GISF: Protecting People
GISF is committed to achieving sustainable access to populations in need and keeping aid workers safe. We drive positive change in humanitarian security risk management through original research, collaboration and events.
Business Partnership Programme
As a business, you know that looking after your people is your number one priority, wherever they are.
We share that priority.
We are experts in putting people front and centre. Our job is to safeguard the physical and psychological well-being of the thousands of people delivering humanitarian aid in the most high-risk countries in the world.
In 2020 nearly 500 aid workers were attacked, killed, or kidnapped while they were working to protect millions of people from violent conflict, hunger, and the effects of climate change.
The Covid pandemic has made more people vulnerable, and made it harder to safely reach and help them.
In 2021, 235 million people will need humanitarian assistance and protection. This number has risen to 1 in 33 people worldwide – a significant increase from 1 in 45 … [in] 2020
By joining our Business Partnership Programme you can help keep aid workers safe while they deliver support to meet the needs of millions of vulnerable people, and you can use our resources and expertise to guide the safety of your own people.
Watch this short video to learn more about GISF.
GISF is a global membership network with over 140 member organisations who have over 450,000 employees working in 130 countries – some of our members are household name charities, some you may not have heard of.
Our membership is growing because the need for increased security and expertise is growing. We are seeking new member organisations in the Americas, Africa and Asia.
We are a global research and technology-driven centre of excellence for humanitarian security risk management.
We have 15 years of member engagement and research that informs our training and guides, which we use to ensure best practice on inclusive, people-centred, security for aid workers.
Our approach embraces diversity and the interconnected nature of disadvantage, including race, gender, age, sexual orientation, and religion.
Put simply, we look after aid workers while they are helping people in need. We facilitate immediate on-the-ground support, backed up by timely expert research.
We help organisations prevent, prepare for, and recover from security incidents such as assault, shootings, and kidnappings.
We are an independent, effective, and trusted member-led network of security experts.
We collaborate with everyone including companies, government and academia.
Some of the things we do
GISF_Online Chat: member channels to share information during acute crises. Below is a screenshot of our members sharing valuable information with one another to stay up to date with the latest COVID-19 information.
Workshops, Webinars & Roundtables on topics including misinformation and disinformation, convergence of digital and physical security, how the FBI manages international hostage incidents, and COVID-19. Following our events, we make the recordings and notes available to our members and subscribers.
Our online resource library is an internationally recognised knowledge-sharing platform on security risk management.
Original Research on topics including ‘Partnerships and Security Risk Management: from the local partner’s perspective’ [Oct ‘20] and Keeping up with COVID-19: essential guidance for NGO security risk managers [Sept ‘20]
Podcasts: topics include increased global vulnerability compounded by climate change and digital security in the humanitarian space.
Our 125+ members include large & small organisations working in over 130 countries.
Our members work on the world’s most urgent global social and environmental issues and between them contribute to all of the UN’s SDGs.
By joining our Business Partnership Programme you can:
- help to safeguard the 450,000 people working for over 140 organisations focused on addressing the world’s most urgent social and environmental problems, and;
- use our people-centric resources to safeguard your own people, assess your own global security risks, and help your company to engage responsibly in the furthest reaches of where you work.
We will provide you with:
- access to our research and occasional webinars on a diverse range of security issues;
- regular updates that show the impact of the work you’ve enabled;
- speakers for your employee meetings or other events;
- access to a scenario-based hostile environment day, a taster to help staff understand the challenges and risks aid workers may face in difficult environments, and;
- the GISF BPP logo to use on your website and in your Annual Report.
What we could do together:
- co-develop a White Paper or research project on a particular area of security risk of interest to our members, and;
- develop and deliver a staff training session using our people-centred inclusive approach to security
See the full benefits here:
We welcome practical support for our work such as:
- marketing, technology, planning or other expertise;
- help to run events or training for our 140+ member organisations, and;
- co-hosting events with us
If you’d like to speak about supporting our work, please contact our Deputy Director, Heather Hughes, on firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about us, please see the GISF Terms of Reference.
Stories from a GISF member: Christian Aid
Sierra Leone is the most dangerous place to give birth in the world. Through a partnership with RADA (Rehabilitation and Development Agency) our member, Christian Aid, is able to provide life-saving maternal health support.
In this photo, Tenneh Boweh brings her 3-month-old baby Ansumana Bangalie for a check up with Nurse Judith Lassie. Tenneh had a traumatic childbirth for her first baby, and sadly the baby died a few months later. But with the help of nurse Judith and a temporary health centre in her village, Tenneh gave birth to a healthy baby.
She says: ‘With the coming of Judith, so many lives have changed. We as mums know that with Judith, as long as we see the light at the end of the tunnel, we’ll be OK.’
Bibi Aisha, pictured in this photo, is a 25-year-old widow living with two children who are seven and eight years old. She lives in an IDP camp in Herat, Afghanistan.
Through a partnership with RAADA (Rehabilitation Association and Agriculture Development for Afghanistan), Christian Aid aims to enable women to work independently and empower themselves, socially and economically. The group has initiated a number of different, life-changing programmes, such as raising awareness of women’s basic rights, creating women-led profit companies and introducing new training for women seeking to earn a livelihood.
‘Faced with war and drought, there was nothing to eat,’ she says. ‘We were forced to leave home and we lost everything.’ RAADA helped her find shelter, giving her a tent. ‘I feel safe in the camp but the Taliban are fighting the government troops at night,’ says Bibi Aisha.
What security threats do aid workers face?
In 2021, nearly 235 million people around the world – 1 in 33 – will need humanitarian assistance or protection. The frontline is not becoming safer, and without support, GISF cannot continue to keep aid workers and their programmes safe. Although this puts vital aid and development work at risk, governments are reluctant to fund support activities, and institutional funding is disappearing.
In 2020, known figures show that nearly 500 aid workers were attacked, killed or kidnapped around the world. Below are some of these stories.