Humanitarian Leadership Programme

The Humanitarian Leadership Programme (Graduate Certificate of Humanitarian Leadership) is a uniquely intensive and challenging leadership programme designed for humanitarians.


The HLP is a comprehensive eight-month course designed by an expert group of humanitarians, academics, and leadership development specialists to transform the leadership offered by humanitarians and their organisations.


Developed, tested and refined since 2011, this programme will challenge you intellectually and emotionally. This programme has been designed to enhance your understanding of the humanitarian system, and support you to develop the quality of leadership you offer others in some of the most challenging and complex contexts.


Through expert-led seminars and workshops, guest speakers, individual coaching, peer learning, cutting edge distance learning resources and intensive simulation exercises you will put yourself through an experience that is unrivalled, and have the opportunity develop and put your leadership to the test in a safe and supportive environment.


Students who successfully complete the course will be awarded a Graduate Certificate of Humanitarian Leadership, and join a growing alumni of humanitarian leaders who represent the vanguard of change in the humanitarian industry.

If you wish to apply please ensure that you have read the Application Process thoroughly and downloaded the personal statement and referee forms.

Click here to download the Information Pack.

The HLP is accredited by Deakin University, and run jointly with Save the Children. The programme would not be possible without the generous contributions of our partners.


A Unique Programme Developed Through Collaboration
The Humanitarian Leadership Programme is a bold and innovative approach to improving the leadership of the sector. The first course ran in 2011/2012 and demonstrated the value of the collaboration between Save the Children, Deakin University, the Australian Government Aid Programme and our partner agencies World Vision, Oxfam, PLAN, CARE and ADRRN. Over 160 students from more than 35 organisations and 46 nationalities have benefited from this unique learning experience. We now welcome the support of the IKEA Foundation to help take us into the next three years of our growth.

Save the Children
Save the Children has worked on the issue of professionalization and humanitarian leadership for several years. This includes designing and developing sector leading programs such as the Humanitarian Operations Programme used by the Gates-funded Emergency Capacity Building Project, and the Consortium of British Humanitarian Agencies. The Humanitarian Leadership Programme builds on this success and represents Save the Children’s ongoing and significant investment in developing capacity in the sector. We invite people from across the humanitarian and development sectors to apply for this innovative program.

Deakin University
Deakin University is the academic partner for the Humanitarian Leadership Programme and has made a major contribution to its success. Save the Children has worked with Deakin University to achieve full accreditation of the programme therefore integrating the programme into a formal academic qualification.

IKEA Foundation and the Australian Government Aid Programme
The IKEA Foundation and the Australian Government Aid Programme has made this programme possible through the Humanitarian Partnership Agreement. We are very grateful for this support.

This programme is sponsored by the IKEA Foundation, Save the Children, Deakin University, World Vision, Oxfam, Relief International, Action Contre la Faim and the Australian Aid Programme, supported by the University of Indonesia, University of Nairobi, and Peter Berry Consulting, and endorsed by CARE, PLAN, RedR, the Humanitarian Advisory Group and the Asian Disaster Reduction and Response Network (ADRRN). In 2015 UNICEF have also supported the programme through the provision of faculty members.

We welcome other partners who wish to contribute or support the programme.