• Development and Humanitarian Assistance

  • To meet the challenges of a world with a growing population, affected by human-made and natural disasters, the Development and Humanitarian Assistance career track prepares students to support international development and humanitarian operations. Students completing this career track gain the skills and knowledge needed to develop and implement new approaches to address these challenges.

    The international community has made great strides in reducing poverty and improving livelihoods around the world. Despite this progress, exemplified by the success of the UN Millennium Development Goals, much more can alleviate human suffering and create the conditions for economic opportunity.

    This track draws on the Maxwell School’s experience in program management and evaluation, pairing this with technical skills in program and project design, as well as the cultural and regional understanding needed to ensure that relief programs are appropriate to the needed target environment.

    Course offerings focus on health, education, environmental sustainability, state-building and democratization, social change, economic growth, humanitarian assistance, and the political and cultural context of these operations.

  • After decades of working in humanitarian relief with various UN Organizations, Professor Masood Hyder brings a wealth of first-hand knowledge to students around issues of food security, humanitarian action and the effective practice of international aid programs.

    hyder masood medium

    ~ Masood Hyder,

    Professor of Practice, Public Administration and International Affairs

  • Faculty

    Public Administration and International Affairs Faculty

    Maxwell Faculty

    • Merima Ali (ECN)
    • Hans Buechler (ANT)
    • A. Peter Castro (ANT)
    • Erin Hern (PSC)
    • Azra Hromadzic (ANT)
    • Audie Klotz (PSC)
    • Jok Madut Jok (ANT)
    • Amy Lutz (SOC)
    • Devashish Mitra (ECN)
    • Deborah Pellow (ANT)
    • Tom Perreault (GEO)
    • Robert Rubinstein (ANT)

    Core Course Recommendations

    Development and humanitarian assistance work requires an understanding of changing conditions on the ground, the ability to work at the non-governmental, intergovernmental, and international level, understand how to use economic and statistical analysis to assess the policy impact of interventions, and conduct research conduct to support programming or policy analysis.

    As such, students are encouraged to consider the following classes for their core requirements:

    • Economics: PAI 720 Principles of Economic or PAI 723 Economics for Public Decisions.
    • Management of Programs and Staff: PAI 762: Challenges of International Management and Leadership or PAI 763: NGO Management in Developing and Transitional Countries.
    • Research Design and Evaluation: PAI 705: Research Design for IR Practitioners, PAI 722: Quantitative Analysis, or ANT 681 Ethnographic Techniques
    • Signature Course:PAI 707: Culture in World Affairs or PAI 716: Economic Dimensions of Global Power.

    Development and Humanitarian Assistance Course Offerings

    ANT 624 Negotiation: Theory and Practice
    ANT 679 Anthropology of Global Transformation
    ANT 663 Global Health
    ANT 683 Social Movement Theory
    LAW 831 Refugee and Asylum Law
    PAI 601 Fundamentals of Conflict Studies
    PAI 700 Food Security
    PAI 713 Governance and Global Civil Society
    PAI 715 Global Sustainability and Public Policy*
    PAI 719 Fundamentals of Post-Conflict Reconstruction
    PAI 757 Economics of Development
    PAI 764 UN Organizations: Managing for Change
    PAI 765 Humanitarian Action: Challenges, Responses and Results
    PSC 681 Comparative State-Society Relations
    PSC 682 Social Theory in the Middle East
    PSC 700 Civil Wars
    PSC 758 Global Migration

    (*taught in Maxwell-in-DC program)

    Alumni Careers

    Visit the Palmer Center for Career Development's Career Field Guides for more information about Careers associated with the Development and Humanitarian Assistance Career Track.  

    Non-Government Organizations

    Deputy Chief of Party-Mongolia, Chemonics International
    Zimbabwe Country Director, Mercy Corps

    Government Service

    Private Sector Cooperation Manager, German Agency for International Cooperation
    Foreign Service Officer, U.S. Agency for International Development

    International Civil Service

    Head of Delegation, International Committee of the Red Cross