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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!

Book Review: Humanitarian Work Psychology and the Global Development Agenda

By Ashley Hoffman, North Carolina State University & GOHWP Chair & Drew B. Mallory, Purdue University & GOHWP Vice-Chair

As with any growing subfield, we humanitarian work psychologists are always quite excited to see any new research coming to print. Starting with the 2012 book, Humanitarian Work Psychology (Carr, MacLachlan & Furnham, eds.), and continuing with books dedicated to the intersection of I-O and vulnerable populations (Reichman, 2014) and I-O Psychology and the greater good (Olson-Buchanan, J. B., Koppes Bryan, L. L., & Thompson, L. F., Eds., 2013) the number of publications devoted to highlighting the work being conducted in the HWP realm has been rapidly proliferating. Yet, despite greater publicity and increased research and interest in the role of I-O psychologists in contributing to the greater good, the appetite for even more information and research is strong. The latest publication to add to this body of literature is a book edited by former GOHWP Chair, Ishbel McWha-Hermann, as well as former Vice-Chair Doug Maynard, and current board member Mary O’Neill Berry. My colleague, Drew B. Mallory, and I would like to use this month’s column to introduce you to the book, provide a short review of the content, and share with you an interview with the editors, who discuss their vision of both the book and the larger area of HWP.
This book, Humanitarian Work Psychology and the Global Development Agenda (2016), is among a handful of other books that have taken a step to fill the relative dearth of literature addressing HWP concerns, and does an admirable job at tackling the task at hand. The book seeks to address the way that work and organizations can impact global development, both in small- and large-scale operations. It is a collection of research studies and theoretical articles targeted to researchers and practitioners in the I/O field, and—especially—professionals involved with the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and their successors, the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
HWP and the Global Development Agenda (2016) seeks to address the organizations and individuals that have contributed to the research and practice of humanitarian work psychology, and how these specific contributions have furthered both the field of I/O psychology and the United Nation’s goals related to poverty reduction, social justice, and equality. The book makes a compelling case, not only for the practical applications of research and work that has already been conducted, but also about the processes aid and development workers use during the implementation of initiatives. The final section of the book also showcases some thoughtful reflections on the state of the field, the responsibility of I/O psychology in contributing to the greater good, and how the progress in implementing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) will dovetail into the accomplishment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The introduction of the book by the editors provides an overview of the Millennium Development Goals and introduces unfamiliar readers to HWP. The book separates author contributions into thirds: articles addressing practical applications; specific processes; and reflections and projections, each related to the MDGs. As this book is a collection of research and practice from a variety of professions and interests, the contributors come from different backgrounds, including traditional I/O psychology scientists, as well as aid and development workers and practitioners. Additionally, the authors come from a variety of scholastic and professional backgrounds and represent very diverse countries and communities. The work of many important figures in HWP is represented, as is the work of many interesting and well-known organizations. The work that the IBM has done in Nigeria (Osicki), the more mainstream processes employed in corporate sustainability and the United Nations Global Compact partnerships (Cruse), and the variety of “calls to action” (e.g., Viale; Lefkowitz), in particular, are highlights of the informative and compelling vision of the state of HWP, the gaps in research and practice, and the roles that need to be created or filled moving forward. Not only do these chapters serve as a broad overview of the kinds of work that humanitarian work psychologists do, they also aim to continue the discussion surrounding I-O psychologists’ ethical responsibility to improving the lives of people both locally and globally, and to focus on such outcomes as much as or more than we have traditionally focused on improving the bottom line of the corporations in which we work. To that end, the volume concludes with a poignant piece leaving the reader feeling a renewed sense of responsibility and urgency to contribute to the MDGs and the SDGs moving forward.

This book showcases the work that has been done to this point. It also serves as a subtle reminder that we, as members of the field of psychology (and particularly the area of Humanitarian Work Psychology), have a great deal of research and work to do in order to both understand and contribute to the aid and development field.
Having sufficiently introduced you to the book concept and format, as well as its relevance and timeliness to the area of HWP, we would like to take this opportunity to have the book editors speak a little more about some of the “behind the scenes” process of compiling the book, as well as addressing some specific questions about their perceptions of the book’s strengths, purpose, and the future of HWP.
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Hi Ishbel, Doug, and Mary! Thanks so much for contributing to this edition of the HWP TIP column. Let’s jump right in!

Ashley: I’d love to know your process for compiling the book? How did you come up with people and projects to include?
MB: Many of the authors are known to the editors since the early days of HWP; many are members of GOHWP, or closely networked with our group. We looked for broad geographical representation and a wide range of projects to include, with the intent of demonstrating the scope of HWP and the many and varied ways in which it can be of assistance in furthering the global development agenda, in particular, its application to the implementation of the MDGs, and, by extension, the SDGs.
IMH: We wanted to spread the net as wide as possible, and try to hear from people who were doing as broad a range of interesting and innovative work as possible. To do this, and ensure we reached people we might not have already known, we put together a call for proposals and circulated it to as many networks as we could find. We were really excited about the number of high quality submissions we received from around the globe. Once we had reviewed the submissions we looked for a broad geographical representation, as well as a range of projects which covered all of the MDGs in some way.

