Working in International Development and Humanitarian Assistance
A Career Guide
By Maia Gedde
Foreword by Duncan Green
Routledge – 2015 – 368 pages
This is an indispensable career guide for everyone wanting to work in or already working in the international development and humanitarian emergencies sector. It provides a general introduction and insight into the sector, for those exploring it as a potential career, and offers students up-to-date advice when choosing a course, whether it’s at undergraduate or postgraduate level. Should they study International Development, or will Public Health, Environmental studies or Media get them closer to where they want to get? This book offers graduates or career changers who are new to the sector an understanding of what skills and experience will make them stand out above the competition and get that job. It enables those already working in the sector to gain a long term view of where they want to go and how they might structure their professional development to gain the skills and competencies necessary to get their career on to an upward trajectory.
This book draws heavily on insiders’ advice, case studies and top tips, to provide the reader with various perspectives and insights. How do you become a country director for an international NGO? How can one become a gender mainstreaming expert? What can you do to get in to consultancy? Career trajectories, Career clinics Q&A boxes and the personal planner in the appendix will help you get to where you want to go.
It also gives a detailed account of the myriad of careers and specialism available within the sector and methodologically describes the pros and cons of each option. So if you are not sure where you want to go with your career, you will be after you have read this book. Whether it’s Programme Management, becoming an Environmental Advisor, or an Acadmic this book will give you an insight into what the job entails and how you can get in to it. It will be an invaluable guide to all readers, irrespective of their country of origin, who are interested in the sector.
"A tremendous resource for all those seeking to enter and build their careers in the international development and humanitarian assistance fields. Gedde’s book provides much needed advice on the range and diversity of roles, how to identify which aspect of the sector is for you, build your knowledge, skills and evidence, and network and market yourself effectively to find and secure an opportunity. Whether new to the sector, transitioning into it mid-career, or thinking about how to take your experience further, the multitude of examples and case studies woven throughout Gedde’s chapters provide superb insights and context to her clear, practical and thorough guidance."
Dr Jane Chanaa, Careers Team Leader, University of Oxford, UK
'This excellent Guide comes out at exactly the right time. It provides historical and political context for current discussions around a new set of Sustainable Development Goals, to take us from 2015 to 2030, and provides some wonderfully practical guidance and advice to those who think they might want to work in this area.
The world of international development and humanitarian assistance is complex. It can also be frustrating for practitioners, as some of the stories in this book make clear. Idealism has to be tempered by reality - but it is the best place to start. So if eliminating absolute poverty, protecting people in humanitarian situations and saving the Planet - or any one of the above - sounds as if it might be for you, and you want to know how to get involved, then read on.'
Professor Myles Wickstead CBE, Former Head of Secretariat to the Commission for Africa (CfA)
Part 1: The Sector 1. Development and humanitarian assistance? 2. Is it For You? 3. Who could you work for? 4. Where could you work? Part 2: Breaking into the sector? 5. Routes in 6. Academic Qualifications 7. Volunteering and internships 8. The Job Search Part 3: Moving up in the sector 9. Advancing in your career 10. Working as a consultant 11. Starting your own NGO 12. Moving on Part 4: Areas of specialty