Articles and Blog

The opinions expressed in these articles and of those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of the European Interagency Security Forum (EISF) or any employee thereof (unless it is an article written by an employee of EISF, in which case it solely reflects her/his views). These articles do not represent the thoughts, intentions, plans or strategies of EISF. While we work hard to ensure that the information we publish is correct, EISF is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the authors, and we do not warrant its accuracy and completeness. The information is provided “as is”, without any conditions, warranties or other terms of any kind, and reliance upon any material shall be entirely at your own risk. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content of this information.   
If you have any comments or would like to write for us, please contact the editor of our blog Adelicia Fairbanks.
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    From security levels to scenario planning

    In this op-ed, Gonzalo de Palacios discusses the pros and cons of security levels versus scenario planning.

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    Why you will marry the wrong security advisor

    In this op-ed, Steve Ryan discusses what NGOs should look for when considering hiring ex-military or ex-police as security advisors.

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    Counter-Terrorist Financing and Humanitarian Security

    In this blog, Alex Marriage briefly outlines the security risks that aid workers can and have faced due to counter-terrorist financing (CTF) measures and goes on to describe the international mechanism through which CTF measures are developed and evaluated. Alex goes on to outline the recent changes to CTF recommendations and what this might mean for humanitarian NGOs.

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    Women in Security

    March 8, 2017 | Gender | NGO Security Management

    On International Women’s Day, EISF celebrates the role of women in NGO security risk management. The number of women working in security is by no means negligible nor are the contributions of women to the sector hard to discern. EISF has asked its network of female colleagues who work in NGO security risk management to share some of their experiences with us and the following blog is a reflection of what they have shared.

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    Why should we address sexual violence in humanitarian workplaces?

    March 3, 2017 | Safety

    As a study by Report the Abuse shows, only 16% of humanitarian organisations have even a single mention of sexual violence as a risk to their employees within their organisation’s policy and procedural documents, let alone a comprehensive, sensitive or survivor-centred response mechanism. Megan Nobert, Founder and Director of Report the Abuse, discusses the gaps in the humanitarian sector in addressing sexual violence against aid workers and urges humanitarian organisations to take action and put in place effective and efficient prevention and response strategies for their staff.

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    Zimbabwe: A Crisis Unfolding

    Zimbabwe is facing an imminent crisis that will require an international humanitarian response in the near to medium-term future, with appropriate security measures for humanitarian workers. Former EISF Coordinator, Nick Hanson-James, takes a closer look at the Zimbabwean context and issues NGOs should aim to be aware of and prepared for given the current climate in the country.

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    Counter-terrorism Legislation and NGO Security Risk Management

    In November, EISF attended a two-part expert roundtable at Chatham House that discussed the challenges NGOs face when working with non-state armed groups, in particular given the impact of counter-terrorism legislation. This is a brief summary of the key points raised and some of the implications counter-terrorism legislation has on the security risk management of NGOs.

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    Greater Accountability and Respect for Human Rights: A Contract Guidance Tool for Private Security Services

    November 7, 2016 | Private Security Providers

    As an NGO, do you hire or are you considering hiring a private security company (PSC) to ensure the security of your operations? Do you implement guidelines for the hiring of private security services? How do you select a PSC? Does the contract include respect for human rights? DCAF is developing a practical Contract Guidance Tool to support humanitarian NGOs, as well as states, international organisations and other clients to include human rights-based considerations in their contracting of PSCs. DCAF believes your insights and experiences can help inform other clients in similar circumstances. Contact DCAF at to get involved in this project: share your experiences and good practices, discuss what tools and guidance would be useful for you, or give DCAF feedback on their Contract Guidance Tool.

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    The State of Emergency in Ethiopia and Aid Worker Security

    Ethiopia has witnessed months of often violent protests but the week of demonstrations leading up to the state of emergency declaration earlier this month saw increasingly violent protests spreading, raising security concerns among humanitarian organisations. This blog takes a closer look at what is currently happening in Ethiopia and the implications the state of emergency has for aid worker security.

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    Reclaiming Humanity for Humanitarian Security Risk Management

    September 8, 2016 | NGO Security Management

    This post discusses Larissa Fast’s book ‘Aid in Danger’ and how some of the ideas in the book can be applied to humanitarian security risk management. In her blog, Christina Wille, primarily argues that the humanitarian principles of neutrality, impartiality, and independence are not a magic shield capable of protecting aid workers because humanitarian agencies are actors within and not separate from the contexts in which they work. Wille also argues that security incidents are not only the result of external factors affecting humanitarian agencies but that factors resulting from internal agency policy and staff behaviour also impact aid worker security. Good security risk management means taking into consideration internal factors as well as external ones.

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