‘Our NGO family has suffered a tragedy, and we will survive : ’ Evaluating a crisis response intervention with expatriate aid workers in Afghanistan

In 2008, Taliban forces killed four aid workers in Afghanistan. Immediately afterwards, expatriate and national field staff undertook crisis management activities on the ground. While this was a devastating event, field and headquarters staff agreed that the organisational response to the crisis was positive. Nine months later, 19 expatriate staff members involved in the crisis response participated in an evaluation to reflect on personal and organisational factors that contributed to their post crisis resilience. Results suggest that clear security protocols, crisis simulation preparedness training, team cohesiveness, strong leadership, staff mobilisation, well timed psychological support and support from managers may all contribute to staff resilience in high stress environments. Recommendations are offered to the international nongovernmental organisation community seeking to support staff following critical incidents.

Sarilee Kahn | 2018
In: Intervention: Journal of Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Conflict Affected Areas, ISSN 1571-8883 | 16 | 1 | March | 38-45
Afghanistan War, Crisis Intervention, Development Aid Workers, Resilience