Mainstreaming security and safety management in aid agencies

Mainstreaming security and safety management in aid agencies

Organisational changes are necessary to improve the safety of aid workers

Looks critically at the organisational structures, management tools and policies that aid agencies are using, or could use, to improve the overall quality of their safety and security management.

The briefing suggests principles for a security policy, identifies types of management systems for strengthening safety and security currently in practice, explores their strengths and weaknesses. It considers how personnel management could be improved and looks at necesssary operational reinforcements, stressing the importance of both risk assessments and crisis management teams. It also highlights the need for interagency collaboration to develop greater competence in safety and security management

Observations include:

  • although there are encouraging steps forward, there remains an urgent need to develop competence rather than just raise awareness among all managers, and for more detailed policy and practice guidelines on specific safety and security challenges
  • at present security and safety issues are not fully integrated into the organisational and operational structure of aid agencies nor given the weight they deserve both in relation to international and national staff.
  • in the absence of competence and awareness, organisations should develop an organisational management plan setting objectives, defining responsibilities and monitoring progress towards the strengthening of safety and security

The full report on which this Briefing Paper is based is available from ODI entitled: Mainstreaming the Organisational Management of Safety and Security, HPG Report No 9 The full report spells out the arguments in more detail and offers some practical tools for managers.

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