Crisis management

According to the Aid Worker Security Database, there were 287 victims and 148 incidents affecting humanitarian staff in 2015. The real figures of deaths, victims and other critical incidents are higher, since these statistics don’t reflect casualties of traffic accidents or other types of events that could be considered security crisis.

Different real cases (“Steve Dennis vs NRC” or “Flavia Wagner vs Samaritan’s Purse”) have shown in recent years that an adequate management of a security crisis is key to properly assisting the victims of those incidents, while preventing them from becoming lawsuits due to bad management of the case.

In order to be able to manage a security crisis adequately, it is necessary that humanitarian or development aid organisations have security policies, frameworks, strategies, plans and protocols, including among them those dedicated to the management of critical incidents.

In the process of managing critical incidents, the role played by the so-called crisis management teams and their counterparts at field level, the incident management teams, is of outmost importance. Within the security policies of organisations, the crisis management protocol establishes what the concerned players should do and what strategy should be followed for the most adequate management of the crisis, both from an internal and an external point of view.

Support services offered

Even if preparing for an adequate management of a security crisis is an ongoing process, Humanitarian Access offers organisations the following support:

  • Introduction to incidents and critical incidents. Definitions and clarification of ideas.

  • Insight to incidents management in light of the applicable labour laws.

  • Incidents and critical incidents management.

  • Realisation of prior activities for an adequate preparation to critical incident management.

  • Profile, roles and tasks of critical incident management teams.

  • Crisis management strategies.

  • Family support and media management.

  • Post-crisis support.


Prior to doing a crisis management training, it would first be necessary to diagnose the needs of the organisation, as well as those of the persons forming the crisis management team or of anyone supporting it during any phase of the process.

After this initial assessment and based on its conclusions, Humanitarian Access will offer the most appropriate tailormade support to the organisation. These activities can be done in the organisation’s Head Office or at a location deemed more appropriate in order to achieve the training objectives.

Training sessions will have a dual theoretical and practical approach that will be adapted to the characteristics and particularities of the organisation.

In the participatory workshops, presentations will be combined with videos and other educational materials, so that not only will the crisis management team receive training, but also steps taken towards allocating tasks and responsibilities.

This training can be offered in English, Spanish and French.