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Call for SIOP Humanitarian Award Nominations!

Hello, GOHWP members!

SIOP has a call out for nominations for their Humanitarian Award. The GOHWP Executive Board wanted to make sure our members were aware of this, because the June 30 deadline is fast approaching.

SIOP’s Humanitarian Award is designed to recognize humanitarian contributions made by individuals who practice industrial-organizational/work psychology. From the SIOP website, the award can go to individuals for any of the following, or for other humanitarian-related applications of I-O/work psychology.

  1. Applying the practice and science of I-O psychology towards significant and sustained humanitarian initiatives, including the development of policy.
  2. Promoting prosocial I-O psychology through work with international non-governmental organizations and multilateral agencies, including the development of internal capacity in these organizations.
  3. Notable and sustained contributions to theory and/or practice in the area of humanitarian work psychology (deliberate and organized efforts to enhance human welfare and development).
  4. Significant impact on the field of I-O psychology through a focus on social responsibility and reduction of human suffering through organizational actions.
  5. Contributing to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals through I-O Psychology (e.g., poverty reduction, food security, health and well-being, equitable quality education, gender equality, sustainable energy, decent work, sustainable industrialization/innovation, inclusivity and justice within society, sustainable consumption/production, fighting climate change, creation of global partnerships for sustainable development).

The award does come with a cash prize, though in the spirit of the award, SIOP will instead make a donation of $1500 USD to the charity or foundation of the recipient’s choice, if the recipient so chooses.

Full details can be found on the SIOP web page, and we encourage our members to apply!

HWP in Graduate Research Methods

By Morrie Mullins

 

One of the things I’ve found is that there are really no boundaries for where HWP-related themes can fit in a graduate curriculum.  In this blog post, I’ll offer one example that came to me somewhat fortuitously as part of a broader lit review effort.

 

A year or so ago, an undergraduate student (who has gone on to be an I-O graduate student with a focus in HWP-related issues) was helping me with a lit review and stumbled across an article by Yao-Jen Chang, Rui-Hua Liao, Tsen-Yung Wang, and Yao-Sheng Chang titled, “Action research as a bridge between two worlds: Helping the NGOs and humanitarian agencies adapt technology to their needs.”  NGOs?  Humanitarian agencies?  And RESEARCH?  Sign me up!

 

It’s actually an interesting paper, dealing with how to incorporate various information systems in an NGO that “provides supported employment.”  The team involved in the project was highly interdisciplinary, including IT professionals, social scientists, and engineers, and used a set of techniques called “action research” to gather both quantitative and qualitative data about the domain being studied.

 

There is a LOT of detail in the article about their approach to the project, but a lot of it should sound familiar to anyone who’s ever had an I-O internship or done any consulting.  Their first stage involved diagnosing the problem using a series of interviews and focus groups, coming up with a preliminary set of findings, and designing an intervention.  They then moved on to another key stage of the research, where team members volunteered to go out and actually do some of the jobs they were studying, to get a sense of what the work was like.  Based on both the interview/focus group data and the direct observations made through working in the jobs being studied, the researchers came up with an action plan.  This derived from the needs and problems observed as the data were collected through various modalities.

 

One of the things that I find it’s important to keep in mind, when training graduate students on research methodology, is that there is a lot of “research design” that they’ve heard four or five times in the past.  I don’t have to go back over between- versus within-groups designs.  All those classic experimentalist designs are great and important, but most of the students I’m training are going out into the world to become practitioners, so they need other types of research skills.

 

What I LOVE about the “action research” article is that it puts research into the context of solving workplace problems – which is exactly what I-O/work psychology does, when it’s working well.  We are applied problem solvers, and we should be talking about methods that work well for approaching and resolving problems in the real world – not just in labs.  (Not that there’s anything involved in lab research, mind you.  All research has a place…)

 

Even in their second semester, my students see the way action research connects to what we do in I-O.  I generally hear comments like, “This sounds like some of what we did when we did job analyses” – which is exactly correct.  The way I was trained on job analysis involved a lot of detailed data-gathering and direct observation of workers on the job.  I didn’t get to step in and do their work like an action researcher would, but I was around them enough that I’d like to think I could have.**

 

Then you’ve got the HWP aspect, where we get to talk about NGOs and how to help them.  We get to talk about the importance of not assuming that you know what the job is like, and the willingness to get your (metaphorical and literal) hands dirty in order to really understand it.  We get to talk about how key it is to volunteer your time with non-profits if you want to get a sense of how they “live” their mission – because otherwise, you will have a hard time really understanding their problems.

