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 Aisling Sweeney.
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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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    Aid Worker Security on World Humanitarian Day: A Year in Review

    On World Humanitarian Day the EISF commemorates the national and international aid workers who lost their lives this past year and remember the colleagues who continue carrying out humanitarian work in challenging contexts despite the risks they face.

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    Diverse, Inclusive and Safe

    This blog by Richard Chapman-Harris raises a key consideration for humanitarian organisations operating in high-risk countries: What does equality, diversity and inclusion mean for security risk management? Do they relate? Do they contradict each other? In his blog, Richard shares some key steps that organisations can take to be more inclusive and diverse while still ensuring staff security. Within humanitarian organisations, the diverse profiles of staff can affect these individuals’ risk profile and present both challenges and opportunities in relation to their safety and security.

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    The Security of Lone Aid Workers

    Existing security risk management tools and procedures tend to overlook the unique security needs of lone aid workers. These staff members are compelled by their unique circumstances to rely primarily on themselves to ensure their own safety and security, and must do so by putting in place a number of basic security measures to mitigate the risk and impact of potential security incidents. This blog has been published in English and in Spanish.

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    Aid Worker Security and Wellbeing at the World Humanitarian Summit

    The first ever World Humanitarian Summit is being held later this month in Turkey. It is being billed as a global call to action; an opportunity to change the landscape of humanitarian action and to address some of the most critical issues of our time. It is providing a platform to focus on global humanitarian needs and how we can do better for the people caught up in the numerous crises affecting the world today and in the future. It can safely be said that there are very mixed expectations regarding the outcomes, however the hope is that changes that translate into more effective humanitarian assistance will be seen as a result. The Summit presents an opportunity to continue to highlight and raise the profile of the issue of aid worker safety, security and wellbeing; reinforcing the message that if you want to deliver effective humanitarian assistance you need a competent and fit workforce, well equipped to cope with the demanding conditions they will be working under.

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    Security and Humanitarian work in Pakistan: Was 2015 a Turning Point?

    April 14, 2016 | NGO Security Management

    In the past decade, many areas of Pakistan have endured a high level of insecurity. There are no set patterns to the violence, which has varied from attacks on law enforcement agencies and schools to sectarian violence and the targeting of medical professionals engaged in polio vaccination programmes. Regardless of the types and motives of these attacks, the civilian population have paid a high price. Agence France Presse state that by 2014, nearly 7,000 people had been killed in militant attacks in Pakistan since the emergence of the Tehreek-e-Taliban (TPP).

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    The resurgence of al-Shabaab in Somalia and implications for the humanitarian sector

    March 23, 2016 | Context Analysis

    Kenya, along with a number of African Union countries operating under the umbrella of AMISOM (African Union Mission in Somalia), moved into southern Somalia in 2012 in order to contain al-Shabaab’s movements following a series of attacks by the group in northern Kenya. The AMISOM mission was able to expel the Al-Qaeda (AQ) affiliated group from the majority of the main population areas of southern Somalia, though al-Shabaab maintained its military strength in many rural areas. Since January 2016, al-Shabaab has begun to regain some of the ground lost to AMISOM in the last four years. A key event was a major al-Shabaab attack in mid-January against an AMISOM base in El Ade, south-western Somalia, near the Kenyan border. During the attack by dozens of al-Shabaab fighters, over 60 Kenyan Defence Force (KDF) troops were killed and substantial numbers of weapons were taken by the attackers.

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    The Duty to be Caring

    In this op-ed, Steve Ryan discusses how individual NGO staff members can better support colleagues and in doing so, contribute to better orgnaisational security risk management culture.

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    Lessons from the Aviation Industry: What Can We Learn for Humanitarian Security Risk Management?

    Air traffic volume has expanded dramatically in recent years, yet the number of plane crashes has steadily declined since 1980. Air accidents peaked in the 1940s, prompting aviation experts to develop a new safety approach, and today, aviation is one of the leading industries in risk management. This article discusses the aviation industry’s safety concept and considers what the growing humanitarian community may learn for its own security and safety management.

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