Open Briefing provides counselling and Psychological First Aid (PFA) for individuals and retained service agreements and PFA training for organisations. As part of our commitment to promoting wellbeing and resilience, we have recently expanded our specialist counselling team. We now have two highly-experienced counsellors providing counselling to human rights defenders and humanitarians working in violent, repressive or high-stress environments or in the aftermath of critical incidents.
We now know that at least 321 human rights defenders, 103 aid workers and 64 journalists and media workers were killed around the world last year. In response, Open Briefing significantly increased its support to at-risk organisations and threatened activists during 2018. We estimate that we directly strengthened the safety and resilience of 350 human rights defenders and humanitarians in more than 20 countries. You can read more about how we are helping to create a more resilient civil society in our 2018 impact report.
One of the fundamental tenets of the way we work at Open Briefing is that we practice what we preach. With that in mind, Open Briefing has now signed up to Mindful Employer Plus, which provides telephone helplines for staff and managers and will offer a listening ear, immediate guidance and signposting to further advice. This is just one of the ways that we try to support team members who may experience stress or trauma through their work or personal lives. If we can help your organisation do the same, please contact us to discuss our wellbeing and resilience services for NGOs.
WordPress is a popular choice for charities and civil society organisations around the world. However, websites powered by WordPress are far from immune to attack. Most websites are hacked simply because they can be. However, human rights defenders, independent media and advocacy groups also face the threat of targeted attacks by government, corporate or criminal interests. What can be done to better protect these websites?
Open Briefing has published a simple travel contingency plans form. Staff can use this simple Word template to record primary and alternative hibernation, relocation and evacuation plans. These can then be implemented in the event of a rapidly deteriorating security situation during their deployment. This forms part of a suite of free travel security resources for NGOs from Open Briefing.
Open Briefing has produced an essential guide to insurance policies for aid agencies, human rights groups and other NGOs working in hostile environments. The advice is primarily aimed at organisations purchasing insurance products in the United Kingdom; however, many of the principles are relevant in other jurisdictions.
We have created a new online library of over 150 handpicked resources across safety and security, digital security, wellbeing and resilience and intelligence and research. In addition to browsing the library on our website, you can search by keyword(s) or filter the resources by category and/or tag - making it easier to find the information you are looking for.
The nature of our work protecting human rights defenders and humanitarians means that we operate largely behind the scenes. Nonetheless, our new annual report attempts to outline the considerable impact that Open Briefing is having around the world; an impact way beyond what our size and budget would suggest possible. The report also sets out our plans for the next 12 months.