Talent Development

The Talent Development project helps build the capacity of people best placed to respond to humanitarian crises, enabling national level aid organisations to maximise the potential of their staff, and ensuring national staff have the necessary skills and knowledge to improve the impact of crisis response.

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About the programme

During humanitarian crises when state agencies are unable to cope , strong leadership from aid organisations is essential in order to respond quickly. In the past, the humanitarian sector has looked to international aid organisations to provide this leadership. However, those closest to the disaster are uniquely placed to provide strong leadership and faster response, but sometimes lack the necessary training and skills to do so.

The humanitarian system needs to invest in leadership and raise the level of professionalism across the sector, so that national-level organisations are strong enough to lead a response. Talent Development focuses specifically on developing national capacity; national staff of international non-governmental organisations (INGOs), non-governmental organisations (NGOs), civil society and government.

The project will bridge this gap through training and development opportunities, offering an innovative ‘package offer’ that combines and strengthens three existing high-quality programmes. The project avoids a one-size-fits-all approach and instead focuses on the individual development of participants.

The project will deliver three learning and development programmes; an entry-level trainee scheme, mid-level training, and leadership training – supported by a network of specially-trained locally- or regionally-based coaches.

Entry-level training

The entry-level fast-track trainee scheme is led by Save the Children for 175 participants. This will provide on-the-job learning, simulation training, distance learning, and coaching.
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Mid-level Context training

A mid-level ‘Context’ programme is led by Oxfam Great Britain and implemented by BIOFORCE, MzN international and RedR UK for 640 participants. This will provide long-term learning and development through face-to-face group-based learning, coaching, individual project work and web-based learning.
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Senior-level ‘Leadership for Humanitarians’ training

The senior-level ‘Leadership for Humanitarians’ programme is led by Relief International for 240 participants. This will provide learning and development through face-to-face workshops, follow-on action planning, distance learning and coaching.
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A cross-cutting strand of action led by the CHS Alliance (formerly People in Aid) will develop an in-house coaching cohort and a network of locally- and regionally-based coaches.


The CHS Alliance will also review, revise and promote the Core Humanitarian Competencies Framework, in order to develop its use as the ’industry standard’. It will also design a tool to assess competence before and after learning interventions.

Who is involved?

This project is delivered by a consortium led by Save the Children UK and including Oxfam, Relief International and CHS Alliance.

Other partners include:
Leadership for Humanitarians

Where is the project taking place?

The project will run in Kenya, Ethiopia, Bangladesh and Jordan, and the mid-level ‘Context’ training will also run in Democratic Republic of Congo.


The three year project is funded with £5,985,087 from UK Aid, part of the Disaster and Emergencies Preparedness Programme (DEPP).


Learning review, output 1: How has Shifting the Power influenced local and national partner's response to emergencies?

Learning review, output 2: Increasing the voice and the influence of local and national NGOs


Protection Mainstreaming Training Package - English

Protection Mainstreaming Training Package - Urdu


To read more about the learning gained from the delivery of this project and other DEPP projects, please visit disasterpreparedness.ngo

Key contacts

For overall project management Carol Hatchett, Save the Children UK

For the entry-level humanitarian trainee schemes Ruth Talbot, Save the Children UK

For the mid-level ‘Context’ training programme Gaël Rennesson, Oxfam GB

For the senior-level ‘Leadership for Humanitarians’ training programme Tamara Szarlat, Relief International

For the coaching network and revision of the Core Humanitarian Competency Framework Verity Stiff, CHS Alliance

Find out more

Entry-level training

Mid-level 'Context' training

Senior-level Leadership for Humanitarians training