Including migrants in emergency management: an e-learning course for local-level practitioners

In our increasingly diverse communities and societies, natural/technological disasters and other emergencies are ever more likely to affect migrants and other foreign nationals alongside native residents. At the same time, empowering migrants to contribute to risks and emergency management together with native residents can increase the impact of positive and timely responses in critical situations.

IOM, in collaboration with the Intercultural Cities Programme (ICC) and the EUR-OPA Major Hazards Agreement of the Council of Europe, developed an online course to help practitioners at local level design and roll out activities to include migrants in emergency management.

The course explores how language proficiency, administrative barriers, mistrust towards the authorities and other cultural and social factors may affect migrants’ access to assistance in emergencies. 

Learning Path

Course fast facts

Objectives. The course provides basic information to improve the capacity of emergency management personnel to:

  • identify specific conditions of vulnerability and capacities of migrant residents;
  • coordinate with key actors to improve capacity to deliver emergency services in a migrant-inclusive manner;
  • gathering data on migrants to inform emergency management;
  • communicating with migrants before, during and after emergencies; 
  • adapting emergency assistance to better cater for migrants' needs.

Target audience. The course targets emergency management practitioners (professionals and volunteers), especially those working at the local level. 

Structure. 5 thematic modules that include case studies and best practices, background materials and practical tools (e.g. guidance notes, templates, infographics). Course includes exercises to check understanding of thematic modules, final assessment and certification.

Duration. Approximately 2 hours.

Access. The E-Learning course can be accessed in English on IOM's e-campus platform. A Spanish version is in development. Access to the course is free but requires registration. 

National adaptation. IOM encourages the further translation and adaptation of the course to reflect the operational reality and priorities of its partners. To this end, IOM shares the source materials with governmental counterparts, free of charge, and supports their adaptation through targeted research and technical assistance, upon request.

For more information on the e-learning course and other MICIC capacity-building resources, please contact IOM’s MICIC team.

Improving Assistance to Nationals Affected by Crises Abroad - A course for Institutions of the Country of Origin

The online training course targets mainly personnel of institutions mandated with assisting the country’s nationals abroad, such as staff of embassies and consulates, labor attaches, and members of dedicated crisis response teams. It aims to strengthen their awareness on the specific challenges their nationals traveling, living, and working abroad face when confronted with crises in a country different from their own. It also aims to build the capacity of consular staff to address some of these challenges before, during and after crises, including through the use of specific tools. This six hour course can be adapted to different national contexts.

The course is structured in four modules:


  • Nationals Abroad in Crises
  • Vulnerability and Capacities of Nationals Abroad
  • Crisis Situations

Actors and Frameworks

  • International and National Legal Frameworks
  • Collaborating with Relevant Actors

Planning for Crisis

  • Profiling and Tracking Nationals Abroad
  • Improving the Awareness of Nationals Abroad
  • Contingency Planning
  • Communicating with Nationals Abroad in Crises

Responding to Crisis

  • Supporting Evacuations of Nationals Abroad
  • Providing Relief Assistance
  • Supporting Recovery

Click here to download the reference manual and contact us at if you are interested in taking the course.