Relaunch of centre with new vision & name: Geneva Centre of Humanitarian Studies

We are proud to announce that from today we become the Geneva Centre of Humanitarian Studies, formally known as CERAH, the Geneva Centre for Education and Research in Humanitarian Action.

We are a joint Centre of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies and the University of Geneva, and our mission is to contribute to a better, more effective, humanitarian response.

We launch our new name and visual identity together with our new vision to mark a new chapter of our story and to evolve as quickly as the humanitarian sector is evolving.

Our new vision is three-fold: First, while we will continue to run residential courses in Geneva, we will also develop a more decentralised teaching approach, by combining distance learning with short, well-targeted field courses to deliver teaching closer to where humanitarian professionals work and with the support of local academics and humanitarian experts.

Our second building block is integrated evidence-based research, which will become a vital component of our work. Evidence such as that generated by our research project the Humanitarian Encyclopaedia needs to lead our teaching and policy discourse and we need to advocate for evidence led decision making. Already this year, we will receive a grant from the UK Department for International Development (DFID) to work with Manchester University and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health to investigate the impact of attacks on healthcare on population health.

Our third building block will be to maximise our location within ‘Geneva International’, by organising a range of policy events on contemporary topics affecting the humanitarian sector. This will enhance debate around humanitarian issues to help research and policy practice communities exchange perspectives and opinions.

This broad vision is ambitious. However, considering our unique position in Geneva, the strong support we receive from our parent institutions, the University of Geneva and the Graduate Institute of International & Development Studies, and the ongoing support of the Swiss Development Cooperation and our two strategic partners, Médecins Sans Frontières and the International Committee of the Red Cross, plus many other supporters, our goals will be achievable.

To mark this new vision and direction, we felt we needed a new name and visual identity.

Our visual identity puts humanitarian professionals centre stage. We use portraits of real doctors, project managers, nurses, communications professionals in different humanitarian contexts to show the richness and the diversity of what “improving humanitarian response” really means. We, together with our students, are part of this global commitment.

The circularity of our new logo refers to the fact that all our activities: courses, research, policy work, are interconnected. The logo also evokes the cycle that our students follow: with the majority already being humanitarian professionals, working in the field, who then take one of our courses to improve their skills and expertise, and then return to their fieldwork with strengthened skills and knowledge.

We also decided to add the colours of our parent institutions: the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, and the University of Geneva to our logo and corporate identity to show in a more direct way the strong ties we have with these two academic institutions.

The new website –, available from June 30, 2020, presents our activities in an easier, more intuitive, efficient way and offers improved information about our courses.

We look forward to welcoming new students and partners to both our online and residential courses over the coming years. We will review our progress on an annual basis, to ensure we stay tuned in to the needs of humanitarian professionals worldwide.