The Challenges of Human Resources in Non-Governmental Organization: World Vision Mozambique

Subject: Employee Management
Pages: 14
Words: 3886
Reading time:
14 min
Study level: PhD


Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) are an important part of service delivery in most parts of the world. Most of them are involved in the delivery of humanitarian aid. Like other organizations, NGOs are heavily dependent on human resources for the success of their activities. The proposal looks at the human resource challenges that are present in one of such organizations, namely the World Vision Mozambique. The title of the thesis is projected in the proposal. This topic is deemed appropriate. The other issues that are discussed in the proposal include the objective of the thesis and the purpose that it is intended to serve.

The theoretical framework is stated together with the problems that led to the development of the thesis. In the final development of the thesis, some activities will be important including the collection of data and its analysis. These activities are also exhaustively discussed in the essay along with the timeframe within which they will be achieved. The proposal concludes with the assumption that its implementation will lead to the development of an appropriate thesis.


Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) have organizational structures that differ from conventional organizations. The challenges they face are different from those faced by conventional organizations. The challenges of human resource management are common in organizations (Society for Human Resource Management, 2008). More so, such hindrances are more in NGOs that work in non-conventional environments.

An example of an NGO that faces the challenges of human resource management is the World Vision Mozambique. Some of the problems it faces include a high employee turnover rate. The organization faces the challenges that other conventional organizations in Mozambique encounter, in addition to the human resource management problems. Therefore, the following is a proposal for a thesis based on the challenges of human resources in Non-Governmental Organizations. The World Vision Mozambique is used for the case study.


The title that is selected for a thesis should be in line with the objectives and problems to be tackled in the research. This title should also be relevant, realistic, brief, and informative to the readers of the thesis or research paper. The appropriateness of a thesis title is influenced by the content of the thesis. In the proposed thesis, the problem that is to be tackled is the human resource challenges in the Non-Governmental Organizations following my 13-year personal experience at World Vision Mozambique. In relation to the objectives and problems, the title that is chosen for the thesis is, “The Challenges of Human Resources in Non-Governmental Organization: A Case Study of World Vision Mozambique”.

Purpose and Objectives

In the thesis, the purpose is to analyze the human resource challenges at World Vision Mozambique with the purpose of establishing the challenges affecting Non-Governmental Organizations in different parts of the world.

The human resource challenges that affect organizations are diverse. As stated earlier, Non-Governmental Organizations have their own versions of the challenge. In any thesis and research, it is important to develop the objectives that are to guide the collection of data, analysis, and the formulation of an adequate conclusion. In this particular thesis, several objectives were developed to guide the processes that will be followed to ensure objectivity. These objectives include:

  • To understand Human Resources in NGOs
  • To understand the recruitment process
  • To assess the challenge of keeping high standard staff without a turnover
  • To evaluate how to maintain good staff in place in a time of crisis
  • To evaluate how a Successions plan functions
  • To establish the challenges of maintaining expatriates and national staff with minimal friction between them

Theoretical Framework

In the thesis on the challenges facing NGOs with a focus on World Vision Mozambique, it is important to evaluate some of the issues in the theoretical framework. These will be listed below, with a provision of the existing evidence and studies.

