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PEOPLEINAID Promoting best practice in the management and support of aid personnel

July 2002

Inside this issue Work-life balance workshop – aid agency managers should regularly monitor employees' well-being..........................2 People In Aid news – forthcoming publications and recent activities ..........2 How to improve work-life balance – staff have to overcome an unspoken belief that commitment and long hours are one and the same ......................................3 Stress busting breaks – UNHCR's schemes for international staff working in situations of extreme pressure, isolation or insecurity ........................................3 Lessons from Asia – ActionAid's regional initiative to address work-life balance issues among national and international staff....................................................4 Tools of the trade-off – what are the options when negotiating work-life balance agreements for aid agency employees ..........................................4 Finding field solutions – RedR on how managers can support staff and boost the bottom line by improving their worklife balance..........................................5 Life cycle maintenance – an agency survey finds wide variations in human resources policy and practice in supporting staff .................................. 6 Latest legal updates – the Fixed Term Work Directive comes into force throughout the European Union, and more ......6 Just joined – four new members of People In Aid introduce themselves ......7 Application information – details of how to become part of People In Aid ............8 Calendar – upcoming People In Aid and other events ........................................8

People In Aid gratefully acknowledges financial assistance from the UK Department for International Development, the British Red Cross, Concern Worldwide, Oxfam, Save the Children UK, Tearfund and World Vision. The contents of this newsletter do not necessarily reflect the views and policy of People In Aid and its members and donors. People In Aid would like to acknowledge the assistance of Nick Cater, editorial consultant for the July newsletter. People In Aid is registered in England and Wales as a company limited by guarantee. Company no. 3772652. People In Aid is a registered charity no. 1078768.

A better balance Aid agencies have long emphasised that disaster preparedness and prevention can often be – in the long run – better, cheaper and more sustainable than emergency relief. Faced with staff overwork, stress, burnout and trauma, and agency recruitment competition, skill shortages and poor retention rates, there is clearly an imperative to identify preparedness and prevention measures in human resources. As we explore in this People In Aid Newsletter, work-life balance – finding flexible ways for staff to do their jobs has a lot to offer aid agencies by helping people stay happier and healthier, while improving productivity and cutting costs. But dedicated people attracted to work with aid agencies will find it harder than most to separate home life and the needs of the job, as life coach Isobel McConnan points out on page 3, especially when lives are at stake in humanitarian crises.

Developing work-life balance in the private and public sectors offers many tools for the voluntary sector to employ, and Wendy Tabuteau of RedR outlines what’s available on page 5 and how it might work in the field. While managers may feel daunted by the prospect of dealing with a more flexible workforce, on page 4 Lynette Swift of SwiftWork says that staff given more "ownership" of their time take greater responsibility and are better team members. Different employees – at HQ, local staff, expatriates - will need a different work-life balance, and ActionAid suggests women may be more affected as it describes a project in work-life balance led by its Asia region on page 4. Agencies expect a lot from staff; work-life balance may ensure expectations can be fulfilled. Or as one ActionAid staffer warned: "They make us eat too much and do not give us time to digest it."

Jonathan Potter, Executive Director writes Work-life balance is not just about hours worked; it might also help aid agencies wrestling with questions about personal conduct that could hamper their mission. Staff are expected to reflect their agency’s values - "You are on duty 24 hours a day," says one large European agency - but does that mean they can never get drunk, have a sex life with consenting adults, or do anything else that would go unnoticed by other employers, so long as they were good at their job? Each agency has its own approach. One sees a spectrum, from the acceptable – no impact on its work – to illegal or public activity damaging its reputation. Where on the spectrum can an agency take action, and what should it do? Crime obviously risks dismissal, but other behaviour is under scrutiny: one agency has a policy on sexual activity, another can discipline employees if they bring it into disrepute. More agencies are issuing personal conduct codes with contracts. Britain's Home Office "guidance on sexual relations" – www.homeoffice.gov.uk/cpd/sou /young.htm – welcomes codes where abuse of power is possible, as happened in West Africa. Yet codes may infringe personal liberties, risking legal challenges. Where People In Aid can assist, it will, with workshops – our work-life balance workshop is reported on page 2 – or sharing information between agencies. Appropriately, as we discuss work-life balance, the first product expected from the "Policy Pot" is on rest and relaxation.▲


