Introduction: Volunteers and members of relief organizations increasingly seek formal training prior to international field deployment. This paper identifies training programs for personnel responding to international disasters and complex humanitarian emergencies, and provides concise information – if available- regarding the founding organization, year established, location, cost, duration of training, participants targeted, and the content of each program.
Methods: An environmental scan was conducted through a combination of a peer-reviewed literature search and an open Internet search for the training programs. Literature search engines included EMBASE, Cochrane, Scopus, PubMed, Web of Science databases using the search terms “international,” “disaster,” “complex humanitarian emergencies,” “training,” and “humanitarian response”. Both searches were conducted between January 2, 2013 and September 12, 2013.
Results: 14 peer-reviewed articles mentioned or described eight training programs, while open Internet search revealed 13 additional programs. In total, twenty-one training programs were identified as currently available for responders to international disasters and CHE. Each of the programs identified has different goals and objectives, duration, expenses, targeted trainees and modules. Each of the programs identified has different goals and objectives, duration, expenses, targeted trainees and modules. Seven programs (33%) are free of charge and four programs (19%) focus on the mental aspects of disasters. The mean duration for each training program is 5 to 7 days. Fourteen of the trainings are conducted in multiple locations (66%), two in Cuba (9%) and two in Australia (9%). The cost-reported in US dollars- ranges from $100 to $2,400 with a mean cost of $480 and a median cost of $135. Most of the programs are open to the public, but some are only available by invitation only, such as the International Mobilization Preparation for Action (IMPACT) and the United Nations Humanitarian Civil-Military Coordination (UN-CMCoord) Field Course.
Conclusions: A variety of training programs are available for responders to disasters and complex humanitarian emergencies. These programs vary in their objectives, audiences, modules, geographical locations, eligibility and financial cost. This paper presents an overview of available programs and serves as a resource for potential responders interested in capacity-building training prior to deployment.