Reorganisation of Terre des hommes, with emphasis on its presence in the field 

Two children drawing

Terre des hommes Lausanne (Tdh), the leading Swiss children's rights organisation, is reorganising its organisational model in order to improve its support for children and young people in vulnerable situations in the almost 30 countries in which it operates. For this purpose, around 40 new positions will be created in three largely autonomous regional offices. This will strengthen Tdh's work and allow decisions to be taken closer to the action.

•    Tdh opens three regional offices: Amman, Budapest and Dakar.
•    Tdh thus strengthens its presence on the ground. 
•    Tdh has 2,300 employees in about thirty countries.

It is in the field, alongside young people and children, that Tdh finds its raison d'être and its social mission, with more than 60 years of experience in the defence of children's rights and child protection. This is why the NGO, which has almost 2,300 employees, 93% of whom are based outside Switzerland, is taking a new step to strengthen its regional presence.

Three regional offices will be given additional resources and autonomy: Amman for the Middle East and Asia, Dakar for Africa, and Budapest for Europe. An additional office will be opened in Bangkok to develop relations with the humanitarian and development community in Asia, particularly donors. The protection and promotion of children's rights will be at the heart of the work of Tdh's regional offices.

"This reinforced presence on the ground will give a stronger voice to our advocacy of children's rights while improving the relevance, effectiveness and impact of our activities," says Barbara Hintermann, Director of Tdh.

The philosophy behind this reorganisation is simple: decisions must be taken as close as possible to the action and the needs. Full implementation is scheduled for the end of 2025. Competencies will be transferred to the regional offices from the headquarters in Lausanne, which will be slightly downsized. A total of 19 positions will be affected by this organisational change. Affected colleagues will have priority in applying for the new positions in the regions. 

A Tdh regional director is expected to strengthen coordination with the country offices in the region, create alliances and synergies, and share best practices. In the new organisational model, the headquarters will assume the role of a centre of expertise for the promotion and protection of children's rights, as well as for overall management, control and compliance, and will be less involved in day-to-day operational management.

In addition to demonstrating the confidence that this reorganisation offers in the local competencies, this approach will enable Tdh to reduce its administrative costs and thus liberate funds which will be invested in strategic and priority projects for the organisation and its mission.

The decentralisation is consistent with developments in the humanitarian and development sector. Since the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, NGOs have been called upon to adapt the way they operate, not only to be closer to the field, but also to work more in partnership with local and national players.

"We are very excited about this new milestone for Tdh and are convinced that it will strengthen our Foundation to be even more effective in defending the rights and needs of vulnerable children around the world. Thanks to our increased regional involvement and partnerships, we are confident that we will be able to achieve even more positive change", says Jürg Schäffler, President of the Council of the foundation. 

Share this page