Aid work is analyzed and critiqued around the globe and not just by those intimately familiar with the system and/or involved with the day-to-day work. It's not uncommon to hear assertions that aid work is "not effective", or aid workers "just give handouts", almost invariably referencing the adage to say that we are giving fish rather than teaching locals to fish for themselves. Others emphatically retort that their government "gives too much" aid to developing countries, or that their home country should not help other people when there are people in need within their own country.
Each of these points may have some semblance of truth or none at all. But, what are YOU doing to improve aid work?
The fact is - to improve aid work - a certain emphasis must be placed on the aid worker. To improve aid work, we must focus on the aid worker. This means ensuring rigorous hiring processes rather than schmoozing with higher-ups to land a fab job. It means providing adequate training to aid workers, so we are all adequately prepared for the realities of the field. It also means better supporting aid workers in the field - helping them to be better aid workers, advocating for their safety and emotional well-being in emotionally taxing environments, guaranteeing adequate support following critical/traumatic incidents, and ensuring that aid workers have an appropriate balance between their personal and professional lives to ensure the greatest efficacy in their roles.
Each of us has a role to play to better support aid workers and, in so doing, to render aid work more effective for those in need.
Click on a section that applies best to you to see how you can help: