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The People In Aid newsletter This issue: Leadership March – May 2011 +44 (0)20 3137 3590 Interactive:

Registered charity no. 1078768

Leadership (n.) The ability to lead, guide, direct or influence people

Nurturing effective leaders With a renewed focus on leadership within humanitarian and development organisations, promoting leadership development through tailored programmes is an increasingly popular measure undertaken by agencies, the aim of which is to nurture existing and emerging leaders.

As the LEA process enables fruitful conversation regarding leadership, ChildFund developed a framework of leadership behaviours in order to gain a better understanding of their leadership culture and climate during a period of significant change. Diane Willis, Vice-President of People and Culture at ChildFund, reflects on her organisation’s decision and rationale to use the process: “We started using this tool because it was clear that we needed to incorporate perceptions from various sources of leader behaviours into our leadership development focus. Our programmes are premised on first understanding yourself as a leader, and then understanding the impact of your leadership style on others as a pathway to individual leaders taking responsibility for their continuous development as leaders, and therefore achieving organisational and professional

Image: C.Watson, 2003

ChildFund International has been incorporating ‘Leadership Effectiveness Analysis’ (LEA) into its leadership development programmes for the past five years. The LEA is a three-stage process which organisations can use in their own strategies in order to prioritise and focus development programmes.

ChildFund staff teaching local children in Bolivia

goals. We decided to introduce a common-language framework for 360° feedback, and the LEA is our preferred tool because responses cannot be ‘manipulated’ by respondents.” The LEA assessment is based on measuring six leadership attributes: • Creating the Vision • Developing Followership • Implementing the Vision • Following through • Achieving Results • Team Playing These are then further broken down into twenty-two specific leadership behaviours and used as measuring

tools to build a comprehensive feedback profile. This profile provides a framework for understanding how an agency’s style and approach affects its ability to lead and influence others. This end product serves as a platform to further target the individual, as it incorporates perception narratives, strategic implications and developmental opportunities. One of the simple yet effective benefits of implementing this process, ChildFund felt, was the introduction of feedback mechanisms across the organisation: “A culture of giving and receiving feedback is generally not present or at Continues on page 3…

Inside: Building leadership for transition

Dear HR Brian Wakley, Cord

News and Info

2 Leadership March – May 2011

Potterbox Are you pleased or disappointed to hear that one-fifth of managers in our sector think significant improvements could be made in leadership? (see Roffey Park’s Management Agenda 2011, page 6). Here’s one idea to make an impact: I was challenged recently to consider whether HR should deprioritise functions like reward and employee engagement, and instead focus on future-proofing the organisation. Creating virtual teams or expanding intra-departmental collaboration would require leadership from HR and new skills for leaders: being inclusive on a global scale, combating silo-isation in organisations, challenging the business model. One such challenge, a proposal for collaboration, was at

the heart of an idea proposed at our Members’ Forum: if we all put money, knowledge and talent into a funnel, we will find, in our mixing pot, greater cost-efficiency, higher retention, improved mission-fulfilment, and greater influence. Here is where People In Aid can take a leadership role, helping our members to put collaboration into practice. Are we able to do this? Well, the consultants who have just submitted their report on our impact believe so, talking about there being ‘no other organisation playing such a catalysing role in debates [on HR]’. Our Trustees too see us with an increasing thought-leading and leadership role as membership grows alongside our global reach. And I am

Jonatha n Potter Executiv e Directo r, People

In Aid

reminded by one of those who interviewed me for my job here that they were looking for: ‘a leader with the capabilities to take People In Aid to the next level in terms of global reach; significant, demonstrable impact on NGO people management practices and therefore improved delivery of aid’. I will have been in post ten years in June: I’ll let you know how my performance review goes next week!

Soapbox I wouldn’t be writing on People In Aid’s Soapbox if I didn’t believe that NGOs need to promote consistently good management practice. However, I am increasingly convinced that for NGOs to truly deliver on their promises and potential, they need to promote leadership at all levels of management. I see three reasons for this. First, for NGOs to remain relevant in an increasingly complex, competitive and challenging world, they need to embrace change and promote innovation. Private-sector organisations invest heavily in research and innovation, understanding that remaining stationary results in failure. While many NGOs are doing extraordinary things in difficult environments, I feel the sector can do better at promoting mindsets that challenge existing practices, take calculated risks and promote innovative approaches.

