The Role of Staffing Decisions

June 2010 | The Listening Project

Suggested Citation: The Listening Project. The Role of Staffing Decisions. Cambridge, MA: CDA Collaborative Learning Projects, 2010.

Across the countries, communities and various contexts visited by Listening Teams, people talked about how the staff of international and local aid agencies shape their experiences with international assistance efforts.

People described how hiring decisions, salaries, spending priorities, relationships and responsibilities of staff can influence local perceptions of aid organizations and their effectiveness.  People frequently talked about how the local staff’s ethnic, political, and other affiliations can affect who has access to assistance and how it is delivered. Some also raised issues around hiring international staff and consultants versus local personnel.

People consistently voiced concerns about local and international staff members’ local contextual knowledge, cultural sensitivity and impartiality, and how aid agencies can support or undermine local capacity and sustainability through their hiring decisions.