  • The first important thing to consider is the uniqueness of NGOs from other types of organizations operating in different areas. The thesis will look at the differences existing between NGOs and conventional organizations, with the focus being the types of human resource challenges that each set of organizations experiences. According to Padaki (2007), NGOs are special in that they operate in environments, which are less favorable compared to conventional organizations. Whereas conventional organizations exist with the main aim of making a profit, NGOs are less concerned with profit rather than the mandate that they are charged with (Kim, 2009). Most of them also rely on funds from non-conventional sources such as grants and handouts, and hence they are forced to operate with the available resources. The thesis will have to evaluate these issues in relation to the differences between NGOs and other organizations.
  • The thesis will also examine the human resource issues in Non-Governmental Organizations independently. The assumption is that the NGOs are affected by a number of issues in relation to the workforce, with the issues being similar and limited to all NGOs (Goodhand & Chamberlain, 1996). Some of the human resource problems that may be similar include the issues of remuneration and employee motivation (Goodhand & Chamberlain, 1996). The thesis will seek to evaluate whether the motivational factors in NGOs such as salary, promotions, bonuses, prizes, and other rewards are effectively utilized in NGOs compared to the conventional organizations. Many theories link motivation to rewards while at the same time linking the two aspects to the performance of employees (Lewis, 2001). Such theories include the equity theory, the Maslow hierarchy of needs, the Herzberg ‘two-factor model’, and the expectancy theory (Lewis, 2001). Therefore, the thesis will investigate how these theories are effective at the NGOs in the motivation of employees.
  • Having looked at the general organizational human resource challenges, the thesis will then look at the issues that are specific to Non-Governmental Organizations in Mozambique. Are there any similarities between the operations of NGOs in the country with other parts of the world? This question attracts the assessment of the macroeconomic factors in the country, mainly those relating to the availability of quality human resources. According to Padaki (2007), the macroeconomic factors of any geographic area are important to consider in the evaluation of the success of any company or organization. Therefore, the thesis will establish whether these factors are unique enough to affect the human resource at World Vision Mozambique.
  • The general consideration of NGOs in the world and those in Mozambique will provide a basis of consideration for World Vision Mozambique. Hence, the theories and research that followed will be specific to this organization.
  • The thesis will evaluate the human resource at World Vision Mozambique by discussing the relevant factors in the human resource. The evaluation of the characteristics of the human resource at the organization will be done, with information being provided on the same. The provision of information on the human resource in the thesis will also be critical in the emphasis of the problems that are present at the organization. These problems influenced the formation of the thesis.
  • The second factor about the human resource activities at the World Vision Mozambique is the establishment of the recruitment processes at the organization. Recruitment is established as one of the areas of the problem in the organization. Therefore, the thesis will establish the practices that are used in an effort to compare them with the global and regional standards. According to Goodhand and Chamberlain (1996), the recruitment of employees provides information on the human resource practices in an organization.
  • Over the past few years, World Vision Mozambique has had a consistent problem of high employee turnover, which is a personally observed problem that was among the main problems that led to the writing of the thesis. Therefore, the thesis will make a hypothesis of high employee turnover at World Vision Mozambique and then set up the methods of evaluating the turnover. The thesis will investigate the theories behind employee turnover in an effort to use them to explain the human resource problems that are present at the organization. Korezis and Panagiotis (2008) state that high employee turnover may be a product of many factors, including poor job satisfaction, poor management, and an inadequate reward system. Therefore, the study will investigate the basis for this theory based on the findings of human resource turnover at World Vision Mozambique.
  • The other factor on human resources at the organization that will be investigated is the ability to attract and retain highly qualified employees. The ability of an organization to attract highly qualified employees while maintaining them within the workforce is an important determinant to the success of this organization (Korezis & Panagiotis, 2008). The thesis will target to evaluate how well World Vision Mozambique is able to attract and retain employees within the ranks. It will compare and rank the organization against other NGOs in the country and in the world. The thesis will also establish the theories behind organizations that are able to attract highly qualified employees while preventing their turnover.
  • An observation that is supported by literature is that most Non-Governmental Organizations employ people from different cultures, races, and from different parts of the world (Korezis & Panagiotis, 2008) because of the nature of NGOs, which operate on the international front compared to other forms of organizations (Kim, 2009). The presence of expatriates in World Vision Mozambique is considered a problem as per the proposed thesis. The interaction between these individuals and the locals working in the organization means that there may be friction between the two classes. There is also the possibility of a non-favorable organizational culture emerging from the interaction between employees (Kim, 2009). The thesis will put this factor into consideration while evaluating the challenges that exist in World Vision Mozambique because of the presence of expatriates.
  • The thesis will also provide recommendations to the human resource problems that are present at World Vision Mozambique.