 

The full citation for the article is below.  If you have other HWP-related papers you use to teach research methods, or really, any course, we’d love to hear about them!

 

 

Chang, Y.-J., Liao, R.-H., Wang, T.-Y., & Chang, Y.-S. (2010). Action research as a bridge between two worlds: Helping the NGOs and humanitarian agencies adapt technology to their needs.  Systemic Practice and Action Research, 23, 191-202. doi 10.1007/s11213-009-9154-8

 

 

** Yeah, I know.  I really couldn’t have.  I like my little delusions, though…

 

Humanitarian Work Psychology and Occupational Health Psychology: Two sides of the same coin?

In case you missed it, here’s an interesting piece from out-going Vice Chair Shujaat Ahmed about the connection between HWP and OHP!  It originally appeared in our winter 2017 newsletter.

Humanitarian work psychology (HWP) focuses on improving human welfare in all countries irrespective of income, and is broadly applied for the greater good of all people. Some of the areas studied within HWP are humanitarian aid work, poverty reduction, diversity, and corporate social responsibility. On the other hand, occupational health psychology (OHP) is focused on understanding how social and psychological aspects of the workplace influence employees’ physical and mental health across jobs. Scientists and practitioners within OHP examine individual and organizational interventions in an attempt to create healthier workplaces, while protecting the safety and health of employees. Some of the areas studied within this field include work stress, work-family interface, disease prevention, and workplace safety.

Humanitarian work psychology and OHP are related in a number of ways. For one, both fields are interdisciplinary. HWP is inclusive of knowledge and methods from psychology, occupational health, organizational behavior, and economics to name a few. Similarly, OHP draws from a variety of disciplines such as psychology, occupational health, organizational behavior, and human factors. Both fields also emphasize the improvement of health of individuals by expanding on the traditional sphere of their respective fields using research-based evidence. The divide between the two fields has shrunk even more in recent years as OHP, which has been traditionally been known to help for-profit organizations, has begun to include non-profit organizations and low income workers as regular stakeholders in both research and practice.

Two examples in recent research of the amalgamation of HWP and OHP are worth mentioning. Ager, Pasha, Yu, Duke, Eriksson, and Cardozo (2012) examine the stress and well-being of national humanitarian aid workers in Uganda. Based on cross-sectional data, they found that aid workers who report high exposure to stress are significantly more likely to report diminished mental health outcomes. These aid workers were especially vulnerable to mental health consequences with over 68 percent showing signs of clinical depression and 53 percent at higher risk for anxiety disorders. Gender also seems to plays a role, with female aid workers reporting more symptoms of depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and emotional exhaustion than their male counterparts. The authors expand the connection of OHP-HWP research by focusing on the consequences (depression, anxiety, burnout, PTSD) of humanitarian work among national aid workers which has received less attention compared to international expatriate workers.

More recently, in 2015, Mahima Saxena and John Scott obtained a grant from the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) for their project that explores work experiences of South Asian workers in the informal economy for the promotion of decent work and well-being. Informal economy may be defined as employment or economic activities that take place outside of, or that is external to government observation, taxation and regulation. Examples of informal work include laborers in agriculture, as well as nonagricultural work such as pottery, weaving, and manufacturing. Mahima and John have been investigating how informal workers conceptualize work, any hindrances they may face, and what their subjective health and well-being experiences are. This study makes an important contribution to SIOP’s United Nation’s initiative and also to the further connection of HWP and OHP research by promoting social justice, decent work, and well-being of informal workers.

While many psychologists consider the fields of HWP and OHP as distinct from one another, the main goals of each field complement each other greatly. Indeed, they can be thought of as two sides of one coin geared toward the promotion of health!

 

 

 

Further Readings

Ager, A., Pasha, E., Yu, G., Duke, T., Eriksson, C., & Cardozo, B. L. (2012). Stress, mental health, and burnout in national humanitarian aid workers in Gulu, Northern Uganda. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 25(6), 713-720.

