People In Aid

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People In Aid
People In Aid New Logo.jpg
Founded 1995
Type Non-governmental organization
Focus Human Resources, International Development
Area served
Method Training, Research, Innovation, People In Aid Code
Key people
Johnathan Potter, Executive Director
Website [1]

People In Aid was an international, not-for-profit membership organisation with offices in the UK, Australia and East Africa. People In Aid no longer exists following its merger with HAP International on 9 June 2015 to form the CHS Alliance.[1]

People In Aid's aim was to improve organisational effectiveness within the humanitarian and development sector worldwide by advocating, supporting and recognising good practice in the management of people. People In Aid implements this vision through use of the People In Aid Code which outlines seven key principles for effective people management.[2]

The last executive director of People In Aid was Jonathan Potter.[3]


Established by agencies in the humanitarian and development sector in 1995, People In Aid has grown from a small membership organisation into a global resource for NGOs. People In Aid maintains a focus on the quality of human resources and people management in the relief and development sector.


A research report published in 1995 called Room for Improvement [4][5] found weaknesses in existing organisational structures in humanitarian and development groups which lead to 'poor performance by staff, so diminishing the quality of programmes'.[4] The agencies which initiated the research, and the British government, established an inter-agency project, hired a coordinator and recruited a management committee of 12 organisations.


The People In Aid Code of Best Practice in the management and support of aid personnel was published, and agencies began a 3-year pilot implementation of the Code. It was intended to fit into the current trends and needs of the sector. The debate about quality and accountability in the sector led to the development not just of a complete framework intended to prompt improvements in practice (The Code), but an evaluative mechanism so agencies could check their progress.


People In Aid was formally established to support agencies wishing to enhance their human resources management through the Code, and became a UK registered charity in 1999.


Seven agencies implemented the People In Aid Code and published their findings in 'Ahead of the Field' (2001).[6] They were:

Since then, People In Aid has focused on providing the information which they believe agencies need to improve the quality of their human resources management. Its output has expanded since its inception to include workshops, handbooks, affinity groups, template policies, research and information notes.


The Code was revised in 2003, based on feedback, and is now known as the Code of Good Practice with the intention being to reflect the cultural diversity and differing approaches of agencies within the sector. The centrality of staff, both local and international, in delivering humanitarian and development missions effectively has been a priority for the organisation over the last ten years. Evaluations of agency work still point to deficiencies in a broad range of activities covered by human resources.


In 2012 People in Aid collaborated with Humanitarian Accountability Partnership International and The Sphere Project to develop the website in response to the needs of humanitarian agency staff to have easy worldwide access to information on humanitarian standards. The site uses very low bandwidth so that it can be accessed easily by those working in areas of low connectivity.[7]

The People In Aid Code of Good Practice[edit]

The People In Aid Code of Good Practice is a humanitarian and development management tool. Its aim is to help agencies enhance the quality of their human resources management. Responding to a need recognised by a large and varied group of NGOs in the early to mid-1990s, the Code is a contributor to the humanitarian and development sector's efforts to improve quality, effectiveness and accountability in NGOs, both international and national.

The aim of the Code it to reflect the belief that staff are the key to delivering effective programmes and responding to the needs of many millions of people throughout the world. People In Aid believes The Code provides a comprehensive and sector specific framework which encapsulates everything an NGO needs to think about in order to enhance the quality of its HR.

Once becoming a member of People In Aid, they offer an opportunity to work towards achieving the People In Aid Certification. The two tiered implementation process, certifies organisation as they Commit (Quality mark 1) or Verify Compliance (Quality mark 2) to the People In Aid Code of Good Practice.

The Code comprises Seven Principles:

  • Human Resources Strategy
  • Staff Policies and Practices
  • Managing People
  • Consultation and Communication
  • Recruitement and Selection
  • Learning, Training and Development
  • Health, Safety and Security

Quality Mark 2: Verified Compliant

Quality Mark 2, is awarded to organisations that implement the People In Aid Code of Good Practice by providing the assurance that reliable management and information systsems are in place through an independent external social audit.

List of organisations who are Verified Compliant with the People In Aid Code of Good Practice:

Quality Mark 1: Committed

This is the first certification level that a member organisation can achieve with People In Aid. It is awarded when the organisation can successfully demonstrate that they are committed to the continual improvement of their people management practices.

Through a HR self-audit and engaging with key stakeholders, the organisation is expected to identify its key strategic areas for improvement.The process is supported by People In Aid, who provide a number of guiding materials including a HR Audit Toolkit, HR Manuals and an already tailored Employee Survey.

This initial level is a step towards gaining full recognition by the Code of Good Practice and the second Quality Mark.

List of organisations that are Committed to the People In Aid Code of Good Practice:

People In Aid Membership[edit]

Membership at People In Aid is a way to access people management information. People In Aid offer membership in order to potentially help organisations and their managers save time and work more effectively.

People In Aid's Work[edit]

People In Aid's activities which are designed to compliment its strategic priorites include:


People In Aid offer workshops and learning platforms in order to help keep HR staff and managers abreast of current standards, trends and emerging issues. People In Aid also conduct networks which are intended for member organisations to learn and share experiences on topics such as health and safety and reward.


People In Aid promote engaging with a global community of peers both virtually through their website and at their events. On their website they provide a series of groups on specialist subjects, intended for idea sharing opportunities about HR challenges in the humanitarian and development sector.

Support Services[edit]

People In Aid assert that humanitarian and development organisations which invest in better policies and procedures will see a return on investment through increased staff retention and job satisfaction.


People In Aid provide resources including handbooks, policies and resource sheets in order to help organisations guide and improve their HR strategy. Through collaborative partnerships with academic institutions, People In Aid has produced a variety of research reports.


External links[edit]