International NGO Safety Organisation

Discussion: Security Risk Management and Localisation

Last week, INSO was grateful to have the opportunity to join a discussion hosted by the European Union and Niger on ‘Security Risk Management Practices for Humanitarian Organisations’.

The discussion itself was a fruitful one, and it primarily focused on the implications for the current security risk management practices in place for different actors (UN, local and international NGO staff). In particular, it looked at the challenges of the protection of locally recruited personnel under the current localisation agenda.


This was the second discussion in the series, and you can find our follow up on the first discussion here.


Below you can find INSO direct inputs which were made to the discussion:


“As a network of field coordination platforms in high-risk contexts, INSO provides over 1,000 NGO partners, 40% of which are LNGOs, with a range of free services that enhance awareness of and support effective responses to humanitarian safety and security. There are three general points that we consider should be actionable areas moving forward.


Firstly, security risk management and localisation should be informed by field perspectives. Formalised systems through which local actors can engage and express their positions should be encouraged and established.


Secondly, local actors should be fully aware of the existing support that is available. The coordination and communication of resources and tools provided across contexts may assist local actors in strengthening their risk management.


Thirdly, effective security risk management and localisation require effective and sustainable support mechanisms. This not only involves redirecting attention away from total funding figures towards where/how responsible funding is distributed, but also delivering global-level support that goes beyond funding.


More specifically, INSO will contribute by prioritising the following objectives:


  • On Identifying and Understanding Risk: The nature of risks facing humanitarians may not have changed across contexts, but trends within contexts are subject to shifts. Through its Conflict and Humanitarian Data Centre, INSO offers independently sourced and verified incident data that not only enable its partners to assess risk, especially the exposure of local actors, but also assist in translating evidence-based analysis into effective security risk management.


  • On Supporting and Integrating Local Actors: Over the last decade, INSO has established and formalised interagency coordination that improves collective positions and responses to humanitarian safety and security. Local actors enjoy equal access to our free support services that include briefings, reviews and training. We encourage operational NGOs, especially LNGOs, to register with INSO platforms to receive services that inform effective security risk management.


  • On Engaging and Elevating Local Perspectives: Localisation is dependent on local participation. INSO advocates for a systematic link between local actors and global decision-makers. We will continue to support this bottom-up approach by channelling field perspectives and insights on security risk management and localisation through our platforms. This will be further facilitated this year with the development of INSO’s global analysis capacities and initiatives.


We’d like to thank you again for providing us with the opportunity to contribute to this discussion and we reiterate our commitment to engaging on this topic moving forward.”