International NGO Safety Organisation



Function: Safety Advisor
Location: Iraq
Nationality: British

Georgie, an INSO Safety Advisor in Iraq, has a military and NGO background. It’s the pace and dynamic nature of the work that interests her the most.

How did you hear about the role as Safety Advisor in Iraq, and what led you to apply?

I had heard about INSO from several friends who worked in the non-profit sector, including how great the organisation was and how useful their services were. I knew I wanted to come back to the Middle East and work in the non-profit sector, so I did some research and discovered a bit more about INSO. It was clear to me that there were definite overlaps between the job description of an INSO Safety Advisor and the work I had done previously in the military, so I decided to apply for this role.

So you’ve worked in the military previously – can you share more about your professional background?

Early on in my career, I worked with different NGOs in Gaziantep, Turkey and Amman, Jordan for several years. Following that experience, I spent five years in the British Army. My roles within the military had many similarities to the role of Safety Advisor, especially the focus on security assessments and advice as well as data analytics. My various roles included spending six months in Kurdistan in support of coalition operations, as well as working alongside other militaries in the United States, Germany, France and other NATO members, as well as Ukraine and Morocco.

What does a day in the life of a Safety Advisor at INSO look like?

It’s a really rewarding role. I manage a small team of locally-recruited staff who are all amazing at what they do and a pleasure to work with. They, in turn, manage a network of Field Monitors who provide information about what is happening on the ground.

One of the aspects of this role that really appeals to me is the pace. It changes daily, depending on what is going on in the region. Some days are incredibly busy, others much more relaxed. And of course, there are also always certain tasks that are a standard part of our services to partner NGOs: bi-weekly situation reports, roundtable safety discussions and requests for tailored analytical products.

What has surprised you the most about this role and about INSO?

I’ve been very happily surprised by how highly regarded INSO is amongst our NGO partners. Many partners lack the resources or personnel with the specific skills required to do what INSO does. For that reason, they really appreciate the safety and security analysis we can offer.

What can someone coming into INSO expect?

Anyone joining can expect a highly rewarding role working with an incredibly motivated, hard-working and collaborative team of both national and international staff.

Particularly as a Safety Advisor, you should know that there is essentially no such thing as ‘office hours’. Incidents that our NGO partners need to know about can happen at any time, not just between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm (as you can see from the photo of me sending a report while out hiking at the weekend!). You have to be prepared and ready to respond.