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/BHA), Foreign, Commonwealth and 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. An office based in Washington, D.C. also supports our growing membership in the Americas.
Our Steering Group, composed of up to 10 members, leads GISF’s strategic direction. The group is chaired by Phil Candy of Medair.
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 Brian Kerr of HIAS.
What benefits can you expect as a GISF member?
Find a downloadable PDF breaking down who is entitled to which of GISF’s benefits, here.
As a member, you will be invited to a number of member-only events throughout the year. These events include roundtables, workshops, context webinars, and more.
You can also contribute to our events as speakers or co-hosts.
What events does GISF run?
The aim of these events is to provide a safe space for peer to peer engagement and information exchange. Occasionally an external speaker will provide a technical update or members will be asked to start the conversation with their own observations to share their insights and experiences. All contributions are helpful.
Webinars aim to facilitate information dissemination and discussion around a particular topic or context of interest. Technical experts, academics, and members present their knowledge and experience followed by an opportunity to ask questions and discuss the points raised.
At GISF, we organise at least four workshops each year – though, in recent years, we’ve run as many as 10. Our workshops offer organisations development opportunities beyond security, for example, for staff from different backgrounds and departments.
Each year we host two forums for our members to come together with experts and explore cutting-edge issues affecting humanitarian security risk management. These forums usually take place in person but include a virtual component to allow for greater accessibility and are an excellent opportunity to network with counterparts from other NGOs.
Digital resources and the online hub
With a growing, cross-continental membership, virtual engagement is key to GISF’s work. We run live streams, online briefings, and our online chat facility, hosted by Mattermost.
The GISF Mattermost channels allow our members to communicate with their whole network at the touch of a button. It allows members to:
- Communicate directly with one another and the wider GISF community,
- Coordinate during rapid onset crisis,
- Share useful documents,
- Contribute feedback,
- Arrange visits and meetings,
- Provide updates on certain contexts,
- Share knowledge on specific topics through opt-in channels like digital security, and
- Ask tailored questions to your needs.
Our member website provides access to a wide range of services for all those interested in security risk management, including:
- Extra resources in an extensive library of documents and other useful resources,
- Contact details of our Security Focal Points and affiliates,
- Free advertisement of vacancies 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, and
- A curated themes page providing guidance on a range of emerging and foundational topics impacting humanitarian security.
Our cutting-edge research offers guidance on a vast array of practical and conceptual topics. Find easy-to-follow checklists, editable tools, and research papers exploring the latest issues impacting humanitarian security risk management.
As well as having access to our entire catalogue, we make sure to include our members in the research process. This includes:
- Identifying new topics to explore,
- Completing a research questionnaire or benchmarking survey,
- Joining a peer review team or working group to accompany a research project, and
- Proofreading or sense-checking upcoming translations of our resources.
If you’re interested in becoming a GISF member or want to know what your membership means to you, please download the below packs that have all the information you need.