(The Humanitarian Social Network)
Sorry all but I actually think aid worker certification will never happen. I’ve worked for more than a few of the big names in the industry – and there isn’t one that could hire truly qualified people for all the jobs open. We’re hiring from a very small applicant pool. We’re either hiring people who don’t mind living far from their families and friends or we’re fighting over the most talented of a population who already had good jobs locally before our organizations arrived. Honestly, there just aren’t enough good “qualified” people out there and so I think we should set our sights a little lower.
I think we need a WARNING LIST. If someone has ever used sex inappropriately with a junior staff or beneficiary, shown up to work drunk/high, or used organizational funds for personal gain – that’s it they go on the list. BINGO’s, UN and Red Cross organizations will get together officially, not just over drinks, and start sharing the names of international employees, contractors, local staff, and “NGOs” who have “screwed” over individuals and organizations repeatedly. Organizations can still do business with the person/organization, but they do so with open eyes. No more of this, “oh but they didn’t ask about that on the reference form, so I didn’t mention it”.
Honestly, I’m far too cynical to think this much coordination will ever happen – so what ideas do you have? How can we politely share information about individuals or organizations that might not live up to “humanitarian” ideals or who have done "harm" without it seeming like gossip?
I think in principle, this is cool.. but whatever it is might turn into a sort of a free range police blotter for folks who have pissed off others, or don't have the context, or what have you. We are an angsty action-first lot, and I could see whatever list and those administrating it to be flooded with "this so and so pissed me off" -- and like the sex offenders list, exboyfriend registry websites and things like it, it may have trouble coming up with proper qualifications, verification and limitations for inclusion (or exclusion) from the list.
The organization I worked for previously had a Do not return list which covered a range of offenses from spouting off to the press to sleeping with beneficiaries. I think if you want to create something that is more simple you could use the standard do nots in forms like do not engage in sexual relations with beneficiaries, illegal use of drugs (country specific obviously)