Certifications in Humanitarian Needs Assessment (HNA)

Humanitarian Needs Assessment certifications

HNA Self Assessment HNA Study Guide
HNA Core Diagnostic Test HNA Advanced Diagnostic Test

The PHAP Credentialing Program offers Core and Advanced certifications in Humanitarian Needs Assessment (HNA). The certifications cover the competency areas of:

  1. Understanding humanitarian needs assessments;
  2. Planning needs assessments;
  3. Data collection for needs assessments;
  4. Analytical frameworks and assessment reporting; and
  5. Sector-specific needs assessments

For whom?

The Core HNA Certification is targeted at practitioners involved in humanitarian needs assessments at all levels who wish to demonstrate an understanding of the fundamental aspects of needs assessments. It is also designed as the first step for those with higher-level responsibilities in the area of needs assessments pursuing the Advanced HNA Certification. This certification is designed to be independent of specific frameworks a practitioner may be using (such as MIRA or HNO), focusing on the underlying core competencies, while ensuring a familiarity with all types of frameworks commonly used.

The Advanced HNA Certification can be pursued after having achieved Core HNA Certification. It is targeted at needs assessment specialists and general practitioners who wish to demonstrate that they have an advanced understanding of how humanitarian needs assessments are designed and carried out in practice, as well as a basic understanding of needs assessments in seven key technical areas: nutrition, food security, health, WASH, shelter, education, and protection. The Core HNA Certification is a prerequisite for the Advanced HNA Certification.

Why pursue certification?

The Core and Advanced HNA Certifications will be launched in March 2019, and will be an integral part of the PHAP Credentialing Program that aims to recognize knowledge and skills in complementary areas of humanitarian practice. The HNA certifications provides an opportunity for practitioners to demonstrate professional competencies and contextual understanding within the aforementioned scope of the certification. All certified individuals receive a verifiable digital badge as proof of their achievement that can be added to their CVs, social media profiles, email signature, or personal websites and portfolios.

How to prepare

PHAP provides a variety of free tools, guidance, and useful links to learning resources in order to prepare for the certification assessment in a targeted way. The Self-Assessment, Core Level Diagnostic Test and Advanced Level Diagnostic Test  are both useful tools to help you identify where you have the greatest need for improvement. By using the Self-Assessment and Diagnostic Test together, you can get an accurate picture of where you currently stand in your assessment preparation. To fill any identified gaps, you can use the Study Guide that provide overviews of key concepts and links to relevant learning resources

  • The Self-Assessment outlines the scope of the certification and the specific required competencies for certification holders. The self-assessment is a useful tool to help you reflect on where you have the greatest need for improvement.
  • The Core Level Diagnostic Test  and Advanced Level Diagnostic Testare free online tests that are similar to the official certification assessments, but designed to help pinpoint where you may need to prepare further. These diagnostic tests gives an indication of how you would score on the official certification. Upon completion, you will receive a personalized and detailed Diagnostic Report, indicating your strengths and weaknesses in the different areas of the certification.
  • The Study Guide  provides overviews of key concepts, links to relevant learning resources, study questions and scenarios, structured around each individual competency required for the certifications. To optimize your preparations, you can use the Self-Assessment and Diagnostic Report to identify the specific competency statements for which you still need to prepare and then refer to those chapters in the study guide.



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The PHAP Credentialing Program is made possible through the Practitioner Competencies Learning Center, a joint initiative of the Humanitarian Leadership Academy, CHS Alliance, and PHAP working to develop solutions that strengthen competency-based approaches in the humanitarian sector at the individual and organizational level.