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Gender, resilience and mental health in the humanitarian sector


Par Alice Gritti 15/07/2016
Alice Gritti, PhD, is an organisational psychologist with seven years of research experience on aid workers. Passionate about gender equality and intersectionality, she focuses her research on aid workers’ wellbeing, resilience and psychosocial support.

Alice Gritti, PhD, is an organisational psychologist with seven years of research experience on aid workers. In this blog she discusses the role of gender in organisational resilience.


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Full accountability to affected people can’t possibly be bad – or can it?


Par Lotte Ruppert, Andrea Binder 04/07/2016
Andrea has served as a GPPi associate director, co-heading GPPi’s work on humanitarian action and innovation in development. Lotte Ruppert is a research associate with GPPi in Berlin. Her areas of expertise are humanitarian coordination and communication with crisis-affected populations.

Calling for regime change and a participation revolution, humanitarians are once again committing to take accountability to affected populations (AAP) to the next level. But would the full implementation of these demands have unintended side effects? Read this guest blog by GPPi's Andrea Binder and Lotte Ruppert to find out more.


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Does the humanitarian sector have a problem with sexual violence?


Par Lucy Heaven Taylor 17/06/2016
Lucy Heaven Taylor is an accountability and PSEA specialist with 17 years experience in the sector. She advises and supports a range of NGO and UN clients such as Oxfam, World Vision and the CHS Alliance at head office and field level. Her PSEA experience includes advising on strategy, conducting investigations, and training on prevention and investigations. She leads the CHS Alliance’s investigating complaints of sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) training in a range of global locations.

Humanitarian response should represent the very best of human nature. However, our behaviour doesn’t always reflect this high ideal. With International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict coming up on 19 June, this blog asks: does the humanitarian sector have a problem with sexual violence?


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How can we debrief aid workers effectively?


Par Emily Tullock 03/06/2016
Emily Tullock is the Communications Officer at the CHS Alliance.

Should our organisations provide debriefing for aid workers either after a critical incident, or on return from an overseas assignment? What does debriefing actually involve and what’s the best way to go about it? I recently joined a workshop in London on debriefing aid workers to find out.


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Working with Local NGOs: Addressing the gaps


Par Nurhaida Rahim 27/05/2016
Nurhaida Rahim has worked in south-east Turkey since 2014, focusing on capacity development and engagement with local Syrian NGOs as well as emergency programming. Prior, she has worked with UNDP in Sudan and Sierra Leona on peacebuilding and early recovery projects. She holds a Master of Public Policy from the Australian National University.

In this blog Nurhaida Rahim talks about the importance of working with local organisations and supporting their capacity development.


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Review of the Core Humanitarian Competencies Framework - emerging themes


Par Uma Narayanan 26/05/2016
Uma Narayanan is a Kuala Lumpur based consultant works with clients to help sharpen their organisational effectiveness in aspects of human resources (HR), organisational development (OD) and accountability.

In this blog project manager Uma Narayanan gives an update on and shares some key themes emerging during the review of the Core Humanitarian Competencies Framework.


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After the earthquake: Lessons in using local capacities to protect human rights, from community workers in Nepal


Par Ginny Baumann 23/05/2016
Ginny Baumann is Senior Program Officer at the Freedom Fund, responsible for work in India and Nepal.

In this blog, Ginny Baumann explains how the Freedom Fund worked with local Nepali organisations to learn how community-based NGO workers could be supported to protect human rights following the 2015 earthquakes, in line with Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS) Commitment 3.


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On the mysteries of humanitarian decision-making: getting from World Humanitarian Summit commitments to #BetterAid


Par Alyoscia D’Onofrio 18/05/2016

Alyoscia D’Onofrio is the Governance Senior Director at the International Rescue Committee, leading a team of technical specialists working on aid responsiveness, organisational development, voice and empowerment. You can follow Alyoscia on Twitter and read his blogs on Medium.


In this blog I explore a couple of ideas around decision-making that surfaced in the 2015 Humanitarian Accountability Report. Better aid requires the patient work of uncovering the mysteries of who makes what decisions, how and on what basis. I suspect that well-phrased WHS commitments will amount to very little if we can’t improve the way that we manage decision-making processes in and across aid agencies.


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How can we include LGBT people in the humanitarian sector?


Par Kit Dorey 17/05/2016

Kit Dorey is the International Policy Officer at Stonewall, the UK’s largest lesbian, gay, bi and trans (LGBT) organisation. Kit’s background is in international development and human rights, and in his current role he works with international charities and the UK government to ensure their overseas work is LGBT inclusive. @KitDorey


In this blog, I share some thoughts about the relevance of LGBT human rights for the humanitarian sector (for both service delivery and staff inclusion), using two commitments from the Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS) as a framework. There remains a lot to be done by organisations under both commitments to improve LGBT inclusion, meaning there’s plenty of space for action!


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How can we put people at the centre of the World Humanitarian Summit?


