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PHASE 1: 2002-2010: Informal/Organic Phase

During this period, the sector was characterised by ad-hoc, localised developments with no standardisation or coordination either within or between platforms. Over this eight-year period four isolated platforms emerged. 

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2002

Following the US-led invasion of Afghanistan, the idea for an NGO safety platform arises amongst the members of Interaction. The International Rescue Committee (IRC) volunteered to host the project and the Afghanistan NGO Safety Office (ANSO) started in October.

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2004

SPAS (later NGO Safety Project, or NSP) is formed by NGOs operating in Somalia (hosted by CARE and later transferred to DRC and then INSO). 

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2006

International Rescue Committee (IRC) withdraws from hosting ANSO and transfers the programme to Welthungerhilfe. Nic Lee, future founder of INSO, is hired as the first project Director and extensive reorganisation commences. 

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2007

The Gaza NGO Safety Office (GANSO) is formed by NGOs operating in Gaza Strip (hosted by CARE) and later transfers to INSO (2015)

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2009

ANSO puts forward the suggestion to establish itself as an independent NGO which is welcomed by Welthungerhilfe, donors and beneficiaries. The concept of INSO is formed as global hub through which platforms can connect.

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2010

In Pakistan, NGOs come together to form the Pakistan Humanitarian Forum (PHF) which includes PAKSAFE (hosted by the PHF with rotational chair)

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PHASE 2: 2011-PRESENT: Professionalisation/Organisation

During this period the sector is experiencing organised and sustainable international expansion with significant cross-platform coordination and development of sector best practices. To date, INSO has created eight additional platforms while integrating management of three existing ones.  

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2011

The International NGO Safety Organisation (INSO) is formed on January 18th in the United Kingdom and takes over management of ANSO from Welthungerhilfe on July 1st, changing the name to INSO Afghanistan (1). The formation of INSO is widely welcomed across the humanitarian world. INSO indicates that it is ready to respond to NGO requests.

In spring, ISAO is formed by NGO in Yemen (hosted by CARE)

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2012

INSO starts receiving requests for new platforms from NGOs:

INSO Democratic Republic of Congo (2) (DRC) starts in May

INSO Kenya (3) starts in November 


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2013

INSO continues to respond to NGO requests:

INSO initiates efforts to register in southern Turkey for the Syria response and conducts separate scoping mission in Jordan

INSO Mali (4) starts in July

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2014

INSO awarded DFID funding under title 'Building Global Capacity in Humanitarian Safety' for the purpose of scaling international capability:

February: INSO establishes global Emergency Response Operations capability.

INSO Syria (5) starts in April

INSO becomes registered USAID/OFDA partner

INSO Central African Republic (6) starts in July

INSO Iraq (7) starts in November 

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2015

INSO is awarded ECHO FPA status and the Netherlands MINBUZA joins as co-funder of Phase 2 of 'Building Global Capacity in Humanitarian Safety'.

NGO Safety Project for Somalia (NSP) is transferred to INSO in April to become INSO Somalia (8)

INSO Ukraine (9) starts in June.

GANSO in Gaza transfers to become INSO Palestine (10) in October.


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2016

INSO Nigeria start in April  (11).

INSO Syria establishes regional presence in Lebanon and Jordan.

The ISAO platform (CARE) in Yemen is discontinued. 

INSO establishes an Operational Support Office in Dubai, UAE.

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2017

German Humanitarian Assistance joins DfID and MINBUZA to support INSO's development.

INSO Nigeria expand to provide a comprehensive Lake Chad Basin regional response. 

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2018

INSO South Sudan launched following calls from NGOs.

INSO launches its first integrated global reporting products. 

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2019

INSO moves headquarters from London to The Hague.

INSO Burkina Faso and INSO Niger are launched.

INSO responds to NGO requests for support in Haiti and Mozambique.  

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2020

INSO starts development of the Conflict & Humanitarian Data Centre in the Hague while adapting to the realities of COVID-19.

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2021

INSO responds to NGO requests for support in Lebanon and Libya.

INSO scales up its work in Cameroon to establish a full platform.