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Finding the right HR tools to help staff Aid agency managers responsible for employees working overseas should regularly monitor employees' well-being, learn to recognise stress symptoms, and help them keep work and life in balance, according to a People In Aid workshop. The workshop in early May was for human resources professionals of international relief and development agencies dealing with the increasing important issue of work-life balance for staff working in their home country or overseas. Facilitators Ted Lankester, InterHealth clinical director, and Annie Hargrave, a psychotherapist and counsellor at InterHealth, used case studies to lead discussions on staff health, costeffectiveness, efficiency and performance. The workshop was told how monitoring well-being and responding to stress would not only benefit the individual, but helps

the organisation by reducing staff turnover, burn-out and time off sick. A simple quiz was used so participants could check their own worklife balance and stressed behaviour, covering questions such as: ● When under stress, do you retreat into yourself, ask for help, work longer hours, have problems concentrating, eat less/more, or have sleeping problems? ● What do you do at work when you are sleepy, irritable, behind with your schedule? ● How regularly do you drink water, coffee, take a break, phone your partner or a friend, get up for a stretch or chat to your colleague? ● After defining any stress symptoms, do you stop and review the situation, work at weekends, re-schedule your work, put your head down and work through it, talk it through or ignore all

stress symptoms? Analysing how your work & leisure activities are divided, do personal concerns come into your mind at work or vice versa? Do you find this acceptable?

Such a form can be used for self-testing or it can be given to employees and used as a starting point for discussions between the manager and the employee about work-life balance. The workshop was told that staff need to know that initiatives to improve work-life balance are not merely lip-service, as aid agencies, in common with all employers have a responsibility for the health and well-being of all employees. People In Aid and InterHealth are producing a handbook on how to achieve and manage good work-life balance in an international context. For details, contact People In Aid.▲

Forthcoming People In Aid publications Just Rewards II: Just Rewards II will be an updated and expanded version of last year’s benchmarking exercise regarding salaries and benefits in the aid & development sector. This year more agencies are participating in the data collection and each agency’s jobs will be evaluated for better comparison and greater benefit to the whole sector. Human Face of Aid II: Following on from the Human Face of Aid report in 1998, the updated report will again analyse recruitment and retention of staff in international relief and development organisations. Human Face of Aid II will provide excellent baseline data for any

international agency looking at the profile of their staff. Under Cover II: Under Cover II will focus on insurance currently available for relief and development staff working on overseas assignments. This year People In Aid will review what agencies are buying, and for how much, and how they rate the service received. Work-life Balance Handbook: Work-life Balance Handbook is an InterHealth & People In Aid joint project. This handbook will be an invaluable tool when planning and implementing work-life balance issues in any international NGO.

To order your copy in advance or get more details of any of these publications, please contact People In Aid / Minna Ruohonen / Tel/Fax: +44 (0)20 7520 2548 / Email: minna@peopleinaid.org

Response meeting in Washington (3-5 June). Interaction is America's largest umbrella group of relief and development agencies and had contributed to the early development of the People In Aid Code. ECHO: We chaired a workshop on "Managing your people: goldmine or minefield" at last year's Partners' Conference in Brussels. Jonathan is also on the working group planning this year's conference. Emergency Personnel Network: People In Aid has joined the steering group for

the EPN, which met for a fourth seminar at the end of June in UK. Child protection: People In Aid has become a member of the steering group of agencies looking at an approach to common practice and procedures in relation to child protection Media: People In Aid and the Code are often quoted in the press. In the past month we have recorded mentions in Third Sector, Humanitarian Af fairs Review and Charity Week.▲

Raising HR's profile People In Aid is continually raising the profile of human resources, and best practice, in our sector. We talk to agencies on a one-to-one basis and through workshops but collaborative work and other organisations' voices make best use of our limited resources. Recent collaborative activities include: ●

Interaction: Jonathan Potter, the Executive Director, gave an update on People In Aid to Interaction's Disaster

Other publications: People In Aid, together with InterHealth, will update two existing repor ts (‘Preventing Accidents!’ and ‘Preventing HIV/AIDS’) and create a totally new one. Both existing reports have been extremely popular and the updated versions will be essential for the whole sector. The new report will focus on the greatest causes of morbidity and mor tality affecting agency staff.

