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Who is GISF?

At GISF, we craft leading research, host original training and events, and maintain a 'one-stop-shop' for security risk management in the humanitarian sector through our online hub.

GISF is an independent NGO peer support network established in 2006 to provide a platform for global security focal points to share experiences, knowledge and learning. Since then, our membership has expanded to include development and human rights organisations as well as traditional humanitarian members.

Over the past 17 years, GISF has created a centre of excellence that gathers and disseminates good practice in security risk management to improve policy and practice. We collaborate with a range of experts within and beyond the sector to ensure a coordinated approach and maximise gain for the whole sector.

What does GISF do?


We work with international experts to develop renowned good practice guides that influence the policy of countless organisations. Past guides have explored:

  • managing sexual violence against aid workers;
  • security risk management for smaller NGOs;
  • abduction and kidnap risk management;
  • and many more.

As well as this, we explore strategic and conceptual topics through our unique research papers and reports. Topics we’ve covered include:

  • gender and security risk management;
  • managing the security of aid workers with diverse profiles;
  • duty of care;
  • security risk management and religion,
  • determining risk management expenditure.


Every year, we organise two-day members’ forums in spring and autumn. Through peer-to-peer sharing and international expertise, the events offer invaluable learning opportunities.

As well as this, we organise at least four workshops each year – though, in recent years, we’ve been known to run up to 10. Past workshops have covered:

  • running an investigation;
  • leading a crisis management team;
  • managing sexual violence against aid workers;
  • working with partners, and;
  • developing a person-centred approach to security.

Digital resources

With a growing, cross-continental membership, virtual engagement is key to GISF’s work. We run webinars, live-streams and online briefings, as well as our online chat facility.

The GISF Chat allows our members to communicate with the whole network at the touch of a button. The exclusive facility provides a space to:

  • share useful documents and templates;
  • provide updates on global developments;
  • ask questions and request information, and;
  • explore practice and policy on a range of topics through targeted channels.

Our e-library provides constant access to thousands of useful resources for humanitarian security. From reports to training packs, the e-library makes it as easy as possible to find the necessary information when it’s needed.

Online hub

Our website provides access to a wide range of services for all those interested in security risk management, including:

  • free advertisement of vacancies specifically for security professionals in the sector;
  • details of security training courses run by NGO-appropriate providers;
  • virtual and face-to-face events that cover a variety of topics linked with improving security risk management;
  • an extensive library of documents and other useful resources, and;
  • a curated themes page providing guidance on a range of emerging and foundational topics.

The site also houses a members’ area, which provides tailored opportunities for knowledge-sharing within our core network.

How does GISF work?

Although we’re hosted by one of our member organisations, GISF operates as an independent platform. We receive funding from the US Agency for International Development (USAID/OFDA), and the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO). Together with member contributions, GISF has an annual turnover of approximately €450,000.

A team of staff make up the GISF Secretariat. Based in London, UK, the Secretariat handles the organisation’s day-to-day functioning. A US office based in Washington, D.C. also supports our growing membership in the Americas.

Our Steering Group, composed of up to ten members, leads GISF’s strategic direction. The group is chaired by Phil Candy of Medair, and its current members are:

  • Frances Andrews | World Vision International
  • Frederic Bardou | Action Contre la Faim
  • Javier Teofilo-Sanchez | MAG International
  • Marcial Rodriguez | Medicos del Mundo
  • Marek Stys | People In Need
  • Oliver Sudbrink | GIZ
  • Scott Ruddick | MEDA
  • Shannon Fariel-Mureithi | ChildFund

Alongside the Steering Group, there is an Americas Steering Committee, composed of five individuals and leads on the strategic direction of the GISF Americas team. The group is chaired by Scott Ruddick of MEDA and its current members are:

  • Amaury Cooper | Global Communities
  • Brian Kerr | HIAS
  • Shannon Fariel-Mureithi | ChildFund
  • Viviana Ardila | IRC

Next: Mission and Values

Achieving access to crisis-affected populations through sustainable security risk management.

Mission and Values