Improving health and reducing inequities worldwide


Complex Humanitarian Emergency Program

Dates of Complex Humanitarian Emergency Training: 2009-2014

The United Nations defines a complex humanitarian emergency (CHE) as “a humanitarian crisis in a country, region, or society where there is total or considerable breakdown of authority resulting from internal or external conflict and which requires an international response that goes beyond the mandate or capacity of any single and/or ongoing UN country program.”

Such emergencies require adapted, focused, and pragmatic field responses to be organized within short time frames, often under difficult accessibility, security, and climate conditions. Over the years, operational efficiency in the field of humanitarian aid has increased thanks to experience and research carried out during CHEs.

The UCSF CHE Leadership Training Program takes place in a remote Bay Area location and recreates refugee camps along a civil unrest area. Participating trainees must perform a rapid assessment and develop plans to meet the needs of the simulated population. Trainees learn a variety of skills as they perform the rapid assessment. Each trainee is part of a team charged with assessing and addressing security, nutrition, water and sanitation, shelter and medical care. The teams work to complete their work under an increasingly intensifying security situation and logistical challenges.

Through experiential learning, trainees will be challenged in decision-making and team-building. They are evaluated by faculty and peers on the quality of their assessment and final plan, and are given feedback on their group and individual leadership and teamwork.

The CHE Leadership Training accepts trainees from the following UCSF programs: Global Health Pathway, Global Health Clinical Scholars, and Masters in Global Health Sciences as well as the UC Berkeley School of Public Health. Trainees from other departments, programs and schools are allowed to participate as space allows.

Read article: GHS Prepares Students for Emergency Situations around the World
Slideshow: 2011