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A Path to Leadership Transformation: Diplôme d’Études Supérieures en Leadership Study Preliminary Findings Report aims to identify and understand the impact of the Diplôme d’Études Supérieures en Leadership Humanitaire on graduates, their colleagues, teams, and organisations, and to a broader extent the humanitarian sector.

The DESLH is a fully scaffolded, work-integrated, accredited postgraduate course, comprising facilitated peer learning sessions, coaching, self-reflection, and scenario-based learning. The DESLH provides experienced humanitarian and development actors the skills and confidence to demonstrate highly effective leadership in complex environments.

The preliminary findings identify clear evidence of significant changes in the graduates, including evidence of a transformation in self-confidence, self-awareness, and leaderships skills, competencies and behaviours. This transformation is directly contributing to better team performance and greater empowerment and confidence of teams, as well as career opportunities and choices for graduates. The leadership transformation is also impacting the strategic focus of organisations and their credibility, and increasing their focus to empowerment of local organisations.

« Avant de prendre des décisions, j’analyse les opportunités et les risques en collaboration avec mon équipe, ensuite je prends les décisions qui s’alignent aux valeurs stratégiques et d’intégrité ; » (“Before making decisions, I analyse opportunities and risks in collaboration with my team, then I make decisions that align with strategic values ​​and integrity.”)

The key objectives for this study are:

  • to review, analyse, and document how graduates have applied the learning from the DESLH course
  • to assess the impact of the DESLH course on their career pathways, and
  • to assess the impact of the DESLH course on the graduates’ organisations.

The DESLH is an accredited tertiary postgraduate course delivered by Deakin University through the Centre for Humanitarian Leadership in partnership with Action Contre La Faim/Action Against Hunger. The course is funded by USAID as the main donor, with some contributions from the IKEA Foundation and Deakin University Faculty of Arts and Education.

Academic contributors

Partner organisations


  • A Path to Transformational Leadership
  • Vers Un Leadership Transformationnel

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