The ACT Alliance views staff safety and security as a serious concern in its development, humanitarian and advocacy work.
The sharp increase in attacks on aid workers in the past decade, particularly among humanitarian aid workers, makes it imperative that ACT members have measures in place to ensure the safety and security of their programme personnel (employed or volunteers) and resources.
ACT places a high priority on working in a spirit of mutual respect, collaboration and partnership with local authorities, local organisations and communities, building the trust and acceptance from which ACT members draws the essence of their security in its programme operations.
Using the acceptance strategy as its modality of security implies that ACT Alliance members prioritise security information and assessments which come continuously through local partners, local communities and information sources on the ground.
Accountable to the people
Through ACT National and Regional Forums, ACT members seek to promote a culture of mutual support among and between ACT members in relation to safety and security.
Being accountable to the people with whom ACT works and complying with key ACT codes of conduct and policies serves as a foundation to building more responsible ways of working.
Adhere to standards
This requires ACT’s development and humanitarian workers to adhere to the following (where relevant):
- ACT Code of Conduct for the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse, fraud and corruption and abuse of power;
- ACT Code of Good Practice;
- Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and NGOs in Disaster Relief;
- Sphere Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards;
- The Principles of Partnership
Services the Security Coordinator Can Provide
The role of the Security Coordinator is to provide security support for all members of the ACT Alliance. This can be a challenge for an alliance of 125 members working in 140 countries.
Therefore, the Security Coordinator focuses on countries with a security risk rating of categories three to five.
Services for Members/Forums
- Security advice and recommendations for Forums/Members working in challenging environments
- Safety and Security training including personal security, security management and crisis management packages.
- Emergency Response as part of the ACT Alliance Rapid Support Team
- Briefings and presentations to large forum conferences
- Assistance with developing security plans and procedures.
How to Request the Security Coordinator’s Support
The Security Coordinator is a member of the ACT Secretariat and works with Forums and Members through the Regional Programme Officers located in Geneva.
While Members and Forums are encouraged to contact the Security Coordinator directly at any time by email at email@example.com to discuss safety and security issues, to make a formal request for direct support the following process should be followed:
1. Discuss needs with your Regional Programme Officer in Geneva. Find out if other Members/Forums in your region are also in need of support.
2. Working with the Regional Programme Officer, prepare a TOR for the Security Coordinator and develop a budget to cover the Security Coordinator’s travel costs (the SC has a very limited budget for travel).
3. The request will then be reviewed and approved by the ACT Secretariat and the Security Working Group. Once approved, dates and travel plans will be prepared. It is best to involve as many Members and Forums in your region as possible to help spread the cost and increase the potential result when applicable.
Emergency or Critical Incident Support
In the event of a rapid onset emergency or a critical incident, Members and Forums can also request the support of the Security Coordinator as part of the Rapid Support Team system. These requests can be directed to the ACT Secretariat for approval.
How do we contact the ACT Security Coordinator?
- You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
We have had a security incident, what should we do?
- First, record everything: who, what, when, where, why and what actions were taken to recover from the incident.
- Protect people first, then facilities or equipment. Protect your organizations reputation as well.
- Review your security plans and ensure your organization is doing all it can to protect your beneficiaries, staff and infrastructure.
We do not have a security plan, how can we make one?
- The first step is to review the document library and especially the Safety and Security Guidelines and Safety and Security Principles. All the information you need to write your own security plan is in these documents.
- Always remember the formula: Risk = Likelihood + Impact. To reduce your organization’s risks, find ways to reduce the likelihood of an incident and/or the impact if it does occur. This is how you reduce your risk levels.
We need help, can the ACT Security Coordinator assist us?
- Yes, he can. To ask questions and open a dialogue, simply email the Security Coordinator at email@example.com
- To request for the ACT Security Coordinator to come to your country, prepare a proposal and submit it to the applicable ACT Regional Programme Officer
Our organization has very limited funds, how can we best protect ourselves?
- Good security is really about good common sense. It costs very little to get your staff together and list all the risks your organization faces. Break up into groups with each responsible for a different type of risk. Research your subject, talk to other organizations, read the document library and learn what your options are. When each group is done, meet again and talk through the results. These results will form the basis of your own, customized security plan.
- Once you have a security plan, train your staff in it, incorporate it into your administrative routines and enforce the rules so everyone stays safe.
- This process costs very little and can have a great impact on lowering the risks your organization faces.
Staff Safety and Security Guidelines
Staff Safety and Security Principles
Risk Assessment Tool
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