Chang, C. H., & Spector, P. (2011). Cross-cultural occupational health psychology. In J. C. Quick & L. E. Tetrick (Eds.), Handbook of occupational health psychology (pp. 119-137). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Vergara, J. A., & Gardner, D. (2011). Stressors and psychological wellbeing in local humanitarian workers in Colombia. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 26(6), 500 – 507.

 

 

We Congratulate Our HWP Colleague, Leo Marai!

GOHWP is delighted to announce that Leo Marai, one of our earliest members and a seasoned professional in humanitarian work psychology, has recently obtained his PhD in Industrial-Organizational Psychology in the School of Business & Public Policy at the University of Papua New Guinea in Papua New Guinea. Leo’s dissertation is titled: “Dual Salaries in Papua New Guinea: Exploring their Links to Perceived Justice, Motivation and Wellbeing.” He was supervised by Professor David Kavanamur of School of Business & Public Policy, University of Papua New Guinea, and Professor Stuart Carr from School of Psychology, Massey University in New Zealand. One of his thesis external examiners was Professor Adrian Furnham of University College London.

With Leo’s permission, we are including a brief form of the abstract of his dissertation below.  Interested readers can reach out to him at leomarai – at – yahoo – dot – com for a copy of the full document.

The present study explored the concept and practice of dual salaries in Papua New Guinea, where local workers are remunerated less than international workers despite often performing identical jobs and having equivalent human capital. The “double de-motivation” hypothesis predicts that dual salaries will de-motivate both locally- and internationally-remunerated skilled employees, but the hypothesis has never been fully explored in the context of Papua New Guinea before. In particular, possible mediators and moderators of the linkage between remuneration type and de-motivation, such as the perceived justice and occupational propinquity (defined as psychological proximity) among workers on the job, along with other outcomes such as health and wellbeing, remain unknown.

The thesis concludes by presenting a new model of dual salaries. It adds to existing knowledge by revealing (a) that remuneration type (local, international) predicted injustice, de-motivation and mobility intentions among local workers; and also double de-motivation among international and locally-remunerated workers in a new country context; (b) that de-motivation mediated between remuneration type and justice; (c) that remuneration type predicted negative wellbeing; (d) that negative wellbeing mediated between remuneration type and de-motivation more than following from de-motivation; and (e) that occupational propinquity added separately and directly to injustice and de-motivation.

We congratulate Leo and applaud his work on dual-salary systems, one of the critical issues in the field. We are sure that this marks the beginning of many more years for him of productive research and practice in HWP.

HWP, I-O, and Religious Organizations

By Morrie Mullins, GOHWP Board Member

 

So I had an interesting, if brief, conversation with a friend I’ve known since graduate school.  He was talking about the work he does with his church, and with other churches, in applying I-O principles and practices to improving how the churches run.

To me, this is fantastic!  I love seeing organizations benefit from what we learn and do, and religious organizations are no less prone to recruitment, staffing, training, retention, satisfaction, motivation, change management, and other kinds of core work/I-O psychology issues than any other organization.  So I asked him whether he’d thought about connecting with GOHWP about the work he’s been doing, and his response kind of floored me.

“Yeah, I thought about it – but I didn’t think they’d be open to it.”

Like I said: Kind of floored.

To me, this seems like one of the most natural connections that could be made.  HWP wants to support the application of work psychology to humanitarian organizations and organizations that support humanitarian causes, and to understand the psychology of those organizations and the individuals who work with them.  (You know – both H-WP and HW-P!)  Religious organizations do all of that.  They do outreach within and around their communities.  They engage in charitable work.  They organize to help people when tragedy strikes.  They work for the greater good.

It just seems natural that this is an area where I-O/work psychology ought to be applied, and indeed, it IS being applied in this context.  So hearing the perception that GOHWP might not be open to supporting and sharing the work that’s being done applying best practices from the research and applied literatures to religious organizations made me feel as if we’re really missing something important.

And it made me wonder, “Well, why?”

There’s nothing I’ve seen in our materials, our charter, or anywhere else that would make me feel as if we’re excluding anyone.  Certainly, it’s never been my intent, or as far as I know, the intent of anyone on our Board!

