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Partnerships and Security Risk Management: from the local partner’s perspective

This research paper complements GISF’s 2012 report Security Management and Capacity Development: International agencies working with local partners. This first analysis brought key insights into partnership dynamics, including strengths and weaknesses from the international NGO (INGO) perspective. The latest research builds on this work by dedicating similar attention to the perspectives of local and national NGOs (L/NNGOs).

The paper seeks to:

  1. Provide insight into L/NNGOs’ security risk management cultures, perceptions, capacities, practices, needs and expectations in their partnerships with INGOs;
  2. Establish a platform for L/NNGOs to share their views and enhance dialogue between international and local/national NGOs;
  3. Identify opportunities to improve the effectiveness of support in partnerships as well as shared understandings of security risks.

The paper is based on a literature review, a global survey with over 200 respondents, more than 70 interviews with representatives of L/NNGOs and 4 case studies (in Colombia, Ethiopia, Myanmar and Syria).

The security risks that L/NNGOs face, and their management of them, aren’t sufficiently addressed in their partnerships with INGOs. Besides a lack of systematised collaboration and support within partnerships, there is an absence of conversation. Because issues aren’t voiced – or sufficiently listened to – security risks remain under-prioritised and poorly addressed. Open discussion between partners is necessary to collectively progress on the issue. This research project makes initial steps in this direction by deconstructing obstacles to honest conversations on security risks and investigating the perspectives of L/NNGOs on both their partnerships with international agencies and the management of security risks.


Partnerships and Security Risk Management: a joint action guide for local and international aid organisations

This guide aims to support L/NNGOs and INGOs in the aid sector to better manage and share responsibility for security risks in partnerships. It builds on findings from the GISF briefing paper, Security Management and Capacity Development: International agencies working with local partners, (2012) and GISF research paper, Partnerships and…

Security Management and Capacity Development: International agencies working with local partners

This GISF report provides an analysis of the issues surrounding the relationship between NGO's and their local partners.

Managing the Security of Aid Workers with Diverse Profiles

This GISF research paper aims to better understand what challenges aid organisations face in relation to managing the security of aid workers while being mindful of their diversity.