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GISF provided us with an overview of their work and how they are using HPass badges

What does GISF do, who are your audiences, and across what contexts/geographies? 

GISF is an independent NGO peer support network established in 2006 to provide a platform for global security focal points to share experiences, knowledge and learning. Over the past 17 years, GISF has created a centre of excellence that gathers and disseminates good practice in security risk management (SRM) to improve policy and processes. Over the years, our membership has expanded to include development and human rights organisations as well as traditional humanitarian members.

As an independent, NGO-led network for global security focal points, our aim is to positively influence humanitarian SRM to keep aid workers safe and achieve sustainable access for populations in need. GISF reflects the needs of our members, SRM professionals, and the broader aid sector. We collaborate with a range of experts within and beyond the NGO world to ensure a coordinated approach and integrate effective SRM across the sector.

Now GISF represent over 140 humanitarian, development and human rights organisations as part of our membership, who together, work in a total of 130 countries.

Why is it important that we have trained Security Risk Managers in the humanitarian sector? What are the big factors affecting the way that safety & security are approached by the sector?

 Aid workers, programmes, and organisations as a whole face varying levels of risk in carrying out their work globally, with attacks on aid workers in 2021 claiming more lives than in any year since 2013: 141 reported fatalities. Organisations, therefore, must put in place SRM practices that enable them to effectively reach those most in need while still meeting their duty of care obligations towards staff.

Humanitarian security risk management is a means to an end, facilitating safe, sustainable access for crisis-affected communities. It supports organisations to carry out their work while putting in place safeguards that ensure that the organisation’s most important assets – their people – are not unduly placed at risk. Security risk management is about enabling organisations to meet their objectives.

How is GISF using HPass digital badges to recognise network members’ learning?

 At GISF we are using HPass digital badges to recognise the learning gained by our members, as well as others in our networks, from attending certain events that we host, such as webinars, workshops, and forums. Through collaboration with HPass, we’re not only boosting the recognition of SRM as a profession within the humanitarian sector, but also enabling network members to clearly demonstrate the security skills and knowledge that they have developed at our events. We offer badges on the basis of attendance and participation, which is monitored throughout our events, so we ask that attendees are present for at least 80% of an eligible event to qualify for a GISF badge. Our badges can also be submitted as part of INSSA’s Security Risk Management Professional (SRMP) Certification.

Would you like to give an example of a particular badge and how it demonstrates that the recipient is developing their learning?

One of the badges we awarded in 2022 was for a joint webinar GISF held with INSSA, launching GISF’s NGO Security Toolbox. The webinar was designed to formally introduce our new Security Toolbox; and ways it may be used going forward. The GISF NGO Security Toolbox provides easily accessible guidance, resources, and tools to help NGOs quickly integrate good risk management practices into their operations. The badge was sent out to just over 80 participants, who had attended at least 80% of the webinar, and asked questions about how the Security Toolbox can help them to establish effective SRM practices. It was a great event that provided NGO staff who may not have a lot of knowledge about security policies and practices the opportunity to learn about a practical tool that can help them take easy steps to keep themselves and their colleagues safe.