Security to go: a risk management toolkit for humanitarian aid agencies

by Davis, J.

Security to go: a risk management toolkit for humanitarian aid agencies is intended to provide a simple, easy-to-use guide for non-security experts to quickly set up basic safety, security and risk management systems in new contexts or rapid onset emergency response situations. This guide is applicable to both international organisations and national agencies moving into new regions and/or setting up new programmes; it is especially applicable to environments where the risk levels have changed due to human or natural causes.

This guide can be used in a number of ways. It can be saved to a memory stick as a whole, or readers can select only those modules they’re interested in. It can be also printed off and carried by staff deploying into a new context to act as a template for setting up systems and policies at an early stage, and keep staff safe as they set up a programme. Ideally, the document should be considered by management as part of the deployment planning process, programme design planning, or factored into an organisation’s scaling up in response to an emergency or significant change to the threat environment.

Security to go is not an exhaustive examination of all safety, security and risk management systems that can be developed or implemented by national and international organisations working in challenging contexts. Instead, ‘Security to go’ is intended to give guidance on the key needs that must be addressed in opening a new office, programme or mission. This guide uses checklists and step-by-step tools to ensure important duty of care needs are identified and managed.

The contents of this guide are the results of a collaboration between a number of different types of organisations, individuals and consulting agencies that focus on safety and security issues for international humanitarian organisations. The topics selected for inclusion in this guide represent many key areas but it is hoped additional modules will be added or updated in the future as organisations develop and share their lessons learned in various contexts. Modules can be downloaded individually at the links below:

Module 1_Security risk management process

Module 2_Actor mapping and context analysis

Module 3_Risk assessment tool

Module 4_Security strategies_Acceptance, protection and deterrence

Module 5_NGO security coordination and other sources of support

Module 6_Security plan

Module 7_Security of facilities

Module 8_Communications and information security

Module 9_Travel safety_Airports, vehicles and other means of transport

Module 10_Hibernation, relocation and evacuation

Module 11_Medical support and evacuation

This guide was developed jointly by James Davis (Act Alliance) and Lisa Reilly, Executive Coordinator of the European Interagency Security Forum (EISF). The project manager was Raquel Vazquez Llorente, Research Advisor at EISF.

Suggested citation

Davis, J. (2015) Security to go: a risk management toolkit for humanitarian aid agencies. European Interagency Security Forum (EISF).

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