Problem Statement

The main drive in a thesis is the problem that the thesis intends to focus on. The author must attempt to make the thesis relevant to the stated problem in an effort to provide valid solutions. In the proposed thesis, the center of focus is the Non-Governmental Organizations and the human resource challenges that they face with reference to the case example of World Vision Mozambique. The thesis was inspired by the over-one-decade period of personal experience at the organization. There have been major challenges in the human resource department, including high turnover rates and employees dissatisfaction. There are many other human resource problems at the organization that prompted the thesis based on the organization.

According to Nwaiwu (2013), Non-Governmental Organizations operate in a special kind of environment where their operations are influenced by the prevailing macro-and micro-economic factors. One of the unique factors about Non-Governmental Organizations is the definition. The common understanding of NGOs that will be used in the proposal from henceforth is that NGOs are international organizations that work for humanitarian efforts (World Vision International, 2011). The presence of humanitarian activities in these organizations is meant to differentiate them from other types of organizations operating on the international front (World Vision International, 2011).

Based on the above description of NGOs, it is clear to establish the areas that may prove to be a challenge in terms of human resource management. One is that since NGOs, as per the definition, are international organizations, they constantly have to deal with the challenges of the diversity of employees at the workplace, which may affect the culture in a negative way (Youngwan, 2011). This issue is a constant problem in World Vision Mozambique, with the presence of a significant proportion of expatriate workers.

The other problem that emerges is the financial status of these organizations. Since they are largely humanitarian, NGOs are heavily dependent on well-wishers and donor societies for funding. The funds are frequently not enough to sustain highly qualified and competent employees compared to other organizations, which depend on profits to finance the human resource policies at their companies.

The effect of this matter is a high employee turnover at the NGOs, with most of the employees seeking better terms of employment in other stable organizations. Therefore, NGOs are perennially dependent on voluntary services and newly trained employees that are seeking experience and training before they find themselves better terms of service. Some analysts have even described NGOs as internship centers that serve as temporary training grounds (Campbell & Stilwell, 2008).

The other challenge that exists in NGOs is the motivation of employees, with most of them (NGOs) having a low rank in terms of employee motivation as compared to the conventional organizations (Youngwan, 2011). Employee motivation is dependent on many factors, which are also subjective to the individual employees (Campbell & Stilwell, 2008). The determinants of motivation in the workforce include the external factors within the organization and the intrinsic factors that are subjective to the employees. Non-Governmental Organizations have been associated with poor job security as compared to public institutions and other private organizations, and hence one of the reasons behind the poor motivation at these organizations.

World Vision Mozambique is affected by all the challenges stated above despite being established in the category of NGOs (Campbell & Stilwell, 2008). There is a considerable high employee turnover at the NGO, with the problem persisting for a long period. There is also the presence of a diverse workforce in World Vision Mozambique because of the high expatriate population in the organization and the country in general. The challenges in human resources at World vision Mozambique are not different from other international NGOs. They result from the perception of job insecurity at the organization. The above problems were important in determining the topic for the thesis. The aim of the thesis will be to investigate them and offer recommendations.

For the problems in the thesis to be adequately tackled, it is important that they be put in the form of questions. The first question is, ‘what are the challenges that affect World Vision Mozambique in terms of human resources?’ The thesis will attempt to answer the question through the assessment of the main issues in the organization in relation to human resource activities. The next question that the thesis will answer is, ‘what recruitment practices does World Vision Mozambique use in the establishment of a qualified workforce?’

This question is among the issues that are established to be problematic at the organization. The third question is, ‘how does World Vision Mozambique maintain a qualified workforce at the company, and which practices are used?’ The challenge of human resource turnover is the main one that informs the development of this question in the thesis.

