External Resources

ALISON – Certified Learning (Free)

A five million-strong, global online learning community, filled with free, high-quality resources to help you develop essential, certified workplace skills.  Every course is standards-based and certified.

Communication is Aid (Free)

This course aims to raise awareness and build basic skills on how to communicate effectively with crisis-affected communities and to build knowledge and understanding on what needs to be done beforehand as emergency preparedness and then once an emergency has broken. The course is divided into five modules. The first two introduce learners to the course, how to navigate it and the key concepts it covers. The remaining three modules are interactive, scenario-based challenges and involve learners having to make key decisions to do with communication during an earthquake, a post conflict situation and a hurricane/flood. The themes that are covered include: Why communication matters; Knowing your target audience; Crafting and adapting messages; Communication: A two way process.


Classes offered on Coursera are designed to help you master the material. When you take one of our classes, you will watch lectures taught by world-class professors, learn at your own pace, test your knowledge, and reinforce concepts through interactive exercises. When you join one of our classes, you ‘ll also join a global community of thousands of students learning alongside you. We know that your life is busy, and that you have many commitments on your time. Thus, our courses are designed based on sound pedagogical foundations, to help you master new concepts quickly and effectively. Key ideas include mastery learning, to make sure that you have multiple attempts to demonstrate your new knowledge; using interactivity, to esure student engagement and to assist long-term retention; and providing frequent feedback, so that you can monitor your own progress, and know when you’ve really mastered the materials. We offer courses in a wide range of topics, spanning the Humanities, Medicine, Biology, Social Sciencs, Mathematics, Business, Computer Science, and many others. Whether you’re looking to improve your resume, advance your career, or just learn more and expand your knowledge, we hope there will be multiple courses that you will find interesting.

DisasterReady.org (Free)

DisasterReady.org is a web resource designed by experts in training, capacity building and humanitarian assistance to help prepare humanitarian aid workers for the demands they face in the field. Informed and supported by agencies such as Save the Children, IRC, UNHCR, CARE, IFRC, WFP, OCHA, UNICEF and World Vision, DisasterReady.org offers dozens of cutting edge eLearning courses, live and recorded webinars on key humanitarian issues, and related training resources focused on disaster preparedness and response. The eLearning courses cover topics such as Humanitarianism, Program/Operations, Protection, Staff Welfare, Management & Leadership, Staff Safety & Security, Soft Skills and Languages. Free and open to all, the site provides humanitarian agencies with an easily accessible means to engage, prepare, and educate their staff and volunteers. You will need to register to access the courses.

EdX (Free)

At edX, we believe in the highest quality education, both online and in the classroom. EdX was created for students and institutions that seek to transform themselves through cutting-edge technologies, innovative pedagogy, and rigorous courses. Through our institutional partners, the xConsortium, along with other leading global members, we present the best of higher education online, offering opportunity to anyone who wants to achieve, thrive, and grow.

EdX is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts and is governed by MIT and Harvard.

Global Health eLearning Center (Free)

The Global Health eLearning Center developed by the USAID Bureau of Global Health offers a menu of courses designed to:

  • Provide useful and timely continuing education for health professionals
  • Offer state-of-the-art technical content on key public health topics
  • Serve as a practical resource for increasing public health knowledge

Harassment and Discrimination Prevention Training (Free)

This course invites the learner to navigate a series of scenarios where employees are asked to identify and address potentially complicated workplace environments. The course explores a number of issues that must be addressed in a discrimination and harassment-free workplace, including race, age, gender, national origin and more. The course also explores the appropriate boundaries that should be in place to guide written, visual, conversation and physical interactions in the workplace.

Humanitarian Leadership Programme

This programme is for senior managers working in the humanitarian and development sector with five years’ experience working with recognised national and international Non-Governmental Organisations, UN Agencies or relevant government bodies, and who have at least three years in a managerial role. Applicants should have a strong motivation to develop their leadership skills to make a positive contribution to the future of the sector.

