Managing Humanitarian Relief: An Operational Guide for NGOs

Managing Humanitarian Relief: An Operational Guide for NGOs

by Eric James


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Armed conflicts, natural disasters and environmental degradation result in human misery, and the common response is to want to help. Responding effectively to humanitarian disasters is far from straightforward, however, and relief workers often find themselves in a world of uncoordinated, highly competitive agencies where the "why" and "how" to provide relief is far from clear.

Managing Humanitarian Relief is aimed at the relief worker who in the midst of these complex situations is putting together a program of action to help people in extreme crisis. It provides humanitarian relief managers with a single comprehensive reference for many of the management issues they are likely to encounter in the field. Designed for the generalist and for those in management positions, the book provides enough background for readers to understand the topics quickly and to put them into practice in the field. Its easy-to-use format includes essential information checklists, tables, diagrams, sample forms, and no-nonsense tips from practitioners to help readers in emergency situations.

The second edition brings the reader up to date with recent humanitarian reforms; the use of GIS and mobile technologies; tents and other temporary constructions and building materials; funding innovations; economic recovery, cash and vouchers, and microfinance.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781853399039
Publisher: Practical Action Publishing
Publication date: 04/30/2017
Pages: 470
Product dimensions: 6.12(w) x (h) x (d)

About the Author

Eric James has studied and worked in international development for over 10 years. He has managed emergency programs in Afghanistan, Albania, Burundi, Liberia and Sri Lanka, among other places.

Table of Contents

Tables ix

Figures xii

Boxes xiv

Photos xv

Acronyms xvi

Foreword: A brief overview of humanitarianism today xxi

Acknowledgements xxiii

About the author xxiv

Introduction: the purpose of this book xxv

1 Understanding emergencies and disaster-affected populations 1

What is an emergency? 1

Understanding conflict 6

The role of NGOs 8

Humanitarian principles 10

Problems and dilemmas of the international response system 13

Standardized initiatives and approaches 15

2 Understanding disaster-affected populations and programme sectors 21

Food and nutrition 21

Health 32

Shelter 45

Water and sanitation 50

Sanitation 57

Refugees and internally displaced persons 60

Psychosocial projects 69

Specifically targeted programmes 69

Infrastructure rehabilitation 74

Education 75

Microfinance development 77

Gender-based violence 81

Special approaches 83

3 Managing in emergencies 89

Management fundamentals 89

Management methods 92

Organizational design 96

Team building 100

Assessing management 102

4 Carrying out an assessment 105

Gaining information about a disaster zone 105

Quantitative methods 110

Qualitative methods 112

5 Launching in a new country or area 117

Deciding to enter 117

Government and legal issues 121

Levels of involvement 123

Dealing with HQ 124

The emergency team 125

6 Establishing an office and accommodation 129

Property rental and purchasing 129

Staff accommodation 131

Buying office equipment 132

Office and filing systems 132

Ordering and maintaining a generator 138

7 Preparing a proposal and negotiating with donors 143

Fundraising fundamentals 143

Writing a proposal step by step149

Proposal formatting 151

Negotiating with donors 154

8 Managing human resources 159

HRM systems 159

Recruitment step by step 164

Induction 170

Performance management 173

Discipline and end of contract 175

Assessing HR systems: a manager's tool 180

9 Planning, managing and reporting on a project 183

Project cycle management basics 183

Project design 185

Planning and management tools 188

Project launch 192

Narrative reporting 195

Holding meetings 195

Basic problem solving 197

10 Dealing with stress 199

Understanding stress 199

Managing stress 202

Conflict resolution between individuals 205

Working in different cultures 208

11 Overseeing finance and accounting 211

Overview of NGO accounting 211

Budgeting 212

Getting funds in a disaster zone 222

Petty cash 223

Financial audit: a manager's tool 224

12 Setting up a logistics and procurement system 227

Logistics fundamentals 227

Procurement 232

Shipping 236

Storage and warehousing 241

Distribution 246

Maintenance and disposal 249

13 Handling transport and maintaining vehicles 253

Buying and renting road vehicles 253

Fleet management 255

Driving safely 260

Other modes of transport 265

14 Communicating using radios and satellites 269

Radio basics 269

Radio equipment and uses 272

Setting up a communications system 274

Organizing a radio room 276

Radio procedures 277

How to use radios 280

Training 280

Satellite communications 281

Internet connections 282

15 Working with local partners and contractors 287

Identifying partners 287

Assessing an organization's capacity 289

Sub-contractors and the bidding process 293

16 Building internal capacity 299

Capacity building 299

Facilitating training 300

Presentations 303

Ice-breakers, energizers and team-builders 305

Organizational development 310

17 Dealing with the media 315

The media and emergency programmes 315

Advocacy at the field level 317

Giving interviews 321

18 Managing security 325

NGO security fundamentals 325

Security phases 327

Security planning cycle 329

Security management 336

Developing an effective security plan 339

Security audit: a manager's tool 341

19 Monitoring and evaluating a project 345

M&E basics 345

Monitoring 347

Evaluation 349

20 Coordinating with other organizations 351

Understanding coordination 351

Coordination between NGOs 355

Coordination between NGOs and the UN 357

Coordination between NGOs and the military 360

Coordination with host governments 364

21 Closing an emergency programme 367

Handover strategies 367

Phase-out strategies 372

Appendix 375

The Humanitarian Charter 375

Comparison chart between Sphere Standards and UNHCR Emergency Handbook 377

Code of Conduct 381

Summary of international humanitarian law, human rights law and refugee law 384

The Humanitarian Accountability Project Principles of Accountability 385

People in Aid Code 386

Content of UN standard kits 389

References 391

Useful websites 395

Glossary of common terms 399

Index 407

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