Staff care: 3 steps for building your own resilience

Humanitarian aid workers at a logistics center in Malawi. Learning to build your own resilience is crucial, especially for those working in high-risk environments. Photo by: Chris Daley / CC BY-ND

The physical, emotional and psychological toll humanitarians and their families face is undeniable, especially for those working in conflict. Statistically speaking, aid work is becoming increasingly more dangerous for both international and national staff.

The growing number of crises around the world is stretching the humanitarian system, with needs outstripping resources. In the face of combatting immense challenges like disease, famine, poverty and war, the challenges of the aid worker are often overlooked.

The stress of this line of work is not only true for humanitarians, but also people working in global development outside of areas in crisis. In one study of global development professionals, 40 percent reported a high risk of burnout in their career. The issue of staff care and welfare is gaining more attention — including a recent petition circulating to get it on the agenda at the upcoming World Humanitarian Summit — but knowing where and how to start building your own resiliency is still a daunting task.

READ: Will an online petition finally put staff wellness on the agenda?

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About the author

  • Warren kate 1

    Kate Warren

    Kate Warren is Executive Vice President and resident talent and careers guru at Devex. With 15 years of global development recruitment experience advising international NGOs, consulting firms, and donor agencies, she has a finger on the pulse of hiring trends across the industry and insider knowledge on what it takes to break in.