A Thoughtful, Analytical Approach to NGO Security

Security Links - 2 Dec 07

Maia over at the people search site spock has kindly added the details of the 17 ACF workers who were killed in the Muttur massacre to the spock database. You can view the results on this page or you can search for "murdered aid worker" at the spock site.


The NGO Security blog has been running a series of "What would you do if....?" scenarios based on videos from YouTube and other online sources. They are well worth checking out. The video makes the exercise a little more visceral. You don't need to be a security officer to participate. In fact I would guess that non security officers would benefit the most.

Watch the videos and imagine what you would do. Imagine yourself actually being there. Do it with as much detail as your imagination will allow. How would you respond? How would you feel? You don’t need to worry about getting the “right” answer. You don’t even need to leave an answer for the exercise to be beneficial. Visualization is a powerful tool. It will help you cope mentally with future crises.

Once you’ve done these yourself try them with your peers or your family. You’ll be surprised how your responses can differ radically from those of others. In Scenario 5 it wouldn’t do you any good to know that backing up quickly is a good idea if your driver thinks the best option is to jump out of the vehicle and hide in the ditch.


Silobreaker has updated their site. It is now easier to make sense of what you are seeing. The graphs and link diagrams are especially useful.

Widgets, Advocacy, and Human Security

John Bell’s post, “Nonprofit Widgets in the Age of OpenSocial” got me thinking about how to use widgets to support advocacy for human security, humanitarian access, and the security of aid workers. I’m not a coder but luckily many websites can help generate widgets based on content selected by the user. The “Selected News” sidebar on this page is an example of such a widget.

The people search engine Spock lets you create similar Flash and JavaScript widgets based on the search results you use. On my Demo page you can see three widgets based on the search terms “death by firearm”, “murdered aid worker” and “murdered journalist”. The content is a little sparse for the last two terms but I’m hoping to work with Spock to change this. These ideas only scratch the surface. How about a widget that rotates images of detained activists... missing persons... great humanitarians,,, kidnapping victims? The possibilities seem endless.

Of course there are other widget options. If you’re looking to do some fundraising organizations like the Network for Good can help you create a custom widget. They call them badges. Beth Kanter used one to help her raise funds to send young Cambodians to university. If you go to her blog and scroll down a little you can see the widget in the sidebar.

If you have any ideas you want to share please leave a comment.

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