There is a lot that we can learn from religious organizations, given how extensive their work with humanitarian causes is and has been, and I’d like to think that there’s a lot they can learn from us as well.  Are there barriers?  And if so, what are those barriers?  How can we make GOHWP feel more welcoming and inclusive to ALL organizations engaged in humanitarian work and supporting humanitarian causes?  How do we find our seat at the proverbial table?

We’d love to hear your thoughts about what the barriers might be, and how we can overcome them to help these organizations, that are such a key part of so many lives!

The Slack-tivism Debate

By: Laura Sywulak

Within the last five years, the use of social media as a tool for activism has exploded. Organizations are increasingly engaging with users online creating opportunities to reach large numbers of people who can donate money, sign petitions, write letters of support, and engage in other campaign activities with just a few clicks of the mouse. However, many consider these acts of online activism to be token displays of support that do more to make people feel good than to meaningfully further prosocial causes. It has added a major new element to the debate over “slacktivism”, defined as fairly effortless shows of support – typically public – that may make people feel like they are making a difference but don’t necessarily lead to much impact. Slacktivism includes activities like joining a cause’s Facebook group, wearing a specific color on a certain day, signing an online petition, or writing an email to a political representative. As organizations increasingly use social media as a campaign tool, the opportunities for slacktivism are seemingly endless. Critics of slacktivism worry that by engaging in these low-cost, low impact activities, people will feel they have done their part, discouraging them from engaging in more meaningful action.

There has been some initial research on whether this is true. In their paper, Does Slacktivism Hurt Activism?: The Effects of Moral Balancing and Consistency in Online Activism.”, Lee & Hsieh found that signing an online petition increased the likelihood of donating money, but not the amount and while engaging in slacktivism increased the likelihood of performing a congruent subsequent civic action, the effect is limited to actions that are also relatively low-cost. Signing a petition did not increase or decrease participants’ intentions to participate in subsequent high cost actions such as attending protests; it only increased intentions to sign future petitions and write letters.

Another concern is that groups that have many followers or members may suffer from a donation ‘bystander effect’ wherein members do not donate based on the assumption that others will. Kevin Lewis, professor of sociology at the University of California, San Diego, and two other researchers, analyzed the recruitment and donation activity of the “Save Darfur” Facebook page at the height of its campaign. Analyzing donation data over a a 2.5 year period showed that even though the group had over 1 million members, 99.7 percent never donated anything. The researchers concluded that signing up for the group may have offered enough in terms of reputational benefits that members did not feel compelled to take further action. That said the campaign still raised over $90,000.

So when does slacktivism lead to activism? Reseach by Kristofferson, White and Peloza (2014) used a series of field and laboratory experiments to understand when those who engage in slacktivism engage more deeply. They found the determining factor to be the extent to which a slacktivist’s activism is public or private. Those whose initial act of support is done more privately (for example, writing to a member of Congress) are more likely to engage in deeper, more costly forms of engagement later on. Those whose initial support is public (i.e. posting to Facebook or Twitter) are less likely to engage more deeply. Moreover, the researchers find that most appeals for token engagement “promote slacktivism among all but those highly connected to the cause.”

But how do online slacktivists compare to those who don’t engage in online activism at all? In a report by Georgetown University’s Center for Social Impact Communication and Ogilvy Worldwide researchers surveyed and compared social media activists to people who do not promote causes via social media. They found slacktivists are just as likely to donate money and more likely to volunteer their time compared to those who do not even engage in online forms of slacktivism. These data suggest slacktivists are willing to engage in more impactful activism and provide an argument against the point that slacktivism discourages more effortful acts of support.

Social media inarguably provides a broad range of new options for promoting and supporting causes. And while some initial data seems to indicate that slacktivism does not often lead to more impactful activist activities, it doesn’t seem to hurt and it’s better than doing nothing.

What do you think about the slacktivism debate? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or on Twitter @gohwp #slacktivism

An introduction to Project FAIR

What is Project FAIR and where did it come from?

by Ishbel McWha-Hermann

GOHWP board member Morrie Mullins approached me after the recent SIOP conference in Orlando to see if I would be interested in sharing some details of Project FAIR with the GOHWP membership, as an example of an HWP-related study that is being undertaken. FAIR stands for Fairness in Aid Remuneration and the project explores the ways international NGOs are structuring their reward systems in an effort to balance the desire to reward local and expatriate employees equitably with the need to attract and retain skilled employees.

