Centre for Development and Emergency Practice (CENDEP)

Founded in 1985, CENDEP is a multidisciplinary centre that brings together aid workers, academics, professionals and practitioners to develop practice-oriented approaches in disaster risk reduction and response, chronic poverty, building urban resilience, conflict transformation, refugee studies and torture prevention.

Usha Kar on her work with CENDEP

CENDEP is bolstering opportunities for a new leadership to emerge and that leadership to come from community-based organisations, people who are emerging in leadership roles in developing countries and countries where complex emergencies are happening.

[The degree is recognised for its] international reputation for pioneering education and training for humanitarian aid workers. Combining innovative practice-based study with a multi-disciplinary academic approach, its unique emphasis on educating humanitarian practitioners for work in war, political violence and disaster is a model for others.


CENDEP's reputation in practice-oriented learning is based on the contributions of its pioneering staff and work of today’s team. CENDEP's Emeritus Professor Ian Davis is widely ... Read more…

CENDEP's Emeritus Professor Ian Davis is widely regarded as the founder of the subject of shelter after disaster, and is a senior member of many committees including the IPCC. Today CENDEP’s work in shelter after disaster is with organisations including IFRC, CARE, REDR, UN agencies and Save the Children, holding conferences, producing publications and running joint training.

Emeritus Professor Nabeel Hamdi and CENDEP’s co-Director 1991-2004 is a recipient of UN-HABITAT’s Scroll of Honour for his work in community planning. His books, among them The Placemaker’s Guide are inspiring a generation working in low-income neighbourhoods across the world. Today Researcher Jeni Burnell leads the Small Change Forum working with UK-based organisations on community development initiatives, while Lecturer Dr Supriya Akerkar leads international research on low-income communities.

CENDEP’s activities in urban disaster recovery is led by Professor David Sanderson, which as well as teaching includes initiatives with organisations such as ALNAP, CARE, Christian Aid, DEC, ELRHA, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, Oxfam, Oxford University and the Qatar Foundation.

Visiting Professor Hugo Slim, the centre’s co-Director from 1994 to 2003, pioneered research in conflict, the military and the role of civilians, and currently teaches business engagement on the Masters programme. Today Reader Dr Brigitte Piquard leads teaching on conflict and leads the research initiative ‘Building Sumud’ (non-violent resilience) in the West Bank. Lecturer Dr Simon Fisher is active in peace programmes in Zimbabwe and Syria, working with the FCO to develop neighbourhood-level peace capacities.

Professor Roger Zetter, CENDEP’s co-Director 1992-2006, is internationally recognised as a founder and lead thinker in refugee studies. Today, Lecturer Richard Carver leads CENDEP’s refugee teaching as well as undertaking research, including a major three-year study across 12 countries to determine whether torture prevention works for the Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT).


CENDEP’s current offerings comprise PhDs, a Masters degree and Postgraduate Certificates. The Masters Degree programme in Development and Emergency ... Read more…

The Masters Degree programme in Development and Emergency Practice (DEP), first offered in 1991 is one of the oldest in Europe. Many of the 900+ students from across the World who have attended DEP have gone on to hold influential positions for national governments, NGOs, UN agencies and international donors.

The online PGCert in Humanitarian Action and Conflict is offered over two semesters and is targeted at remote field based aid workers. The PGCert in Shelter after Disaster, first offered in 2011 and believed to be the first course of its kind, runs for one semester and is targeted to those working in the complex area of post-disaster reconstruction.

Queen's Anniversary Prize

In 2001 CENDEP's masters degree was awarded the Queen's anniversary prize for Higher and further education. The Prizes scheme was set up in 1993 by The Royal ... Read more…

The Prizes scheme was set up in 1993 by The Royal Anniversary Trust with the consent of the Queen and the approval of the Prime Minister and all political parties, and of the Charity Commission. Uniquely in the field of education, these Prizes sit within the national honours system. They recognise and honour outstanding achievement and excellence in UK universities and colleges.


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Annie Lennox