The number of catastrophes that occur, whether natural or man-made, is increasing. Assistance to populations in need of support is expanding. Support for the basic needs of populations, such as food, shelter, water or health care is relevant, but so it is providing support during the crisis itself.
Humanitarian Action involves several stages in its process, from the preparation phase, the assistance phase and the completion of this assistance. There are many challenges throughout the process, and any given approach requires an integrated view from several knowledge areas allowing not only to support this action but also to plan, organize and monitor its results.
Addressing Humanitarian Action involves a multidisciplinary approach, which poses as a challenge to those in the organizations that allow this response, who are specialists in a particular area but may not have the aggregated view of situations to develop the best response to each specific case.
ISCTE-Instituto Universitário de Lisboa, with its multidisciplinary nature, finds in its four Schools (Management School, School of Sociology and Public Policies, School of Social and Human Sciences and School of Technologies) the different competencies necessary for an integrative vision of Humanitarian Action.
Providing the most appropriate humanitarian responses increasingly involves the professionalization of its agents, with a growing demand for professionals with technical skills in humanitarian action. The development of programmes in Humanitarian Action will contribute to train professionals with the necessary qualifications. Offering these programmes in different formats allows covering a wide diversity of interested publics in the acquisition of this type of competences.