Humanitarian Bazaar | FOCUS: Humanitarian Response
Humanitarian Bazaar produces projects focused on how peope survive war and disaster.
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HB 3.10 | Seth traveling for HB with Adeso in Somalia. Photo Daniel J Gerstle.

Photo: HB filmmaker Seth Chase boards a flight in Garowe, Somalia. Daniel J Gerstle.


Many people ask Humanitarian Bazaar, How does one build a career in emergency response? We provide a range of insight on how our team, advisers, and allies built careers in Emergency Response Management, Humanitarian Aid Work, Development Aid, and War & Disaster Journalism. We’ve already provided a variety of training on this ranging from a humanitarian aid worker training with refugee camp simulation at Columbia University to a crash course in humanitarian response for new aid workers around the time of the nearby flood disaster, in Sarajevo, Bosnia. We can run week-long intensive skill-building and team-building courses for organizations, and we’re happy also to run two-hour webinars for people considering careers or just wanting to understand how these fields work! Choose your mode and price, and let us know at

Choose your mode and price ===>

A. Online Rapid Course Webinar

$40 = Webinar (2 hours) |  $80 = Webinar+ (2 hrs plus personal call with instructor for personal consultation or to call in to talk to your organization)  |  Free for past HB team.  |  We are currently rewarding donors to our War Survivors Advisory civilian protection project and past HB team members with attendance to our webinars! HB team members of the past can attend online for free. WSA donors who donated $40 or more are invited to choose one webinar as a reward! WSA donors who supported with $80 or more can choose one webinar and also get a direct consultation call with our trainer or a team member for personal advice, solve a question for your career, or call in to give a talk to your class room or organization. Let us know your interest and we will schedule a session with you!  Donate and then let us know which course and your best time frame so we can confirm with the trainer, or you can also plan the webinar first and then donate the day of the webinar session. Let us know at and go here to donate. ===> WSA

B. Full Intensive Training Workshop

$120/person = Weekend Rapid Course with Short Simulation (12 hours, minimum 6 people) or $240/person = Week-Long Intensive Course with Simulation (24 hours, minimum 10 people)  |  Request a full-scale in-person training workshop with practicum at your location! Ask us if there will be a training near you! Sometimes we have a number of people in key places–namely Berlin, Amsterdam, Sarajevo, Nairobi, Istanbul, Kabul, Beirut–who have put in a request and we just wait until we have enough of a group and we can write to you and plan a date, so just let us know your interest at

C. Contract 

$400/day+ transport & lodging for Expert > $150/day+ expenses for local Field Worker/Fixer (depending on location) for Project Implementation, Private Intensive Training, or Field Research. | Hire a trainer, consultant or implementing team to run a full intensive course designed for your organization, or have us build a consulting team on this topic to implement projects with you.

Review Our Curriculum ===>

Part 1  |  Emergencies on the Local Level

  • We review documentaries as primer for the discussion of how all war and natural disasters–and their solutions–must be solved with direct participation of local people from the affected communities.
  • Local pre-existing social structures from rich to poor have often already created the conditions in which some parts of the population can survive, evacuate, and withstand suffering with more resources than others. While most people lose resources, jobs, homes, livelihoods, and loved ones, still some others actually benefit from the rapid redistribution of materials caused by the disaster.
  • The most common theme of disasters is the mass loss of employment on the local level, and so the most urgent solution during and after the disaster is to get the local work force back involved in rebuilding not only the country but the markets.
  • International aid must support local communities and organizations, not replace them.


Part 2  |  How Emergencies Transform Governments & Authorities

  • Most wars and disasters force divisions in government and other authorities, which leads to public services ranging from hospitals to fire departments to police to power and water systems breaking down rather quickly.
  • Responsibility for protecting civilians during the crisis must rest with the government or regional authority. But what if that authority only choose to help one part of the population and refuses or is unable to provide to another?
  • What if the authority claims not to have the resources for such an enormous crisis?


Part 3  |  When/Why International Support May (or May Not) Be Needed

  • In earlier generations, international aid, primarily funded by governments, was a combination of patron distribution of food, medicine, etc, along with promotion of those donor government’s foreign policy aims.
  • Reformed international aid in more recent decades sought instead to shift more choices and resource power to local populations, to be more successful. That meant hiring more local expertise, rather than importing expensive foreign managers, and buying supplies in local markets, rather than bringing foreign supplies that flooded the market and hurt local sellers.


