Context: Humanitarian Staff Development Project - Programme Guide

The Consortium of British Humanitarian Agencies (CBHA) was established to reduce suffering and death in conflicts and natural disasters by strengthening the coordination and capacity of the “third pillar” – the NGO sector – to deliver a higher quality, more effective and faster humanitarian response.

The Humanitarian Capacity Building Programme is an important part of the CBHAʼs work. It aims to accelerate and improve the quality of emergency response by increasing the numbers and expertise of potential leaders, and enhancing the skills of all current personnel.

The Context Humanitarian Staff Development Project sits within this programme.

This project aims to develop core humanitarian expertise, plus leadership and management skills, for existing personnel, at a national level.

The project's training materials have been designed for easy information access, cost-effective use and - above all - simple copying for wider distribution and use.

This project contains two learning programmes:

  • Core Skills Development Programme

This is a six-month, inter-agency programme providing a stream of professional development to national agency staff in their current roles, focusing on an introduction to the key concepts and skills of humanitarian programming.

  • Management & Leadership Skills Development Programme

This is a nine-month, inter-agency programme providing continuous professional development training for national agency middle/senior management staff, in their current roles, focusing on key aspects of management and leadership in emergency situations.
For both programmes, learning methods include coaching, face-to-face workshops, learning on the job, self-directed learning, group work and practical course work. The format encourages and facilitates each participantʼs investment in applied and reflective learning whilst “on the job”, as part of a coherent and high quality staff development programme which, in turn, is actively supported by their agency and line manager.

How to use this guide

This guide is for:

• The commissioning agency

• Staff coordinating and administering the programmes, and

• Staff delivering the programmes

Here you can find an introduction to the design and intention of the learning materials, and the basis on which they are built. The guide describes the ʻlearning journeyʼ these materials can provide for the participant as well as graphical route-maps showing the key intervals and progression of the programmes. There are suggestions on how best to integrate the multiple components into one of the full programmes (of six or nine months), how to contextualise the materials and ʻtop tipsʼ for successful delivery, and a copy of the Core Humanitarian Competencies Framework.

For those not in a position to invest in the complete learning programme, it is also possible to access individual modules in order to adapt them for use in a stand-alone format.