The principle of equitable security

by Kelsey Hoppe, Safer Edge CEO A colleague at the British Red Cross introduced me to the principle of equitable security. It underpins their approach to security provision. The phrase completely captured what I’d struggled for years to express. It communicates precisely the safety and security provision humanitarian and development organisations should seek to achieve. Today, equal provision of security is the aim of most organisations. The result is a few people receiving an extremely tailored service while the majority’s needs are unaddressed. Why? Safety and security – or duty of care – in most organisations is not equitable. The system is not equitable. How do we know? We’ve been provid

LGBTI+ inclusion - where do we go from here?

by Elodie Leroy Le Moigne, Senior Risk & Safeguarding Advisor Part 3 of a 3-part series on LGBTI+ safety and security. Click here to read part 1: Can LGBTI+ in the aid sector really bring their 'whole selves' to work? and part 2: Objections to LGBTI+ inclusion in humanitarian work. The path to LGBTI+ inclusion in the humanitarian sector is one that we need to walk together. It is not possible for LGBTI+ to be the lone voices in organisations calling for inclusion. It’s not enough to simply have the HR manager on board. We need all of our voices in the conversation – senior managers, HR and Finance managers, security professionals – to name just a few. And our first step together should be t

Objections to LGBTI+ inclusion in humanitarian work

by Elodie Leroy Le Moigne, Senior Risk & Safeguarding Advisor Part 2 of a 3-part series on LGBTI+ safety and security. Click here to read part 1: Can LGBTI+ in the aid sector really bring their 'whole selves' to work? As a security professional in the humanitarian sector, I have worked in the world’s most volatile environments as well as in plush headquarter offices. I’ve worked for both big and small NGOs and for major UN humanitarian agencies. Throughout my career, I’ve heard the same objections to LGBTI+ inclusion in every workplace and every duty station. I’ve also worked with colleagues who are working tirelessly to overcome these objections. Objection 1: “If we keep having to adapt ou

Can LGBTI+ staff in the aid sector really bring their ‘whole selves’ to work?

by Elodie Leroy Le Moigne, Senior Risk & Safeguarding Advisor Part 1 of a 3-part series on LGBTI+ safety and security As individuals working together in organisations we are at our best when we can be ourselves and our contribution is valued. In humanitarian and development organisations, this means all staff having their safety and security concerns recognised and addressed. Unfortunately, most organisations never realize this vision because we follow a rigid, ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to security. This approach treats every person as if we were same – facing the same threats and being vulnerable to those threats in the same way. But, we are not. Humanitarian sector spending went from th

Your risk assessments don't work anymore

Risk assessment is the cornerstone providing organisations the ability to recognise and analyse their security risks and respond appropriately. Risk assessments provide the basis and justification for all security action and activities. However, the COVID-19 pandemic and response are challenging even the most dynamic security risk assessment processes. When COVID-19 is factored, organisations are finding that their risk assessment processes don’t provide the basis for action they normally do leaving decisionmakers struggling with what to do next. Here’s why: Standard threat categories are insufficient during COVID-19 Crime, terrorism, and other physical security threats dominate traditional

What now? Stress for humanitarians in transition

by Mark Bradley - Trauma Consultant & Trainer For many in the humanitarian sector the pandemic’s challenges are ones we have faced before. Lockdowns and curfews are common. Working with vulnerable populations who are susceptible to diseases, a lack of resources and supplies, illness, death, and the stresses of a quickly changing environment are all part and parcel of many aid workers lives. I’ve worked with NGOs – such as MSF and VisionQuest – as a psychotherapist and counsellor for many years now, blending a mix of academic training and practical work in the NHS. I specialise in hostile environments and critical incidents working with NGO’s, conflict journalists to develop the best support

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