People Management Training in Turkey: "I really feel I will go back to work with better skills."

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In April, RedR ran two ‘Managing People in Emergencies’ courses in Gaziantep, Turkey, supporting aid workers responding to the Syrian crisis.

Located only 30 kilometres from the Syrian border, Gaziantep is home to a number of international and national NGOs which work in Syria, either through local partner organisations or by crossing the border to implement their programmes. A needs assessment conducted by RedR identified a huge gap in people management skills amongst staff of these organisations - skills which they felt would help them better meet the needs of those affected by the Syrian crisis, now in its sixth year.

With support from the Mace Foundation, we adapted our existing ‘Managing People in Emergencies’ course to a two-day and three-day format, focusing on the theory and practice of good management, communication techniques, coaching, negotiation, team-building and conflict management, and remote management. 36 Turkish and Syrian aid workers attended the training, representing international and local NGOs. The training equipped them to better support the staff they manage, some of whom are working in extremely difficult conditions.


"The training has really opened my eyes." 

"After attending the course, I instantly felt I had a better understanding of leadership theories, and that I had acquired the skills and tools to be a better leader," said one participant. "I also really appreciated the incorporation of the Core Humanitarian Standard, which have given me a better understanding of being a humanitarian. 

I also really valued the session on distance and remote management, as this is a key challenge I face in my daily work. I realised that, although the delivery of programmes is essential, communication within the team is also key; and maintaining good relationships within the team helps enable us to deliver the work. I have never attended a training like this before. I really feel I will go back to work with better skills."

"Many people find themselves in management roles with no relevant people management training," agreed another trainee. "A lot of people like myself, working for INGOs and NNGOs, have a range of skills - but we are often lacking management skills, especially in a complex context. Coming to the training has really opened my eyes." 

Organising these courses also helped RedR to identify other training needs in the region, including project management, crisis management and HR management - needs which RedR is ideally placed to address. We hope to be able to develop and run these courses, and to continue to support the response to this unprecedented humanitarian crisis.

Our sincere thanks to the Mace Foundation

for their support of this initiative.

If your organisation or foundation would like to support RedR's work in Turkey, the wider Middle East, or another region, please contact Alice Mellar: