Public Health in Humanitarian Crises 1 (Coursera)

Public Health in Humanitarian Crises 1 is an online MOOC Course, offered by Johns Hopkins University via Coursera. Course 2 of 6 in the Foundations of Global Health Specialization.

Enroll in Course

Be ahead to learn something new Today

  • Flexible Online Learning
  • Verified Certificate*
  • Add powers to your Resume
  • Access course Anytime, Anywhere
Public Health in Humanitarian Crises 1 Coursera
Public Health in Humanitarian Crises 1 (Coursera)

About Public Health in Humanitarian Crises 1 Online Course

Public Health in Humanitarian Crises 1 course, Public Health in Humanitarian Crises 1, introduces discussions about the public health approach to problems experienced by people affected by disasters, both natural and related to conflict. The course discusses the many changes which occur in people’s lives when they are uprooted by a disaster, ranging from changes in disease patterns, access to health care, livelihoods, shelter, sanitary conditions, nutritional status, etcetera. We will explore what humanitarian interventions could look like if we want to mitigate the effects of disasters. The course content is a mix of theoretical knowledge and many practical examples from recent disasters. We think this course is unique because it contains so many practical ‘real-life’ examples and is taught by instructors and guest lecturers who together have over 200 years of experience in this field.
The course consists of 10 modules totaling approximately 9-10 hours of delivered content with an additional 2-3 hours of self-work (quizzes and writing and evaluating a short peer-review assignment) as well as lively discussion forums. The course has been designed in a way that each module builds on the lessons of previous modules. However, you may do the modules in any order and some can be done separately.
You do not have to pay for this course if you choose to enrol without a certificate. Sometimes referred to as auditing, enrolling without a certificate means that you will have access to all of the videos, quizzes, assignments, and discussions. The only difference is that you will not receive a certificate upon completion. Click the Enroll Without a Certificate link to sign up and begin the course. Even if you enrol in a session that has yet to begin, you may access most of the course materials right away by clicking the Preview Course Materials link. However, you will have to wait for the session to begin before posting your comments on the discussion forum or accessing the final peer-reviewed assessment. Visit the Learner Help Center for details about session schedules.
If you want to learn more, there is a second course which follows this one entitled, Public Health in Humanitarian Crises 2. We welcome you to take this. The course has a similar set-up and discusses additional topics, such as infectious disease outbreaks, disease epidemiology, maternal and newborn health, mental health, humanitarian project design, humanitarian principles, and many other topics.

Public Health in Humanitarian Crises 1 Coursera Course Syllabus


Module 1: Humanitarian Disasters and Public Health

In this module, we will define what we mean by disasters, hazards, risks and vulnerabilities. We look at patterns and trends and understand the role of public health in disasters.

Module 2: Humanitarian Actors and Coordination

Many humanitarian actors play a role in a disaster. This module describes many of them and also looks at various coordination models that are used.WEEK 2

Module 3: Water and Sanitation

This module describes the burden of, and mechanisms of, sanitation and water-related diseases in humanitarian crises. We also illustrate the various strategies and priorities that can be used to reduce outbreaks of those diseases.

Module 4: Livelihoods and Food Security in Humanitarian Crises

Disasters affect livelihoods. This module illustrates how and what livelihood strategies families use to cope with a crisis. We also describe what food security entails and ways to assess it. We look at various livelihood support programs that can be used in disaster settings.


Module 5: Nutrition in Humanitarian Crises

This module looks at who is at risk of becoming malnourished in a disaster context and why that is the case. We will describe various types of malnutrition, the treatment and various preventative actions.

Module 6: Management of Diseases in Humanitarian Crises

This module examines the patterns of disease in affected populations. We will understand how the changes in population characteristics as well as lifestyles have changed the nature of the burden of disease populations from that of predominantly communicable to a pattern of non-communicable diseases.


Module 7: Health Care in Humanitarian Emergencies

Disasters put special strains on the provision of health services as demands increase and resources to meet these needs diminish. The six major components of health services may be damaged in different ways, and all can require urgent attention. This is all discussed in this module.

Module 8: Shelter in a Humanitarian Setting

In this module, we talk about shelter and what it means. We describe how and which shelter solutions contribute towards the immediate and longer-term recovery of people affected by disasters.


Module 9: Protection of Displaced Populations: Human Rights & Humanitarian Law

Many disasters cause populations to be displaced. The module on the protection of displaced populations explores the international protection of individuals through public health, human rights, and international humanitarian law.

Module 10: Emerging Risks, Challenges, and Opportunities for Future Humanitarian Emergencies

The potential for future disasters is great, and each has important public health components. New resources and new approaches will be needed to address these disasters and to help countries to recover economies and livelihoods. This module discusses the challenges and future directions in humanitarian assistance.

Course Teacher

Public Health in Humanitarian Crises 1 Coursera course is taught by Gilbert Burnham and Mija Ververs.

Additional information

Course Delivery


Course Efforts

1-4 Hours/Week

Course Enrollment


Course Instructor


Course Language


Course Length

5-12 Weeks

Course Level


Course Provider

Course School

Course Subtitles

Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Vietnamese

Flexible Learning


Verified Certificate



There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “Public Health in Humanitarian Crises 1 (Coursera)”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *