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GISF Call for Papers on Acceptance

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1 February 2021

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GISF Call for Papers on Acceptance

Achieving safe operations through acceptance: challenges and opportunities for security risk management

The Global Interagency Security Forum (GISF) is pleased to announce the opening of a call for papers for its upcoming publication, Achieving safe operations through acceptance: challenges and opportunities for security risk management.

While acceptance is supposedly the primary security risk management (SRM) strategy of NGOs, its meaning and mechanisms have not received a corresponding amount of attention. The last major research report investigating acceptance was published almost 10 years ago. In the meantime, the operating environment for local and international NGOs has changed significantly. These include the increased use of social media and digital technology, the large number of programmes delivered in urban environments, the push to ‘localise’ aid, conspicuous calls to target humanitarians, and the growing use of remote management in violent environments and during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, current models of acceptance may no longer be fit-for-purpose and need to be updated to take account of such changes and evolutions in security practice. Through a series of short papers, this publication will investigate what it means to ‘do’ acceptance in practice, including obstacles and opportunities that have emerged over time. The publication will also consider how changes in the aid environment and organisations affect acceptance, drawing practical lessons for security managers.

GISF is seeking contributions for this publication, in the form of abstracts followed by short papers. Case studies based on current field research or experience, and proposals reflecting on past practice and lessons are all encouraged. The selected papers will be reviewed by security professionals and published in a single report, which GISF will publicly launch in Fall 2021. The publication will be edited by Dr Larissa Fast, Senior Lecturer in Humanitarian Studies at the HCRI, University of Manchester and Léa Moutard, Research Advisor at GISF (gisf-research@gisf.ngo).

The deadline for abstract submissions is March 10th  2021.

Suggested themes for contributions:

The list of suggested themes below is not restrictive. GISF encourages authors to be creative with the angles they choose to explore. If your ideas do not seem to fit under the themes below, please contact gisf-research@gisf.ngo to discuss your proposal.

Acceptance and security risk management in practice:

  • Acceptance from within: SRM buy-in within the organisation
  • Individual, programme or sector-specific vs organisational acceptance
  • Risk thresholds and acceptance
  • Acceptance success stories
  • Acceptance and security risks in urbanised crises
  • Humanitarian negotiations, access, security and acceptance
  • Limits to acceptance

New and evolving challenges to acceptance and humanitarian organisations’ security:

  • Acceptance and security in the age of social media
  • Dis/misinformation and acceptance
  • Counter-terrorism legislations’ impact on security risks and acceptance
  • Health operations, security threats, and acceptance
  • Acceptance in a shrinking humanitarian space and constrained operating environments
  • Internal obstacles to acceptance and security strategies
  • Acceptance and security in violent conflict environments

Doing acceptance differently to manage security risks:

  • The security risks of being critical: acceptance of advocacy-based organisations
  • Acceptance of human rights organisations (LGBTQ, gender-rights, etc.)
  • Acceptance from the local perspective
  • Acceptance and security in the ‘triple nexus’ (humanitarian, peace, development): blurred mandates and images
  • Acceptance of UN agencies: evolutions, challenges and strategies
  • Acceptance from the private sector angle

Submission guidelines:

  • Abstracts of 150-300 words maximum must be submitted to gisf-research@gisf.ngo by March 10th. You will receive an email confirming receipt of your submission.
  • Abstracts must be submitted in UK English. They must include an overview of the proposed topic and argument or angle presented. Joint submissions and multiple abstract submissions are welcome.
  • The deadline for abstract submissions is March 10th. Authors whose abstracts are selected will be notified by March 19th.
  • Final papers are due by May 31st and should not exceed 2,500 words in length. If you expect your piece to be significantly longer or shorter, please contact GISF.
  • Please include a short biography (150 words), including your current affiliation/post. Your biography should be written using complete sentences.


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