“90% of the time it didn’t go how I wanted it to. But 10% of the time it did, and often I look back and think, ‘Actually, those were the key moments’.”

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Episode notes

Christine Williamson runs a consultancy firm called Duty of Care International, and has spent twenty years in human resources management in the aid world.

It’s well-known that this is a very difficult area. The sector puts large numbers of people into tough operating environments, with a tiny fraction of the support that’s available for diplomatic or military personnel. It’s built on short-term funding contracts which interfere with efforts to professionalise and plan the workforce.

Perhaps most difficult of all, there are a range of equity and oversight issues that come with shipping expatriate staff into places with weak regulatory systems.

Against this background we talk about:

  • the importance of a principles-based approach to so-called back-office functions
  • the duty of care to protect staff physical and psychological health, and how longevity in the sector can be achieved;
  • safeguarding and abuse, and the efficacy of current initiatives in the sector.