Second, I believe that many NGOs still have a lot to learn about developing and implementing strategy. For me, strategy involves a shared understanding of focus and priority. It requires people throughout NGOs to clearly understand how they contribute to the organisation’s mission and goals. Developing, communicating and implementing strategy is a key element of effective leadership; it is required at all levels. Third, and perhaps most important, an NGO’s effectiveness is largely dependent on the quality and motivation of its people. In my experience, many NGOs effectively take motivation for granted: people don’t work for NGOs for the money, right? But it’s still critical that people feel connected to a shared vision of a better future, and that they are engaged in creating that future. This requires managers to communicate to different people in different ways, to share their vision and values, and

Will Camp


to inspire through their own actions: all key leadership skills. While good leadership at the top of NGOs is critical to this, NGOs will never truly succeed without leadership running from senior management to departments, country programmes, through to project areas. Will Campbell is an independent consultant specialising in strategy, leadership and change. He has worked for ten years in humanitarian and development programmes for a number of international and national NGOs, and for ten years as a strategy and leadership consultant.

3 Leadership March – May 2011

Building leadership for transition – the challenge of Afghanistan In early 2010, Hamish Wilson, consultant and Director of Wasafiri Consulting, was engaged by the UK’s Stabilisation Unit – a specialised agency jointly owned by the Ministry of Defence, the Foreign Office and the Department for International Development – and deployed to Helmand’s remote northern districts in Afghanistan as a Stabilisation Adviser, working on behalf of the Provincial Reconstruction Team.

“We as civilians play an unlikely intermediary role – we sit firmly between the US military and the Afghan political and community leadership,” says Hamish. Speaking about leadership in Afghanistan, Hamish comments, “Successful leadership in this context is one founded on how well you manage an extraordinarily complex set of relationships between a wildly colourful range of people and institutions – many with conflicting pressures and interest. “If I am respected by the US marine commander, trusted by the district governor, valued by the village elders, and listened to by the police chief as well as the farmer who sympathises

with the Taliban, then we have a chance of moving forward together. It’s fragile and painstaking.” His work thus far with local leaders has focussed on: • Helping them create effective means of public engagement and participation • Supporting their efforts to resolve complex and competing issues • Developing basic systems of accountability and management of public finances • Helping them to better manage their own teams and people • Coaching them on navigating Afghan and international institutions.

As the Afghan and international communities cast their gaze toward transition to full Afghan control in 2014, Hamish believes they must begin to lay the foundations now for what will emerge as effective leadership in a post-transition world. Hamish makes it clear that there are simply not enough resources currently to adequately accelerate the daunting task of developing local leadership in time. “There are only six in my team, yet we are working with the police, prosecutor, governor’s team, line ministry officials, local leaders, council members… There is a real risk that it is too little too late.”

…continued from page 1 least not comfortably demonstrated in NGOs, and the absence of this culture may contribute to a poorer quality of leadership and management. The LEA has been an important step forward in building a positive culture of receiving feedback at the leadership level.” ChildFund conducted a best-practice review of the LEA data and contrasted

this with the Management Research Group (MRG) humanitarian data (www. This provided the opportunity to align ChildFund’s own development programmes with trend data.

to gather feedback on staff experiences of the professionalisation of leadership within the organisation. The survey, set to be launched in May, will provide an evaluation of the impact of ChildFund’s investment in and commitment to leadership development.

ChildFund has also recently partnered with a US-based university and is currently developing a global leadership survey. Randomly administered to clusters of staff, the aim of the survey is

4 Leadership March – May 2011

Dear HR: Brian Wakley Chief Executive, Cord Biggest operational challenge your organisation faces: Working cross-culturally with a diverse workforce, the most significant challenge is effective communication and understanding each other’s cultural assumptions and preferred styles of work. Cord’s focus on developing endogenous capacity means that we don’t just need to employ high-calibre staff but also people who can recognise and develop the talents and abilities in others who are not from the same background and training as themselves. How HR helps: HR can help by developing an environment to understand,

HR View Ky Luu Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy (DRLA) Your role: Executive Director of Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy at Tulane University. What do you / Tulane regard as the main qualities, attributes or competencies required by an effective humanitarian leader? The DRLA carried out a semistructured survey of non-governmental organisations, United Nations, governments, and impacted community leaders in order to identify core competencies of leadership within our community. The result of this effort led to the identification of four core competency areas: 1. Psychosocial/Behavioural: understanding human behaviour of survivors, workers and leaders in various contexts and how best to facilitate thriving and human development; 2. Disaster Operations: understanding evidence-based best practices for disaster operations and all aspects of

accept and gain the benefits of having a diverse workforce. This is not just good practice, but an essential value to be put into practice throughout the organisation. Creating the space and environment for dialogue is essential. HR helps create that environment from people’s first contact with the organisation. How HR is perceived by Cord: HR has a varied perception. New recruits are increasingly impressed by the rigour of the process in a small organisation. This has been highly appreciated by candidates, both successful and unsuccessful, which is a great response. One thing you would change about HR if you could: I’d like HR to be seen increasingly as a cross-cutting function that managers and staff are engaging with through reflective practice to develop

