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Mission and values

We believe that through innovation, inclusivity, and collaboration, we can improve humanitarian security risk management and achieve sustainable access to populations in need.

Our aim

As an independent, NGO-led network for global security focal points, our aim is to have a positive impact on humanitarian security risk management (SRM) to keep aid workers safe and achieve sustainable access to populations in need. GISF reflects the needs of our members, SRM professionals, and the broader aid sector.

We recognise our role as thought-leaders in the humanitarian SRM community, and as such, strive to make our research, events and all of our work, as inclusive, collaborative, and innovative as possible.

Our values


We don’t believe that one size fits all when it comes to a person’s security. Rather, we take a holistic approach that recognises that different organisations, programmes and staff face different risks. These risks are based on the diversity of their organisation’s values and activities, the profiles and roles of its staff, and the context in which they operate. Our work aims to enable appropriate and effective security risk management for all.

In the aid sector, a particular focus must be placed on national staff and local organisations. Statistics show that these staff overwhelmingly bear the brunt of security incidents in the aid sector. Our recent research project looks at Toward Inclusive Security: the impact of ‘race’, ethnicity and nationality on aid workers’ security. As many organisations look to implement the Grand Bargain commitment to localisation, we aim to ensure that the international community understands and provides the capacity required to manage the security risks that their local partners face.


We believe that breaking down siloes, both within and beyond the sector, as well as pooling expertise from a variety of sources is crucial for improving SRM. GISF works with security experts from the UN, academia, government and the private sector as well as experts in other related areas. Effective security risk management is about enabling access and the safe delivery of programmes, which cannot be achieved if SRM professionals do not understand the challenges faced by those we are supporting.

Some of the many collaborations we are active in include:

  • Saving Lives Together: Oversight Committee
  • IE Business School: Strategic Leadership for Humanitarian Security
  • Bond: Counter-Terrorism group
  • Core Humanitarian Standard: Safeguarding, Wellbeing
  • H2H Network: Humanitarian Solutions and Services


In a rapidly changing humanitarian landscape, we value the importance of continuous innovation and adaptation. As part of our original events, we invite speakers that encourage our members to think outside of the traditional confines of security risk management. Through our events and research, we examine both how the sector has already changed, and how it might be set to change in the future.

Technological developments are having a profound effect on the ways in which humanitarian response is delivered, as well as the ways in which security risks manifest themselves. Thankfully, advancing technology also means that the tools available to manage and mitigate these risks are constantly evolving. In recognition of this, we produce resources that help NGO security professionals to understand the challenges and opportunities posed by digital innovation, such as:

Next: What is humanitarian security risk management?

Get beyond the jargon and discover a varied and growing sector.

What is humanitarian SRM?