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Risk assessments

Risk assessments

A risk assessment from Open Briefing is an important management decision-making tool. It helps NGOs fulfil their duty of care obligations by clearly identifying and quantifying the level of risk from:

  • Safety threats
  • Security threats
  • Health threats
  • Reputational risk
  • Specific organisation, project or staff risks

Risk requires the presence of both (external) threat and (internal) vulnerability. As such, Open Briefing works hard to understand both the operating environment and the profile of the individuals or entity we are assessing and the work that they will be undertaking.

Open Briefing’s expert team can provide risk assessments for:

  • Individual travellers
  • Overseas offices
  • New programmes and projects
  • Local partners

“Open Briefing’s risk assessment process was rigorous, but not onerous; its report was realistic, but not alarmist. It greatly informed our deliberations about our next steps. We were impressed with Open Briefing’s critical, cost effective and bespoke service.”
Adrian Arena, Director, International Human Rights Programme, Oak Foundation

Our risk assessment service consists of:

  1. A threat assessment or context assessment in which we identify the safety, security and health threats present in an organisation’s operating environment.
  2. A vulnerability assessment in which we identify an organisation’s exposure to those threats and the capabilities it has to respond. This includes conducting a full open source intelligence investigation of the individuals or entity involved.
  3. A risk assessment in which we assess the likelihood and impact of each identified threat, propose risk strategies and mitigation measures to reduce the level of risk, and conclude whether the level of risk is acceptable or not. Our team uses the Open Briefing Security Risk Assessment Tool, which we developed for this purpose.
  4. A report containing the risk assessment table, risk matrices for inherent and residual risk and a discussion of our findings and recommended course of action.
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The large number of countries that we have carried out risk assessments for are shown on the map below.

Risk assessment map

Recent examples of our risk assessment work for NGOs include:

  • The new Iraq office of a US human rights organisation working to protect civilians in conflict.
  • Two researchers from a British NGO travelling to Russia to attend a conference and meet journalists and local NGOs.
  • An at-risk local staff member of an international NGO working on child rights in Ethiopia.
  • The board member of an Swiss foundation working with anti-poaching initiatives in remote parts of Mozambique.
  • A programme director from an international foundation travelling to Russia to meet local human rights organisations.

Please contact us to discuss your risk assessment needs. Grants and subsidies may be available to help NGOs access our security risk management services.

Open Briefing is a member of the International NGO Safety & Security Association, BOND and the Charities Security Forum. We are also a certified social enterprise.