Human Resources & Organization Development (HR & OD)

IAWG HR & OD Sub Working Group


The HR function in the humanitarian and non-profit sector is frequently viewed and used primarily as an administrative one. On the one hand this is due to the fact that HR practitioners themselves are not always versed with how to transition themselves and their teams from pure administration and compliance to more strategic and aligned HR. On the other hand, the operational context of the humanitarian sector has often necessitated a more tactical and reactive approach to people management which has not enabled the HR function to fully progress and take on its role as a key partner and strategists.

In emerging and frontier economies as well as fragile context, HR practitioners have a huge role to play. Global initiatives, events and debates affecting the sector such as the Grand Bargain, Localization Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals are often not at the forefront of organizational HR programs and strategies. Yet, they will inevitably impact core HR elements around talent management and acquisition, learning and development, workforce management, compensation and benefits to name just a few. At the same time, labor markets and workforce demographics are evolving and changing within the East and Central Africa region which calls for different approaches to HR.

The purpose of the group is to enable humanitarian and non-profit HR practitioners to serve as “strategic” partners within their organizations and wider sector. The group provides HR technical expertise and people development solutions that optimize human capital and enable HR practitioners to develop and deliver a compelling employee value proposition.


  1. To address specific challenges facing HR practitioners within the humanitarian and non-profit sector including succession planning, emergency preparedness, turn-over, short-term deployments, talent acquisition, localization, safeguarding, compliance and capacity building.
  2. To provide a regular knowledge exchange, learning and discussion platform for humanitarian and non-profit HR practitioners on trends, best practices, challenges and opportunities.
  3. To stimulate and influence human resource development and human capital management approaches in the humanitarian and non-profit sector.
  4. To provide humanitarian HR practitioners with the relevant skills and knowledge to serve as “strategic” partners to their senior leadership, organizational managers and their internal clients as well as influencers within their organizations and wider sector. 
  5. To enable humanitarian and non-profit HR practitioners to play an active role in implementing and supporting organizational goals and strategies.


The primary target group for this sub-group are:

  1. HR Leaders that play a strategic role at country, regional or organizational level.
  2. HR Managers that are responsible for a specific unit with the HR function such as talent management, learning and development, compliance, HR and Technology
  3. HR Specialist that serve as functional experts in specific HR areas such as compensation and benefits management, IT for HR, workforce management, recruitment, occupational health and safety, metrics, organizational development.
  4. HR Generalist that are well versed with all of HR’s varied services and technical areas.

In addition to this, the group is open to organizational development practitioners and anyone interested in contributing to advancing the HR function within the humanitarian and non-profit sector. This includes IAWG members and invites such as HR service providers, HR experts, OD specialist, learning and training organizations from outside the humanitarian and non-profit sector.



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Contact Us

Inter-Agency Working Group on disaster Preparedness for East and Central Africa (IAWG)

P.O. Box 14762- 00800 Westlands Nairobi, Kenya Tel:+254 (20) 418 0403/4/5

Physical location, Lower Kabete Road (Ngecha Junction).