Conflict-sensitive aid: Reducing conflict by hiring the right staff

This paper explores the challenges to, and opportunities for, mainstreaming conflict sensitivity within the Syrian crisis response in Lebanon by looking specifically at how international non-governmental organisations (INGOs) recruit personnel.

The main conclusion is that these practices are conflict blind, not conflict sensitive, with little to no attention devoted to political, confessional or ethnic considerations during the recruitment process. The research also found that the hiring practices of sampled INGOs are negatively affected by governmental policies, which have placed restrictions on the employment of international personnel and Syrian nationals in particular.

Finally, tensions which reflect political and confessional divisions are growing among INGO staff members, and have at times been made worse by the recruitment decisions that some organisations have adopted in response to the government’s policies.