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Time to stop measuring commitment by the hour Anne's workload is so heavy that she barely has time to go to the toilet. A 10-hour day and weekend working are the norm. She's committed, has high standards, and wants to get the job done. So she doesn't complain. But she's exhausted. Francis was relieved not to get the fundraising job he went for. The interview panel had made it quite clear that late working was expected - but he just didn't want to do any more long hours. Both organisations are aid agencies with a stated commitment to human rights and humanitarian principles. Yet their ethical commitments do not, it seems, extend to their expectations of their staff or the working environments they have created. Agencies like this are out of step with new thinking that recognises the impact of changing social patterns on the workplace. Recent studies in the UK show that long hours and "presenteeism" when staff stay at work whether or not they are doing useful tasks - can in fact be changed, reversing problems of sickness and absenteeism and high staff turnover. The evidence is that when staff are able to find a better balance between work and personal life this improves not only their overall effectiveness but also their commitment to the organisation. As People In Aid has argued since its creation, workplace practices that value and invest in staff are one of the most powerful demonstrations of voluntary sector ideals and values. Making this a reality takes time and a willingness to adopt a different approach. In aid agencies, managers and other staff who would like to change the way they work have to overcome an unspoken belief that commitment and long hours are one and the same. People working for development and humanitarian agencies, in common with

Stress-busting breaks UNHCR is among several United Nations agencies with schemes so international staff in situations of extreme stress, isolation or insecurity can have time off to travel away from their work base. Breaks of a few days are in addition to any existing holiday entitlement, and are intended to meet staff needs rather than be a "perk" of a hardship post.

other voluntary sector organisations, are motivated by strong values and beliefs. Their dedication often means that work becomes the centre of their life. Working in this way results in an organisational culture in which overwork is the norm, and health and well-being are sacrificed. You know this is happening when you're so exhausted at weekends that all you want to do is stay home and sleep. I know - it happened to me. Changing the assumptions and beliefs that underpin such a culture is critical if organisations are to develop and implement policies that get the best from staff while enabling them to live a life outside work. This is no easy task, especially when managers working with limited budgets and resources also have to make sure that legal standards are translated into policy and practice. With or without flexible working practices, staff will continue to need practical guidance on how to manage workloads, juggle priorities, to get everything done. The first step towards creating a workplace culture which values and promotes staff well-being and happiness is to ask staff what they like and dislike about current practices, and what kind of work environment they want. Consultation, creativity and openness to new ideas are key to any process of organisational change. One approach I would propose is coaching. Coaching can be a practical, flexible and results-oriented tool for thinking, learning and decision-making. The Work Foundation suggests it offers benefits such as increased personal productivity and performance, improved effectiveness in planning, higher overall learning and creativity, and greater flexibility and quicker adjustment to change. Far better known in the corporate world than in the voluntary sector, coaching is a process that values learning and growth,

UNHCR’s "Mental Health Travel Scheme" has three options, depending on the working location: ●

MARS (Mandatory Absence for the Relief of Stress) gives staff in areas of high security risk a break at least once every two months. VARI (Voluntary Absence for the Relief of Isolation) permits staff in isolated posts to visit a nearby city.

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and fosters responsibility and accountability. It gives each staff member - whether a field worker or the chief executive - space to think, to focus not just on problems but on outcomes, and to get a fresh perspective on seemingly intractable problems. Coaching aims to help individuals generate ideas, options and then make decisions about what they will do. The key skills used by a coach are those of asking simple, effective questions and active listening. The coaching process uses a simple structure, beginning with agreement on the purpose of the session and ending with decisions on what steps are to be taken. A session is likely to include an in-depth review of the current situation, and exploration of new ways of looking at the issue and possible options. As aid agencies are recognising that the ability to learn from experience is key to their ability to improve the quality and effectiveness of their programmes, coaching can be an ideal tool for development and humanitarian organisations. The hallmarks of voluntary sector organisations in the 21st century are accountability and learning, together with management and working practices that reflect the core values and beliefs, including efforts to help every member of staff achieve work-life balance. Contributed by Isobel McConnan, a coach and facilitator who is a former director of International Health Exchange and a founder member of People In Aid. Tel: +44 (0)1865 451760, Email: Isobel.mcconnan@ntlworld.com See also: Coaching for Performance, John Whitmore, Nicholas Brealey Publishing, pb ISBN: 1857883039 Effective Coaching, Myles Downey, Texere Publishing, pb ISBN: 1587991209

STAR (Supply Travel on Rotation) allows staff in a location lacking basic commodities to travel to procure essential office and personal supplies.

UN schemes include travel costs and specify trip locations. Staff are not usually expected to carry out official duties during the travel break.


