Transforming our experience of power, culture and well-being in aid organisations

by Melissa Pitotti

Organisational Culture Manager, CHS Alliance

Some of you might be experiencing this as the season of rentrée, or back to school. My 7-year-old son reluctantly returned to his school, and my 2-year-old daughter cautiously started “adaptation” at a new day care. They both seem happy to connect with peers in learning and play. It is with this spirit that I write this article to re-connect, provide some updates and share some opportunities.


Gozel Baltaeva, our former People Management Advisor, has now moved onto a new professional opportunity. We are very grateful to her for her important contributions, including organising annual Humanitarian HR conferences and facilitating a People Management Community of Practice. We wish her all the best in her future career.

The CHS Alliance will continue to prioritise people management and maintain strong links to human resource professionals, now as part of holistic approach looking at whole-of-organisation perspectives to meeting the CHS. These perspectives consider power dynamics, organisational culture and people, well-being and systems change.


The CHS Alliance 2022-2025 Strategy envisions a stronger CHS Alliance movement.  To that end, we want to strengthen relationships, learning and collaboration across the sector. Informed by learning from the People Management Community of Practice and Culture Lab, we are launching a new space – Culture Community – to support and accompany peers who want to cultivate cultures in aid organisations that are more conducive for meeting the Core Humanitarian Standard. We expect people in this space to come with an interest in one or more of the following: people-centred people management; quality and accountability; intersectional approaches to power in the workplace; well-being, mindfulness and trauma healing; organisational culture change; diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging; values and ethics; learning and development and more. We will meet monthly on:

  • The second Tuesday of the month, from 13:00 – 14:30 CEST
  • Starting: Tuesday, 11 October 2022
  • Please register to join the Culture Community monthly calls on Zoom by clicking HERE.


The CHS Alliance 2022-2025 Strategy aims to support organisations to deliver on their commitments to people affected by crises. CHS Alliance also has a variety of people management resources here. To get a flavour of the rich variety of resources available to organisations on power, culture and well-being, check out our crowd-sourced resource repository here and add to it! You can also subscribe here to our Embodying Change podcast, which has now been listened to in over 100 countries.


Finally, the CHS Alliance 2022-2025 Strategy aims for a more accountable aid system.  Our Working Well report underscored the importance of thinking about how we are working in this system, not just what we deliver. We’re now supporting various stakeholders and influencers within the aid ecosystem to reflect on their roles and consider tangible ways they can “Raise the Standard,” like the 10 leadership practices identified in Leading Well project and the five key questions boards can ask in the Governing Well report.

Our next project in the series, Funding Well, will create space for donors to reflect on how they can better support organisations to meet the Standard. We are in the very early stages of designing the project, and welcome your inputs.

None of us have all the answers, but together we can learn and improve in a way that gets us closer to embodying the Standard.