Transferable Skills of Aid Workers 2 – Intercultural Competence

Many of the skills of humanitarian workers are transferrable – this is why they can successfully move into other industries such as social entrepreneurship, political advocacy, or the private sector.

The second article in our series on transferable skills of humanitarian workers is about intercultural competence.

Humanitarian aid is by its very nature an intercultural activity.

If humanitarian workers are to be successful and effective, they must develop the skills to work across cultures and build relationships with local communities and organizations.

These skills include understanding how people in other cultures think and communicate, including managing one’s emotions, intercultural sensitivity, tolerance of uncertainty, flexibility and openness, and acceptance of ambiguity – all of these skills are crucial to many of the tasks that humanitarian workers have to perform every day.

Mutual understanding and respectful cooperation are not only the key to success in complex aid projects for the benefit of people in need.

We live in a globalized world and it is said that globalization is one of the reasons for most of today’s crises.

So we are all connected and need to know how to interact with each other to create positive change for the good of our world. Humanitarian workers bring this knowledge with them.


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