STAFF SAFETY AND SECURITY COMES FIRST
Regions in conflict, fragile states, areas hit by natural disasters – GIZ’s support is in increasing demand in crisis-affected areas. There is no guarantee that GIZ’s staff can live and work safely in areas like these. To ensure that the employees do not find themselves getting caught in the crossfire when conflicts erupt, and to prevent them being targeted by criminals, the company provides everything possible in the way of precautionary security measures.
To protect its staff as well as possible, GIZ must have a coordinated crisis management system worldwide. In May 2016, GIZ founded the Corporate Security Unit. It reports directly to the Management Board and coordinates the work of the GIZ Crisis Desk. In a crisis, it also works closely with COPE, GIZ’s own psychosocial counselling unit.
The Corporate Security Unit is the point of contact for all matters relating to security risk management outside Germany. It analyses the risks in individual countries, as well as providing information, facts and figures, and advice on what specific protective and security measures personnel should take.
SECURITY RISK MANAGEMENT
Currently, 115 full-time staff in over 50 countries work in the field of security risk management. In some high-risk countries, where the security situation is particularly critical, GIZ operates security offices which are staffed round the clock. Country-specific security strategies are constantly updated and aligned with the security situation on the ground. Security risk advisors, for instance, prepare trips to unsafe project regions, ensure the security of GIZ’s infrastructure and handle security for staff travelling to the country on official GIZ business. In an emergency, every office can activate emergency plans and ensure that an unfolding crisis can be dealt with effectively.
‘WE MUST ACTIVELY MANAGE SECURITY RISKS IN ORDER TO KEEP OUR STAFF AS SAFE AS POSSIBLE’INTERVIEW WITH REGINA BAUEROCHSE BARBOSA, DIRECTOR OF THE CORPORATE SECURITY UNIT
GIZ has been operating in crisis- and conflict-affected countries for some years now. Why was a dedicated Corporate Security Unit founded in 2016?
REGINA BAUEROCHSE BARBOSA Security requirements are becoming increasingly complex, since GIZ is operating more and more in crisis-affected regions. An evaluation conducted in 2015 showed that although the security systems then in place complied with international standards, the human resources available at the Crisis Desk and its attachment to the Human Resources Department were no longer appropriate given the increasing demands.
So what has changed?
REGINA BAUEROCHSE BARBOSA The most important change is the analysis unit, which we have put in place in addition to the Security and Crisis Management Section. Having analysed the security-relevant actors and developments, the analysis unit draws up a report on the current situation and possible scenarios for the operational departments. This provides the departments with important information on the basis of which they can decide on their portfolio design in fragile states. Our risk and security culture is to be granted a higher status, and the Corporate Security Unit will be doing its bit there too.
What duties does the corporate unit have?
REGINA BAUEROCHSE BARBOSA We will be integrating security issues even more systematically into our processes – for example when projects are prepared, staff recruited and budgets drawn up. Above all, we will only be able to achieve our project objectives if we actively manage and reduce the security risks for our staff and our infrastructure. And we will only succeed in this if we manage to communicate to our national and international staff that their safety comes first.