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The safety and security of DAISI’s people is of paramount importance. DAISI works in many challenging governance and security environments across the South-Pacific that may present heightened safety and security risks to People who work in and travel to these locations.

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POLICY

Content

  1. Principles on Safety and Security
  2. Security strategy
  3. Design and Implementation of the Security Policy
  4. Roles and Responsibilities
    4.1 HQ Level
    4.2 Field Level
    4.3 Personal Level
  5. Coverage under and extent of the policy and relation to external groups
  6. Nature of the policy
  7. Code of Conduct
  8. Protocols
    8.1 Risk Rating System
    8.2 Briefing
    8.3 Travel – Preparation
    8.4 Travel – Execution
    8.5 Communication
    8.6 Crisis Management
    8.7 Incident Reporting

1. Principles on Safety and Security                                                                                 

The safety and security of our staff and volunteers on field teams are a key responsibility of our organisation. We accept a duty of care for all staff and volunteers on field teams. With an increasing number of missions, we are committed to a clear, relevant and proportional security policy, protocols and plans.

Additionally, as an organisation specialised in medical and surgical assistance, we must set a good example. The aim of the policy is to increase the security awareness of all DAISI staff and volunteers field teams involved to create a culture of security, and ultimately, to fulfil the objectives that our work aims to achieve.

The key to effective safety and security management is the creation of a culture of security and DAISI will work to create such an environment. Each staff and field team volunteer member has a responsibility for their own safety and security and that of others. Furthermore, we believe each staff and field team volunteer has a duty to address issues of safety and security – proactively and frankly – at all times.

DAISI recognises that humanitarian work is often performed in extremely unstable and potentially dangerous environments and has therefore created this safety and security policy with a view to maintaining the safest possible working conditions.

DAISI subscribes to the Principles of the People In Aid Code of Good Practice and believes that staff comprise the most important resource for DAISI and the communities we serve. Effective safety and security policies and procedures are designed to ensure that the work of DAISI can continue even in challenging environments.

DAISI believes that safety and security exist when staff and volunteers are enabled to pursue their tasks without undue risk to health or life.

2. Security strategy

Being a non-governmental organisation (NGO) DAISI adopts the principals of non-partiality, neutrality and “Do No Harm”  principles that steer the missions of most humanitarian organisations. These principals are the foundation of a strategy based upon acceptance by the host community.

3. Design and Implementation of the Security Policy and Protocols

The security policy and protocols are developed in line with other Australian Aid agencies and follow acceptable normal practises as suggested by DFAT.

4. Roles and Responsibilities

Every individual at every level has specific roles and responsibilities. This policy outlines at which level certain responsibilities lie and where staff or field team volunteers should look for guidance or action concerning safety and security issues.

Performance objectives and reviews should include management of security. This can be at the individual level, i.e. displaying awareness of personal security issues, the impact of our own actions on the security of self, others and agency members. It can also be more formal in terms of the safety and security remit of the specific role that is being undertaken.

4.1 HQ Level

Country Programme Officers/Coordinators

  • Setting the security policy and protocols for the organisation
  • Producing security plans and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for the field missions, which can then be adapted to each different field context
  • Insurance policy
  • Training policy
  • Providing competent field teams, including those with previous field team experience.
  • Planning of field operations
  • Allocating sufficient resources, both financial and human
  • Providing support to field teams when necessary
  • Monitoring the effectiveness of security management in the field
  • Ensuring lessons are learned from experience and that policy and procedures are updated accordingly
  • Taking appropriate corrective action to address deficiencies in security procedures
  • Deciding on deployment or evacuation
  • Ensuring that designated staff at HQ are well prepared to take timely security related decisions when necessary. This includes the preparedness and implementation of a crisis management team for managing certain serious or high-profile incidents.
  • Being aware of the extent of legal liability if various contingencies were to occur
  • Taking appropriate corrective action to address deficiencies in security procedures

4.2 Field Level

Team member

  • Thoroughly reading, accepting and complying with the Security Policy, Security Plan and SOPs
  • Participating actively and proactively in security assessments during the field operation
  • Contributing actively to developing the rules for the trip and committing to active participation in the establishment of these.
  • Taking appropriate corrective action to address deficiencies in security procedures.
  • Acknowledging the authority of the DAISI team leader in security and behavioural aspects.
  • Ensure satisfactory in country safety briefing prior to field trip.
  • Be aware of evacuation plan and procedures.

Team Leader

  • Thoroughly reading, accepting and complying with the Security Policy, Security Plan and SOPs.
  • Guiding of and taking responsibility for all team members, under delegated authority.
  • Taking local responsibility for implementation of security measures and behavioural aspects.
  • Assessing the security situation during the field operation.
  • Reviewing and commenting on security plan.
  • Deciding on evacuation.
  • Taking appropriate corrective action to address deficiencies in security procedures.

4.3 Personal Level

Operating with security awareness in order to ensure, in the best possible way, the safety and security of team members, the field team and the organisation at all times, in every level of the organisation.

5. Extent of the Security Policy and Protocols

All DAISI staff, volunteers and all individuals contracted by DAISI on a professional or voluntary basis working on DAISI activities are covered under this policy and protocols. The policy does not cover family members of the above individuals and staff under contract with other NGOs or institutions. People are the organisation’s highest priority. The Security policy and protocols cover only people, not material and financial assets.

6. Nature of the Security Policy and Protocols

Adherence to the policy and protocols is a requirement. Only in life threatening situations do team leaders have the authority to bypass these to a certain extent.

Team leaders also have the right to leave locations where their personal assessment is that their safety and security or that of others is being compromised.

When despite of the risk assessment the security situation deteriorates beyond limits of acceptability DAISI team leader have the possibility to decide upon evacuationand this decision cannot be overruled.

