1st Edition

Working in International Development and Humanitarian Assistance A Career Guide

By Maia Gedde Copyright 2015
    394 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    394 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    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.

    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


    Maïa Gedde is an international development professional with over eight years experience of programme management and institutional capacity building in the health, education and employment sectors. She worked at DfID (the UK Governments Aid Agency) in the Africa Great Lakes and Horn Department before moving to the NGO sector.  She then spent five years at Tropical Health and Education Trust, as Programme Coordinator, where she was responsible for developing, coordinating and evaluating health partnerships between the NHS and hospitals and training institutions in Malawi, Ghana and Uganda. In this capacity she also wrote the first (2005) and second (2009) editions of The International Health Links Manual: a guide to starting up and maintaining long term health partnerships funded by DfID. In 2010 she took up a new post as Programme Manager for Survivors Fund (SURF), based in Rwanda, to establish their Education into Employment programme in collaboration with local organisations and government agencies.

    "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)

    "Each description includes resources to find out more about the field, and each demonstrates the wide variety of skills and interests needed by development and humanitarian assistance organizations. Appendixes provide reading lists and professional development resources. This is a useful, definitive introduction to what is involved in gaining entrance into this complex and diverse career."

    C. E. King, Iowa State University, USA, CHOICE


    "All in all, this is a down-to-earth, honest and comprehensive book offering holistic and balanced guidance on breaking into this dynamic sector. It should be required reading for all students studying humanitarianism and development, not only for the valuable career guidance but for the indispensable insight into the industry and its associated challenges and trends, both historically and today."

    Laura Samira Naude King’s College London, UK