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#7: Caroline's journey: Using freelancing to maximise personal impact in the humanitarian space

Updated: Mar 17, 2021

Hello and welcome to another episode of the Impact Consulting Podcast, with me your host Loksan Harley. Today I’m joined by Caroline Paoli who shares her impact consulting journey.

Caroline Paoli is a humanitarian professional with over ten years of experience in NGO headquarters as well as in the field, in human resources management and operational coordination. She is an investigator, trainer and consultant in safeguarding and prevention of sexual and gender-based violence. She works with local and international NGOs.

After completing her studies in human resources management at a French business school, Caroline worked mostly in HR for the first part of her career. From 2014 to 2018 she then managed operational teams in the field as a project manager and field coordinator for a humanitarian organisation in Jordan, Iraq and Yemen. As a manager, she had to deal with complex and sensitive situations, including cases of power abuse and sexual violence.

Transitioning from humanitarian staffer to freelancing

Two years ago, she decided to switch to supporting organizations as a consultant as she felt that it would better enable her to participate in improving practices in the humanitarian sector. She first collaborated with an HR consulting firm specialised in delivering services to NGOs, and more recently decided to venture out on her own and specialise in safeguarding and prevention of sexual and gender-based violence. She created CaPa Solutions for tjhis purpose in 2019, which supports humanitarian organizations in the development and improvement of their safeguarding tools and practices (PSEAH policy, investigation guidelines, staff awareness module…), and in the management of internal investigations. She is also a trainer at IFAID and Bioforce institutes in France.

Consulting opportunities & challenges and dealing with the "imposter syndrome"

I really enjoyed interviewing Caroline and I think Caroline also found it useful to reflect on her consulting journey, the challenges that she’s overcome so brilliantly, and the opportunities that she’s seized. We talk about how she transitioned from a large humanitarian organisation to the freelancing world, some of her likes and dislikes about freelancing, how she is addressing challenges like independent working, how she prices her work, and how she’s addressed issues like the “imposter syndrome” that so many of us freelancers go experience.

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