CRASH COURSE: Managing team stress in emergencies


 One week crash course from March 6 to 11 , 2017


Field managers are usually quite able technically, but when sent on mission, they rarely have sufficient managerial and leadership skills. They have little knowledge of how to manage people in contexts of high levels of stress and potential trauma, and usually have no competence in dealing with the psychological aftermath of a critical incident.

Physical protection of workers in unsafe environments should normally be ensured by organizations. However, this course deals with staff care and people management from another dimension which, until now, has rarely been taken into consideration: emotional well-being in a risky environment, both under everyday pressure and after critical incidents. Concretely, this means building operations that include a human dimension, mainly by training field managers to better support their teams in difficult environments and to give adequate responses to emotional and behavioral reactions that may result.

Who should take this course?

  • Every person confronted with the harsh working conditions of a humanitarian context, especially those who are in charge of a team working under high pressure.
  • This includes not only international expatriates, but also national staff, field managers and NGO Human Resource Managers.

Course Content

It is designed to explore how to:

  • Analyze risk factors which undermine team work, and  evaluate and monitor stress levels
  • Evaluate the potential impact of a traumatic incident on the emotional balance of a distressed team member, as well as on the health of the whole team
  • How to conduct an informal meeting with a distressed team member and decide together on solutions
  • Review the steps to take after a critical incident to ensure the team  quickly returns  to normality


This is a one-week online crash course, with a one-hour synchronous session every other day, which will however be recorded for those who cannot attend. So participants must be available at specific times to view the lectures, but can complete assignments in between lectures at their own pace. The course duration is approximately 15 hours, or 2 hours/day.


This is an introductory course designed for humanitarian aid workers anywhere in the world. However, it is highly recommended that participants be already employed by an NGO in the field, in order to apply and integrate the new knowledge directly into everyday work. Several short team projects are dealt with in the course, which should be implemented immediately.


As the course involves a lot of interactivity with other students and hands-on practice, evaluation of the projects is necessarily subjective. The goal is to ensure that participants get qualitative feedback on their submissions and to showcase the most creative solutions for each challenge. To do this, the entire class will be encouraged to provide feedback on the assignments.

Certificate of Accomplishment

Subject to satisfactory performance and course completion, participants will receive a statement of accomplishment signed by the instructor and the CHP’s Training Director.

Technical Requirements

This course requires a computer that allows viewing of the webinars, and uploading of the assignments from our online platform (images, videos, slides, and text). Participants will also be required to communicate with team mates and trainer via email, Skype, and/or other free online tools.

After registration and payment, participants will receive an email from the trainer containing confirmation details. This will also be an occasion for trainer and trainee to discuss personal reasons for undertaking the course, as well as technical details and computer literacy.

Cost: $ 750 – CHF 740 – € 670   

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CHP – Centre for Humanitarian Psychology
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