The thesis will also answer the question of whether there is a succession plan at the organization and/or how this plan works to ensure that the organization has a working human resource policy. The organization was established as having a diverse workforce. Hence, the other question that the thesis will attempt to answer is, ‘what challenges exist in the organization with regard to the maintenance of expatriates and national staff without frictions?’ These problems and questions will be evaluated in the thesis, with a provision of the results from the investigations that follow the development of the problems and questions.

Activities and Resources

A number of resources and activities will be consulted in the development of the thesis. Therefore, the following are the activities and resources that will be useful.

  • The proposal consists of the first activity of the establishment of the problem in the NGO. This activity is adequately tackled.
  • The next activity after the proposal is accepted will be to gather information regarding the problem. The first step in the information gathering is to evaluate secondary sources of information on the problem. Therefore, the thesis will involve an assessment of literature that has been written on human resource challenges in Non-Governmental Organizations, specifically World vision Mozambique.
  • The relevant sources and articles will be from relevant databases, with some key terms being identified to aid in the search for the articles with the use of the databases. The assessment of the secondary sources will help determine the extent and scope of the problem of human resources in NGOs. Any gaps in literature will also be established.
  • With the appropriate information at hand, the next activity will be to formulate the research methodology, which will be important in the acquisition of information to be used in the thesis. Youngwan (2011) confirms that the use of the appropriate methodology in research improves the strength of conclusions.
  • The most appropriate method of carrying out this study will be the use of primary sources of information. The choice of tools used in the collection of data through the primary method is dependent on the information to be collected and the scope of this information.
  • The most likely tools used to gather the information that relates to the human resource challenges facing World Vision Mozambique are questionnaires and interviews. According to Youngwan (2011), these tools provide accurate information regarding the topic under study. They allow the researcher to make accurate and relevant conclusions.
  • Interviews will be conducted at all levels in the NGO, including the management and the junior employees. They will also be structured to allow all the problems in the NGO to be investigated.
  • The other tool that will be used is the questionnaire, with this having the ability to collect a wide variety of information regarding the organization (Youngwan, 2011). These questionnaires will be based on all questions in the thesis, with a breakdown of the questions being given to ensure that they are exhaustively tackled. The questionnaires will also be administered to the employees at various levels in the organization.
  • After the collection of data using the methods prescribed above, the next process will be the analysis of the data, with the response from the different employees being evaluated. The analytical methods to be used will be determined based on the obtained data and the needed levels of accuracy among other factors.
  • The analysis of data will be followed by the presentation of this data in visually appealing methods, including graphs, tables, and charts. The use of these methods of presentation allows room for easier interpretation of results for the audience and the target for the research of the thesis (Youngwan, 2011).
  • The presented data will be discussed, with the results being compared to some of the other standards that emerged from the assessment of secondary sources. The discussion will also assess the strength of the associations made between the obtained data and the existing information. The limitations that will have been experienced at this point in the development of the thesis will also be enumerated.
  • The last part in writing the thesis will be the making of conclusions on the human resource challenges at World Vision Mozambique, with the appropriate recommendations being provided.
  • Apart from the above activities, the resources that will be important in the formulations of the thesis include the required time and the financial resources that will go into the development of the thesis.
  • The chapters of the thesis will be written after the information to be used in them is available. When the methodology is formulated, for example, the chapter on methodology in the thesis will be written.


This section provides the timetable for the activities described above. According to Youngwan (2011), the timeline for the achievement of activities during the development of a thesis should be specific and realistic enough to allow the achievement of the activities within a reasonable timeframe.

The first priority after the proposal is accepted will be the search for materials that are relevant to study as indicated above. Since the search for these materials is usually not complicated, the amount of time that will be devoted to the activity is six hours. The materials will be closely scrutinized to ensure that the appropriate ones are gotten for use in the thesis. The six hours will also involve scrutinizing the references of these materials to establish whether they can be used in the research as well.