The project developed from previous research which looked at the impact of dual salary systems (where national and international workers receive vastly different reward packages) on motivation and performance of both groups of employees. The previous study was carried out across six lower and middle-income countries, and the results largely suggested that disparities in pay and benefits had a negative impact on employees, particularly local employees who tend to receive much smaller packages (see Carr, McWha, MacLachlan & Furnham, 2010, for more details). In 2014 we held a workshop in London to share the results of the project with HR and reward managers from many international NGOs, and overwhelmingly they agreed that the results made intuitive sense, but what they wanted to know was what they should do to address them. Project FAIR was a first step along the path to helping figure out the answer to that question. We interviewed 18 HR and reward managers from 13 international NGOs of varying size and scope, and developed some insights into the different approaches to reward that are being undertaken, as organisations try to find ways to make their reward systems fairer. A full report on the project findings is available on the website www.project-fair.org.

Project FAIR speaks to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and in particular it clearly links to SDG8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), which includes the sub-goal of ‘equal pay for work of equal value’. The momentum behind Project FAIR reflects the current situation in which many international NGOs (as well as other actors within the aid and development sector more broadly) recognise that while they are clearly promoting the SDGs externally through their projects and activities, they also need to look internally to their own policies and practices to ensure they are meeting the SDGs in the ways they operate. Project FAIR is just one example of the great potential I-O psychologists have to contribute to many of the SDGs through the work that we do, be it looking at fair working conditions, equality and inclusion, wellbeing, gender, justice, or much more.

Project FAIR is an ESRC-funded international collaboration between the University of Edinburgh, CHS Alliance, Birches Group and Massey University.

The Importance of Punctuation and HWP

Little things make a lot of difference.  You probably expect that a posting with a title related to punctuation will pontificate on the problem of the Oxford/serial comma, the absence of which recently decided a case with relevance to work psychology (//www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/oxford-comma-court-case-ruling-overtime_us_58cad41ae4b0ec9d29d9dd28).  And yet, that’s not what this posting is about, nor is it about any of the fascinating (for some of us, okay?) punctuation-related facts described in Lynne Truss’s Eats, Shoots & Leaves (yes, the title there also plays with the Oxford comma, so I suppose that’s double misdirection).

 

Instead, it’s about a dash.

 

I had an interesting email exchange with former GOHWP Board member Ishbel McWha-Hermann after the recent SIOP conference, in which she mentioned that one of the conversations the Board used to have was about H-WP vs. HW-P.

 

The astute reader will have already noticed that there is no punctuation in GOHWP’s name, nor is there any in HWP as it’s generally abbreviated.  The distinction, however, is an interesting one, and points out two perspectives from which people can approach HWP.  As Carr, De Guzman, Eltyeb, Furnham, MacLachlan, Marai, and McAuliffe put it in their 2012 chapter, “Humanitarian work psychology incorporates both the application of industrial and organizational psychology to humanitarian issues, and more broadly the development of a psychology that promotes humanitarian work” (p. 4).

 

But do we all think of it from both perspectives simultaneously, and if not, what does the placement of that dash tell each of us about how we view the field?

 

Parsing “HW” from “P” reflects the study of the psychology of humanitarian work.  A lot of the work of groups like SIOP’s UN team, the Project GLOW initiative, and Project FAIR (look for more on this in upcoming blogs!) falls into this category.  Indeed, in looking at the focus of GOHWP as an organization, this has been what we tend to emphasize.  In our Twitter feed, this is largely the kind of work we post about, and the kinds of initiatives we follow.  There is a ton (or, I suppose, a tonne) of important work to be done in this domain, particularly as it relates to supporting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.  That, in a nutshell, is HW-P.  The psychology of humanitarian work.

 

H-WP slices things differently, putting work psychology into the service of various humanitarian topics and organizations.  This is where things like corporate social responsibility and prosocial I-O tend to fall.  A job analysis of volunteers at a soup kitchen, or developing a job skills training program for refugees, would be examples of H-WP.  One of my favorite sessions from SIOP 2017 involved a panel talking about doing prosocial I-O, working with various non-profits, religious organizations, and so forth to improve their functioning.

