Essential management skills for humanitarian aid workers

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

The humanitarian field is one that is always evolving, even more so with the dawn of the network age. There’s a growing focus on coordination and accountability, with the rapid growth and development of IT and telecommunications also helping to completely reshape the skill sets required from today’s humanitarian aid workers.

Work based humanitarian aid study courses can help aid workers acquire the skills they need to successfully meet the challenges of aid work today, and in the future. It’s a sector that is rapidly changing, with high-tech groups working on smartphone communications and crisis mapping, and corporations and diaspora groups among the latest entrants into aid work.

Further management skill changes are needed to meet the increasing complexity of the humanitarian issues the world now faces, and will face in future. Conflict, climate change, and access issues all complicate an already demanding area of work. In future, to meet these demands, local and international aid workers will need to possess enhanced:

  • Language skills
  • Political understanding
  • Economic acumen
  • Cultural sensitivity
  • Communication skills

A work based humanitarian aid course can help aid workers acquire and build on these skills and more.

Funds management

In disaster-hit areas or areas of conflict in the future, civil society groups and governments will play an increasingly important role. They will often depend on international donors, which will require aid workers to have the fund management skills necessary to access and coordinate international funds, monitor and evaluate these funds, as well as comprehend the jargon used within this world of international aid funding.

Public fundraising skills

On a local level, humanitarian aid groups often count on public funding for their operations. For aid workers, that means that public fundraising and project management skills are a real bonus. Strategic planning and innovation skills are required in this area to ensure the efficient running of campaigns from inception through to the delivery of funds at the point of need.

Communication skills

There are few fields of work that rely so vitally on exceptional communication skills. Aid workers need to be able to communicate effectively with those in need, co-workers, managers, financiers, government ministers and more. In addition, UN and non-UN aid organisations have now adopted the cluster system. This means that various aid groups involved in a particular area of humanitarian aid need to work together in the event of a crisis, placing even more emphasis on the communication and coordination management skills of these workers.

Confidence in this area can be built very effectively via work based humanitarian aid courses that allow workers to enhance their communication skills while remaining in the workplace – courses like these ensure that the communication and management skills that aid workers develop are truly tailored to the demands of the job.

Gain recognition for the management skills you already have

A work based humanitarian aid study course like the University of Lincoln’s also allows you to gain proper accreditation for the management skills you’ve already acquired as part of your role as a humanitarian aid worker.

The BSc (Hons) in Humanitarian Supply Chain Management can be taken as a part-time, two-year top-up degree that allows you to train while you work, gaining official accreditation for the work you do, as well as equipping you with new skills that can help further your career in aid work. Being an online degree, it also means that you are free to study anywhere in the world, making it a flexible and practical way to build on the expertise that you already possess.

The University of Lincoln Work-Based Learning top-up degrees will help you achieve your career goals and obtain a qualification with a global focus. Find out more about the Lincoln WBDL programmes.


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