Staff Turnover in International Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs): A Case Study of International Rescue Committee (IRC)

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Addis Ababa University


This project paper aims to analyze the staff turnover of international non governmental organizations (NGO) and particularly the case of the International Rescue Committee (IRC). Non government non profit organizations are one type of the institutions that provide employment opportunities in addition to the private sectors and government institutions. The success of NGOs is determined by the availability and commitment of efficient and effective human resources. However, currently most of the NGOs are highly affected by staff turnover and therefore the quality of the service they provide to the beneficiaries is affected and the financial and non-financial cost of replacing vacant posts is significantly increased. In order to identify the causes and impact of the staff turnover in IRC, the project has used both primary and secondary data. With regard to primary data, first hand data have been collected through questionnaire filled by twelve terminated, thirty one existing non-management and seven management staffs of the organization selected based purposive sampling. Moreover data about the trend of both existing and terminated staff were collected from the organization. IRC (An American NGO) was founded at the suggestion of Albert Einstein in 1933 with the objective to assist Germans suffering under Hitler. Currently it works in twenty five countries and fifteen are found in Africa. IRC Ethiopia program has started in 2000 in response to the severe drought in Somali Region. With 209 permanent employees IRC Ethiopia participate in education and Community service, Environmental Health (Water and Sanitation), Health, and other sectors in the four refugee camps and local communities. Since from the period 2004/2005 to 2006/2007 the total number of staffs terminated from the IRC is counted to 89. However, though the organization does not keep detailed record for each resigned/terminated staffs, the total number of terminated staffs since from establishment is around 174. This indicates that the organization has lost almost 45% (174 out of 383) of its employees due to different reasons. The analysis of the three year period figures portray that most of the employees are terminated /resigned from the IRC during the first months of their employment period. Of the total terminated 89 employees, the highest share of terminated staff based on position is counted for the Officer and Assistant positions. Regarding termination based on filed office Assosa and department Education and Community service takes the lion shares.The findings of the study also revealed that the causes of staff turnover are a combination of factors. Family problems, poor leadership, dissatisfaction with the job, better opportunity in other organizations, dissatisfaction with the area, and educational opportunity are some of the causes. Based on the findings recommendations are suggested.



Non-Governmental, Organizations (NGOs)