disaster management; 3. Leadership Analysis: understanding evidence-based methods of leadership and decision analyses; and 4. Environmental and Hazards: understanding effective methods of measuring the impact of and managing disaster-related consequences including all types of hazards for unwanted environmental disruptions. How do organisations (how does Tulane) recognise and reward their leaders? DRLA’s mission is to strengthen leadership within the humanitarian and disaster resilience community through a systematic approach that integrates education, research and application. Our achievements to date have been based upon the advice and guidance of leaders within our community, and DRLA’s leaders are rewarded by being recognised as part of this leadership cadre and given a larger role in influencing and shaping the work of the organisation. With regard to leadership, what are the main challenges you see the sector facing in the future? The ongoing humanitarian response in Haiti represents many of the complex

both individuals and teams. We need to reduce hierarchical thinking and support creativity and innovation in order that we learn more. One HR success story: The focus on ‘employee experience’: the detailed attention to rigorous recruitment processes and improved benefits bespoke to staff needs in each country of operation has lengthened the terms of service and reduced burnout for international staff. With an increasingly decentralised function we are also attracting more staff from the regions in which we operate. Bio: Brian Wakley took over as Chief Executive of Cord in Oct 2008 having been the International Programmes Director since 2005. Since joining Cord he has shifted the strategy from a sole focus on refugees to tackling the wider issue of peace building to prevent people being continually displaced from their land.

challenges that our sector faces in the future – large-scale disasters in dense urban populations. On an operational level, our community needs to develop new tools to deal with logistical access and protection concerns that are different than rural settings. We need new strategies and standards related to camp management, shelter, etc, to deal with large numbers of the population who remain in the affected area. And finally, leaders in the humanitarian community need to influence policy-makers to invest and support efforts to address the root causes that create greater vulnerability to disasters and build resilience in communities to future threats. What recommendations or advice would you offer the other agencies, based on the challenges identified above? I would recommend that they define what effective leadership means for their respective organisations. Based upon this definition, organisations should establish a sustained and systematic leadership programme that builds the capacity of their staff and recognises and rewards them for their achievements. Organisations also need to recognise their operational structure and allow room for leadership to exist at all levels and promote innovation and risk taking.

5 Leadership March – May 2011

Events: Staff Care Network Meeting Wednesday 20th April 2011 – Amsterdam, Netherlands Price: Free for members, Non-members: GB £25 HR Network Meeting Thursday 5th May 2011 – London, UK Price: Free for members, Non-members: GB £25 NEW: Learning & Development Network (free for members) Thursday 12th May 2011 – London, UK Price: Free for members Non-members: GB £25 HHR Europe Conference: Strengthening Local Humanitarian Capacity Wednesday 18th– Friday 20th May 2011 – Madrid, Spain Price: Members: GB £445 Non-members: GB £445 HHR Africa Conference Wednesday 8th June – Friday 10th June 2011 – Nairobi, Kenya

To book any of the above events, please book online via the Events section of our website, or alternatively contact us on +44 (0)20 3137 3950 or at

Good-practice case studies We are always on the look-out for good-practice case studies in the sector to share with our members, whether that be directly resulting from engagement with People In Aid or an unassociated story on something which has been of help with regard to your people management or HR function. If you can share any stories on something which has impacted yourself, your team or your organisation on the topic, please contact

HHR Madrid Conference: Strengthening Local Humanitarian Capacity People In Aid’s next Humanitarian HR (HHR) conference will be held in Madrid, Spain, on 18th-20th May 2011. BOOK NOW – GB £445 for this year’s ‘must’ conference for humanitarian HR and capacity-strengthening practitioners – events/339.aspx

10% off for field-based staff Subsidies are available for field-based programme staff. If you are working in a country of operation and would like to attend this event, please email to obtain your discount code, entitling you to 10% off the conference fee.`

Leadership Resources Center for Creative Leadership sought to gain a meaningful understanding of what and how the sector views talent management and leadership through the report ‘Leadership and Talent Development in International Entitled ‘Engaging tomorrow’s global Humanitarian and Development humanitarian leaders today’, this highly Organisations’. Drawing on a number of recommended report is the collaborative both qualitative and quantitative research work of People In tools, the report provides a snapshot of Aid and Cranfield how international University, School of humanitarian and Management, and development funded by ELHRA. organisations view The report for the leadership today humanitarian and and interestingly development how they would sector focuses on like to see it evolve understanding for tomorrow. the nature and Download your scope of international FREE copy today at leadership competencies and asks very important questions about the leadershipandtalent.aspx. needs and motivation of tomorrow’s humanitarian leaders and the challenges On 23rd November 2010, an international they face. panel of speakers addressed a Download your FREE copy today at, thoroughly packed room on leadership in our sector. Hosted in London, People engagingleaders.aspx. In Aid’s International Leadership Summit brought together key HR and “Where do we consistently fail? Easy! operational personnel from humanitarian Our inability to fill senior management and development organisations to and technical positions in what can only debate important leadership issues be described as the world’s hell spots.” and to showcase practical examples of Leadership and talent development are leadership within the sector. without doubt two of the most critical Please visit www.peopleinaid. issues for international humanitarian and org/events/summit2010.aspx for development organisations today. With presentations, audio recordings, photos this very much as the core of the report, and interviews from this successful event. People In Aid in partnership with the “Leadership is about seeing the overall goal within the changing context and taking responsibility to motivate others to work towards it, independent of one’s role, function or seniority.”

