Putting Affected People at the Centre: Transition Issues and Strategies

Lecture, Seminar
  • Course description

    The purpose of this module is to equip students with the competences (knowledge and skills) to interrogate transition programmes that aim to put people affected by disasters at the centre of the humanitarian effort.  This module will to go beyond the rhetoric of labelling interventions as relief/ rehabilitation/ development to assess ‘value’ in terms of the potential to transform the lives of disaster affected people and extremely vulnerable peoples from ‘victims’ to ‘actors’ in shaping their own destiny.  Based on the hypothesis that there are several core concepts common to all aid strategies that promote people-centred approaches/strategies, students will analyse these concepts to identify appropriate indicators to guide and measure their effectiveness.
  • Learning outcomes

    On successful completion of the modules student will:
    • Know and understand the key concepts deemed crucial to placing affected people at the heart of the post-disaster recovery process (empowerment, capacity building, engagement, ownership, leadership etc.);
    • Have the capacity to apply these concepts to contemporary aid strategies taking disparate post-disaster contexts into consideration;
    • Analyse real recovery/ post-disaster programmes and suggest imaginative ways to enhance the appropriateness and relevance of external intervention for affected peoples;
    • Recommend ways to modify existing and contemporary policies and strategies to strengthen and value of affected people’s capacities in the post-disaster recovery process.
  • Teaching and learning methodology

    The module begins by identifying and discussing key concepts deemed imperative to support affected people to shape their own destiny, namely:
    • Empowerment;
    • Capacity building;
    • Accountability;
    • Participation and partnership (engagement);
    • Leadership;
    • Coordination and trust
    Students will be required to gain a thorough understanding of these CONCEPTS and the ISSUES they comprise.  They will then consider both established and novel ways to understand these issues in disparate post-disaster contexts.  Central to this consideration is identifying appropriate and relevant indicators to help guide practitioners to realise and measure these concepts in transition contexts. 
    Secondly, students will then be introduced to a range of real programmes/ projects from four aid organisations.

    Students will be required to appraise the programme/ project documentation by applying the conceptual frameworks in part one of this module.  Having identified potential ‘gaps’ in the documentation, they will then be requested to proffer creative (and somehow realistic) ways to fill these gaps to enhance programmes/ projects that place ‘affected people at the centre of the intervention’.
  • Assessment methods and criteria

    Module Assessment:
    There are two assignments and an exam required for the successful completion of this module. In addition, there will be a number of multiple choice quizzes throughout the module.
    Assignments 1 (33%):  This is a group assignment. The class will be divided into 5 groups.  Each group will be requested to develop a framework on a concept under review in the module. The output will be a paper and a 30-minute lecture. Further details on both the paper and the lecture will be provided in class.
    Assignment 2 (33%):  Students will again work in groups, bringing a competence in one of the concepts to a complete new group of students. Each group will be allocated real project/ intervention relevant to transition societies.  Students will critically analyse their projects to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the intervention and offer creative alternative to enhance the programme. They will be requested to prepare a report that will be assessed as part of their grade and shared with the NGO that ‘owns’ the programme.
    Exam (34%): Details of the exam will be discussed in class.

Last updated: 10 May 2017

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