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NGO security risk management workshops


Organisations have a legal and moral duty of care to take all reasonable steps to ensure that their staff are safe from harm or injury. However, human rights defenders, humanitarian aid workers, journalists, peacebuilders and others are working in increasingly violent contexts and within increasingly restricted civic spaces. The key to keeping staff, partners and beneficiaries safe in such circumstances is effective security risk management.

The process is not complicated, but it can be daunting for those organisations and managers new to the approach. As part of our commitment to spreading good practice throughout the NGO community, Open Briefing offers organisations based in Europe a free three-hour workshop for managers and other staff responsible for duty of care and security.

“The workshop was a real eye-opener and extremely informative. The highly practical session enabled us to move forward in addressing our security needs.” Victoria Barnes, Legal Director, Human Dignity Trust

The workshop provides a thorough introduction to security risk management, including:

  • Duty of care
  • The security risk management framework
  • Risk thresholds
  • Security risk assessments
  • Risk strategies and mitigation measures
  • Security plans
  • Crisis management

The session also includes a group risk assessment exercise and plenty of time for questions and discussion.

“The workshop was spot on for what we needed. Open Briefing helped us realise all that we need to do, and did it in a way that was positive, constructive and manageable. Such a useful three hours!” Nick Martlew, UK Director, Crisis Action

Please contact us to book a free workshop at your office for between four and a dozen people. Please note, you will need to provide a training room, flip chart and projector or screen. We may ask you for a contribution towards travel and accommodation costs.

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Chris Abbott has spent his career protecting others. He worked with frontline environmental defenders in Latin America and Southeast Asia in the late 1990s, and then spent a decade working at the policy level protecting civilians in conflict. He now helps NGOs and other social change agents understand and manage their security risks.

Chris is the founder and executive director of Open Briefing. He was previously the deputy director of the Oxford Research Group, and is the author of two popular books and over 50 influential reports and articles on security, politics and history. Chris holds a master’s degree in social anthropology and advanced qualifications in security management, first aid and Psychological First Aid.

Chris is a highly experienced trainer. In 2017-18 alone, he has run security risk management workshops for over 50 human rights defenders and humanitarians. Over the last 15 years, he has taught approximately 100 serving military personnel on UK Ministry of Defence global security courses, lectured to 500+ law enforcement officers from across Asia, and three times briefed policymakers in the House of Commons and Downing Street. Before his career in the NGO sector, Chris was an expedition leader and survival and resilience instructor.

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.


Open Briefing is a certified social enterprise and a member of
the International NGO Safety and Security Association and CIVICUS