• Anytime
    Application Deadline
  • 1 month
Discover the principles and practices of sustainable development, and how to bring them to life in humanitarian organisations with this Sustainable Development in Humanitarian Action course from International Federation of Red Cross by FutureLearn.
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Incorporating sustainability into humanitarian action is key to making humanitarian organisations more effective and accountable. This course will show you how.

You’ll look at sustainability in the supply chain and field operations of a humanitarian organisation, covering the three dimensions of sustainable development: economic efficiency, social equity and environmental preservation.

Ultimately, you’ll learn how to design and implement a sustainability strategy; at project, programme and organisational level.

By the end of the Sustainable Development in Humanitarian Action course from International Federation of Red Cross by FutureLearn , you'll be able to:

  • Explain what sustainable development is and its relevance to humanitarian action
  • Reflect on the importance of incorporating sustainability in a humanitarian organization
  • Describe the stages of the life-cycle assessment and the role each stage has in reducing the environmental footprint of humanitarian activities
  • Identify potential environmental and social risks associated with the procurement and logistics activities of a humanitarian organization
  • Identify challenges associated with implementing sustainability initiatives in a humanitarian context
  • Identify good practices of sustainability initiatives carried out to improve water, waste and energy management in the field
  • Explain how to develop a sustainability strategy and list its key elements
  • Identify what factors lead to the successful incorporation of a sustainability strategy in a humanitarian organization
  • Develop a sustainability development strategy to mitigate main environmental risks linked to the core activities of a company or organization
  • Describe the impacts of climate change on humanitarian work and affected populations

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Deadline and start date A student can apply at any time for this programme, there is no deadline.
  • Programme intensity Part-time
    • Average part-time duration 1 months
    • Part-time variant
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    • Time flexibility
    • Attendance
      No Attendance
    • Teacher support
      Proactive tutoring and support
    • Student interaction
      Individual work/assignments (with online group discussions)

Programme Structure

What topics will you cover?
  • Week 1: What is sustainable development in a humanitarian context?
  • Week 2. Sustainability in the supply chain: a life-cycle perspective
  • Week 3. Sustainability in field operations
  • Week 4: Setting up a sustainability programme

English Language Requirements

This programme may require students to demonstrate proficiency in English.

General Requirements

  • This course would suit staff and volunteers working in the humanitarian sector, particularly in the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. 
  • It’d also be of use to individuals operating in developing countries that have weak State capacity. It may also interest those who want to see how sustainability can be applied to humanitarian action.

Tuition Fee

  • International

    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 0 USD per year and a duration of 1 months.
  • National

    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 0 USD per year and a duration of 1 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

It's free to join and study this course, you have the option to upgrade  and receive a digital and printed certificate for $64. Additional benefits can be reached via the Unlimited FutureLearn product. 


Check the programme website for information about funding options.

Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.


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