You will probably face challenges inherent to a post-conflict setting, such as a fragile security situation, partially or completely dysfunctional public institutions, including the security forces, an inadequate legal framework, a population that might be traumatised by political violence and massive human rights violations, impunity of violent political actors, a rapidly changing environment and height-ened public and media attention.This chapter will focus on different aspects of your everyday work in the field and elaborate on the regulations you will have to follow in your mission.A. Procedures and code of conduct1. Standard operating procedures (SOPs)The first thing that you need to familiarise yourself with is the document outlining the standard operating procedures of the organisation that you are working for. This document, which will be used to guide your everyday activities while on mission, usually consists of the following elements:statement of purpose – what the SOP is trying to achievethe tasks – what needs to be done and howresponsibilities – who does whattiming and sequence of actionssupporting documents and templates.SOPs generally cover activities related to person-nel management, financial management, vehicle management, assessments, curfews, checkpoints, communications, safety and security issues, etc. Some of these aspects will be highlighted in the following 146147Chapter 4: How to cope with everyday reality in the field
sections. However, since each mission and situation will determine the specific content and nature of an SOP, you should ensure that you are aware of and have a copy of the SOP related to your respective mission and organisation.2. Respect the code of conduct and ethical principlesRepresenting your organisation, 24 hours a dayWhile on mission, you must remain aware that your conduct is subject to continuous scrutiny by both local and international observers. Since you will be representing your organisation and reflecting its image 24 hours a day, you will often feel overwhelmed by a multitude of expectations, most of which will be based on universally recognised international legal norms and disciplinary regulations that you might not have been familiar with before going on mission. Therefore, before you rush into action and end up tainting your reputation and that of your organisation, you should read, understand and abide by the staff code of con-duct and ethical principles. Ethical principles include those of independence, impartiality, objectivity and loyalty.Your organisation’s code of conduct is designed to guide you in upholding the highest standards of professionalism and morality when making decisions and must be adhered to at all times. The following are some of the elements that you are bound to encounter in a code of conduct:You have a duty not to abuse the position of authority that you hold.