More voices coming soon….

Posted on: March 28, 2014 | By: Tom Arcaro | Filed under: Aid Worker Voices book

Non-English versions of the survey coming soon

Though I don’t have any firm numbers to go by, a quick scan of available data is that English is not the first language of most humanitarian aid workers.  While it is a fact of life that the default language of many (most?) organizations in the aid world industry is English (with French coming in a very strong second), of the over 300,000 aid and development workers globally I’ll repeat:  for most English is at best a second language.

This fact is perhaps reflected in our data in that we have attracted a very small number of local aid workers:

Screen Shot 2014-03-28 at 12.23.23 PM

















Our main goal in taking on this project was to provide a space for more discussion about the lives and views of aid workers and so, toward that goal and more specifically toward the goal of hearing more -and more diverse- voices, we are working on translating the survey into Arabic, French, Spanish and German.  Please send us a Tweet if you have suggestions for other languages – especially if you have someone able to do the translation.

In other news, check out this article in Devex International Development Career Forum that mentions our survey and also quotes my collaborator J.



Tom Arcaro

Tom Arcaro is a professor of sociology at Elon University. He has been researching and studying the humanitarian aid and development ecosystem for nearly two decades and in 2016 published 'Aid Worker Voices'. He recently published his second and third books related to the humanitarians sector with 'Confronting Toxic Othering' published in 2021 and 'Dispatches from the Margins of the Humanitarian Sector' in 2022. A revised second edition of 'Confronting Toxic Othering' is now available from Kendall Hunt Publishers

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:


Comments are closed.