KUNO Summer Course 2021

foto: Mickael Franci/ cordaid
foto: Mickael Franci/ Cordaid
Have you recently started working in the humanitarian field and are you looking for a solid kick-start? Or are you an experienced humanitarian professional looking for a thorough update? The KUNO Summer Course is there for you.

After the last three years’ successes, KUNO will organize another Summer Course. In this two-day course, humanitarian academics and experienced humanitarian professionals will discuss all relevant aspects of humanitarian work. A mixture of practical knowledge, debates and working sessions, will feed your brain, enhance your efficiency as a humanitarian worker and strengthen your network.

We will organize this summer course face-to-face at the Hague (ZIINN), taking all appropriate Covid-measures into account.


  • Professor of humanitarian studies Thea Hilhorst from the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) at Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • Benoit de Gryse from Stichting Vluchteling, Head of Operations and Advocacy
  • Marielle van Miltenburg Head of Humanitarian Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Emiel Martens (UvA/EUR) & Wouter Oomen  (UU), founders of the Expertise Centre Humanitarian Communication

The programme - July 14

Day 1, morning: Thea Hilhorst, Global humanitarian governance trends

Learning goals – participants will be able to understand:

  • The different types of humanitarian organizations (Dunantist, Double Mandated etc.);
  • The relevant institutional structures in humanitarian aid and how they interact and/or compete;
  • The origins and logic of different guiding policies that structure humanitarian aid: CHS, SPHERE;
  • New actors (private actors, new volunteer movements) and the effects on the humanitarian field;
  • Trends (Covid, urbanisation, protracted crisis, a growing self-esteem of local and national actors) and the structural changes they might bring to the humanitarian sector.

Day 1, afternoon: Benoit de Gryse, Humanitarian aid in daily practice

Learning goals – participants will be able to understand:

  • What to expect when repsonding to a crisis;
  • How to set priorities: UN classification system (L1-2-3);
  • Coordination; UN OCHA cluster system;
  • Access & its challenges (f.i. negotiating with armed groups);
  • A growing politicization of aid and its consequences.

The Programme - July 15

Day 2, morning: Marielle van Miltenburg, Priorities of the humanitarian policy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Learning goals – participants will be able to understand:

  • Humanitarian priorities of the Netherlands;
  • Politics versus impartial, neutral and independent humanitarian aid (politicization & humanitarian diplomacy);
  • The present policies that aim to reform the international humanitarian aid industry (WHS, Grand Bargain, DRA, START Network);
  • Current dilemma’s concerning quality and effectiveness of humanitarian aid (risk management, localization, unearmarked funding, nexus, etc.).

Day 2, afternoon: Emiel Martens & Wouter Oomen, Humanitarian communication

Learning goals – participants will be able to understand:

  • The (neo)colonial history of international development and humanitarian communication;
  • How stereotypes have been and are still used in the communications of international development organizations, and what the consequences are of such stereotypes;
  • The importance of ethical and inclusive humanitarian communication, and how this could be achieved.

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