Building aid workers' resilience: why a gendered approach is needed

Publication date

23 Nov 2015

Share publication

The concept of resilience is increasingly earning attention in development and humanitarian literature. Agencies and organisations are interested to learn about resilient communities, and keen to support the goal of ‘building resilience’ in developing countries. However, there is comparatively little interest in the resilience of aid workers themselves. This article will discuss the need to support aid workers to build resilience, for their own well-being and also for the effectiveness and sustainability of the essential humanitarian and development work they do. It will advocate for the need of embracing a gender-focused approach in the study of aid workers’ resilience, and more generally, in the study and promotion of aid workers’ well-being. The article draws on a qualitative study which found international women aid workers face specific stressors within the organisations they work for, in working relationships with national staff, and in their personal life. Humanitarian and development organisations need to adopt a gender-focused approach to resilience in the provision of psychosocial support for staff working in development, and emergency relief/humanitarian aid. This article is hosted by our co-publisher Taylor & Francis. For the full table of contents for this and previous issues of this journal, please visit the Gender and Development website.