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Finding flexible solutions for agencies and staff Juggling competing demands is tiring if not stressful and brings lower productivity, sickness and absenteeism, so work-life balance is an issue for all employees and all organisations. The changing demographics of ageing populations in the next decade will increase the already strong competition for the qualified staff on which agencies depend, and if poor work-life balance affects recruitment, retention or the willingness to serve in hardship posts, that will be bad news for aid agencies unable to adapt. Not only will there be fewer young, keen and free-to-travel individuals – who will want to be convinced that agencies are caring "best practice" employers - but more skills and experience will be possessed by older staff likely to have families and other commitments, and thus different priorities for their work-life balance. Voluntary organisations may actually have a greater need for work-life balance than companies. Charities inevitable work under tough budget pressures, and may well demand more from staff and volunteers while offering less support. The people they attract are usually dedicated with a strong sense of vocation, who take a lot of responsibility on themselves and give more than just a job would require. Frequently they are involved in wider issues or the local community, so the borders between work and life are blurred. Luckily there are plenty of work-life

tools to choose from, from flexi-time options, job-sharing and team-rostering to home-working and career breaks. Not every option will be appropriate for every organisation or for every job function. For members of People In Aid, whether dealing with their HQ staff or field offices, the first step is to determine the requirements of the organisation and use surveys, focus groups and individual consultations to identify staff requirements. These two sets of requirements can then be matched back and forth to provide the optimum flexible working solutions. During this process, pilots can be run to test the new ways of working, and it may be useful to set up targets to monitor the effects of the new working arrangements. Managers will need their own training and support but when people are given more ownership of their time they take more responsibility for their own work-life balance. Aid agencies' particular problems of demanding jobs in remote places recommend regular face-to-face support from the direct line manager and the use of technology such as intranets, conference calls and e-mail links, for feedback and support. It is important that employees are provided with full information and support from the start. Big companies prepare staff for overseas assignments by taking care of many issues that can cause

stress, isolation and confusion. They will routinely organise cultural awareness and language training, memberships of clubs and introductions to the expatriate community, work permits and bank accounts, healthcare and schooling, accommodation and furnishing, travel allowances and support for partners and families, whether accompanying the expatriate or staying at home. While not all of that may be possible or appropriate for aid agencies, cynics who protest that work-life balance is "all very well but it can't be done here" are often surprised by the benefits in morale, productivity and work processes. The economic and social impact of poor worklife balance has already convinced the British government to spend millions of pounds on a campaign – the Work-Life Balance Fund from the Department of Trade and Industry - to help organisations in the private, public and voluntary sectors address the issue, and aid agencies are welcome to apply. Contributed by Lynette Swift, Managing Director, SwiftWork Ltd, email: lynette@swiftwork.com, a values-based consultancy specialising in flexible working and work-life balance. SwiftWork is one of the consultants working with the DTI in the Work-Life Balance Challenge Fund. (http://www.dti.gov.uk/work-lifebalance) SwiftWork: http://www.swiftwork.com

Looking for solutions in Asia ActionAid has known for some time that the issue of work-life balance deeply affects the motivation, physical and emotional health and morale of both international and national staff, and thus can be an important factor in its overall effectiveness. From talking to many women staff, ActionAid also knows that women can be more affected by work-life balance issues than men, since women are often required to play multiple and conflicting roles at home and at work. A recently held ActionAid workshop in Bangkok on human resources issues brought together staff from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Vietnam, Nepal, Burundi, Uganda and Brazil. The workshop participants wanted to explore common challenges, including work-life balance, and collaborate to look for possible solutions. Those taking part were revealing when

asked to reflect on their experience of working with ActionAid. One staff member from Vietnam suggested ActionAid was a strong and determined agency: "ActionAid works as a buffalo", while another from Nepal was less complimentary about the changes and new ideas staff must absorb: "They make us eat too much and do not give us time to digest it." As a result of the workshop, at least five countries in ActionAid Asia will be working together on a regional initiative over the next 18 months to address work-life balance issues with all their staff, including both national and international staff. Designed as an action learning project and launched in April 2002, the key objectives of the Work-Life Balance Project include: * Improve the functional capacity in human resources and organisational development through learning and doing. * Ensure a harmonious work-life balance

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for ActionAid staff, especially female members of the staff. * Enhance ActionAid’s capacity and effectiveness to achieve its mission and goals. * Advance ActionAid’s working practices, behaviour, policies and systems. * Boost motivation for staff. ActionAid hopes this project – whose results it will be happy to share with other agencies - will reach every part of the organisation, and help to address a wide range of organisational and human resource issues, including structure, behaviour, culture and work practices. Contributed by Claire Helman, Organisation Development Director, ActionAid (chelman@actionaid.org.uk), and Julie Shreshta, Human Resources / Organisation Development Coordinator, ActionAid Asia, (julies@actionaidasia.org).


