Tag Archives: organizational culture in aid

Aid to Zen – O: Organisations

This post is part of Aid to Zen – A Quick Guide to Surviving Aid Work from A to Z by Alessandra Pigni. Most of us work for an organisation: we are at once colleagues and employees, some may be managers, consultants … Continue reading

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Staff care beyond the World Humanitarian Summit

I followed the World Humanitarian Summit online. I often got bored and missed key events such as the screening of Sean Penn’s new aid romance (or drama, whatever it was, it was booed at Canned and screened at the WHS, … Continue reading

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What aid organisations can learn from Pope Francis

“We value people….yes just now our own” tells me an aid worker as a half joke. We all see it: aid agencies have a business to run, and “staff care” is at best a policy. Unless you happen to land … Continue reading

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How to overcome “humanitarian” burnout

Burnout is a serious problem among frontline professionals, nevertheless it is often misunderstood and its impact minimized. What causes burnout? How does it differ from PTSD? I discussed these issues with WhyDev and Devex, below are the links to the … Continue reading

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Discussing ‘Organizations on the Edge of Chaos’ at Oxford University

“Organizations on the Edge of Chaos: Exploring Culture, Burnout, and Resilience in the Humanitarian Sector” a talk by Alessandra Pigni delivered on December 17, 2013 at Oxford University at The Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflicts (ELAC) in the course … Continue reading

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It’s how we work that matters, not how much

The latest research on burnout is very clear: “While most people think job burnout is just a matter of working too hard, that’s not necessarily true. Burnout is not just when you need a vacation to recharge. It’s when you feel … Continue reading

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Self-criticism will not change the world

This morning I read a post on ‘the trouble with aid’ written by yet another white guy who runs a multi-million NGO. It was the proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back. Here’s why. The list of humanitarian workers’ blogs … Continue reading

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Can Humanitarian Organisations be Humane with Aid Workers?

I’m thinking of giving myself a new job title (photographer?) while attending those curious socialising events called ‘expat parties’. When I don’t opt out altogether, I generally find myself hearing yet another story of burnout, unbearable stress, terrible managers, or impossible colleagues. Why … Continue reading

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Does your organisation have room for wisdom?

Resilient organisations transform, adapt and grow through mindful conversations and through breaking old automatic-pilot patterns. Sounds nice but what does it actually mean? Mindful conversations A book like to refer to in my work is Difficult Conversations. How to Discuss … Continue reading

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Why Self-Care is not Enough

I’ve been a strong advocate of self-care over the years, and now that the trend is slowly catching up (even) in the nonprofit sector, I’d like to say why self-care is simply not enough. First a disclaimer: self-care matters. Any nurturing activity … Continue reading

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