Curricular Unit:Code:
Crisis, Reconstruction and Development789CRD
1MasterHumanitarian Action, Cooperation and Development6 ects
Learning Period:Language of Instruction:Total Hours:
Spring SemesterPortuguese/English78
Learning Outcomes of the Curricular Unit:
(i) To be able to apply knowledge and skills by showing a critical and autonomous approach to the key-topics of humanitarian action.
(ii) To show skills to obtain, select and make an interpretation of relevant information, in order to be able to base solutions and judgements.
(iii) To develop a critical and autonomous thinking.
(iv) To develop skills in order to enter in a process of long learning life with high levels of autonomy.
(vi) To be able to analyse specific NGOD interventions.
1. Debates on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: 1.1. Framing the debate according to a Global South epistemology; 1.2. Universality vs. cultural particularities and their impacts upon the Declaration of Human Rights; 1.3. The “false neutrals”: relevance of gender in humanitarian interventions; 1.4. “Proxy” discourses on Human Rights; 1.5. Relevance of an intersectional approach; 1.6. The role of religions in conflicts and in reconstruction.
2. Critical analysis of NGOD: 2.1. Potentialities, risks stereotypes in/of NGOD; 2.2. Reconstruction from the point of view of a Global and local epistemology of the South; 2.3. “Can the subaltern speak?
3. Case studies: visions of human rights and of development existing in NGOD.
Demonstration of the Syllabus Coherence with the Curricular Unit's Objectives:
This subject provides students with fundamental knowledge in the field of humanitarian action, as well as in the field of NGOD operating in this domain. This enables the understanding of the need for a cultural translation, contributes to the discussion on the change of paradigms framing the humanitarian action and enables the students to work from within grounded knowledge on the problems of humanitarian. This knowledge can be applied both to academic research and to field working in humanitarian action.
Teaching Methodologies (Including Evaluation):
Teaching methodology will include theoretical lecturing, research, reading and discussion of specific book references, as well as thematic debating and critical reflection. Assessment will be continuous and based on an individual theoretical test on chapter 1 (50%), a review of a text (20%) on chapter 2, and a practical individual report (20%) with oral presentation and work discussion during classes, on chapter 3 (10%). The participation of the students in the execution of theoretical and practical tasks in the classroom, and in the participation in scientific activities such as seminars and conferences being held at the University corresponds to 10% of the final grade.
Demonstration of the Coherence between the Teaching Methodologies and the Learning Outcomes:
Explanation of the problematic underlying humanitarian action, namely in its relationship with the universal value of Human Rights, of the debates around this universality and proposals that try to reconcile human rights with respect for cultural expressions of respect for human dignity (relevance of the notion of “cultural translation”). Framing the international organizations of humanitarian action in the thematic of human rights. Critical presentation of the plus and minus of these organizations. The students will choose a case study. This task aims to enable the students to analyse the mission and intervention of a NGOD according to the theoretical instruments discussed during classes. The guided reading of bibliography and documentation is meant not only to inform but also to train interpretative competences. The presentation of cases of humanitarian action in the framework of international organisations will illustrate theory with cases and problems emerging from ground work. Group debates in class will enable a grounded critical view on humanitarian action in the political context. The assessments will register a grounded theoretical approach to the topics developed during the semester.
Benedek,W. et al. 2014.Compreender os Direitos Humanos.Coimbra Ed.
Chongmyoung Lee et al. 2015. A Framework for Assessing the Performance of Nonprofit Organizations”. American Journal of Evaluation, 36(3) 299-319
Cuttita,P. 2017.“Repoliticization Through Search and Rescue?Humanitarian NGOs and Migration Management in the Central Mediterranean”. Geopolitics (
Della Rocca,P.M. 2017. “Os assim chamados ‘corredores humanitários’ e o possível papel da sociedade civil nas políticas de refúgio e migração regular”. Revista Interdisciplinar da Mobilidade Humana. 51: 47-57
Franco, R.C. 2015. Diagnóstico das ONG em Portugal. Lx: FCG
Said,E.2004,Orientalismo.Lx: Cotovia.
Santos, B.S.2016, “Epistemologies of the South and the future”. From the European South, 1: 17-29 (
Spivak,G.C. 1994, “Can the Subaltern Speak?”,in: Williams.P& Chrisman,L. (ed.), Colonial Discourse and Post-Colonial Theory.A Reader.Harlow:Longman.