Other Thematic Courses

Thematic Short Course - Anthropology and Intercultural Aspects of Humanitarian Action

Thematic Seminar: Anthropology and Intercultural Aspects of Humanitarian Action
© Irene Mazza/MSF

NOVEMBER 2017

As humanitarian actors, we have to combine the “I – Individual” , the “We – interaction” and the “Aim – the goal we have in mind” embedded in a “Context”. This week will offer you anthropological and intercultural approaches in order to analyse this triangle and position yourself.

COURSE OBJECTIVES

Using lectures, case studies and discussions, the general objective of the seminar is for participants to acquire the tools and skills adapted for effective communication in humanitarian settings.

By the end of the seminar, participants will be able to

  • Explain, analyze and critically assess the intercultural dynamics and diverse power relation that underpin humanitarianism and humanitarian action
  • Be familiar with some anthropological theory and methods with regards to humanitarian action and its intercultural dynamics
  • Analyze through an anthropological lens a (humanitarian) reality situated on the level of locality (recipients of humanitarian action)

Learning outcomes in terms of knowledge - Understanding of

  • The added value of anthropology and interculturality in humanitarian action
  • Culture, present its characteristics and explain why it is important in terms of context analysis and humanitarian responses
  • The religious paradigm, present its characteristics and explain its importance in terms of context analysis and humanitarian responses
  • The DMIS Model and discuss ethnocentrism
  • The Mauss theory on gift and counter-gift
  • The different perspectives of the LGBTI reality and its potential impact on the humanitarian response
  • Gender, present its characteristics and explain why it is important in terms of context analysis and humanitarian responses
  • The perception concept and explain why it is important in terms of context analysis and humanitarian responses

Learning outcomes in terms of skills - Capacity to

  • Recognize how different values, beliefs and behaviours of actors impact the effectiveness of humanitarian aid
  • Develop own personal self-reflection on cultural assumptions and analyse their relevance in humanitarian contexts

Learning outcomes in terms of analytical competences - Ability to

  • Explain and discuss how topics such as power relationships, gender, and religion can influence humanitarian action
  • Describe how cultural differences impact mutual perception, expectations and communication in the humanitarian field
  • Reflect on how cultural practices can collide with the aid intentions and how to manage it (abortion, forced marriage, FGM, domestic violence/exploitation)
  • Reflect on possible strategies to enhance the appropriateness and effectiveness of  humanitarian actions
  • Discuss and deconstruct various anthropological frameworks and models of intercultural sensitivity

Certification

2 ECTS - Credits recognized by the University of Geneva and the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies.