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Preparing International Relief Workers for Health Care in the Field: An Evaluation of Organizational Practices

  • Rachel T. Moresky (a1), M. James Eliades (a2), M.A. Bhimani (a2), E. Bradshaw Bunney (a1) and Michael J. VanRooyen (a2)...

Abstract

The growth of the humanitarian aid industry has led to the proliferation of relief programs and the rapid rise in the number of relief personnel working in the field. One major necessity in developing successful international programs is appropriately trained field personnel. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the educational practice and training methods for field workers by non-government organizations (NGO).

Of the 53 organizations surveyed, 64% responded that they sent health care workers to acute human emergencies. A majority of organizations, 31/53 (59%), used manuals as the primary method of training for workers before going into the field. Eighty-five percent of organizations (45/53) supplied their workers with trip briefings from prior personnel before going into the field, and 91% (48/53) had an on-site coordinator. Only 34% (18/53) provided classroom teaching or orientation prior to departure. The average number of months spent by workers abroad was ≤1 for nearly half (49%) of the NGOs. Only 34% (18/53) of the NGOs required that personnel had previous international experience.

Training of humanitarian workers varies significantly between nongovernmental organizations. Lack of standardization in training programs and wide variation of provider preparedness indicates the need by NGOs for enhanced training for field personnel.

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Corresponding author

Center for International Emergency, Disaster and Refugee Studies, The Johns Hopkins University, 1830 E. Monument Street, Suite 6-100, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA

References

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Keywords

Preparing International Relief Workers for Health Care in the Field: An Evaluation of Organizational Practices

  • Rachel T. Moresky (a1), M. James Eliades (a2), M.A. Bhimani (a2), E. Bradshaw Bunney (a1) and Michael J. VanRooyen (a2)...

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