International NGO Safety Organisation



Function: Country Director
Location: Cameroon
Nationality: Nigerien

Seїdina, Country Director for INSO in Cameroon, was a recipient of INSO’s services before joining the team. He says curiosity and admiration for INSO’s work were what led him to apply.

Tell us what a day in the life of a Country Director for INSO in Cameroon is like.

A working day at INSO for a Country Director is always dynamic, lively and intense. There are the daily administrative activities of managing an office, as well as reading reports, producing analyses, and organising or participating in meetings. Then you have briefings and networking with NGO colleagues. But different daily challenges require you to stay alert.

As a Country Director for INSO, I remain alert and keep my team on alert so we don’t miss anything related to the security context. Many NGOs depend on the information we provide

You need to keep your eyes open in all directions like a chameleon to see – but also have elephant ears to hear – what’s going on all around you. This, for me, is important in producing information and analysis that we then share with NGOs, so they have what they need to better carry out their activities in the field.

To get information in real-time, I interact with my teams in the field, the heads of other NGOs and also other actors. This work is not easy; it requires determination, energy, conviction, endurance, intellectual capacity, an analytical mind and patience.

What are the most interesting parts of your role?

Everything is interesting in what I do as Country Director for INSO in Cameroon. I particularly appreciate the meetings with the Country Directors of other NGOs. These monthly meetings are always a time to challenge each other and share information, with active but positive discussion and interaction.

Can you share your most memorable moment with INSO so far?

The most memorable moment since my first steps at INSO was when I found myself with my supervisor (Regional Director) who had come to the country office at the same time as me. Within a week of my arrival, I had to do my induction, prepare and present my first meeting of Country Directors, and prepare and submit a project proposal to the donor. It was an intense moment, rich in learning with an awesome supervisor who humbly gave the necessary support with extraordinary simplicity as if we had known each other before.

What was your journey to becoming Country Director in Cameroon?

I am a sociologist by profession and have worked as a humanitarian for almost 22 years. Since 2014, I have benefitted from INSO’s services as an aid worker in Gao, north of Mali. I took part in a weekly briefing and received SMS alerts, weekly security incident list reports and bi-monthly reports. These services helped me understand the contexts of the countries I was working in and make my own security analysis and reports.

As I became more involved with INSO and benefitted from its services, I became interested in understanding how INSO worked. As I discovered more about the organisation, what impressed me the most was the speed with which INSO provided alerts immediately after an incident, the relevance and reliability of the information, and the good analysis.

After several years of observing INSO’s work, especially in countries such as Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Central African Republic, Burkina Faso and Niger, I decided to join INSO to discover the dynamics and the way of working from the inside. I applied to two other positions with INSO before I was successful in my application for this role in Cameroon.

What are the skills or characteristics that you think make someone a good fit for the INSO team?

There is no magic to being a good candidate: you have to have experience, a commitment to learning, and the ability to work and live under pressure in what are sometimes difficult conditions. You need to have analytical skills and a critical mind because work at INSO generally involves listening, observing, collecting and analyzing information.

You have to be patient, rigorous and very sharp in your work because the direct beneficiaries are NGO staff who work in insecure environments. Information is crucial to them being able to deliver humanitarian services. In this sense, you must be aware that what you produce can help to mitigate certain risks to save lives.

Who or what inspires you to do your job?

My ambition and motivation every day is to support others – those in need or those who directly help those in need. Contributing to the well-being of people facing difficulties has been my passion and something that has always excited me.