National staff: 8 ways to support the 90-plus percent

Liberian Red Cross staff distribute food supplies to Monrovia's West Point neighborhood. Photo by: Liberian Red Cross

International organizations rely on national staff, and an increasing number of INGOs are focusing on growing partnerships with local groups. Still more resources are flowing directly to national nongovernmental organizations.

But better support for national staff isn’t keeping up with a rapidly changing industry.

People are key to the success or failure of humanitarian response, “yet we often manage and reward staff as if we didn’t know this reality,” David Loquercio, head of policy, advocacy and learning at CHS Alliance, which supports the humanitarian sector in applying standards and good practices, told Devex.

Most international aid agencies already employ more than 90 percent of national staff in countries where they operate when they don’t exclusively work through national partners. Overall, it’s likely that more than 95 percent of aid workers work in their own country, Loquercio added.

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About the author

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    Kelli Rogers

    Kelli Rogers is a global development reporter for Devex. Based in Bangkok, she covers disaster and crisis response, innovation, women’s rights, and development trends throughout Asia. Prior to her current post, she covered leadership, careers, and the USAID implementer community from Washington, D.C. Previously, she reported on social and environmental issues from Nairobi, Kenya. Kelli holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri, and has since reported from more than 20 countries.