 

Before I had the distinction put to me in fundamental punctuation terms, I’ll admit that it’s something I’d struggled with.  It seemed – well, seems – to me that HWP can and should do both things, and that’s what the Carr et al. (2012) definition would suggest.  We should be studying humanitarian work, so we can support that sector of the global organizational community, but we should also be taking the skills we develop through our education, training, and work experience to improve all kinds of organizations that contribute to the greater good.

 

HWP, to me, is all about making the world a better place.  Wherever you place that dash, you’re trying to achieve the same goal:  Help people.  Offer our knowledge and skills (ah, heck – and our abilities, to finish the trifecta!) to improve work and thereby make people’s lives better.

 

So next time you think about HWP (and I hope you think about it often!), ask yourself:  Where do I put the dash?

 

 

References

Carr, S.C., De Guzman, J.M., Eltyeb, S.M., Furnham, A., MacLachlan, M., Marai, L., & McAuliffe, E. (2012). An introduction to humanitarian work psychology.  In S.C. Carr, M. MachLachlan, & A. Furnham (eds.), Humanitarian Work Psychology (pp. 3-33). New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.

Truss, L. (2006). Eats, shoots and leaves: The zero tolerance approach to punctuation.  New York, NY: Avery.

GLOW Initiative – Global Living Organizational Wage

The following information was graciously provided by Professor Stuart Carr about steps that have been undertaken by Project G.L.O.W. Read on!

Step 1: We grouped together with like-minded colleagues from outside Psychology who work in key areas, notably Employment/Industrial Relations and in the wider community. The shared networks of contacts across industry, labour unions and community groups was/is vital, keeping us and the work grounded, and co-owned; a stakeholder approach. This enabled us to secure seed money from our University, and paid living wages to all research assistants. We’ve since enjoined with other key Universities in NZ & South Africa, who have used (& refined!) this process. It works!!

Step 2: e.g., of working, We co-liaised on method. Learning: (a) be flexible, go to your sample, in our case we moved away from online forms to on-paper, inner city community café venues through a partnership with a leading social enterprise; (b) tailor measures to local conditions, e.g., less=more on survey length and scale points. ‘Money’ was difficult to measure/gauge, e.g., only some money items worked (e.g., Annual household income, in brackets, but not too wide, and hourly not annual, for personal wages). We are working with our valued local community partners, e.g., RAs from the community were on-hand to explain if needed, offered free, fair-traded coffees to say Thank you, plus will ‘pay it forward’ with seminar in the cafes (and will be included on papers); (c) We put a-c, Alignment-Ownership-Accountability, into prior Ethics proposal(s), before starting.

Step 3: Analyses addressed the core question in glow invitation letters. Some items flopped, e.g., fairness compared to supervisors when some workers who had none (lots of DK responses). Found reliable factors, e.g., pay justice – which linked closely, non-linearly, to money. Exploratory curve estimation & LOESS curves (both in SPSS) probed the shape of the relationships (for poverty traps vs. steady upward curvatures) . Across hubs, we have learned the importance of keeping measures as alike as possible, whilst allowing for diversity, e.g., hourly pay was apt at one hub, monthly at another. After all, we can still test the shape, and later convert currencies into one metric – the World Bank’s ‘Purchasing Power Parity’.

Step 4: We’ve been very careful not to release anything to the public or to any particular stakeholder group until fully blind peer review has been completed. Some so far:

Carr, S. C., Parker, J., Arrowsmith, J., & Watters, P. A. (2016). The Living Wage: Theoretical integration and an applied research agenda. International Labour Review, 155(1), 1-24.
Carr, S. C., Parker, J., Arrowsmith, J., Watters, P. A., & Jones, H. (2016). Can a ‘living wage’ springboard human capability? An exploratory study from New Zealand. Labour & Industry, 26, 24-39.

The question mark in the latter title (I think) is key: We really need GLOW to take us to the next level and answer the core question with confidence context and new diplomacy policy advocacy in mind!