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Supporting staff and boosting the bottom line Most aid agencies would agree that one of the keys to operational success is the well-being of staff, and principle five of the People In Aid Code of Best Practice recognises that the effectiveness of field operations depend on the contribution of all staff. For many years staff well-being was measured in terms of remuneration and, for the NGO sector at least, job satisfaction. However, more recently the importance of work-life balance has started to form a key part of human resources policies and practice. It is now widely recognised that worklife balance is about improved health and productivity, and keeping employees engaged with the organisation, while at the same time recognising their lives and commitments outside work. Commercial organisations have led the way with practices such as home working, flexitime and flexible benefits packages - in which employees can swap salary for leave, for example - as a means of motivating and retaining valued workers. Provision for work-life balance includes, for example, career breaks, extended maternity leave and paternity leave, adoption leave, time off for domestic emergencies, leave for community and volunteer work, home working and flexible working patterns. Whether the kindness of their hearts was once an impor tant factor in commercial organisations' decisions to adopt such practices, today a critical factor is that they know such practices help them achieve their commercial objectives. Such considerations will also be key in aid agencies, focusing on their equivalent of a "bottom line": their target groups. So how can aid agencies which employ relief workers on shor t-term overseas assignments, suppor t the work-life balance of their staff when many of the provisions for such balance, from career breaks to flexible working patterns, appear inappropriate amid sudden disasters or long term crises? For many, going on assignment destroys any hope of a work-life balance in the short term. They leave behind

family and social networks that are essential for their well-being. They certainly work long, irregular working hours; the People In Aid report "Room for Improvement" found that half of all expatriate relief and development workers questioned routinely worked more than 60 hours a week and more than a quarter worked over 70 hours. The long, irregular hours contribute to job-related illness, stress, accidents and sometimes alcohol and drug abuse. On returning to their home country, they are initially exhausted and this is frequently followed by periods of unemployment, boredom and sometimes depression.

“For many, going on assignment destroys any hope of a work-life balance” For organisations to achieve success in work-life balance, the head office must suppor t its managers in implementing policies at field level and ensuring that the culture of the organisation allows and encourages staff to achieve the balance they need. This should form par t of the predeparture briefing so that workers know what it is possible to ask for when they arrive in the field. Simple measures could include: ● Allowing field offices to arrange their own suitable office hours rather than expecting them to work the same hours as their head office (particularly when there is a time difference). ● Respecting the existing commitments of staff before and during an assignment - allowing them, for example, to attend a family event and delay departure for a couple of days. ● Offering support for relief workers when they return to their home countr y, including debriefing, counselling, support with networking and career advice. ● Providing equipment such as mobiles and laptops so that staff can "work from home" while on assignment and also stay in touch with their families. ● Ensuring staff take regular R&R breaks and providing adequate home leave/emergency leave.

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RedR currently has nearly 200 of its register members working with aid agencies in the field. At the moment we are handling assignment requests for programme managers, logisticians and engineers in Afghanistan, Angola, DRC and Palestine. As a register agency we have an interest in their health and wellbeing before, during and following each assignment so they work effectively, find the experience satisfying, and will be available to fill another agency's need. Feedback from many of RedR's members suggests that the support on their return from assignment is vital. Most returnees experience some level of culture shock in reverse and there are simple measures that agencies can implement to help with reintegration. Some of the methods RedR uses to try to involve members include: ● Involving members in interviewing for the RedR register, volunteering in the office and at events. ● Inviting members to social events, such as pub meets or the RedR annual general meeting. ● Giving talks on training courses about their experiences in the field. ● Asking members to debrief recentlyreturned members. ● Keeping in touch via a bi-monthly ebulletin. Many of these activities help smooth the transition from a relief assignment to home life. For many aid workers, keeping in touch with the field, the sector and coworkers while they are settling back into home life are the first steps towards getting their personal life and their worklife back into balance. Finally, we ourselves are constantly seeking to attract and retain highly-skilled people to work at RedR’s headquarters in London, and offering flexible working has enabled us to do this. We are open to all suggestions and have implemented parttime working, job shares, term-time working, leave of absence, homeworking, extended maternity leave and combinations of all these.

