Graduate Professional Diploma Programme in Humanitarian WASH

IHE Delft and UNICEF as lead of the Global WASH Cluster, in cooperation with the Humanitarian Sector, aim to extend the provision of humanitarian WASH education by creating a Graduate Professional Diploma Programme (GPDP) at IHE Delft.

The GPDP consists of 4 accredited modules that are structured in a modular and flexible way, so that a wider variety of participants can engage in it, including by opting for one module as a short, autonomous course. The themes, topics and duration of these four modules have been elaborated in a consultation process with UNICEF, IHE Delft and the main humanitarian actors who are part of the steering committee of the project.

As part of this organizational cooperation for capacity development of the Humanitarian sector, it is planned that the delivery of these four modules will be extended and integrated into various academic institutions in the Global South.

Introduction to the programme

Target audience

  • Young and mid-career water, sanitation or public health professionals working in private companies, local authorities, UN agencies or (I)NGOs willing to work in humanitarian contexts
  • WASH specialists working in development processes and willing to expand their capacity on how to operate in the humanitarian contexts (including fragile states).

Aim of the programme

The GPDP in humanitarian WASH will educate professionals working in the fields of water, sanitation and hygiene on the complexity of humanitarian settings.

Participants of the GPDP will develop the necessary competences to address the operational and coordination needs for managing the implementation of an effective, whole-of-disaster-cycle response to an emergency (i.e. preparedness, response, and recovery). Upon the successful completion this programme, graduates will be able to:

  1. Situate their professional competences within the humanitarian system and effectively leverage them to implement emergency WASH responses, projects and/or programmes in a range of humanitarian contexts.
  2. Evaluate public and environmental health risks and approaches to propose coherent emergency WASH responses for affected communities, health organizations, and private and public service providers.
  3. Design and assess at scale the technical and social components of water and sanitation systems tailored for urban humanitarian contexts.
  4. Implement a systems-approach to enhance (local) WASH resilience for the whole disaster cycle through preparedness, risk management, climate change adaptation, and social inclusion approaches.
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The GPDP programme consists of the following four courses, which will be offered yearly. By following and completing these four courses (in a non-specific order) you will be awarded an IHE Delft GPDP diploma in humanitarian WASH.

All modules have an online format, with a mix approach of synchronous and asynchronous activities. The study load is 140 hours per course, for a total of 560 study hours for the GPDP.

  1. Governance in Humanitarian Contexts (starts 2 May 2022)
  2. Public and Environmental Health in Emergencies (starts 5 September 2022)
  3. Water and Sanitation in Urban Humanitarian Contexts (starts 9 January 2023) 
  4. Building Resilient Systems in Fragile Contexts (starts 1 May 2023)


In order to ensure a common starting point for the participants of the GPDP in Humanitarian WASH, all participants – including online course participants taking only one module – are required to complete Units 1 to 5 of the Building a Better Response online training before the start of the GPDP or module. This free training consists of 5 self-paced units covering (some of) the basic humanitarian system structures and should take between 8-10 hours to complete. 

Costs and fees

The tuition fee of the GPDP is based on the costs of an individual ECTS credit point. The price of one ECTS credit point is 213 Euro.

Furthermore, the costs of GPDP also depends on the method of payment.

  • If the costs of a GPDP are paid at once and before the start of the first course, a discount of 10% on the tuition fee is granted. In this option the tuition fee of the GPDP is based on the costs of the ECTS on the start date of the first course. In other words, there are two financial advantages as there is a discount of 10% and possible future tuition fee increases do not apply.
  • If you would like to pay the fee up front, the costs are calculated as follows: 20 ECTS * 213 Euro = 4260 Euro. As you pay up front, you are entitled to a 10% discount. In this scenario the GPDP would cost 3834 Euro.

It is also possible to pay for each of the GPDP modules separately. In this case there is no discount and actual tuition fees are charged. You can find the tuition fee on the course specific website of the online courses. The advantage is that payment in instalments is possible, however the total price of the GPDP in this calculation is higher.

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Application GPDP 2023

You can apply for the programme starting in May 2023. The deadline to submit your application is 10 April 2023.


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