Managing People

On this page:

  • People In Aid
  • Emergency Personnel Network
  • Human Resources and Child Protection
  • Recruitment tips
  • Staff Turnover: what to do about it


People In Aid

People In Aid is an international network working for better people management and support among aid agencies.  Its website is at

It has recently put online a useful Guide to Managing People in Emergencies - click here.  It covers planning, recruiting, deploying, managing, enabling staff to develop and learn, and terminating contracts.

The People In Aid "Code of Good Practice in the management and support of aid personnel" can be found at The Code consists of seven Principles, on:

  • Human resources strategy
  • Staff policies and practices
  • Managing people
  • Consultation and communication
  • Recruitment and selection
  • Learning, training and development
  • Health, safety and security

Underlying the Code is the firm belief that people are central to the achievement of any successful aid programme. Many NGOs are members of People In Aid; some have decided to use the Code to assess their performance.  A list of members is at


Emergency Personnel Network

The Emergency Personnel Network (EPN) is a group of Human Resources (HR) managers who meet once a year to discuss HR issues common to aid agencies who work in emergencies. Its website is here.

The website has useful documents for anyone wanting to improve HR management in aid agencies, in particular recruiting, training and retaining enough good quality staff. Almost all aid agencies struggle to achieve this, with experienced country managers / programme managers among the hardest people to find. Yet there are large numbers of people trying and failing to get into aid work.

It's clear that aid agencies could do more to provide entry routes into the sector, and to manage the careers of those who are already in it. Hence the EPN - but more is needed.


Human Resources and Child Protection

"Child Protection - The Role of HR" is a guide for human resources (HR) managers on what to put in place to facilitate having a "child safe" agency.  It's available from (click on Publications).


Recruitment tips

See the Recruitment page for extensive tips on recruiting staff.


Staff Turnover: what to do about it

The Humanitarian Practice Network published a paper on "Understanding and addressing staff turnover in humanitarian agencies" in June 2006, which makes some excellent suggestions.  Click here to read a copy online.  Go to the drop-down menu, select "Network Papers", and you'll see the paper appear.  You have to join the network to read it, but it's free.

See for "a comprehensive range of nonprofit management services to managers of NGOs".  They include:

  • How to develop an organisational strategy, aims and objectives
  • How to create, promote and manage projects successfully
  • How to obtain funding and use funds properly
  • How to manage human resources well
  • How to communicate an organisation's aims internally and externally and how to plan and carry out a marketing strategy
Tags: Advocacy