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Project Glow

Project GLOW is a unique global network of research service and teaching hubs (SIOP, 2017). GLOW began in 2016, prompted by the prior work on poverty eradication by Stuart C. Carr at Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand. As pointed out in a superb summary of the project’s aims and ambit, and links to the United Nations SDGs (Scott, 2017), in 2016, half of all people classified in the world as “extremely poor” were not unemployed but working, in jobs. Dealing with “working poverty” has become a strategic objective for poverty reduction. The road to achieving this is by establishing true living sustainable wages that enable people (and organizations) to not only survive but, more importantly, to flourish and thrive. This emphasis on shared prosperity is emphasized in SDGs 9 and 10, for example.” – SIOP (2017)

Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)

Dear SDG actors,

What are the inspiring breakthroughs and success stories that illustrate SDG implementation? What are the good practices that can be replicated and scaled up? What are the gaps and constraints and how should we address them? Looking ahead, what steps should we take to accelerate progress?

To help answer these and other questions, UN DESA circulated a call for submissions of SDG-related good practices or success stories from Member States, the UN system and stakeholders – and received more than 600 suggestions! After a vetting from an interagency panel of experts, the first batch of good practices have been released on a searchable online database (//, featuring more than 400 submissions. More SDG good practices will be made available as the review is finalized. Our intention is to periodically issue a Call for Submissions of good practices, so if you missed this round, there will be another opportunity in the future.

To search the submissions including by sorting them by individual SDGs, click here and select the “SDG Good Practices” checkbox under the “Action Network & Databases” section in the left column. There is also a search bar for searching by country name or organization name.

We hope that this database will be useful in pointing out projects and initiatives being done to implement the SDGs around the world, and inspire others to take action.

Best regards,
UN DESA Division for Sustainable Development Goals

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.



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).


Recap of SIOP 2015 in Philadelphia

Were you unable to attend SIOP 2015? Check out this recap of some of the HWP-focused sessions this year in Philadelphia!

UN Initiatives for Women: How Can I-O Help?

In early 2015, the United Nations is launching important initiatives related to women globally, including women and work. These initiatives are a revitalization of initiatives started at the defining World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995. The field of industrial/organizational psychology has, for decades, been at the forefront of research and evidence-based practice on understanding and addressing issues related to women and work. This session provided information on these re-vitalized UN initiatives and engage an expert I/O psychology panel and the audience on how the profession of I/O psychology can help. One way is for researchers to include the gender wage gap in their research regarding a living wage. Another is keeping in mind that while many problems are global, solutions are local. Finally, panelists stressed the importance of partnering with economists in this work.

I-O for the Greater Good: Prosocial Applications of Our Expertise
This community of interest was a discussion forum for potential applications of our expertise in prosocial arenas as well as a debate about IO Psychology’s responsibility in this area. One major point of discussion was whether, as a field, we should separate prosocial applications as a sub-area of IOP or incorporate it as a basis for all that we do. While some argued that it should be developed as a specialty area for IOPs. Others believed it should be foundational to all research and practice. Another interesting point of discussion pertained to how to measure business performance in non-profits and other organizations which do not use ROI as a metric. This is a major gap in our current understanding of operational effectiveness in non for profit organizations.

Industrial Organizational Psychology and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), launched in 2015, set global priorities for everything from improving working conditions and enhancing gender equality to reducing poverty. Human work-related behavior is central to meeting all of the SDGs, therefore I-O psychologists have much to contribute to these goals. As a non-governmental organization with official consultative status to the UN, SIOP prepared a list of I-O psychology topics that pertain to each goal. Attendees broke into groups to discuss specifically how their skills could contribute to the SDGs. As an IOP, you are encouraged to visit to contribute your thoughts and use this tool to contribute what you know about IOP as it pertains to the SDGs. Check out this video for more information:

Decent Work, Sustainable Development Goals, and Humanitarian Work Psychology
Promotion of locally sustainable decent work in inclusive business economies has been the focus of recent efforts by the United Nations and ILO. This symposium explored the role of I/O and HWP in promoting decent work and influencing positive psychological outcomes for the global working poor, including an examination of missing competencies for the business of inclusion, the UN Global Compact’s Local Networks Initiatives for sustainable organizational practices, a report on the recent advocacy efforts by the psychology coalition for UN for the upcoming sustainable development goals, and two South-Asian case-studies on fair-trade by humanitarian work psychologists.

