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Become a member

Through our leading research, digital resources and original training and events, we work with and for our members to drive change in the humanitarian sector.

Benefits of Membership

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 Scott Ruddick of MEDA.

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.

Bi-annual forum

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 the GISF chat facility, hosted by Mattermost.

The GISF chat 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.

Factal Access

Factal is a breaking news technology company that helps the world’s largest organisations protect people, avoid disruptions and expedite disaster relief when global events put them at immediate risk. Teams of all sizes at over 230 NGOs use Factal’s fast, verified updates. You’ll be able to move faster to help protect staff, direct emergency resources, and keep tabs on fast-moving developments. Chat with their 24/7 newsroom and other security pros to get the situational intelligence you need. Receive alerts anywhere you need them, including via the popular Factal mobile app.

GISF members with full membership can access Factal’s unlimited real-time risk intelligence platform for free and bypass the additional Factal vetting process. GISF Associate members will also receive access, however full unlimited access to the platform may be reviewed on a case-by-case basis in accordance with Factal’s internal definitions.

GISF Exercise Platform

The GISF Exercise Platform (GEP) is an exciting addition to the services GISF offers to its members, delivering innovative and realistic crisis management training to support improved practices across the sector.

The GEP allows members to access a range of engaging play-on-demand crisis scenarios, free of charge, that are relevant to the humanitarian and development sector. The simulations take place in a self-contained, high-fidelity space, enabling the exercising of crisis management skills and plans in a constantly evolving and dynamic environment. Members can run scenarios at their own pace, adjusting the length and intensity of the exercise to suit their needs.

You can find out more here.

Our members

From Save the Children to Greenpeace International, see all of our diverse members improving lives and reducing suffering around the world.

Interested in becoming a member? Find out how to join GISF here.