Professionalization in the Humanitarian Sector and Altruism among Humanitarian Aid Workers

Zainah Suleiman Arabyat, Fordham University


The purpose of the research is to provide a comparative study on how professionalization in the humanitarian sector affects altruism among humanitarian aid workers. The research was conducted by undertaking 15 interviews with Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement humanitarians. The humanitarian aid workers were categorized into international staff, local staff, and volunteers. The research findings show that professionalization is correlated with altruism. Yet, it is noticed that professionalization is not causally related to altruism. There are other factors such as the environment and personality that leads to less altruism among humanitarian aid workers. Altruism is an innate value that can be taught/transferred or trained by modeling the altruistic behavior. International staff, local staff, and volunteers demonstrate altruism in their behavior. The international staff perceives other international staff as less altruistic. They view local staff and volunteers as having mixed motives. The local staff view volunteers as most altruistic and volunteers view international staff and local staff as altruistic.

Subject Area

International Relations

Recommended Citation

Arabyat, Zainah Suleiman, "Professionalization in the Humanitarian Sector and Altruism among Humanitarian Aid Workers" (2022). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI29207533.