Contributed by Wendy Tabuteau, Operations Manager, RedR - Engineers for Disaster Relief.


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Supporting aid workers through their ‘life cycle’ A survey of leading disaster agencies has found wide variations in human resources policy and practice in supporting international staff during their "life cycle" from recruitment to debriefing. Nine of the UK Disasters Emergency Committee’s 14 member agencies responded to the survey carried out for a dissertation entitled "Mission Stress" on the welfare and support systems for overseas aid workers. The survey reflected concern about stress among aid workers and its likely causes, including long working hours, management styles, security issues, poor communication, and feeling unsupported in the field and/or on return to the UK. With the People In Aid Code as a benchmark, the survey identified much good quality work as it highlighted a range of management issues, from selection, training and preparations to health and safety, and psychological support. Among the agencies, numbers of field staff ranged from less than 10 to more than 100, with assignments from three months to three years, and human resources capacity from one part-timer to 25 full-time posts. While holiday allowances varied from 22 days to 42 days, all agencies provided R&R breaks for staff in hardship countries, with an average of about five days per month. One area of particular concern in the survey was that four out of the nine

international HR depar tments were not aware of the processes involved in preparing a staff member leaving for the field. If this was due to several departments sharing responsibility for departing staff "there is a danger that important information is not provided". Mission Stress notes that only four agencies provide personal kit lists and accommodation details in advance to field staff. It urges open communications so everyone is aware of the preparation, procedures and support for aid workers at every stage. While every agency holds a basic induction course over several days, few additional courses are provided before assignments, with only three agencies offering separate stress management training and four offering training in security, staff management, finance and cross-cultural awareness. Two employment innovations introduced were an option of a three to five year mobile contract to help tackle job insecurity, and using professional development plans as a framework to discuss career needs and progress options. On health and safety issues, the repor t says that three agencies’ international HR staff did not know their organisation’s process of risk assessment, and only three agencies repor ted having a formal stress management policy, though one more

was developing its policy. Eight agencies provide counselling for returning staff, with three using only external debriefing and five mixing inhouse and outside resources, and staff of four of the latter agencies have requested counselling training. Only one agency has made a full medical and psychological external debriefing mandatory. Among extra steps, one agency has a newsletter by and for returned field staff to discuss issues, offer mutual support and learn about repatriation workshops, which have proved useful following demanding and stressful assignments. Mission Stress adds that for families of overseas staff, "all agencies provide administrative rather than emotional support". Five pay school fees and seven organise insurance, visas, medical checks and travel arrangements. But only one holds in-house briefings and debriefings for accompanying family members. The report found one agency using the People In Aid Code to help set priorities for improving human resources practices, while four use the Code in part as a benchmark when developing their policies for overseas staff. Emily Tiberghien carried out the survey for her Chartered Institute of Personnel Development Master's disser tation "Mission Stress: A review of the welfare and support systems for overseas aid workers" (December 2001).▲

Latest legal updates Employment Bill 2001: The Employment Bill 2001, currently being considered by the UK Parliament, aims to improve relations between workers and their employers. It looks at maternity and paternity leave and pay, including compensation for small employers. An additional package will look at how parents with young children can arrange with their employers to fix working patterns to suit both parties.

Equality matters: For information regarding equality matters in the UK, including work-life balance, ACAS runs a helpline for employers: 0845 600 3444. Fixed Term Work Directive: Agencies using short-term contracts should be aware of the Fixed Term Work Directive, which is coming into force throughout the EU. This directive prevents discrimination against fixed-term employees. Areas for aid agency employers to look at are: ● use of successive fixed-term contracts. ● right of employees to redundancy payments in fixedterm contracts over two years. ● it may be classed as dismissal if the end of a fixedterm contract is linked to a task being completed or when a specified event happens or fails to happen. ● qualifying periods for certain sickness benefits.

Working Time Directive: British trade union AMICUS has claimed victory over the UK government on working hours. The EU has upheld a complaint over ‘unlawful and inadequate implementation of the Working Time Directive’. The government must look again at the opt-out, which allows employees to volunteer to work more than 48 hours a week, and entitlement to breaks, with the responsibility devolving to the employer to ensure breaks are taken.