Par Judith F. Greenwood 16/05/2016
Judith, an Irish national, joined the CHS Alliance as Executive Director in August 2015. She has over three decades experience in the humanitarian sector.

Many of us who have the opportunity to attend the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) in Istanbul maybe be feeling overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information available: key messages, core commitments, key reports, side events, Special Sessions, High Level Roundtables etc. Like you, I want to be prepared for the WHS and make the most of this unique opportunity that we all have to make a positive difference to the lives and dignity of people affected by crisis.


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Less paper, more (better) aid


Par David Loquercio 10/05/2016
Head of Policy, Advocacy & Learning at the CHS Alliance

The World Humanitarian Summit takes place in less than two weeks. The so-called “grand bargain” that aims to transform the humanitarian system through harmonised reporting, has been presented by some stakeholders as the most concrete set of actions due to come out of Istanbul. David Loquercio argues that we need to ensure that these efforts to harmonise reporting do not end at Istanbul and that the CHS can be used as a tool for harmonisation.


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What can we do to really improve staff care of aid workers?


Par Alessandra Pigni 09/05/2016

Alessandra Pigni is a licensed psychologist and researcher. She has served with MSF, done extensive work on staff care in Israel, Palestine, Lebanon and Turkey and has been a visiting research fellow at Oxford University. She shares tips and reflections on burnout prevention in her blog www.mindfulnext.org and on Twitter @mindfulnext.


Now that Steve Dennis’ case against the Norwegian Refugee Council no longer makes headlines, we can begin to address what caring for staff really means, beyond “duty of care” policies and guidelines. Because the truth is, the vast majority of humanitarian agencies have improved.


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Haiti’s champions of the CHS: Keeping people at the centre with communication, participation and feedback


Par Genevieve Cyvoct 27/04/2016
Genevieve is the Senior Capacity Development Officer at the CHS Alliance.

One of the most pressing questions from participants at a recent training workshop on the Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS) in Haiti was, how do we to explain the CHS to the communities we work with? Communities and people affected by crisis are at the centre of the CHS and should always be central to any decisions we make on humanitarian or development action.


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Human Resources (HR) in the developing market – are we doing enough to educate our staff?


Par Bianca Valencia 12/04/2016
Bianca Valencia is the Training Programme Services Manager at Birches Group. She has extensive experience working with INGOs and development organisations through Birches Group salary surveys and training workshop programme.

Bianca Valencia, Training Programme Services Manager at Birches Group, regularly works with HR managers all over the world. In this blog she discusses the issues they face in their work, and the importance of ensuring HR staff are well trained.


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Learn how to conduct an investigation into allegations of misconduct by aid workers


Par Emily Tullock 06/04/2016
Emily Tullock is the Communications Officer at the CHS Alliance.

What would you do if you were called on to conduct an investigation into allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) made about staff or volunteers at your organisation? Unfortunately, we know that incidences of SEA, fraud and corruption by aid workers occur and, consequently, must be investigated.


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Now live - transforming surge capacity online platform


Par Justine Tordoff 29/03/2016
Justine has worked in the humanitarian and development sector for over 18 years, including 11 years with Oxfam GB and six years with RedR UK. She has a HR specialist background and has also worked as a country director in the UK, Africa and Asia. She is now an independent consultant for the sector, and is working with the CHS Alliance on the Transforming Surge Capacity Project.

The CHS Alliance is pleased to be part of an exciting project as part of the Start Network, looking to transform ways in which the humanitarian sector undertakes surge responses. As part of this project, a new online interactive HR platform has been launched, which is intended to help HR and other humanitarian staff share good practices and learn from each other when undertaking surge responses.


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How do you manage staff misconduct overseas?


Par Verity Stiff 18/03/2016
Verity is the Head of People & Organisational Development at the CHS Alliance. She has worked in several countries, primarily in Africa and the Middle East, including those going through conflict and high-risk situations.

I recently joined a group of professionals working with staff deployed internationally at the fourth conference on duty of care: protecting workers and students overseas. How would you manage a staff member overseas who refused to attend daily compulsory security briefings? This was the scenario I put to the two sessions I chaired on managing misconduct overseas.


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Revising the core humanitarian competencies framework - your feedback needed


Par Uma Narayanan 29/02/2016
Uma Narayanan, a Kuala Lumpur based consultant works with clients to help sharpen their organisational effectiveness in aspects of human resources (HR), organisational development (OD) and accountability.

Uma Narayanan is the project consultant working on revising the core humanitarian competencies framework. In this blog she talks about the revision process and how you can get involved.


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Ten psychological tactics for avoiding accountability and how to address them


Par Kelly O'Donnell 24/02/2016
Kelly O’Donnell (PsyD) is a consulting psychologist and CEO of Member Care Associates.

In this blog Kelly O'Donnell explores psychological perspectives on what helps and hinders good practice for accountability. Cognitive dissonance is one of the most relevant concepts from social psychology that can help us “do accountability well” and hopefully minimise our propensity to prevarication when it comes to accountability.


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