Innovation in humanitarian aid

  • What are the most interesting innovative projects in the field of humanitarian aid?

  • What damage can a poorly thought-out project do and how can the damage be prevented?

  • Why is this important to know, no matter what field you pursue?

Innovation is a buzzword in all fields – and humanitarian aid is no exception. Under conditions of time pressure, limited resources, and the urgent need to save lives, it is inevitable to look for original solutions. At the same time, however, we need to avoid uncritical enthusiasm, constantly evaluate the benefits of practices, and monitor unintended negative impacts.

That is why this course is here:

  • it wants to explore current scientific knowledge

  • and demonstrate practice of humanitarian innovators.

The course addresses the topic of innovation in humanitarian aid, but its contribution is broader - it addresses the question of how to use innovation truly effectively and how to avoid unintended impacts. And the answers to these questions are useful beyond humanitarian aid.

What will you learn?

  • Find out what leading humanitarian organisations are working on

  • Learn to think critically about innovation

  • Better understand the opportunities and risks of technological developments

Who is this course aimed at?

  • The course is designed for all the CUNI students - undergraduate, masters and doctoral programmes - and the public who are interested in innovation, want to learn more about it and are ready to actively participate in the course.

  • The course will be open with a minimum of 10 participants and a maximum capacity of 25.

  • The lectures and the final conference are open to the public outside the CUNI.

How is the course organized?

  • The course is held in English and in full-time.

  • In the first four sessions we will look at the basic concepts underlying innovation in humanitarian aid. The next four sessions are dedicated to guests from the field who will present their work. Finally, students will form teams and select topics to address in their final project, in which they will develop their own presentation on their chosen topic. We will present these presentations at the final meeting of the exam period.

What are the topics of the course?

  • Cooperation with volunteers - Digital Humanitarians

  • Creating maps for crisis mapping

  • Transporting people and materials to the most remote locations

  • Big data processing and privacy protection

  • Innovating medical procedures and medicines

How to register?

Course completion requirements

  • 1. Attendance - max 2 absences allowed

  • 2. Reading and actively participating in the discussion of the class texts

  • 3. Preparation of the final presentation

  • 4. Completing the evaluation

Upon completion of all requirements, students will receive 4 ETCS, an open badge and a certificate (public participants will also receive an open badge and certificate).

The lector of the course:

Jan Böhm


For the last 15 years he has been working in humanitarian aid and development cooperation with a specific focus on the use of digital technologies in communication, fundraising and aid delivery.

Since 2015, he has been working with Doctors Without Borders / Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). First, he started as a digital strategist for the Czech branch of the organization, where he took care of the development of digital fundraising and communication. He founded the Czech community of Missing Maps, a technology project in which volunteers redraw satellite images for humanitarian organizations. As a community manager, he then worked to develop similar volunteer communities around the world. His current role is to oversee digital communication in the 25+ countries of the countries in which MSF operates - from crisis monitoring to developing country-specific communications strategies.

Do you have any questions?

Contact the teacher with any questions:

Jan Böhm


Twitter @janbohm

Last change: September 20, 2022 21:04 
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