Accreditation: This is a university level graduate programme and students will be assessed. Successful applicants will be enrolled as students at the university. Successful completion of the whole programme will result in your eligibility to obtain the Graduate Certificate of Humanitarian Leadership.

Duration: The Humanitarian Leadership Programme consists of 4 distincts units. Part One of the programme will commence in November 2013. The entire programme will run over a period of eight months.

Humanitarian Logistics Certification Program

The following skills development programmes are available for personnel working with humanitarian organisations:

  • Supply Chain Understanding for Humanitarian Personnel
  • Warehouse and Inventory Operations for Humanitarian Personnel
  • Transport Operations for Humanitarian Personnel
  • Fleet Management for Humanitarian Personnel
  • Import and Export for Humanitarian Personnel

Inside NGOs: Workshops, Roundtables, and Webinars

Last Mile Learning (Free)

Last Mile Learning provides free, contextualized learning resources to professionals working in the development and relief sectors. Individuals can create an account and begin taking self-led e-learning modules from the Last Mile Learning Catalog. Courses are also available for download and some are available in French.

Managing GBV Programmes in Emergencies (Free)

Effectively addressing gender-based violence in emergencies requires developing a foundational understanding of GBV and of frameworks for addressing GBV that can inform sound programme design for GBV prevention and response. This e-learning course provides this foundation for all actors who seek to develop their capacities to better manage GBV prevention and response programmes. The course is guided by the expertise of actors working on GBV in emergencies from around the world. It synthesizes global best practices while promoting comprehensive and concrete frameworks for action. Its goal is to improve the knowledge of programme managers to better address the issue of gender-based violence in humanitarian emergencies.

MANGO – Financial Management Training for NGO

Mango delivers training throughout the year all around the world. See the course calendar for an up to date schedule of dates and venues. Courses range from one to ten days and are delivered in regional centres around the world and in the UK. Courses are delivered in English with selected core courses also delivered in French. Each course is designed to meet the needs of different groups of NGO staff – both programmes and finance staff. If you want to know which course is for you, check the guide to course sustainability.

People in Aid – Events

Philanthropy University (Free)

Philanthropy University is a free, first-of-its kind educational initiative for change makers created in collaboration with the Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley. Our courses give you the learning, resources, and community you need to change the world. Grow your skills. Grow your impact.  It is a mini-MBA for folks working in non-profits and the social sector.  The classes are social, highly-engaging, taught by experts, and completely free and online!

Course listings:

  • Essentials of Nonprofit Strategy
  • Global Social Entrepreneurship
  • Organizational Capacity: Assessment to Action
  • Leadership: Ten Rules for Impact and Meaning
  • How to Scale Social Impact
  • Fundraising: How to Connect with Donors
  • Financial Modeling for the Social Sector

Project Management for Non-Governmental Organisations (Free)

Welcome to PM4NGOs. We’re dedicated to advancement in the Project Management skills of individuals and organisations working in the development sector throughout the world. Our aim is to reach not just donor organisations and NGOs, but individuals on the ground who are making the difference, often against the odds and with minimal resources.

Our Guide to the PMD Pro is being adopted as a standard in many development organisations, all of whom have the opportunity to shape the future of this emerging standard. It’s being produced in many languages, and it’s free.

RedR UK – Training for Disaster Relief

All RedR organisations run training courses, recruit relief workers and provide support to humanitarian organisations and professionals around the world.

Syria Evaluation Portal for Coordinated Accountability and Lessons Learning (Free)

The aim of the Portal is to optimise collective learning around the Syria crisis in order to improve international emergency response. The Portal will provide a single platform that brings together a broad range of relevant information, data, discussion and analysis of interest to different stakeholders – including those involved in operations, learning and evaluation and humanitarian policy. The Portal content will be categorised according to specific needs and topics. The Portal will be of special interest to those involved in evaluation and learning and will provide up-to-date information about on-going and planned evaluations as well as other kinds of learning activities.