Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Studies (CHRHS)

Brown-PDRF Humanitarian Field Program

An Intensive Course on Innovation in International and Local Humanitarian Coordination in the ASEAN Region

Program Dates: September 15 -21, 2019

Program Location: PDRF Emergency Operations Center | Clark, Pampanga, Philippines

Humanitarian relief efforts require engagement from a multitude of actors, including international, regional, and local humanitarian organizations, host governments and public sector agencies, national and international militaries, and an increasing number of private sector companies. Effective disaster mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery efforts hinge largely on the coordination mechanisms that enable these diverse group of actors within the humanitarian ecosystem to operate efficiently. During a major disaster, it is critical for all responding organizations to provide rapid delivery of services in the most efficient way. To avoid the duplication of services, a well-coordinated and streamlined humanitarian response that takes into account local circumstances and the availability of resources within the specific context of the disaster situation needs to be put into action.

While humanitarian coordination is essential during a disaster response, it is arguably just as important during all phases of the disaster management cycle. Humanitarian actors offer a wide array of specialized services and resources needed to prepare for and respond to emergency situations, however, given the large number of actors involved, it is often challenging to coordinate the various roles of these organizations to address the immediate and long-term needs of affected communities. The logistical inefficiencies stemming from poor coordination during humanitarian emergencies can in turn increase the exposure to risk among those affected and exacerbate exclusion and inequality. With an established coordination structure, supported by appropriate tools and operational guidelines, a humanitarian response becomes more effective and can largely reduce the duplication and inefficient use of resources. Alongside the prevailing difficulties of coordination, the synchronization and localization of humanitarian operational procedures continue to be a pressing global challenge that is seemingly on display after nearly every major disaster. To enhance the effectiveness of disaster management at both the local and global levels, the humanitarian ecosystem needs to establish appropriate coordination mechanisms that ensure predictability of services and accountability while being able to adapt to the specific disaster context.

This intensive course, held under the auspices of the Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs and the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF) will convene early to mid-career professionals from the ASEAN region to address pressing humanitarian issues through collaboration across academic, professional, and geographic boundaries. Participants will work together with local and international humanitarian experts through a combination of lectures and field exercises designed to stimulate cross-disciplinary learning on improving global-local humanitarian coordination efforts. The program will consist of both collaborative and competitive exercises that encourage participants to explore and critically examine humanitarian coordination mechanisms as well as work in teams to develop innovative approaches that aim to improve the coordination efforts between humanitarian organizations, government agencies, and the private sector when preparing for, responding to, and recovering from disasters.

Application Requirements


  • Currently working or studying in the Philippines or any ASEAN member country
  • Applicants from Non-Government Organizations, Local Government Units, National Government Agencies, and Private Sector should have four (4) to fifteen (15) years of experience and training in relevant fields
  • Applicants from the academia must be enrolled in a Master’s or PhD program, or must have finished postgraduate studies within the last ten (10) years
  • Working proficiency of English


  • Participants from government agencies, private sector, civic organizations, academia, or related agencies that work on humanitarian coordination

Additional Information

  • The Brown University – PDRF Humanitarian Field Program will cover the cost of tuition for all admitted participants. Financial assistance for board, lodging, and transportation costs may be covered for those individuals whose organizations cannot cover their costs. This will be determined on a case to case basis.
  • International applicants should consult with local embassies and consulates for the most updated travel requirements to the Philippines. Admitted applicants should shoulder their visa costs, if applicable, including their travel insurance covering the entire period of stay.
  • Application deadline is on June 15, 2019, 23:59 UTC +8.

Application Process

The application window closed on June 15, 2019.