Photo by Michael Dawes

This website has been created as a supplemental resource for participants in the Health Emergencies in Large Populations Course, known as the HELP Course. Developed originally by the International Committee of the Red Cross in 1986, the HELP Course is now administered in locations across the world, and with input from a variety of academic and practitioner institutions. This site is being developed by the Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance Program at the University of Hawaii, with the assistance and support of the Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance, located in Honolulu.

The intention of assembling the materials on this site is to provide background information in a “read ahead” format so that participants in the three-week in-person training course can view them in advance and arrive at the training site with some basic concepts, vocabulary and frameworks in place. We have made an effort to provide materials in a variety of formats, including document files, internet links and video clips. We hope that over time, our collaborating partners will also contribute relevant materials to enrich this resource.

The problems inherent in managing humanitarian responses to armed conflict and other large-scale emergencies continue to challenge practitioners and policy makers with complex and cross-cutting issues. The interdisciplinary and multi-sectoral context of assistance program administration requires the development of insights and decision making skills across a wide range of knowledge areas. The materials presented here attempt to introduce some of these components and place them in context for further consideration during the HELP Course and beyond.

Video: Panorama ’08: Introduction to the ICRC

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Panorama 08 shows the horrendous toll that armed conflict inflicts threatening lives and livelihoods, forcing people to flee their homes and separating families. This film highlights the ICRCs work to assist victims of armed conflict and to promote international humanitarian law, ensuring that people trapped on the worlds frontlines are protected from harm.

Supplementary Reading

Introduction to the HELP Course (pdf, 0.6 MB)

This manual is designed to help the instructors of the HELP course understand the philosophy, educational goals, and teaching method of the course. It will also provide a basis of discussion for a working group charged with the task of regularly updating the objectives of the course to reflect new public-health developments in emergency situations.

University of Hawaii at Manoa; Center of Excellence in DMHA; ICRC

Contact Information

Disaster Management & Humanitarian Assistance
University of Hawai'i at Manoa
2424 Maile Way, Saunders Hall 118
Honolulu, HI 96822