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Developing a Strategic, Integrated Approach to Well-Being

About Amnesty International

Amnesty International is a global movement of more than 10 million people in over 150 countries and territories who campaign to end abuses of human rights worldwide.

The Requirement

Amnesty International partnered with Annekatrin Madlung of Global Recourse to support us in developing and improving our Well-being Standard Operating Procedures at a critical moment in time. From September 2018 to August 2019, Annekatrin worked with Amnesty International as we embarked on integrating well-being into our key organisational practices which are fundamental to ongoing cultural change within the International Secretariat.

We asked Annekatrin to develop a strategic, integrated approach to reactive and preventative well-being interventions and further develop the work to promote a systemic approach to the complex challenge of culture change and improving staff experience by making Amnesty International a better place to work. 

Advice and support we sought from Annekatrin specifically included:

Well-being standard operating procedures:

  • Embedding well-being services into Amnesty’s everyday operations by establishing a group of Well-being Champions; improving signposting to Amnesty International’s Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) and occupational health; establishing specialised trauma support; and sourcing training providers.


  • Developing a calendar of events across the globe related to well-being and organising activities around those events to raise awareness of wider staff experience and mental health.


  • Developing a fundraising tip-sheet to ensure that relevant project proposals include a well-being component and related budgets to reflect the true costs of a project. This would allow providing a pro-active model to creating a reactive reserve of money for security and well-being.

Policy and framework development:

  • Leading on the design and delivery of a Well-being Duty of Care Framework and a Mental Health Critical Incident Plan to ensure that offices across the globe were equipped to set the  necessary standards.


  • Authoring a checklist and Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) template, which included safety and security, well-being, legal issues, collaboration and people management for occasions where staff are hosted in overseas locations by external organisations.

Networking and sector collaboration:

Annekatrin organised and co-chaired a roundtable with NGOs on Staff Resilience, Well-being and Security, linking Amnesty International to a network of organisations in the civil society sector. We were able to exchange experience and share lessons learned in the areas of security and well-being. We also shared and learned from examples of good practice.

The Results

Annekatrin’s work helped us in two areas which are instrumental to enhance well-being and wider staff experience at Amnesty International:

  1. Integrating preventative measures into organisational practices that protect the well-being of staff, based on what we understand to be the main predictors of mental health within the workplace
  2. Further developing an infrastructure that gives equal access to all of our people at Amnesty International to the psychosocial support they need during times of difficulty to ensure that they can repair, reconnect and continue to be effective in their work and can thrive both personally and professionally.

Annekatrin was a true asset to the team – full of ideas, energy and persistence to drive through a difficult but highly important agenda within Amnesty International. Annekatrin is very determined and will ensure that a brief is seen through to the end and she always delivers what she says she will and is very credible and committed. During her time on the team Annekatrin developed positive stakeholder relationships, particularly with external suppliers and she is great at engagement and building trust.

Sacha Draper
Head of Internal Communications and People Engagement
Amnesty International

Annekatrin consistently stands out for her energy, enthusiasm, capacity to join dots and make things happen on behalf of  the people she works with and the wider organisation. She has a strong energy and bias to action, and was instrumental in the work done to inculcate a global culture around Security and Well-being at Amnesty. I would commend her to any organisation who is looking to improve their operations strategically.

Richard Eastmond
Senior Director — People, Operations & Corporate Services
Amnesty International

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