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BluePrint: Security Management Module
"In the last decade, lethal attacks against humanitarian personnel have tripled, reaching over 100 deaths per year." Delivering aid in risky environments: what works? UN OCHA 12 April 2011 At present there does not appear to be any purpose designed software that is easy to use and deploy for the security tracking of volunteers/staff members operating in hostile environments. Building on the Volunteer Module the Security Management Module would enable the humanitarian community "to stay and deliver."
Mary a UNDSS Security Officer in a city in a developing country is ordered to concentrate all staff from various Agencies, Funds and Programs at a secure location due to widespread rioting. Peter a staff member with Agency X is reported as not having arrived at the concentration point. Peter looks in the Sahana Eden Security Management Module and is able to find out who the Staff Member's supervisor is. Mary contacts and confirms with the supervisor that the staff member is indeed in country and not on leave. Further Mary finds that the staff member should be at home. Mary prints out a sheet of paper with a photo of the staff member, a GPS reference and photograph of the entrance of her residence and a Google/Openstreetmap or sketch showing the exact location. (In many developing or war damaged cities there are no street/house numbers or road signs.) Mary is able to locate the residence and bring Peter to the concentration site.
Fred is a logistics manager with a small NGO. Fred is not a security expert but has been given security responsibilities. Fred needs a means of keeping track of staff/volunteers who are in and out of the country and where they live.
Name existing solutions, e.g. in other applications
At the moment in the experience of the author NGO Security Officers in the field rely on:
None of which are easy to update. They have two major points of failure:
- Staff Member/Volunteer has to provide up to date information. This needs to be easy to do. Sahana Eden can help here.
- The NGO Security Officer often has to take paper forms and manually input them into excel sheets. Depending on the technical skill of the officer this can lead to duplicate records or delays in records being updated.Sahana Eden can help reduce errors. (The author recalls in a previous mission one individual being listed as having 5 different radios and one radio being issued to 3 different people. This would cause breakdowns in communication during a time of crisis. Sahana Eden Security Management Module being a proper database should be able to reduce some of the accidental errors. (ie. A single radio call sign could only be issued to one person.)
<Outline the requirements here> <Group requirements in subsections, e.g. functional, non-functional, interoperability etc.>
<Describe actors and use-cases> <Describe workflows> <Include diagrams where useful>
<Describe a possible design, repeat any design sections for alternative designs> <Include diagrams, screen mockups and wireframes where useful>
<Leave open for a list of implementation>
<Links to external resources>
NGO Security Page (Good set of Links to books, websites, etc. linked to NGO Security Best Practices)
A good starting point for those not familiar with NGO Security Basics would be Operational Security Management in Violent Environment by Koenraad Van Brabant available online at:
Delivering aid in risky environments: what works? UN OCHA [ http://reliefweb.int/node/395873]