Risk Assessments play an essential and core role in the security risk management cycle. Although it is true that for a successful risk assessment it is necessary to have a security framework that defines the responsibilities, tasks or the attitude of the organisation when facing risks, it is important to know the methodology step-by-step to be able to comply in the best way possible with duty of care.

There are currently two main methodological approaches used for preparing risk assessments. The first one comes from the revised Good Practice Review 8 on “Operational security management in violent environments” of the Overseas Development Institute. The second one is from the ISO 31000 on Risk Management.

In both cases, there are common elements such as the good knowledge of the context, the identification of the vulnerabilities, the level of risk, the establishment of mitigation or treatment measures and the elaboration of an action plan which must be well-prepared.

From Humanitarian Access, we support organisations in preparing their local and timely specific risk assessments, so that they can establish effective security and contingency plans which will allow organisations and their personnel to fulfil their mandates safely, and reach the maximum number of beneficiaries possible.

The support provided for the preparation of risk assessments is done using a participatory approach, inclusive, sensitive to the context and bearing in mind the policies and documents of reference of the organisations. Furthermore, at Humanitarian Access we use an approach that combines training and results, because the workshops destined to prepare risk assessments build the capabilities of the staff from a theoretical point of view, while simultaneously identifying the specific risks in the workplace.

It is important to point out that the objective of Humanitarian Access is that organisations can gain a more secure access to vulnerable populations, so that security risk management becomes an enabling factor, rather than an obstacle to the operations.