Title

A Closer Look at the Well-being of International Field Staff

Publication Date

2001

Abstract

International organizations working on relief and development hire professionals to work in field offices worldwide. Some of these organizations work in war-torn countries, areas affected by natural disasters, famine, and/or poverty. Often, these individuals work in challenging living and working conditions. In order to support individuals throughout their work period, it is important to provide adequate support services, such as psycho-social resources. However, insufficient services are offered to international staff that take into account the psychological and physical well-being of the individual.

The main question this paper will examine is what support services are made available to international field workers. A questionnaire was designed to gather information from international staff with overseas work experience in relief/development. The questionnaire was sent via e-mail to interested participants.

The conclusion of this paper is that some organizations offer these services. However, the limited services they offer do not always reflect the needs of the staff working in the field. The findings also reveal that because of the culture within the organization it may be difficult for these services to be established and/or strengthened.

Finally, this paper will show that it is vital for the field worker and the employing organization to create sustainable opportunities that would look after the overall well-being of all concerned.

Disciplines

Industrial and Organizational Psychology | Social Welfare

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