Managing Humanitarian Relief
An Operational Guide for NGOs
Edition: 2

Paper: 978 1 85339 903 9 / $69.95
Published: April 2017  

Cloth: 978 1 85339 902 2 / $139.95
Published: July 2017  

Publisher: Practical Action
470 pp., 6 1/8" x 9 1/5"
figures & tables
Armed conflicts, natural disasters and environmental degradation result in human misery, and the common response is to want to help. Responding effectively to humanitarian disasters is far from straightforward, however, and relief workers often find themselves in a world of uncoordinated, highly competitive agencies where the "why" and "how" to provide relief is far from clear.

Managing Humanitarian Relief is aimed at the relief worker who in the midst of these complex situations is putting together a program of action to help people in extreme crisis. It provides humanitarian relief managers with a single comprehensive reference for many of the management issues they are likely to encounter in the field. Designed for the generalist and for those in management positions, the book provides enough background for readers to understand the topics quickly and to put them into practice in the field. Its easy-to-use format includes essential information checklists, tables, diagrams, sample forms, and no-nonsense tips from practitioners to help readers in emergency situations.

The second edition brings the reader up to date with recent humanitarian reforms; the use of GIS and mobile technologies; tents and other temporary constructions and building materials; funding innovations; economic recovery, cash and vouchers, and microfinance.

Table of Contents:
About the author
Preface to the first edition
Preface to the second edition
1. Understanding emergencies and disaster-affected populations
2. Understanding disaster-affected populations and programme sectors
3. Managing in emergencies
4. Carrying out an assessment
5. Launching in a new country or area
6. Establishing an office and accommodation
7. Preparing a proposal and negotiating with donors
8. Managing human resources
9. Planning, managing and reporting on a project
10. Dealing with stress
11. Overseeing finance and accounting
12. Setting up a logistics and procurement system
13. Handling transport and maintaining vehicles
14. Communicating using radios and satellites
15. Working with local partners and contractors
16. Building internal capacity
17. Dealing with the media
18. Managing security
19. Monitoring and evaluating a project
20. Coordinating with other organizations
21. Closing an emergency programme
Useful websites
Glossary of common terms

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Reviews & Endorsements:
"Dr. James has built upon his prior work to address one of the most critically important topics in the aid world; that of managing field programs and leading teams. His emphasis on practical field skills has made his book an important addition to our humanitarian leadership training, and essential reading for all of those who oversee humanitarian programming. His book represents an important step toward professionalizing humanitarian aid."

- Michael VanRooyen, Director, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative & Humanitarian Academy at Harvard University
"I strongly recommend Managing Humanitarian Relief by Eric James. Besides being very knowledgeable it also has the great but rare virtue of clarity. It actually can be of value to a wide variety of practitioners."
- Martin McCann, Chief Executive, RedR UK