Once upon a time CERAH came up with an idea ….

Every year CERAH welcomes a diverse group of humanitarian professionals in its courses. Coming from different organizations, different parts of the world and different disciplinary backgrounds, students share their ideas and experiences and, in addition, are exposed to the views of lecturers coming from a variety of humanitarian organizations and academic centres. This inevitably leads to them being confronted with divergent uses or interpretations of a same term. We were thus frequently asked “Where can I look this up? Where is the truth?” While explaining that there is no truth, we acknowledged the need for a reference framework and tried to find one… (Assessing the need)  This was the birth of the idea that it could be the role of an academic centre to provide an “objective” and scientifically sound reference framework for humanitarian action.


Throughout the preparatory phase
the CERAH team carried out exploratory research and led a desk review of all documents in English and French that include definitions of the humanitarian terms and concepts used in the humanitarian and development sector. It has reached out to institutions and existing initiatives and is in the process of designing win-win arrangements.

During the core phase CERAH will retain global oversight and responsibility of the project, integrating guidance from the governance groups. CERAH hosts the project, is responsible for the overall management and ensure its quality both from an academic research point of view and project management.