Humanitarian Exchange articles tagged:Personnel management

Numerous evaluations have highlighted the poor engagement of national and local NGOs within clusters, listing practical concerns such as language, staffing and logistics barriers, but often without a thorough analysis of why national NGOs do not engage, or what their motivations are when they do. Two questions arise. If we focus on the motivating forces behind engagement, can we build better cluster relations with national NGO partners? And by creating a prescriptive format of participation, such as the cluster approach, have we actually created a barrier to true partnership? My research on cluster partner national NGOs from Somalia, Zimbabwe, Myanmar…
Core to Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)’s approach to assistance is sending international staff into foreign contexts to work with, and usually direct, locally recruited national staff. Outsiders bring experience, leadership and technical skills, and are in a better position to ‘witness’ intolerable situations and speak out about them. International staff are also better able to resist local pressures for resource diversion, giving MSF greater confidence that donor money is being spent appropriately. For many within and outside MSF, this model is the only responsible option because the compromises assumed to be inherent in a remotely managed programme are unacceptable. MSF-Operational…
The British military has faced a range of challenges when engaging with non-military actors in ‘population-centred’ counter-insurgency and stabilisation operations. Such actors include humanitarian agencies, non-government organisations, civilian populations and national and international government institutions. There has been considerable resistance, especially from the British Army, to processes that have the potential to undermine traditional military combat skills. Managing the interface with civilian organisations is the task of the tri-service British Military Stabilisation Support Group (MSSG), formerly the Joint Civil Military Cooperation Group. Members of the MSSG must learn and then embody a new set of rules and cultural codes that…
With an annual budget of $650 billion and over two million military and civilian personnel, the US Department of Defense is the largest institution in the world. Since September 2001, its primary focus has been the ‘global war on terror’, a war of avowedly unlimited scope and duration. Its critical components include counter-insurgency and stabilisation operations, which have increasingly involved the US military in relief and development activities. NGOs have struggled to develop a unified response to the growing scope and pace of US military involvement in areas normally reserved for civilian leadership and action. Although regular dialogue has been…
The special feature of this edition of Humanitarian Exchange, co-edited with Victoria Metcalfe, focuses on issues related to humanitarian civil– military coordination. In the leading article, Simone Haysom sets out the rationale for civil–military coordination, and the challenges involved in establishing effective relations between humanitarian actors and the military. In their article, Jenny McAvoy and Joel R. Charny argue that NGOs must continue to invest in dialogue to address new challenges arising from the US military’s expanding presence in increasingly diverse contexts and roles. Heiko Herkel, from the Civil–Military Co-operation Centre of Excellence (CCOE), makes the case for the continued…
The increase in violent conflict in the post cold war era has highlighted the need for a comprehensive, multifunctional approach to conflict management. The main characteristics of conflict today are its intrastate nature and the role of civilians as both perpetrators and victims of violent conflict. Interventions aimed at meaningful peace have to include a broad range of diverse activities that are aimed, amongst others, at demobilisation (often including child soldiers), finding a new commonly accepted state system, re-engineering most state functions such as the criminal justice system, and socioeconomic development. The result is that modern peacekeeping missions include a wide range of civilian personnel who are responsible for such diverse activities as…
Koenraad Van Brabant, outgoing HPN Coordinator, interviews Christina ter Braak, MSF-Holland, Uzbekistan Koenraad Van Brabant Christina, how does a young woman from Holland end up working in Uzbekistan? Christina ter Braak My first six-month stay in Uzbekistan was in 1996, teaching Dutch and English at Tashkent University. After my Bachelor’s degree, I did a Master’s in development studies. For my thesis – on unemployment in Uzbekistan – I spent another three months there doing research; every single person I spoke to had an opinion on the subject. Subsequently, I applied for a job in the Tashkent office of Human Rights Watch (HRW), and was invited for recruitment tests in New York. But the reply…
Volunteerism in disaster management is well-accepted and widely practiced. The roles volunteers can play in disaster risk reduction (DRR) and preparedness, early warning, disaster response and post-disaster rehabilitation have been recognised in a number of policy instruments, such as the Hyogo Framework for Action (2005), and many international bodies, including the UN and the Red Cross, have well-organised volunteering systems for motivated and enthusiastic young people. Bangladesh, being a disaster-prone country, has a strong pool of volunteers. The Cyclone Preparedness Programme (CPP) of the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society, for example, currently has about 50,000 active volunteers in 13 coastal districts,…
The significant growth in cash transfers in emergencies in the past decade has presented a number of challenges for policy-makers and practitioners in the humanitarian sector. Cash transfer programming is now an accepted tool in almost every emergency response. Guidelines, evaluations and research have addressed concerns around cash transfers, such as corruption and insecurity, and have increased awareness that cash has different, but not necessarily greater, risks than in-kind assistance. Donor policy changes and developments have supported more flexible funding for cash transfer programming and the development of better risk management systems and procedures. The experience of a large number…
Partnerships are about relationships. The purpose of partnership is ‘to achieve together what we could not achieve alone’, and working in partnership requires those involved to practice a set of principles that create trust, equity and mutual accountability. In this way, partnership becomes a framework for ‘how we do business together’; it is less determined by the structure of the relationship than by the practice of certain behaviours. What is important is that risks and benefits are shared, and that the partnership is co-created.[1] When organisations work successfully together, change can occur at a faster pace and be more effective…
Page 1 of 8

Find an Issue

Standard Login