EPN 4

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Other files: Summary report

Coventry, UK, 26 - 28 June 2002

Key points:

  • Short contracts are overused, leading to high staff turnover and loss of programme quality. Programme managers in particular should be offered longer contracts from the outset.
  • Training budgets are often inadequate, and lack a coherent training policy endorsed by the Board.
  • The cost of poor HR practice. Greater measurement of HR performance would show the cost to programmes, in quality and in financial terms, resulting from HR problems.
  • Many staff retention ideas are available. Agencies facing a shortage of field managers should make much more use of these ideas.
  • Mandatory security training is now needed for all new relief workers, before their first assignment to an insecure country, as a standard policy. Mandatory security briefing should also be required for all personnel, however experienced, travelling to an emergency area.
  • Board-level endorsement and support of an explicit and detailed HR strategy is necessary if agencies are to have the human resources to perform well in emergencies.