6 Leadership March – May 2011

News and info New members A warm welcome to the new full People In Aid members who have joined since October 2010: for retaining their Committed Full members to the People In Aid Code Australian Aid International Quality Mark, and a very The Department for special commendation to International Development The Brooke and Sierra (DFID), UK Leone Red Cross Society, Oxfam Ireland Royal Australasian College of a partner member, who have both now achieved Quality Surgeons, Australia Mark 1 – Committed to the Certified members People In Aid Code status. We offer members the opportunity to earn two internationally recognised Quality Marks which certify organisations as they Commit We would also like to congratulate or Verify Compliance to the Womankind Worldwide People In Aid Code of Good for having successfully Practice. Organisations achieved Verified Compliant displaying a People In Aid to the People In Aid Code Quality Mark are seen as leaders within the humanitarian status. and development sector. Congratulations to Christian Aid and Merlin

People In Aid Staff We welcome Teresa Kamara, who has taken over from Maxine Clayton as our East Africa Regional Consultant. A HR specialist with more than 15 years’ experience in international HR management and programme development, Teresa brings with her extensive knowledge and experience of working in East and Central Africa. Based in Nairobi, Kenya, Teresa’s role at People In Aid will be to help build and maintain relationships and deliver services in the region, including workshops and events.

People In Aid Members’ Survey 2010 Each year, our Board of Trustees measures the effectiveness of People In Aid. Thank you to all members who completed their surveys last autumn. Looking at this year’s survey results, it is especially encouraging to see a 13 percentage point increase in agreement with the KPI ‘I believe People In Aid helps us improve and build capacity in human resources management’. This particular point has been a top priority for us this year and has seen us involved in various staff capacity initiatives. The redesign of our website ( along with the launch of People In Aid Interactive ( has offered HR professionals and people managers greater access to important resources. One member told us at our Members’ Forum this year: ‘You’re never alone with People In Aid’. This acts as a good reflection on the wide array of services and tools we continue to offer the sector worldwide. You can read the full summary and management response to the survey at If you do have any comments, suggestions or just general observations, please do contact us on

Roffey Park’s Management Agenda 2011 We are pleased to announce the launch of Roffey Park’s Management Agenda 2011 and the INGO Management Report. People In Aid has collaborated with Roffey Park to provide you with a comprehensive benchmarking report for the INGO sector. The INGO Management Agenda 2011 is a definitive survey of managers, and aims to help organisations understand what to expect in the year ahead. This research has a very wide appeal from Board members to OD/HR consultants to line managers. It can help with business decisions, people management strategies, HR, organisational development, change initiative – the list is endless. If you lead change, develop organisational strategy or are responsible for motivating employees within your organisation, the report will provide valuable insights to help you succeed. For your free copy of the Management Agenda, please visit managementagenda2011.aspx.

Enhancing our Support Services We have recently launched our Partner Consultants’ Network, a new and exciting initiative which is bringing together a small group of highly skilled independent consultants and consultancy firms with experience in the humanitarian and development sector as well as skills in HR and people management. The Partner Consultants’ Network will support People In Aid in delivering HR services and other support services for our members and the wider sector, including in-house workshops, facilitation, research, coaching, organisational development and HR policy and process review. For more information about how we can support your agency, please email

Join People In Aid People in Aid improves organisational effectiveness within the humanitarian and development sector worldwide by advocating, supporting and recognising good practice in the management of people. We support our member agencies through the provision of information, support and networking opportunities. We have membership categories to suit any NGO, whether large or small, humanitarian or development (or both), international or local. A new membership category introduced in 2009 is our partner membership. Designed for local NGOs operating in low and lower-middle income countries, partner members enjoy all the benefits of full membership for a five-year period. The intent is to broaden the perspective of our network by reaching out to and learning from organisations in countries underrepresented in our current membership, and to strengthen their capacities. To become a partner member, an NGO must be nominated for membership by an existing full member, at no cost to the full or partner member. For further information and to download an application form please visit