DEV101: Introduction to the International Development and Humanitarian Aid Sector

Posted on 22 December 2023

Are you new to international development? Or wanting to gain a deeper understanding of the sector?

We are excited to introduce DEV101, an e-learning course designed to provide participants with a basic understanding of working in, or engaging with, the international development and humanitarian aid sector.

This course was developed by current and former CID staff, a reference group of professionals from the sector, and The Mangrove Collective.

Start the course now!

Learning objectives

By the end of this 3-part course, participants should have:

  • A good basic grounding in the fundamental principles and overarching history of international development and humanitarian aid, and how it has functioned in Aotearoa New Zealand;
  • An understanding of the key concepts and principles in good development practice;
  • An overview of current changes and challenges in the sector

We acknowledge that international development is a huge topic, so this training is intended to give participants the basics, as well as an appetite for learning more.

Target audience

  • Those from CID full member and affiliate member organisations, and individual members.
  • New senior management and board members working in CID member organisations
  • People who are new to the international development sector
  • Any organisation or individual thinking about becoming a CID member, or who have recently joined as CID members
  • Managers in CID member organisations wishing to induct their new staff.
  • Those from organisations who are interested in working in or engaging with the international development and humanitarian aid sector.
  • Those from partner organisations in-country (e.g., the Pacific)
  • Those from government departments and Crown Research Institutes.
  • Those from academic departments, particularly International Relations, Development Studies, etc.
  • Media
  • The public who donate to CID members
  • Others interested in how development organisations ensure good practice, transparency and accountability to the donor public; or interested in international development, humanitarianism, and emergency response.

Course Structure

This course is divided into 3 modules, with quizzes to check your knowledge throughout, and an optional exercise at the end of each module to help reinforce what you have learned.

Each module takes approximately 2 hours to complete. A good approach would be to take the course in three sessions; you can leave the course and then come back to it when you are ready with your progress saved.

Please note, an 80% passing rate on each knowledge check is required to continue with the course, and pass the course overall.

Part 1: Fundamental principles and overarching history

  • A short history - 1800s to 1950
  • The evolution of international development from 1950 to the Millennium
  • The Millennium to the Present Day - MDGs, SDGs and the Covid-19 Pandemic
  • Emergency Response and Humanitarian Aid
  • New Zealand Foreign Policy and Aid
  • Introduction to CID

Part 2: Key concepts and principles in good development practice

  • Principles, codes and international standards
  • Rights based approaches and social justice
  • Safeguarding, Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse or Harassment (PSEAH) and Protection
  • Inclusion
  • Gender Inequality, Gender Based Discrimination and Gender Based Violence
  • Gender Identities and LGBTQIA+
  • Sustainability and the Sustainable Development Goals
  • Partnership and Critical Reflection

Part 3:  Big changes and challenges for the sector

  • Inequality, poverty and the rising 0.001%
  • Aid for Trade
  • Decolonising Aid, and Systemic Racism in the aid sector
  • Climate Change
  • Health and Pandemics
  • Protracted Crises
  • Localisation and locally-led development

The training is accompanied by a PDF with background information and links to further reading. You will need to refer to the accompanying PDF at various points in the course.

Taking the course

You can take DEV101 through CID’s e-learning platform. If you haven't already, you will need to make an account and then choose the course relevant to you (Member, Non-member or Student course). Then you'll be good to go!


CID Members: $125 +GST

Non-CID Members: $195 +GST

Students: $50 +GST

Special Offer: 15% discount for group sign-ups of 5 or more from the same organisation

Please note that a PayPal fee will be added when paying for the course.

Start the course now!

If you have any questions or issues, please contact Amie Chan



This e-learning module was produced by HotHouse for Council for International Development, Aotearoa New Zealand.