PSA: Who should take the survey?

Posted on: March 9, 2014 | By: J. | Filed under: aid worker survey

The humanitarian survey has been live for about two weeks, now, and so far we’re very pleased with the response. We’ve had over 500 respondents to-date, and yes, we know it’s not a statistically viable sample just yet, but nevertheless we’re seeing some fascinating trends already beginning to emerge.

At this point, though, we need to pause and answer what is apparently a burning question in the minds of many: Who should take this survey? Or, put another way, who do we want to hear from?

You’ve tweeted us, DM’d us, emailed us, Facebooked us, biting your bottom lips, voices wavering… wondering if… is it really… for you?!

Should I take the humanitarian worker survey?! (hint: yes)

Should I take the humanitarian worker survey?! (hint: yes)

 

The answer is, “Yes!” If you do now or have ever worked in the aid industry, we want to hear from you via this survey.

Yep, we know. It says “humanitarian”, but you’ve always fancied yourself as a development worker. No short-term, all-output-no-impact, disaster zone adrenaline junkie shenanigans for you. The decades-long debates about “aid” and “development” begin to coalesce in your mind. Should you take the survey?

Yes. If you do now or have ever worked in the aid industry in any way, whether relief, development, advocacy, policy, shuffling papers, managing spreadsheets… aid industry? Yes? Then yes, we want to hear from you.

Or maybe you’re hung up on the fact that we appear to be asking about NGO staff only, and you’re a consultant or maybe you work for an institutional donor (we’ve updated a few of those questions, by the way). Should you take the survey?

Yes. If you do now or have ever worked in the aid industry in any way, whether NGO, INGO, SLONGO, MONGO, BINGO, employed by a donor organization or institution, or as a HRI-style reasonably-paid consultant, then yes. We want to hear from you!

My personal favorite (see my prior rants here and here) is when some of you worry aloud over the fact that you sit in a HQ, far from the action, providing passive “support,” while the alleged real work is being done by the alleged real aid workers far, far away. Should you take the survey?

Yes! If you do now, or have ever worked in the aid industry, whether in DC or Dhaka, Brussels or Bujumbura, Geneva or Genoa… Whether your job is something about shuffling papers, responding to donor information needs, making operational decisions, directly handing relief NFIs to survivors, attending meetings, attending really important and high-level meetings… Then yes, we want to hear from you.

The same goes for all the other permutations, too. You retired years ago. You’re super angry. You’re super happy. You’re expat. You’re local. You’re too busy for blogs. You’re an expert in surveys and you have serious concerns about the assumptions being made by some of these questions. You’re in ‘transition’ work, and so neither really relief nor development. Your job is highly specialized. Your job is very general. You’re very senior in your organization. You’re very junior in your organization. Should you take the survey?

Yes. If you do now, or have ever worked in the aid industry….

You get the point.

Just take the survey. (please)

J.

J. is a full-time professional humanitarian worker with more than twenty years of experience in the aid industry. He currently holds a real aid world day job at a real humanitarian organization as a senior disaster response manager. In a previous blogosphere life J. wrote a blog about aid work called Tales From the Hood, and was half owner/curator of the uber-awesome Stuff Expat Aid Workers Like.These days he occasionally blogs about serious topics at AidSpeak (aidspeak.wordpress.com). J. has written several books, including the world's first humanitarian romance novel, Disastrous Passion, and a non-fiction book entitled Letters Left Unsent. Follow J. on Twitter @evilgeniuspubs

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