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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2010 Postgraduate - Unit

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

FacultyFaculty of Arts
OfferedCaulfield Second semester 2010 (On-campus block of classes)
Coordinator(s)Sharmini Sherrard


This unit surveys a range of action-oriented strategies relevant to complex crisis responses by the international community utilising guest lecturers from various fields including faculties, non-governmental organisations, emergency and security components. The unit provides a historical overview of international responses and interventions to natural disasters, conflict, and human security issues. Topics covered include Needs Assessments, Monitoring and Evaluation, SPHERE Minimum Standards, people-oriented strategies, building capacities, disaster mitigation and preparedness. Field based case studies are used to support seminars.


On satisfactory completion of this subject, students will be able to analyse, design and produce research papers and models on crisis action and response mechanisms.
Specifically the learning outcomes are:

  1. Critical understanding of the concepts pertaining to operational modalities and the timing of appropriate exit strategies;
  2. Critical understanding of field-based examples of crisis relief and responses in a manner that contextualises crisis management within the cultural, social, political, economic cultures of the areas in crisis;
  3. Opportunities to specialise in particular areas of crisis response and recovery by the provision of world class research training and supervision;
  4. Development of analytical skills that help to question the appropriateness of relief responses and interventions through principles such as Do No Harm;
  5. Capacity for independent, self-motivated research;
  6. Capacity to write lucid, critical, balanced assessments of crisis action and response;


A short essay on 'The Operational Aspects of Crisis Management' (1,000 words): 15%
Ppt/oral presentation at the one day seminar: 10%
Research essay (7,000 words): 75%

Contact hours

33 hours of lecture/seminars in block mode plus a one day seminar consisting of 15 min project presentations by each student.