter (maximum 1 page) which includes: details of your relevant professional and educational background, including your personal objectives and plans for the future; reasons for your interest in humanitarian diplomacy; why you feel you should be selected to participate in this programme: how your participation will benefit you, your institution and/or your country?These are required documents and your application will not be considered without them. All supporting documents must be written in English, even if you plan to write your research paper in French or Spanish. Late applications will be considered only if places remain in the course. In case of enquiries, please contact us at