If and when an individual team member within a team does no longer feel comfortable with the security situation, the team member has the right to depart earlier at his/her own costs and responsibility.

7. Code of Conduct

DAISI strongly adheres to The ACFID and ICRC Codes of Conduct.

Respect and Care for the Participant/Client/Beneficiary

We shall adopt a professional association with participants/volunteers/clients and respect their culture, beliefs and background. We take participants seriously; “there are no stupid questions”. We develop a safe learning environment, where participants/volunteers/clients feel comfortable to approach us. Training courses can be overwhelming and participants can get emotional. Please take this into consideration. Controversial topics (such as drugs, abortion, faith and politics) must be treated with sensitivity.

Respect for Culture and Custom

We will endeavour to respect the culture, structures and customs of the communities and countries we are working in.

As a team member volunteer of DAISI, one is automatically a representative of the organisation. The team member will act as an “ambassador” as much as a trainer, consultant, teacher, service provider, teacher. At the moment the team member travels to the field representing DAISI, her/his behaviour will be subject to close scrutiny by both local staff as well as the wider public in the host community. 

DAISI and its representatives will respect the law and the culture of the host community. This implies that cultural rules concerning expected dress codes, non-use of alcohol and other restrictions are respected to a sensible degree. Before each travel the individual has the obligation to study the context and the cultural laws of the community of destination.

Adherence to International Standards

DAISI is committed to international program standards. For each intervention it is the duty of the Team Leader to make sure the relevant standards are known to all team members. Many security issues arise from lack of knowledge of these standards.

Continuous improvement

We continuously strive to maintain, heighten and improve the standards of our activities. Field staff shall provide honest feedback to DAISI.

8. Protocols

DAISI considers the following protocols, part of the security policy, to be binding for all individuals covered under the security policy.

8.1 Risk Rating System

All Country Program locations are rated according to the assessed level of risk by the Country Programme Officer/Coordinator. The risk rating categories will be made available to all Team Leaders. Security Plans will be designed in the context of the assigned risk rating for that location. Security Plans will be flexible enough to cope with changes in risk ratings from time to time.

8.2 Briefing

All DAISI representatives travelling will be briefed before departure, either by email, in person or both. The briefing will contain logistical, content related and security details. Whenever possible and appropriate, DAISI will arrange security briefings upon arrival in the Country of destination. Upon return, all DAISI representatives will attend debriefing sessions and fill out a mission report feeback forms and can request a debriefing phone call if required.

8.3 Travel – Preparation

Training

Before departure, all team members receive an appropriate safety and security training. This is to include evacuation preparedness and possible security scenarios.

Health and Safety

Every DAISI team member is obliged to make sure they have all necessary vaccinations and other medical precautionary measures including hand sanitiser, protective personal equipment (PPEs) such as gloves, face masks and eye protection.   If travelling to malaria prone areas, protective lightweight long sleeve/pant clothing,  mosquito repellent, and mosquito nets may be required.  

Emergency Precautionary Measures

Before travelling to a field operation, all DAISI team members must fill in an “apply not” online application form which includes personal profile. This is to include any health issues, medications, the volunteer’s next  of kin and emergency contact information.

Cancellation

DAISI makes the decision to cancel or continue planning the mission. However, DAISI stays responsible for continuous monitoring. If changing security situations require cancellation or evacuation, DAISI has the obligation to do so. With regard to these decisions, DAISI acknowledges the important but non-urgent nature of its mission.

8.4 Travel – Execution

Composing Standard Operation Procedures (SOPs)

Staff at all levels should continually monitor significant political, social, economic, security events in the areas where DAISI works. Often those best able to conduct assessments in a specific region are the field teams working within them. Therefore, team and team leader have primary responsibility for informing HQ of any possible disturbances.

8.5 Communication

All field staff and volunteers are to have mobile phone communication with various numbers of HQ contacts.

Contact within the team will be preserved at all times. Team members must be aware of the location and communication means of their travel companions. If the team goes separate ways for whichever reason, team leader will ensure that the different parties have means of communication and will determine the interval of the communication.

8.6 Crisis Management

DAISI defines as a crisis any unstable situation of extreme danger or difficulty, which harmfully affects staff  or volunteers or their ability to perform necessary duties.

Evacuation

Planning and preparation for evacuation is a key part of any security plan.

Preparation should also be made for ‘hibernation’ – when it is safer to stay in a location rather than to attempt to move.

When during field operations the security situation deteriorates beyond limits of acceptability both HQ Coordinators as well as team leader have the possibility to decide upon evacuationand this decision cannot be overruled. Australian Government assistance could be requested if required.

In an evacuation DAISI’s aim is to return staff and volunteers to their home base / HQ, or place of safety. Notwithstanding legal obligations, we endeavour to undertake, as far as reasonably practicable, to move all staff and volunteers to a place of safety, if they are at risk directly as a consequence of their work with DAISI, their nationality, their ethnic origin or

are subject to a particularly serious or targeted threat. All staff and volunteers should be made aware of their own and DAISI’s responsibilities in advance. Staff and volunteers who are evacuated will, as far as practicable, be offered a formal debrief and counselling if deemed appropriate.

8.7 Incident Reporting

DAISI defines as an incident all events, which have caused, are likely to cause or could have caused the profile of the organisation and/or its representatives to be harmed (e.g. unwanted contacts with or questioning by police, intelligence services or any other authorities).

In DAISI.s current working region there is a very real danger from natural disasters. It is common to have cyclones and the resultant flooding, earthquakes and possible tsunamis and other natural disasters. Staff are to be fully briefed on how to prepare for all likely scenarios.

DAISI’s Staff Safety and Securities Policy 2020