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With regular contributions from the GISF Secretariat and guest experts, the GISF Blog explores a range of topical, contextual and theoretical developments affecting the practice of humanitarian SRM.

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What is ‘humanitarian communication’?

Humanitarian Programmatic Issues, NGO Security Management

The increasing use of ICTs by responding organisations and affected populations has changed how information is communicated and received during crises. It may even be changing how some crises occur and unfold. Yet, despite this transformative impact, there is no accepted definition of what constitutes ‘humanitarian communication’, nor what defines the ‘humanitarian use of ICTs’.

9 Oct 2015

The role of international aid agencies in protecting national humanitarian staff

Acceptance, Humanitarian Programmatic Issues, Legal Obligations, NGO Security Management

GISF Researcher Raquel Vazquez Llorente writes for the Harvard University Advanced Training Program on Humanitarian Action (ATHA). In her post, Raquel explores the increased reliance on local partners to deliver aid in high risk emergencies and the role that international NGOs play in protecting national humanitarian staff.

14 Aug 2015

Can space-based technology enhance the security of aid workers?

Humanitarian Programmatic Issues, NGO Security Management

With humanitarian aid delivery being carried out by workers on the ground, remote sensing technology can be used to better coordinate efforts and to generally build up a better response to emergencies. It could also provide security risk managers with valuable information that can be used to increase the safety of workers in the delivery of aid.

30 Jun 2015

Improving coordination in humanitarian aid: reflections on the cluster system

Humanitarian Programmatic Issues

Effective coordination is the key to the delivery of a successful humanitarian aid response, as it allows different actors working in the same area to share information and harmonise interventions, thus proving better support to people in need and to aid workers in the field.

17 Jun 2015

Working group for emergency telecommunications: GISF presentation at the ICT Humanitarian Innovation Forum

Acceptance, Context Analysis, Equipment, Humanitarian Programmatic Issues, NGO Security Management

On April 30, GISF Executive Coordinator Lisa Reilly and Researcher Raquel Vazquez Llorente presented the publication Communications Technology and Humanitarian Delivery at the 36th Forum of the Working Group for Emergency Telecommunications (WGET) in Dubai. This was the first time the WGET included a session on humanitarian security. The content of the presentation is now available.

30 May 2015

Can standardised hashtags be effective in emergency responses?

Humanitarian Programmatic Issues

Standardised hashtags can be used by governments and aid organisations to distribute information to the public, and respond to urgent needs and requests. The hashtags should be used interactively, coordinated and collaborated with between the sectors. Twitter users then tweet with the respective hashtags to notify governments and aid agencies about needs of affected communities and urgent requests.

24 Mar 2015

Evaluating Ebola: the politics of the military response narrative

Acceptance, Civil-Military, Humanitarian Programmatic Issues

In her op-ed, Kristin Bergtora Sandvik suggests that humanitarians must pay keen attention to the post-Ebola narrative of military victory that is currently emerging. To see the deployment of military personnel, strategies and tactics as the game changer is unfair, because it invisibilises the resilience of the nationals of Ebola affected countries, as well as the efforts of local health workers and (some) humanitarians to address and control the outbreak. However, this narrative also has important strategic consequences for patterns of funding and intervention in future health emergencies.

16 Mar 2015

Hostage taking: new tool for media impact

Humanitarian Programmatic Issues

Kidnapping and the consequent use of hostages is hardly a new method for terrorist organisations to express their defiance towards enemy states, or even hostile home states. What differentiates current hostage situations from those of the past is the way in which they have been adapted to today’s information society. It seems that terrorist groups have found a new use for hostages: propaganda.

23 Feb 2015

Journalists and aid agencies: the opportunities and limitations of embedding

Acceptance, Humanitarian Programmatic Issues, Safety

On Tuesday 10 February the Frontline Club partnered with GISF to host an event on embedding journalism with aid agencies with a discussion by an expert panel. The evening was entitled ‘Embedding with Aid Agencies: Editorial Integrity and Security Risks’.

17 Feb 2015