est. 1987
12 Mar 2019

What are the risks faced by NGO and aid agencies?

In an ever changing world, the risks faced by NGO and aid agencies are constantly changing too. The contextual risks of operating in regions of conflict or natural disaster and the threats of targeted attacks and terrorism are increasingly unpredictable and evolving.  Emerging concerns, including intentional cyber-attacks and indiscrete use of social media by an organisations own supporters, present newer risks to reputation and operational capability.

Recent legal cases have emphasised duty of care that NGOs have for those working for their cause and this responsibility extends not just to safeguarding employees and volunteers travelling overseas, but also to local and national staff in countries of operation.

It is vital for NGO and aid agencies to have the necessary processes and procedures in place to provide a duty of care to their personnel and reduce the number of risks they face when operating internationally.  A risk management solution will help you Prepare, Safeguard and Respond should the need arise. Traditionally, you may have only considered a risk management system when operating in ‘high risk’ areas, now it’s as important as ever to be proactive and evaluate the risk wherever you are travelling.

This was reinforced by a white paper released by Key Travel a few years ago, which encouraged organisations within the charity, faith and NGO sectors to adopt a robust travel risk management programme.  According to the survey results published in the paper, nearly a quarter of the respondents or their colleagues claimed they had been overseas when a serious incident happened in a location they were travelling to.  While 30% of travellers felt global incidents and crises impacted the sense of security they felt when travelling, 40% were travelling less frequently or to different locations as a result of this.

However, it is also true that no one solutions will fit all.  Sphere, powered by Securewest, has been designed recognising that no two organisations are the same and so it allows you to choose the elements that you need whether that might be advice on your policies, ground security services, training or an app to alert you of current risks. It offers a bespoke, flexible and cost-efficient solution to your risk management requirements.


Case Study: Burundi

Burundi in Africa is one of the world's poorest nations. It is struggling to emerge from a 12-year, ethnic-based civil war. Working and travelling in such unpredictable environments always carry a degree of risk. A charity operating in the region wanted to safeguard 6 personnel when they were visiting the country during a high-profile campaign.

Before travel, a regional threat and risk assessment report was produced identifying threats, the level of risk and suggesting mitigation recommendations.

By working with the client and understanding their needs, Securewest delivered a tailored journey management service including meet and greet, tracking and security movement teams with personal protection officers.

As a result, the travellers had a successful trip to Burundi with no incidents reported. The campaign went on to raise the profile of the client organisation and a unique partnership between them and well-known celebrity.

Securewest will be exhibiting at BOND 2019. If you would like more information about protecting your employees, volunteers and reputation worldwide please visit our team on stand 11A or contact our team on