Part 4  |  Media Coverage of Emergencies

  • Traditionally, media coverage of emergencies was all about the war journalist sharing a story with the world through literary features. But that rapidly transformed into not only full books and films and radio series, but also more short-form reporting, photo series, and now virtual reality.
  • Considering examples from documentaries such as Five Broken Cameras (Palestine & Israel) and The White Helmets (Syria), we consider how journalistic standards have long battled to train storytellers to increase the numbers of points of view, to keep balance, and to keep objectivity, while the market and conflict factors tend to favor a very sharp, sometimes opinionated single point of view in media.
  • Meanwhile, media for humanitarian and human rights advocacy must recommend an improvement while at the same time retaining impartiality. Is it possible? How can aid and rights organizations get it right?


Part 5  |  Emergency Aid

  • The Sphere Minimim Standards in Disaster Response spell out the foundation of how humanitarian aid agencies agree how to coordinate aid in terms of collective goals, standards, and measuring sticks.
  • That covers the primary aid for war and disaster affected civilians: Medicine, Disease Control, Food, Food Security & Income Generation, Water & Sanitation, Shelter, Education in Emergencies, and Gender in Emergencies.
  • Secondary aid, many argue, could be just as important depending on the nature of the crisis: Civilian Protection, Casework, Family Reunification, Home Reconstruction, Winterization, Evacuations, and much more.
  • Meanwhile, human rights organizations advocate for solutions where there is a major gap: Have international responders made a mistake and ignored one group or one need? Have governments refused to solve an obvious urgent problem that is in their realm of responsibility? Have crimes been committed?


Part 6  |  Reconstruction & Development

  • When the emergency recedes enough for more local and international teams to get in safely, reconstruction can help bring people home.
  • At the same time, throughout the crisis and after, government, aid, and trade actors must help rebuild and revitalize markets to bring back jobs which is the often the most important solution for the majority of families.


Part 7  |  Career Building Skills & Degrees

  • While some aid workers succeed with liberal arts degrees because they found ways to get deep field experience, perhaps as unpaid volunteers knowing the local language, and made good relationships in the emergency area, most aid workers succeed through master’s level specialty programs that hit right at the emergency needs: Epidemiology & Disease Control, Water System Management, Public Health in Disasters, Construction, Social Work with a specialty in Children & Trauma, and so on.
  • Rights advocates similarly excel with a specialized masters in human rights advocacy and research or a law degree, but others found their way up the chain by first getting vital field experience as an aid worker, war journalist, or volunteer who knew the local language.
  • Crisis journalists really should study journalistic professional standards in a master’s degree program. Conflict reporting is full of many controversies and extreme attention to journalistic standards can be an issue not only of professionalism but of security and safety for the people involved in a story. Still, some people make it in with a bachelor’s degree because they have local relationships in the crisis area. But still serious training is vital for doing stories professionally and responsibly.
  • And of course in all cases, we recommend a serious Hostile Environment & First Aid Training program before deployment!

Meet Our Trainer ===>

Daniel J Gerstle  |  Founder & executive director of Humanitarian Bazaar, has served as a filmmaker, humanitarian aid worker, human rights researcher, and war journalist in Africa, West Asia, the Middle East, Caucasus, and the Balkans. More recently, he created Humanitarian Bazaar, formerly known as HELO Media, to produce projects focused on how people survive war and disaster. With Humanitarian Bazaar, he produced the Mogadishu Music Festival (Somalia 2013), Journey of Peace Kenya music festival in Dadaab refugee camp (Kenya 2013), and co-produced the first Afghan rock fest, Sound Central Festival (Afghanistan, 2011). Live from Mogadishu, his first feature length film as director, premieres in summer 2014. Find him at  |

Arrange Your Training ===>

  1. Check here if we already have a webinar or workshop scheduled which you can attend. ===> Training Schedule.
  2. Write us to reserve your space for an existing training or to ask for a training which could be scheduled with you. In the latter case, just let us know what windows of time would work best for you and we will see whether it is best to have others attend together or to have a training personalized for you and/or your organization. ===> 
  3. Right now we are accepting all payments for training as a donation to our War Survivors Advisory civilian protection project, and offering webinars as rewards for such donations, so you can either go right away to donate and let us know that you have done so, or schedule your training and then pay once you are satisfied with the training. The payment/donation button to support the War Survivors Advisory, along with a description of the project, can be found here. ===> Training Payment via War Survivors Advisory.