Conflict simulation, peacebuilding, and development

International humanitarian crisis simulation at the University of Minnesota

The University of Minnesota will be holding a three day field/simulation-based course on humanitarian assistance on 9-11 September 2016 in Canon Falls, MN.


You’ll find further information on their website:

The Humanitarian Crisis Simulation, founded in 2011, is a collaborative program led by the University of Minnesota Medical School, the School of Public Health, and the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. The program trains prospective humanitarian aid workers through an annual 3 day learning experience. The experience is offered to professionals of all backgrounds who are presently engaged in the field of humanitarian aid work, or who are interested in pursuing a career in the field. The experience immerses participants in an environment typical of humanitarian crises, and will equip participants with knowledge, experience and skills that will assist them in working in any humanitarian crisis. The Humanitarian Crisis Simulation may also be taken for credit through an accompanying 1 credit in the School of Public Health or Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

The first portion of the course consists of interactive sessions that provide an overview of the field of humanitarian aid work. Participants are then divided into interdisciplinary teams representing multiple emergency response teams (ERTs). ERT must apply their skills and knowledge to assess a fictional area experiencing a humanitarian crisis. Teams are expected to develop a plan to address the many problems of the region, including malnutrition, poor infrastructure, insecurity and violations of human rights. ERTs will experience living conditions that are common for professionals working in these conditions.

The exercise is developed and administered by professionals with extensive experience in humanitarian crisis management. We draw on content developed by organizations such as the Sphere Project, ALNAP, and the Core Humanitarian Standard as a framework for material covered in the simulation. The Humanitarian Simulation places a special emphasis on managing the medical aspects of humanitarian crises, although the material is relevant for medical and non medical professionals alike.

Intended Audience 

Who should attend:

  • Adult professionals who are engaged in, or considering a career in humanitarianism.
  • Physicians, Nurse Practitioners, Physician Assistants, Nurses, Pharmacists and other health care providers who are considering working as humanitarian aid workers
  • University of Minnesota graduate and professional students
    • Students can earn one credit through the Humphrey School of Public Affairs course PA 5890 – Crisis Simulation, or through the School of Public Health course PubH 6290 – International Humanitarian Crisis Simulation

Participants will gain:

  • Knowledge of fundamental principles, minimum standards and best practices in Humanitarian Aid
  • Opportunities to apply their professional skills and knowledge in a realistic scenario
  • Opportunities to engage with other professionals involved in humanitarian aid.

You’ll also find a StarTribune article on the simulation here.

One response to “International humanitarian crisis simulation at the University of Minnesota

  1. Christopher Weuve 09/06/2016 at 12:48 pm

    1) “International Humiliation Conference.”
    2) How would you game that, and why?
    3) Oh, wait a minute…

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