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People In Aid grows with more new members People In Aid membership is growing and becoming increasingly international. Some of the new members introduce themselves below. ActionAid is an international development organisation working in partnership with poor and marginalised people to eradicate pover ty by overcoming the injustice and inequity that cause it. Our vision is a world without poverty in which every person can exercise his or her right to a life of dignity. Established in 1972 to help children living in poverty by providing education and education materials, ActionAid is now one of the UK's largest international development agencies with 150,000 supporters in the UK. We operate in more than 30 countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean, and have some 2,000 staff across the globe. We listen to, learn from and work with over six million poor people and we work in the following areas: food rights, health, HIV/AIDS, water, emergencies, gender equity, urban work, financial services and education. By joining People In Aid, we hope to share our human resources and organisation development experiences and practice, and learn from other agencies dealing with similar issues and challenges. In par ticular, we have pioneered the appointment of strong Southern leaders, and the devolution of decision-making to national staff. Specific HR initiatives, which we are currently engaged with, include leadership development programmes, shared learning projects, and a regional initiative on work-life balance in Asia. Lutheran World Relief (LWR) was founded after the Second World War in the USA. It is a faith-based, nonoperational NGO that works with partners in 50 countries to help people grow food, improve health, strengthen communities, end conflict, build livelihoods and recover from disasters. In the US, LWR educates Americans and advocates for social justice. LWR's 78 employees (42 in the US and 36 overseas) work in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

The agency's program priorities are to enable the rural poor to find effective and lasting ways to earn a living wage with dignity, to enable communities to reduce the occurrences of disaster and to increase their capacity to cope when disaster happens, to suppor t and empower rural communities to collectively solve their problems and advocate for their rights, and to inspire and enable US Lutherans to put faith into action as part of a global movement for justice, dignity and peace. In June 2000, LWR began a strategic planning process to assess how to evolve and adapt to more effectively address the unprecedented levels of poverty and inequality that exist today. One result of this process is a commitment to developing stronger institutional capacities, including human resources management. As a member of People In Aid, LWR will work to integrate the Code of Best Practice into its work and looks forward to learning from other members' experiences.

“as a responsible organisation it is determined to use best practice. Hence the need for People In Aid” Mission Aviation Fellowship UK (MAFUK) is the UK-resourcing charity established to provide funds and staff for the work of Mission Aviation Fellowship overseas. Mission Aviation Fellowship was set up just after the Second World War, primarily to exploit the use of aircraft in overcoming physical barriers, which often prevented the world’s needy people from having their spiritual, physical and emotional needs met. Over the years the work has developed worldwide and the organisation is flying in some 30 countries, the majority of which are in the so-called "Third World". The job of MAF-UK is to inform and inspire potential supporters within the UK and also to seek suitable candidates for overseas ser vice. Currently there are some 30 UK families serving overseas as well as 60 employees working at a UK head office.

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The head office concentrates on the information and fundraising aspects. Both areas are served by a personnel department (based in UK), which seeks to follow best practice in all its policies. There are also over 250 volunteers nationwide. People In Aid presents MAF-UK with an opportunity to have its practices evaluated and recognised against external standards. This in turn will give both MAF-UK's staff and supporters confidence in the way that the organisation is run. Vision Aid Overseas (VAO) is a registered charity dedicated to helping people in the developing world who have problems with their eyes, particularly where spectacles can help. Founded in 1985, it works by sending abroad teams of qualified opticians who set up clinics, screen large numbers of patients and dispense spectacles where necessary. The opticians are all volunteers and they take time off work and make a substantial donation to the charity for the opportunity to use their skills. VAO projects last 2 weeks and in the year 2002-03 it is planned to launch 13 teams to 10 different countries including: Burkina Faso, Uganda, Zambia, Malawi and India. To support the work abroad, the charity operates a large-scale spectacle recycling operation. Second-hand spectacles are collected by hundreds of individuals and organisations and, after sorting they are passed to prisons where prisoners clean, grade and pack the spectacles ready for movement overseas. VAO provides training, optical instruments and packing materials to support this essential operation. Most of the work of the charity is done by its 850 members on a voluntary basis and there are only three full-time staff based at an office and warehouse in Crawley. VAO knows it is addressing an enormous problem and is determined to expand and improve its work. But as a responsible organisation it is determined to use best practice, particularly as far as its project teams are concerned. Hence the need for People In Aid.▲


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Page 8

Forthcoming Workshops Calendar July 2002 to January 2003 When?

Courses

Where?

Who?

