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About

“Open Briefing has been an essential service to me and my organisation. Their expert team couples on-the-ground knowledge of complex, insecure
environments with pragmatic solutions. I am grateful Open Briefing exists; they permit me to make well-thought-out decisions on how to oversee my organisation’s duty of care”
Jessi Ginther, Operations Director, Center for Civilians in Conflict

Civil society is a fundamental pillar of democracy and human security. Whether standing up for land rights, civilians trapped in conflict, a free media, the environment, LGBTI rights and the rights of women or standing against corruption, genocide and torture, civil society organisations, grassroots activists and independent journalists are essential watchdogs over the powerful.

As such, governments, corporations, criminals and armed groups are increasingly targeting organisations and activists as part of the ongoing closing of civic space. We now know that at least 321 human rights defenders, 64 journalists and media workers and 103 humanitarian aid workers were killed around the world last year. Enough is enough.

We are building a more resilient civil society that can defend our human rights and strive for social, environmental and economic justice within this increasingly restricted civic space. We do this by providing high-impact mentoring, capacity-building and technical assistance across safety and security, digital security and wellbeing and resilience.

We focus our resources on supporting high-risk, low-capacity civil society organisations and activists working in violent or repressive environments. We also work extensively with the senior management teams and boards of international funders and NGOs.

By working with us:

  • human rights defenders, humanitarians and others on the frontlines of civil society can properly understand and manage the threats to them and their work; and
  • charities and other civil society organisations can meet their duty of care and safeguarding obligations to staff, local partners and beneficiaries and demonstrate this commitment to donors and other stakeholders.

Open Briefing is a non-profit social enterprise pursuing charitable objectives. We are a unique international collective of humanitarians, human rights defenders, peacebuilders and environmentalists with wide-ranging operational, security and management experience. Our approach is based on extensive field experience and a deep understanding of risk, which we have honed into practical and effective methods and trainings over numerous engagements with threatened organisations and activists around the world.

We have supported a wide range of social change agents, from multinational humanitarian agencies to small human rights groups and individual activists. We have also worked across every continent except Antarctica. This has given us valuable insights into the unique security dynamics present at all levels of civil society. In recent years, our team has supported:

  • humanitarians in Nigeria, Central African Republic and Mali;
  • human rights defenders in Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan and Ukraine;
  • LGBTI activists in Sri Lanka, Mauritius and Namibia;
  • environmental defenders in South Africa, Mozambique, Chile and the US;
  • war crimes investigators in Liberia;
  • child rights campaigners in Ethiopia;
  • privacy campaigners in the United Kingdom and Russia; and
  • grantmakers in Switzerland, the United States and Britain.

Launched in 2011, we were the first non-profit to provide professional security, risk and intelligence services to NGOs. Today, Open Briefing is the only organisation working worldwide to provide professional and appropriate holistic security support to at-risk civil society organisations and activists on the frontlines of civil society and their international allies.

Open Briefing is a member of BOND, the Charities Security Forum and the International NGO Safety and Security Association (INSSA). We are also a signatory of the Code of Conduct of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and NGOs in Disaster Relief.

“Without hesitation I recommend Open Briefing. The way they take time to understand your organisation, adapt to your needs, and provide insight and tailored guidance has been unfailingly impressive.”
Nick Martlew, UK director, Crisis Action