For the past three decades, there has been a recognisable trend towards professionalisation and standardisation of the humanitarian sector.
Starting in the mid 1980s and reaching its pinnacle in 1994. The first phase focused on developing professional standards to guide the work of humanitarian organisations.
Now in its second phase, this professionalisation drive seeks to develop the system of training and education for the profession. The three main challenges that have been identified are:
- An accurate definition of what a humanitarian aid worker is and thus how many are actively working
- An absence of vocational pathways and entry level training opportunities
- Universally agreed standards for vocational training and higher education courses
The address these challenges the conference has been split in to 3 themes.
What knowledge and skills for humanitarian workers? – explores the figure of a professional humanitarian worker: diverse roles that exist in the sector, professional structuring of the sector, skills, knowledge and competencies – both core and role-specific.
An International Framework for Professional Development – asks questions about the state of the system today, quality standards in training and education and debates the obstacles and challenges to its scaling up, particularly at national levels.
Humanitarian Education and Training as a Collaborative Enterprise – looks at the place and role of each key actor (universities, organisations, training providers, professional schools) in the system and how they relate to and collaborate with each other in the common undertaking of educating and training humanitarian workers.
For a full description of the background and context please download the document below.