Keeping Worker Satisfaction High During Crisis Management

While we often hear of the heroic efforts of aid workers in disaster areas, discussion of how best to protect and support those same aid workers is often lacking. In response to a question regarding raising awareness of the requirements of aid workers, experts contacted by The Guardian offer some advice.

Alicia Jones and James Guy of the Headington Institute offer the recommendation to bring key areas of frustration to the appropriate manager for discussion, and to discuss items like professional training and support resources prior to signing any contract. Being aware of the risks associated with stress and burnout are also priorities.

Leadership and wellness coach Catarina Andrade offers similar advice, emphasizing the need to voice concerns with internal managers or external donors, and to ensure the availability of support structures in the form of counselling, referral systems, trainings, emergency hotlines, or peer support.

Humanitarian consultant Ruth Allen recommends that organizations incorporate the People in Aid Code, and adoption of the Core Humanitarian Standards. These standards were first launched in Copenhagen on 12 December 2014, and have since been launched in other languages. Intended to provide a set of Nine Commitments that organisations and individuals involved in humanitarian response can use to improve the quality and effectiveness of the assistance they provide, the standards provide a strong emphasis on the need and importance of integrated and responsive interaction between aid workers.