1. Role of safety and security management in an emergency

Programming and security are integrated and interdependent. This interdependence is particularly important in the complex working environments where emergencies take place.  Appropriate safety and security management is essential to implement an effective and accountable emergency response. Humanitarian objectives of the emergency response operation must be balanced with the safety and security risk considerations to ensure that the lives of CARE staff members, contractors, beneficiaries and programme partners are not put at risk.

Position Key responsibilities
Safety and Security Coordinating Group
  • Ensures coordination between Lead Members, CARE Member Partners and relevant stakeholders
  • Harmonizes approaches across CARE International
The CARE International Member, Affiliate or Candidate
  • Is accountable and responsible to ensure compliance with the CARE International Safety and Security Standards
  • Members hold the legal responsibility for duty of care for their employees and respective Country Offices and therefore decision-making responsibilities reside here.
  • Directly supports Implementing Presences and temporary presence missions
  • Manages crisis events, including kidnappings and evacuations
The CARE International Country Office or Implementing Presence
  • Has overall responsibility on safety and security matters, including conducting safety & security risk assessments, ensuring staff are trained, briefed, receive adequate equipment and support, respond to safety & security incidents and ensure they are reported.
  • The Country/National Director is the final decision-making authority (in consultation with the CI Member), including disciplinary action when security lapses occur.
Safety and Security Focal Point (SSFP)
  • Is responsible for implementing all safety and security policies at field level together with the Emergency Safety and Security Officer
  • Ensures all staff are adequately briefed and familiar with security plans, and manages any incident reporting
Emergency Team Leader
  • Ensures security considerations are addressed in all emergency operations including planning, implementing a security plan before deployment to the field, adequate resourcing and managing the team’s safety
Emergency Team Safety and Security Officer (SSO)
  • Is part of the emergency team and reports to the team leader, but works closely with the CO’s safety and security focal point
  • Works to adapt or develop security plans for the emergency, and coordinates team briefings and operations.
Emergency Response Team
  • All emergency response team members have an obligation to follow CARE safety and security policy and procedures.

Safety and security is everyone’s responsibility

Every individual staff member are responsible for:

  • Understanding and following CARE’s safety and security policies and procedures
  • Completing required training courses and implementing the skills and lessons learned
  • Understanding the risks you may face in your work and providing your informed consent
  • Promoting a safe and secure work environment and fostering a responsible and inclusive safety and security culture in the workplace
  • Ensuring you are always demonstrating behaviours that build and strengthen positive reputations for yourself and CARE in the communities where you are working
  • Raising any concerns that you have with your manager or your relevant safety and security staff member, and escalating these to the senior most person in your CARE entity if they are not addressed (the Country Director, or National Director/CEO/Executive Director)

Note: Security must be part of all team briefings and meetings.

A Safety and Security Officer must be attached to the emergency response team. The Safety and Security Officer will:

  • assess if operating in particular areas can be done safely
  • manage the safety and security of the team members
  • provide ongoing monitoring of the context and the risks
  • proactively adapt procedures and policies to the situation
  • provide security briefings to managers and staff on a regular basis.

In countries where a Safety and Security Focal Point is already present, the emergency team’s Safety and Security Officer will have to work in a way that is consistent with existing policies and procedures, and will work closely with the existing focal point-in particular, to access their existing knowledge of the country and contacts.

In certain circumstances, especially in complex emergencies, additional support or technical expertise may be needed.