Humanitarian Bazaar | Focus: Emergency Response Technical Skills
Humanitarian Bazaar produces projects focused on how peope survive war and disaster.
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Photo: US Navy.

Photo: Responders load choppers for Japan tsunami response. U.S. Navy.


We have provided training on the Sphere Minimum Standards in Disaster Response and Humanitarian Aid Management in New York and Sarajevo, Bosnia. While we can adjust focus for the goals of our trainees, our general approach is to provide an overview of lifesaving aid to refugee services to reconstruction, and then focus in on how aid works in the most consistently demanded sectors: Medicine, Food & Nutrition, Water & Sanitation, Shelter, Livelihoods, Gender, Education, and Disabled Care. If trainees wish to focus in on one or two sectors, we can do that. 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  |  Emergency Response Skills: What Comes First?

  • We look at the case of Syria and Iraq, and how the humanitarian emergency has bled into Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan. Where to start?
  • Millions of civilians escape from homes. Some have nothing and need newly produced settlements to survive. Some find hosts to stay with. Still fewer are able to afford their own accommodation, but usually only briefly before they need to move again. What are their most urgent needs to keep alive?
  • We focus in on the case of “liberated” war-damaged communities beside displaced family settlements around Mosul, Iraq. We have a group brainstorm on what YOU believe are the most urgent needs from afar. Imagine your team knows twenty-four or more sectors of need–medicine, disease control, maternal health, food aid, livelihoods/ revenue for families to cover own costs, water and sanitation, shelter, education-in-emergencies, training on mine avoidance, and much more–but you only have enough opportunities to fund perhaps five or six. Which do you choose first and why?


Part 2  |  How Emergency Response is Coordinated, and Sometimes Not

  • All aid must be developed with inclusion of the local stakeholders through the entire process. That means perhaps the most demanded specialists are locals, still working from their own home communities, who have managed to stay impartial from the politics of the conflict.
  • Any marginal success will mean that the backbone of local impartial specialists will need empowerment from impartial national and international organizations, and all those tiers of effort are coordinated well by the United Nations or similar body that can ensure responders fill gaps and prevent unnecessary overlaps. Once everyone responding gets a feel for this response structure
  • 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?
  • Coordination on a single sector, for example maternal health, means creating a sub-group of organizations and local groups that can agree on “who does what where” so that they cover gaps and avoid duplication.
  • Once priorities are assessed, how do responders mobilize staffing and funding?


Part 3  |  Sphere Minimum Standards Sectors

  • International organizations have produced many coordination efforts such as the Sphere Minimum Standards in Disaster Response to keep each other on their toes, to respond at a certain level to ensure the best for local civilians given extremely difficult limitations, security, and often low funding.
  • Sector priorities–Medicine, Disease Control, Food Aid, Food Security & Livelihoods, Water & Sanitation, Shelter & Non-Food Items, Emergencies, Disabled Care, Protection, Gender-Based Violence Prevention, and more–can all be approached well through epidemiological method, so we will role play some epidemiology games to get trainees up to speed.
  • What about sectors not yet included in Sphere? Animal/livestock health? Reconstruction? Reuniting divided families and missing persons? And much more.


Part 4  |  Medical & Public Health Response

  • Disease Control always the priority!
  • Maternal & Child Health, overlapping with disease control, is also a top priority!
  • The toughest triage choices in the world. Beyond disease control and maternal and child health, responders must, often painfully, choose which of many urgent areas to focus on with a shrinking budget. That means often having to choose which members of the population may get assistance, and which may not.


Part 5  |  Food Aid, Food Security & Livelihoods

  • Decades ago, international aid traditionally shipped in food from afar to quickly reduce hunger. But after incredible amounts of research on the many side effects, most aid agencies have adapted to a more sophisticated economic response. While food aid can reduce hunger urgently, it may work better to procure food supplies locally to ensure local markets survive, rather than bringing food stores from far away reducing the local communities’ need to buy from local and regional suppliers.
  • Beyond food aid and markets, many agencies now also work to protect or restore markets and ensure more families can keep working and earning their own income (cash-for-work in the beginning should evolve into job skills and job placement) and if they are disabled or incapable of work, cash grants can help special needs families to choose their own products from local markets.


Part 6  |  Water & Sanitation

  • Whether responding in a severe drought, or after a monsoon, the highest priority interventions focus on reducing water-borne illnesses and that must be matched with ensuring there are sources of clean water.
  • We explore first how clean water sources can be restored or protected in dry areas. That ranges from drilling bore holes to restoring water systems to trucking in water from nearby, if necessary.
  • Sanitation may not be the most romantic sector, but ensuring clean water and food sources are kept separate from human waste is vital for preventing the spread of deadly water-borne diseases.


Part 7  |  Shelter & NFIs

  • If war and disaster-affected populations are able to stay in their homes or return, there is often an urgent need to at least partially repair homes to protect vulnerable family members from extreme weather conditions.
  • If people lose their homes, emergency responders work with local authorities to attempt to channel displaced families, some of whom sacrifice their lifetime savings to rent homes, but more who seek host families, and even more who have nothing and need help building settlements to survive.


Part 7  |  Other Emergency Sectors, Advocacy, Reconstruction, and Development

  • Ideally, international agencies responding together with national authorities and community groups have already run the kind of advocacy and development programs which include disaster preparedness, risk reduction programming, and conflict mitigation longer term. Then, when the crisis comes there are already some actors on the ground with some readiness and skills.
  • However, more often emergencies hit hard in places where there were not very many specialists and risk reduction structures on the ground. Nevertheless, along the way on the emergency response it has become common practice to weave in longer term reconstruction and recovery as the crisis evolves.
  • Trainees who would prefer to focus on one of the above are welcome to let us know and we can shape the training to cover their focus more directly!

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.