Load low-bandwidth site?

Upcoming research

Find out more about the research we're working on and how you can get involved.

At GISF, we believe that collaboration and inclusivity are essential to developing effective and impactful research. Through blogs, research projects and translations, we strive to represent many voices and welcome contributions from a diversity of actors and sectors. If you or your organisation would like to get involved in the making or dissemination of our upcoming research projects, please contact us at gisf-research@gisf.ngo.

Current projects and collaborations:

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

Research Paper

On October 15th,  we released a new research paper – Partnerships and Security Risk Management: from the local partner’s perspective. Building on four case studies from Colombia, Syria, Myanmar and Ethiopia, over 70 interviews and a global survey, this qualitative research investigates the perspective of local NGOs on security risk management and risk transfer, particularly in the context of their partnerships with international NGOs. By providing a space for local voices to be heard, the analysis seeks to spark greater dialogue between partners, explore misunderstandings and challenges, and deconstruct the processes of ‘risk transfer’. With the localisation agenda accelerating due to COVID-19, this topical research comes at a pertinent time.

Opportunity to engage: dissemination and communications

The research highlights that insufficient attention and resources are dedicated to the security risk management of local and national NGOs. Raising awareness about the security threats faced by local aid actors and having an open dialogue about them is essential to drive the localisation agenda forwards.

You can support our efforts by forwarding the paper to your network and joining our campaign on social media with the hashtag #TalkAboutRisk, tagging us with @gisf_ngo.

If you would like to collaborate around blogs or events related to the topic, please contact Léa on gisf-reseach@gisf.ngo.

Joint Action Guide

Building on the research paper, GISF is developing a Joint Action Guide for local and international organisations to better collaborate on security risk management. The guide will include various practical tools, to empower local NGOs to build their own security risk management capacity, including guidance on the kinds of support they can request from international partners.

Mid-November, GISF will be working with a few NGOs, to test the tools and receive feedback on what works, and what doesn’t. If your organisation would be interested in joining this testing stage, please contact gisf-research@gisf.ngo

Engaging Private Security Providers

A new module on Engaging Private Security Providers will be added to the guide Security to Go: A risk management toolkit for humanitarian aid agencies. In a growing number of instances, humanitarian organisations find themselves in need of private security companies’ services in order to ensure the security of their staff or assets.

This module will provide practical guidance on working with private security providers, including developing strong procurement processes, maintaining good relationships with guards and monitoring a company’s performance.

This project is a collaboration between GISF and the International Code of Conduct Association (ICoCA).

Keeping up with COVID-19: essential guidance for NGO security risk managers

GISF is developing a series of modules for staff with security risk management responsibilities, looking at how SRM is impacted by COVID-19. The guidance is divided into three parts (A) Policy and Planning, (B) Operational Security and (C) Staff Support. Modules are developed and updated as the global context unfolds, and new operating practices are developed and implemented. You can access existing ones here.

Acceptance and Access

The relationships between aid organisations and the communities they assist is in constant evolution. Among others, changes in the global diplomatic order, the COVID-19 pandemic, the humanitarian-development-peace nexus and the effects of climate change affect the acceptance, access, and security of aid actors.

GISF will soon be seeking contributions in the form of articles for a new project related to acceptance. The format of contributions envisioned is similar to GISF’s 2014 publication Communications Technology and Humanitarian Delivery. If you would like to write an article on the topic, please contact gisf-research@gisf.ngo

Mobile guides with Disaster Ready:

GISF is currently working with Disaster Ready to produce two separate mobile guides on Digital Security and Managing Sexual Violence against aid Workers.

The mobile guides will follow a similar structure to the previous SRM toolkit, and will provide easy-to-follow guidance on how to improve digital security plans as well prevent, prepare, and respond to incidents of sexual violence.

Security Risk Management: a basic guide for smaller NGOs: French and Arabic Translations:

GISF is currently translating into French and Arabic its popular guide Security Risk Management: a basic guide for smaller NGO. The French translation will be released in November and the Arabic version in December. You can already access the Spanish translation of the document here.

Blog and Translations

The GISF Blog

GISF welcomes contributions to our blog from anyone who has a particular interest or expertise in security risk management or related issues. If you would like to write an original piece for us, please send a brief summary of your ideas to gisf-comms@gisf.ngo.


GISF seeks to make its resources accessible to a large audience by increasing the translations of its work. If you would like to translate one of our original materials, please contact gisf-research@gisf.ngo.

View existing French translations and existing Spanish translations.

Latest releases

Original Research


Explore GISF's research

Access handy good practice guides, original research papers, topical articles and more.

GISF Resources