Humanitarian Leadership Programme – Developing Leadership to Transform Humanitarian Response

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 programme 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 over three years, this programme will challenge you intellectually and emotionally. This programme has been designed to enhance your understanding of the humanitarian system, build your ability to deliver humanitarian operations 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 programme 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. Save the Children, Deakin University, World Vision and Oxfam, along with supporting partners, are pleased to invite humanitarian professionals from Asia-Pacific and beyond to participate in the Humanitarian Leadership Programme.

The programme is accredited by Deakin University, and successful applicants will be enrolled as students at the university, with access to the many university services throughout the programme. It is jointly run by Save the Children and Deakin University, with contributions from World Vision and Oxfam, and the support and endorsement of the Asian Disaster Reduction and Response Network (ADRRN), CARE and PLAN. This programme has been made possible with the generous support of the Australian Government Aid Programme, Deakin University, Save the Children, World Vision and Oxfam.

We warmly welcome the participation of other agencies, governments, universities and the private sector.

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 information on Course Fees.

Students who successfully complete the programme can also apply to enrol in the Masters of Humanitarian Assistance.

Programme Schedule

unit 1

Diagnosing the Humanitarian System

Distance / eLearning
10 hrs study per week

Unit 2

Developing Humanitarian Leadership

7-day residential

Unit 3

Delivering Humanitarian Operations

Distance / eLearning
10 hrs study per week

unit 4

Demonstrating Strategic Leadership

8-day residential + ongoing mentoring and personal development plans


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.

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.

Australian Government Aid Programme
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 Australian Aid Programme, Save the Children, Deakin University, World Vision and Oxfam and endorsed by CARE, PLAN and the Asian Disaster Reduction and Response Network (ADRRN).

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