July 17-19

Humanitarian Aid: Principles & Practice UK

IHE

July 24

Social Audit & Code Implementation

People In Aid

UK

August

Just Rewards Salary Survey

UK

People In Aid

September 23-27

Managing Evaluations of Humanitarian Action

UK

RedR

September

Management in Emergencies

UK

MERLIN

September 12-15

Security & Communications

UK

RedR

December 6-8

Culture, Communications and Health

UK

IHE

January 28-31

Grass Roots Living

UK

SIL UK

Join People In Aid! Join a global network of relief and development agencies committed to best practice in the support and management of their staff. Join People In Aid, which offers you: • Opportunities to share experiences with your peers. • Opportunities to stay abreast of current issues affecting staff, and the quality of your programmes. • Practical training in areas seen as important by you. • Information to benchmark your agency in the sector. • Support in the implementation of the Code of Best Practice. • Access to resources and policies specific to your sector. BENEFITS

These are some of the reasons for joining People In Aid – and improving the effectiveness of your programmes. Donors are also taking an increasing interest in matters of quality and accountability but above all we are certain that your staff, current and future, will be pleased to know that you are joining People In Aid. You will benefit from your membership whatever your organisation’s size, structure or country of origin. We welcome agencies, which operate overseas and those which don’t. There are three categories of membership: • Full — operational agencies, primarily charities actively involved in relief and development work overseas. • Supporter — organisations which support the aims of People In Aid and wish to share in our output. Supporter

Individual

Support provided

n/a

n/a

'We follow the People In Aid Code' in agency’s written material

After external audit

n/a

n/a

Copies of Code of Best Practice

Multiple free copies – any language

Up to 15 free copies – any language

One copy free

Members' area on website

Access

Access

n/a

Concessionary rates

Concessionary rates

At full rate

Free or discounted

Free or discounted

At full rate

Workshops Research publications Quarterly newsletter

Free

Free

Free

People In Aid deals

Concessionary rates

Concessionary rates if available

Concessionary rates if available

Members’ Forum

Invitation

n/a

n/a

Access and voting rights

n/a

n/a

Representation on People In Aid Board

Allowed by our Constitution

n/a

n/a

Updates on issues, resources etc.

Regularly by e-mail

Regularly by e-mail where appropriate

Regularly by e-mail where appropriate

Unlimited access

Unlimited access

Unlimited access

Annual General Meeting

Resource centre

IHE 134 Lower Marsh, London SE1 7AE, UK Tel. +44 (0) 20 7620 3333 Email. tanith@ihe.org.uk www.ihe.org.uk MERLIN 5-13 Trinity Street, London SE1 1DB, UK Tel: +44 (0) 20 7378 4888 Email: training@merlin.org.uk www.merlin.org.uk RedR 1 Great George Street London SW1P 3AA, UK Tel. +44 (0) 20 7233 3116 Email. training@redr.demon.co.uk www.redr.org SIL UK Horsleys Green, High Wycombe Bucks HP14 3XL, UK Tel. 01494 682 209 Email. ETP_UK@sil.org www.eurotp.org ▲

• Individual — for individuals who wish to stay in touch with our activities.

Full

Code implementation process

Contacts:

8

There are many benefits for each category of membership, which are summarised in the table. In return we ask all our members to help to promote the Code to agencies, donors, potential supporters and individuals. Also we hope members will pass the Code to agencies which are visibly involved in bad practice. Full members will be asked to confirm their agency's plans to implement the Code on a continuous basis. After implementation, agencies are allowed to use the phrase 'We follow the People In Aid Code' widely in newsletters, adver tisements, trustees' reports and wherever else appropriate. Annual membership fees valid until April 1st 2003: • Full Members For agencies based in the UK membership is based on annual income as follows: Less than £100,000 ..........................£100 £100,000 — £500,000 ......................£125 £500,000 — £1,000,000 ..................£275 £1,000,000 — £5,000,000 ................£400 Over £5,000,000 ................................£600 For agencies based: In Ireland ...... Euro equivalent of above rates Elsewhere in the EU ..................Euros k 150 In the South or East ........................US $50 Elsewhere ....................................US $150 • Supporter ....................................................£150 • Individual ........................................................£20 Please contact People In Aid at: Regent’s Wharf 8 All Saints Street London N1 9RL Tel/Fax +44 (0)20 7520 2548 Email: info@peopleinaid.org Website: www.peopleinaid.org


/2002-jul-en