Ashley: Yes, it is evident that the projects covered are representative of the truly global nature of HWP, and the reach of the MDGs. I know Drew and I are really excited about this book and the contributions it provides. What do you all believe are the biggest strengths of the book?
IMH: The book was conceived and written at a really exciting time in the global development agenda, as the MDGs evolved into the SDGs. We felt that as the world put the development agenda under the microscope it was critical for I-O psychology and HWP to step up and highlight the contributions we have made to the MDGs and put forward our thoughts and aspirations for where this can go in the future. At the same time we recognized the opportunity for the fledgling HWP movement to shift from conceptual discussion of why I-O psychology can and should contribute to this agenda, to a practical demonstration of the excellent progress that work psychologists have already made. We hoped that providing practical case studies would help, encourage, and inspire others to undertake these kinds of projects, by showing that such work can be done and IS being done.
MB: We feel that the finished product does indeed demonstrate the breadth and depth of HWP application in a variety of types of case studies and geographical parts of the world. By making explicit the connection to MDG implementation, we think that the book serves as a blueprint or roadmap for how HWP can serve to also implement the SDGs, which define the global development agenda for the next 15 years. In addition, the book includes some “thought pieces” from leaders in the field, commenting on the progress made to date by HWP and their hopes for the future of HWP.

Drew: We absolutely saw that breadth, as well as the practical implications of the publication as we were reading. As a researcher starting out in this area myself, I’d like to hear you speak to what is missing in the HWP literature that another book could address?
DM: Using the MDGs as a framework for organizing and viewing the content of the book, it becomes clear that there is a greater focus on some areas of global development than others. This is not surprising given that the psychology of work is a more natural fit with some initiatives (e.g., eradicate extreme poverty, promote gender equality) than others. But we believe that HWP has much to contribute to all of these areas and look forward to seeing how practitioners find creative ways to apply our science across the broad spectrum of social, health, and environmental issues.
IMH: This book focused specifically on the global development agenda, because of the timing of the development goals. However, this reflects only one half of HWP work, as defined by GOHWP. Another book could provide a balanced illustration of both aspects of HWP (one being a focus on humane and decent work, the other on humanitarian aid and development work), and in addition to work in the humanitarian sector could include for example, projects that help marginalized and vulnerable workers in higher income settings. Additionally, as HWP grows in momentum we learn about more and more projects which are being done in the area, for example through AOM’s humanistic management network, and organizations like the Social Impact Research Lab. I’d like to see future work collaborating with scholars in these areas, and others, to learn across the disciplines.
MB: Yes, we would have liked to include more case studies illustrating the broader definition of HWP, namely, studies of work psychology applied in a humanitarian way, regardless of the sector or type of workplace. We look forward to covering this more completely on a future occasion!

Ashley: There is so much good work being done, and we are only beginning to scratch the surface of connecting as a global network. Are there any other projects you would have liked to highlight but didn’t have the space to include?
MB: Additional work being done on wage inequality/living wage issues, such as the GLOW initiative (Global Living Organizational Wage) – this is increasingly becoming a topic which is front and center of economic and social debate and media coverage.
IMH: To be honest, I think we packed as much into the book as we could! With 19 chapters I don’t think the publisher would have allowed us to include any more!

Drew: Anything else readers should know before beginning to peruse their copy?
MB: We encourage readers to read the initial chapter, which sets the stage and summarizes the various case studies, then to pick and choose other chapters at will; each chapter stands on its own merits, it is not necessary to read them in sequence. The reflective essays in Part lll and the final chapter we think bear reading together, as the foundation for the future direction of HWP. We hope that the book will encourage, if not inspire, readers to consider how they can practice and/or research HWP in their own careers.
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It was such fun speaking with Ishbel, Doug, and Mary about this new book, and get a little more insight into how it contributes to the HWP literature at large. Humanitarian Work Psychology and the Global Development Agenda is hopefully the first of a large number of books devoted to highlighting and promoting the work that professionals in the psychology field are doing to further the accomplishment of the United Nations MDGs and SDGs. As we continue to move forward in our pursuit of these global goals in tandem with the United Nations, it is imperative that we also continue to publish empirical and theoretical research that speaks to the importance and relevance of the social sciences in solving local and global issues, and improving human welfare. This book is a wonderful launching point for any psychologists, new or seasoned, to improve their understanding of the interaction of the psychological profession and the world, and how psychologists can maximize their positive impact around the globe.

Insight | Work psychology – putting the human in humanitarianism

Article reposted with permission. Find the original article here

By Ishbel McWha-Hermann

The United Nations (UN) recently unveiled its new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

A replacement for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), these 17 new objectives outline important aspirations for the global community in addressing some of the world’s greatest challenges.