Step 5: Overall reflections: We will need all – every bit – of the expertise and connectivity across glow to share ideas about ‘how’ to best measure, sample, and put the two together in competent and respectful ways, including both ‘social’ and ‘business’ case variables; and to actually reach out to the lowest paid end of the income curves that have so far (as far as I can make out) been shamefully neglected, even by other fair wage groups (e.g., via online samples, when the bulk of really low income folks are offline, on the other side of the ‘digital divide.’).

Key point: research ‘studies’ are only one part of what we are aiming to do – e.g., we need supporting/ive teaching, voluntary service; and much more. i.e., There is space for everyone to contribute whatever they can, whenever they can, and whatever individuals and teams wish to contribute.

That’s it for now.

GUIDELINES FOR CONTRIBUTING TO THE SDGs IN YOUR REGION

GUIDELINES FOR CONTRIBUTING TO THE SDGs IN YOUR REGION
Mary O’Neill Berry, PhD

Looking to engage with the SDGs in your own sphere of influence? Here are some tips!

Background on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2015- 2030: The SDGs were finalized in 2015 to replace and expand the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which had essentially set the global developmImage result for sustainable development goalsent agenda from 2000 through 2015. There are 17 SDGs, with many additional targets and indicators “underneath” each Goal (list of Goals and Indicators would be included at end of document). Governments and civil society are expected to take account of these SDGs as they shape national policies, programs, and practices. To do so will ensure significant social, economic, and environmental progress both locally and globally. The list of SDGs may be found here: //www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/

SDG Implementation: How can our membership help to ensure that the SDGs are, in fact, implemented on the ground locally? One way is for members to examine local/national policies, identify key influential players, and, in effect, “lobby” on behalf of the SDGs.

Forming Partnerships/Coalitions: It is likely that other national/local groups may also be already engaged in this kind of activity; the first thing to do is to identify who these groups may be (check their websites and/or any publications/statements they have issued), and suggest that a coordinated approach be taken to optimize the outcomes.

Examples of some such groups could include major NGOs like the Red Cross, Save the Children, CARE, or organizations like UNICEF, UNESCO, UNDP, etc. At the student level, campus-based and other academic organizations can also be explored, as well as instructors; there may be a place in academic courses themselves to address the SDGs and their implementation.

Implementation Steps: Once you have forged these relationships on the basis of shared interests, then the basic steps in the implementation process are as follows:

  1. Begin with national policies/programs in some of the arenas most reflected in the SDGs, for example, poverty, social welfare, health, education, gender, labor/work, the environment, human rights, discrimination, etc. These will likely be located in such government ministries as Health, Education, Labor, Social Welfare, etc. Prioritize which one(s) you want to focus on most; it may be best to tackle one SDG at a time. Do not try to do too much, too soon. Early successes will set the stage for later, additional, efforts.

  2. Review these national policies/programs to ascertain in which ways they seem likely to assist in achieving one or more SDGs. Also review the extent to which the national policies/programs can be assessed by the indicators established to monitor the success of SDG implementation.

  3. Identify any “gaps” between what is articulated in the policies/programs and what is stated in the corresponding SDG(s).

  4. Establish recommendations for closing these gaps, and/or for otherwise enhancing the probability that the policies/programs will be successful. An advisory group, resembling a “rapid response team,” will be set up within GOHWP; this group will be available to discuss and help to refine these recommendations in what will likely be an iterative process.

  5. Provide specific measurement suggestions whereby you will know whether the recommendations have been successful. Referring to the SDG indicators may be a useful step here. Again, GOHWP representatives will constitute a group of expert advisors who can assist in program evaluation and indicator assessment.

sdgs

  1. In parallel with these efforts, identify the key influential players nationally/locally who are involved with the policies/programs, and develop relationships with them and/or their staffs/offices.

  2. Communicate your recommendations to these key players and work together with them to negotiate their acceptance.

  3. Publicize your activities to the memberships of any national or international professional communities of which you are a part. This can be done via journals/bulletins, as well as through conference presentations, professional publications, and op/ed pieces in the local/national press.

  4. Follow up over time to assess whether the recommendations are taken into account, and if not, why not.

  5. If necessary, try again. If early efforts are successful, move to another SDG(s) and repeat the process.

For additional resources about SDG implementation, please see this document developed jointly by GRI, the United Nations Global Compact, and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development: //sdgcompass.org/

Need more information? Contact us at info@gowhp.org for assistance!