The Vulnerable Humanitarian: Ending Burnout Culture in the Aid Sector (Routledge Humanitarian Studies) (Hardcover)
The Vulnerable Humanitarian challenges the prevalence of stress and burnout culture within the aid sector, laying bare the issues of power, agency, security and wellbeing that continue to trouble organisations and staff.
Engaging and insightful, this book illustrates the problematic and unrealistic expectations of aid workers through the archetype of the perfect humanitarian, and considers why burnout is so endemic, yet so rarely acknowledged, within aid organisations. The book provides practical means through which staff and managers can reflect upon and discuss damaging organisational cultures and behaviours, and develop a more inclusive and caring work environment. Drawing on original academic research and interviews with national and international aid workers and development experts, the book proposes a feminist, anti-racist and decolonial agenda in challenging oppressive systems and structures within the sector. With extensive professional experience as an aid worker herself, Gemma Houldey also shares her own struggles with mental health and what she has learned from feminist practices for self- and collective care.
Proposing new ways of addressing wellbeing that are sensitive to the multi-faceted personalities and lived experiences of people working on aid and development programmes, The Vulnerable Humanitarian is essential reading both for current aid sector employees and for prospective employees and students.