Why Another HR Blog?

qtq80-PH6wwUBecause none of the numerous HR blogs are exclusively devoted to the HR challenges in the humanitarian sector, and none of them are particularly relevant to the HR national staff professionals who work for aid agencies in some of the most difficult and dangerous working environments in the world.  

HR professionals in the humanitarian aid world regularly face unique HR challenges that our HR counterparts in other non-profits or the corporate world will likely never face in their careers.

Some examples of these unique challenges are:

  • Being prepared to deploy emergency response teams within 24 to 48 for the next man-made or natural disaster, wherever this may happen in the world
  • Being part of a team dealing with a staff kidnapping incident and serving as the point person for the families of kidnapped victims when you have no answers
  • Drafting a policy (where none existed in the world) to quarantine your returning staff who just risked their lives saving the lives of people who contracted one of the deadliest diseases known to humankind (Ebola).
  • Investigating incidents of sexual exploitation and abuse of refugees who have succumbed to survival prostitution to get food for themselves and their children.
  • Terminating staff who stole funds from the organization to pay for emergency surgery of a family member
  • Negotiating with striking staff who want to be paid in US dollars (contrary to their government’s laws) instead of their local currency that just devaluated to the point where staff may not be able to feed their families next week
  • Determining how to pay refugees who are working and living in a refugee camp without getting crosswise with the local government

Of course many of the humanitarian HR issues are less dramatic, but still very unique because of the humanitarian relief locations.  And many national humanitarian HR professionals do not have access to relevant HR information and support.

Please share some of your own challenges and how you addressed them!