Prosocial IOP and HWP Posters

There were a number for great posters this year! Lots of great research about burnout, distributive justice, and commitment. There was also some interesting work regarding employee reactions to organizational sponsored volunteer programs. Check out the full list below!

Testing the Relationship between Volunteerism and Commitment Using Organizational Surveys
Shawn Del Duco
Camille Estime
This paper explored the relationship between volunteerism and organizational commitment. We also tested the effect of survey instrument type on organizational commitment. Results from our field study indicate that volunteerism is strongly related to organizational commitment, but survey instrument type did not impact organizational commitment after controlling for employee characteristics.

Employee Reactions to a Volunteering Program: Mediated and Moderated Effects
David Jones
Hypotheses were tested to explain changes in employees’ beliefs about their company’s identity after introducing a volunteering program. Beliefs about the company’s identity were linked to feeling proud about its community involvement. Employee pride predicted their organizational identification, moderated by prosocial identity, in turn predicting several job attitudes and behaviors.

Bad Luck Reduces Perceived Psychological Distance and Increases Prosocial Behavior
Sreedhari Desai
Jonathan Keeney
Four studies explored the relationship between luck and prosocial behavior. Using archival, laboratory, and field data, we found that individuals who recall or experience bad luck are more likely to behave prosocially. This effect is mediated by reduced psychological distance. Good luck, however, did not consistently predict prosocial behavior.

Distributive Justice for Volunteers: Extrinsic Outcomes Matter
Christine Quick
Lisa Scherer
Joseph Allen
Drawing on the employee justice literature, the role of distributive justice on volunteer intention to quit was examined. The indirect relationship between distributive justice and intention to quit through satisfaction was stronger for volunteers who placed lower rather than higher importance on extrinsic outcomes.

Moderating Effects of Volunteers’ Motives on Satisfaction and Burnout
Kailey Perez
Kimberly Schneider
Kamila Gabka Ashley McCarthy
Kelsey Stephens
Aaron Whitely
F. Andrew Eichler
Volunteers may not have the same motives as paid employees for working and remaining in an organization. This paper examined volunteer motives as moderators of the relationship between organizational constraints and work satisfaction, work engagement, and burnout. Results suggest motives moderate these relationships, particularly helping motives.

Influence of Individual Differences on Sustainable Behavior Commitment and Engagement
Shelby Anderson
Carol Shoptaugh
Michelle Visio
Robert Jones
Climate change knowledge, belief in science, green-self-efficacy, commitment to environmental sustainability and self-reported sustainable behaviors were examined. Green-self-efficacy scale was developed to assess individual beliefs. A hierarchical regression indicated green self-efficacy and commitment to environmental sustainability mediate the relationship between climate change knowledge and sustainable behavior relationship.

Stepping Up or Stepping By: Bystander Intervention in Sexual Assault
Amanda Palmer
L. Witt
Daniel McDonald
This paper tested a psychological process in which command intolerance of sexual harassment/assault has direct and indirect effects on bystander intervention. Results revealed that low-conscientiousness personnel paid attention to proximal cues (i.e., their coworkers) rather than distal cues (i.e., their leaders) in determining to what extent to intervene.
Climate for Environmental Management and Environmental Management Effectiveness
David Zoogah
Integrating organizational climate and environmental management theories, we examine climate for environmental management (CEM) and its relation to corporate environmental management effectiveness. Results suggest that CEM relates positively to environmental management effectiveness through ecological behavior at the individual level. We discuss implications and limitations.

Ecological Transcendence and Ecological Behavior
David Zoogah
Based on 176 responses of employees from 46 organizations we find that ecological transcendence has a sigmoidal relationship with ecological behavior suggesting deficiency, goading, and lulling effects. We discuss implications for theory and practice

Volunteer Program Assessment: Lessons Learned and Opportunities from I-O Outreach
Joseph Allen
Tammy Allen
Mark Poteet Lisa Finkelstein
Emily Medvin
Jessie Olien Lisa Scherer
Kimberly Schneider
This session provides information about the Volunteer Program Assessment (VPA), an innovative initiative that expands I-O to nontraditional audiences. Using student consultants, the VPA provides nonprofits with information about the perceptions and concerns of its volunteer workforce. Topics will include strategic start-up issues, lessons-learned, operational concerns, and future opportunities.