From ending poverty, promoting well-being and sustainable industrialisation, to ensuring equal access to justice – all by 2030 – the aims are as ambitious as they are admirable.

Challenging as they may be, the good news is – like the majority of the MDGs before them – they are achievable. But only if we support the humans behind the humanitarian effort and the non-governmental organisations (NGOs) we rely upon to deliver them.

During the past few years, I’ve joined a growing movement of academics and leading practitioners to apply established work psychology theories and tools to areas of pressing humanitarian and international development need. As well as how to deliver the International Labour Organization’s vision of decent work, for all workers in all contexts.

As part of this ongoing research, I recently co-edited a new book which is the first of its kind to show this new field of humanitarian work psychology (HWP) in action implementing MDG projects.

Examining projects from Nigeria, India and Ghana, to Hong Kong and Sierra Leone, we found five key areas where work psychology can be applied to deliver humanitarian benefits.

1. Addressing workplace well-being

Like all organisations, people are core to the success of humanitarian agencies. Without committed, engaged employees and volunteers they simply cannot deliver positive development outcomes.

So it’s essential NGOs have effective governance and leadership to ensure their workforce is equitably treated and rewarded.

Applying work psychology to the humanitarian process can address a range of issues, from recruitment and selection, managing relationships between multi-cultural and diverse workforces, to pay and benefits. In such a charged environment, for example, work psychology can provide insights on how to mitigate the impact of emotional exhaustion on workers’ health and wellbeing.

2. Establishing partnerships to increase scale and impact

One way to improve workplace well-being and performance, in general, can come from forging multi-stakeholder partnerships to share knowledge, resources and best practices – particularly when these ties cross borders between developed and developing nations.

Collaborations between Higher Education institutions in Europe and North America with those in Africa have expanded skills in student recruitment and supervision to help improve post-graduate opportunities in global health across the continent.

3. Improving inclusiveness and extending participation in training

Expanding the reach of skills training to the lowest realistic levels can deliver vast improvements, not only in workplace participation but also in service delivery.

By identifying suitable candidates and tailoring training to local cultural and situational factors, NGOs in Sierra Leone have successfully managed to address significant shortages of healthcare professionals by training and retaining a vast team of Community Health Workers.

4. Embedding the value of communications and messaging

Applying work psychology’s focus on the value of communication to compel people to action has marked effects on the outcomes of projects. But it can also deliver real benefits to development processes – enabling them to be replicated in other settings or at different scales.

One notable project took this approach to improving goal-setting for frontline healthcare workers in Bihar, India. Using a team-based goals and incentives programme the motivation and performance of frontline workers was significantly improved, resulting in reduced child mortality rates and improved maternal health.

5. Encouraging local participation with projects

Change can be threatening for any community. But enacting it with local conditions and cultures in mind will improve the chance of a project’s success by ensuring it is rolled-out with a community, rather than to it.

In Uttar Pradesh, India, researchers were able to identify how to reduce the spread of communicable diseases by gaining an understanding of how daily behaviours – influenced by poverty and poor work environments – play a role in how they’re spread.

The new Sustainable Development Goals have challenged the international community to do more. Achieving these goals will not be easy, but I believe humanitarian work psychology will play a key role in turning the mission into reality.

 

Ishbel-McWha-Hermann

Dr Ishbel McWha-Hermann is Early Career Fellow in International Human Resource Management, a founding member of the Global Task Force for Humanitarian Work Psychology, and past Chair of the Global Organisation for Humanitarian Work Psychology(GOHWP).

 

New Year, New Board!

The results are in. Welcome to our Executive Board members for the 2014/2015 term!

Congratulations to Ashley Hoffman, our incoming Chair, as well as our other re-elected board members – Doug Maynard (Vice-Chair), Stu Carr and Mary O’Neill Berry, and Tara Behrend.

We also welcome two new members – Peter Baguma and Laura Sywulak, as well as our new student representative, Drew Mallory.

To learn more about each of our Board Members, check out the Leadership page on the GOHWP website:

The Board has already been working hard to promote HWP, increase membership and member involvement in GOHWP, and add even more value for our current members.  With SIOP members voting the growth of corporate social responsibility as one of the Top 10 Workplace Trends for 2015, it’s looking to be a big year for GOHWP! We have a number of goals this year, including but not limited to:

  • Linking members with each other, with organizations, internships, job opportunities, and relevant research to encourage strategic partnerships
  • Expanding GOHWP’s outreach to organizations and institutions, especially in Latin America, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe
  • Developing and distributing resources like papers, teaching materials, and guides to increase knowledge-sharing and awareness of humanitarian work psychology

We look forward to a productive year!

*Interested in contributing something to the GOHWP newsletter or blog? We’d love to hear from you! Email lsywulak@gc.cuny.edu for more information.