Course Description

Who is this course for?

This course is deal for first time managers, for managers with some experience coming into a more managerial role i.e someone more technical, or even managers coming from a different sector into humanitarian work for the first time. This course touches on essential knowledge, skills and competencies for any level manager. It would be an appropriate course also for someone who has been in a management post for a while, but has never had any formal training in management skills and competences. Many managers, experienced or not, have difficulties with team management, and as this is a particular focus of the course, will benefit most managers.

Why do this course?

Most humanitarian aid workers, before going to the field for the first time receive some sort of pre-departure training or induction process. To what level of detail this process goes into tends to differ from organisation to organisation, and greatly depends on the size of the organisation and the resources available to induct, train and brief. However, no matter how good the pre-departure preparation, it tends to be pretty generic and cannot really prepare people well enough for the specificity of their role and responsibilities, or, for the specific context they will be working in.

Having experienced the very steep learning curve first hand, and seen hundreds of others struggle with it at the beginning of new project postings, I have designed this course to try to help make the learner curve easier to navigate and the whole process of starting a new post on a new project less stressful. There is a focus on management because it is directed at people who have something or someone to manage, which is the majority of us in this line of work.

The course also touches on security and safety, not from a management perspective, but from the perspective of a person working on a project and exposed to certain risks. it gives an overview of what security is, how it should be managed, and what you can do to take responsibility for your own security and safety. It is by no means an in-depth course on security.

Course Content & Length

For the most part this course is video based, short videos, usually not more than 5 -6 minutes long, each with a summary slide at the end. The reason for this is to help you to get the main messages as efficiently as possible, without adding to the saturation levels that already come with starting a new post - reading documents, lots of meetings, learning new things, adapting etc. For this reason there is only written material provided where it is considered it necessary.

Along the same line of reasoning, there are no study assignments or testing activities as the course is designed to help you as you arrive and get to grips with your new post, colleagues and context, and is already practical rather than theoretical.

Please take advantage of the course discussion forums to clarify any issues or questions you may have with the content.

Humanitarian Trainer and Mentor

Teresa Murray

Before I entered humanitarian work I had had my own business, a language academy where I taught and also trained teachers, and had worked in management as a Director in the Private Sector. I studied a postgraduate degree in Business Management and hold a Master's qualification in Executive Management of Services & Operations.In my humanitarian life, I have worked for a variety of organisations in a variety of posts, but mainly ACF and MSF, and mostly in Project Coordinator and Country Director positions. I have also held a desk position in headquarters, as well as other positions. I think that this experience in a variety of positions, sectors, organisations and roles has given me a broader perspective.My postings have always been in conflict zones, mostly in Africa, but I have also worked in Libya, on the Middle Eastern desk, as well as brief stints in India and Afghanistan. I have done a lot of face to face training, in various aspects of management, networking and negotiation, and security. I have also done some workshops on the impact of cultural differences in management and business. I have designed courses and tutored online security courses. I still train and mentor Project Coordinators and Country Directors for MSF. I have tried to design courses that I would have liked to have received when I was in the field! The Project Coordinator position is a great position - you get to touch on so many different key areas and the post can contribute key strategic value. However, it is a very challenging and often stressful post, so I hope this course helps you to navigate the many challenges!Feel free to check out my LinkedIN profile and the humanitarianZ web site and connect with me on both. LinkedIN: Web Site:

Course curriculum

  • 1

    Course Introduction & Objectives

    • About This Course

  • 2

    Section 1: Managing the Learning Curve

    • What is a Learning Curve?

    • What Makes the Learning Curve Steep?

    • Taking Control of the Induction Process to your Role

    • What are the Key Documents

    • Tips for Getting a Better Briefings

    • Handover Tips

    • How to Get the Support you Need

    • So just how steep is your learning curve?

  • 3

    Section 2: Understanding the Project & Management Environment

    • Understanding where you are - the working environment

    • Understanding the Hierarchal Lines that will affect you

    • Understanding Team Dynamics

    • Tips: Avoiding Problems in Your Team

  • 4

    Section 3: Your Management Responsibilities

    • So what exactly is Management?

    • The Challenges of Management

    • A Note on Management Styles

  • 5

    Section 4: Planning & Managing the Day to Day

    • The Advantages of Managing by Objectives

    • How to Manage by Objectives

    • Effective Decision Making

    • Managing Your Time Well

  • 6

    Section 5: People Management - Challenges & Solutions

    • How to Manage Performance Effectively

    • How to Manage Performance Realistically

    • Managing Your National Staff Team

    • Tips for Managing National Staff Teams

    • How to Manage Your National Staff Team

  • 7

    Section 6: Security Management in Ingos & Humanitarian Agencies

    • Security Management Basics

    • The Importance of Context

    • What is Applied Security

  • 8

    Section 7: Handling your own security

    • What YOU can do about your security

    • Tips for managing your own Safety & Security

    • More on Security

    • Aid Worker Security Report 2020

  • 9

    Section 8: Protecting Yourself from Burn Out

    • The Stress Factors to consider

    • Stress & Burn Out - The Difference between the Two

    • The importance of Taking Care of Yourself - the organisation won't!!


5 star rating


Simon pratap

thanks for making the course. Its nicely explained and helpful for me. make other courses on other topics as well. Have a great day.

thanks for making the course. Its nicely explained and helpful for me. make other courses on other topics as well. Have a great day.

Read Less
5 star rating

Wonderful overview

John Fiddler

Great , clear and informed, compassionate primer on basic management.

Great , clear and informed, compassionate primer on basic management.

Read Less