The next activity of developing tools for the collection of data including questionnaires will take approximately a week. The appropriate questions will have to be included in the questionnaires. These questions will also have to be arranged in an easy and orderly manner for the respondents. The preparation for interviews will involve the creation of an interview guide, which will be done at the same time that the questionnaire is being developed.

After the development of these data collection tools, the next step that follows is the actual data collection process, which is the most involving task in the thesis. It may take approximately two weeks based on the number of respondents and their availability. The data collection process will be planned to take less than a month, in light of the difficulties that may be unseen now. After the collection of the data, the results will have to be put in a computer for analysis using the appropriate software. Different individuals who will be paid will do this task of entering the data. Hence, they can take approximately twelve hours that are split over some days as may be convenient.

After all these processes are complete, the next stage will be the compilation of the results and their presentation using the most appropriate methods. The compilation and data presentation will then be followed by the production of the final thesis with conclusions and appropriate literature. This step will involve typing the thesis according to the regulations, with the maximum planned time being a week. The thesis will then be presented for marking after these processes are complete. The thesis will be organized into chapters. Each of these chapters will be written as the activities take place. When the review of literature is complete, for example, the chapter on literature review will then be written. The following table shows a summary of the above information.

Activity Number Activity Name Activity Duration
1 The search for relevant materials 6 hours
2 Developing tools for the collection of data 1 week
3 The actual data collection process 2 weeks
4 Data entry 12 hours
5 Compilation of results and their presentation 1 week


In conclusion, Non-Governmental Organizations are dependent on human resources, just like other forms of organizations, for their success. These organizations operate in a unique manner compared to their profit-based counterparts. The result of this disparity is the development of challenges in human resource development. An example of an NGO that faces challenges in human resources is World Vision Mozambique, which is the subject of the proposed thesis.

The proposal established the appropriate title for the thesis, the objectives and purpose of the thesis, and the theoretical framework. It also establishes the main problems on which the thesis is based. From these problems, the questions used in the thesis are developed. The proposal lists some of the activities that the development of the thesis will encompass. It also states some of the resources that will go towards the development of the thesis. It concludes with a timetable for the events that will lead to the development of the thesis. If the proposal is followed, it will lead to the development of a thesis that effectively evaluates the human resource challenges at World Vision Mozambique.

Reference List

Campbell, J., & Stilwell, B. (2008). Mozambique: Taking forward action on Human Resources for Health (HRH) with DFID/OGAC and other partners, Mozambique: DFID and PEPFAR/OGAC.

Goodhand, J., & Chamberlain, P. (1996). Dancing with the Prince: NGOs’ Survival Strategies in the Afghan Conflict. Development in Practice, 6(3), 196-207.

Kim, E. (2009). The Limits of NGO-Government Relations in South Korea. Asian Survey, 49(5), 873-894.

Korezis, P., & Panagiotis, E. (2008). Employees’ Psychological Empowerment via Intrinsic and Extrinsic Rewards. Journal of human management, 4(1), 17-38.

Lewis, P. (2001). Chapter 4 – Reward Management. In Contemporary Human Resource Management. New York, NY.: Pearson Education.

Nwaiwu, B. (2013). Critical management challenges facing NGOs-Examining the Impact of Legitimacy and Human Resource Issues on NGO Effectiveness. CEDE Trust Fund: London.

Padaki, V. (2007). The Human Organization: Challenges in NGOs and Development Programs. Development in Practice, 17(1), 65-77.

Society for Human Resource Management. (2008). HR’s Evolving Role in Organizations and Its Impact on Business Strategy. New York, NY.: Society for Human Resource Management.

World Vision International. (2011). World Vision International Accountability Report 2011. California, USA: World Vision International.

Youngwan, K. (2011). The Unveiled power of NGOs: how NGOs influence states’ foreign policy behaviors. Web.