Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy


Education, Teaching-Learning Processes

Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

Dr. Carl Hoagland


Natalie Bolton

Margaret Scordias

Keith Miller


Quality education of international development/humanitarian professionals is of high importance due to increased donor demands for projects’ transparency, accountability, and efficiency. However, there is a lack of standardization of learning outcomes among the educational institutions that train the workforce for the non-profit sector. The purpose of this quantitative survey study was to describe how humanitarian professional alumni think their Master’s program aligned with the Core Humanitarian Competencies Framework (CHCF) and how these competencies assisted them in their current work. Additionally, the study explored what NGO employers think of applicability of the Framework’s competencies in their organizations and the preparedness of Master level hires aligned with the CHCF. Through this descriptive survey study of 70 alumni and 36 employers, the researcher evaluated frequency, mean scores, and standard deviation of how 50 specific sub-competencies of the Framework were rated. This research indicated that University X addressed well the Framework’s competencies; however, overall new hire preparedness was below the market needs. There was an obvious discrepancy in terms of the specific competencies’ applicability within the NGO community and actual demonstration of those competencies by the new Master-level hires. Therefore, the study identified the existing gaps and provided recommendations for further research to standardize the core humanitarian curriculum for Master’s education in the field of international development.

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