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. The 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, particularly during critical incident management.
  • Provides technical advice and guidance
Lead Member (LM)
  • Is accountable and responsible to ensure compliance with the CARE International Safety and Security Standards (MOSS)
  • Maintains clear lines of authority and procedures for decision-making
  • Directly supports COs and temporary presence missions
  • Manages crisis events, including kidnappings and evacuations
Country Director (CD)
  • Has overall responsibility on all safety and security matters, including ensuring staff are briefed and incidents are reported
  • Is the final decision-making authority (in consultation with LM), 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

Each staff member must ensure that they have:

  • Personal Safety and Security Awareness training
  • Record of Emergency Data (RED) – and Proof of Life where required – form completed
  • a telecommunication device and a list of emergency contact information
  • personal preparations (go bags, prophylaxis, appropriate identification, etc.)
  • been briefed on security and have accepted individual responsibility and accountability.

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. Please refer to Annex 14.3 for guidance on how to request security assistance.

Annex 14.1        Sample TOR Safety and Security Officer
Annex 14.2        Detailed Guidance and tools for Safety and Security Officer: Security Management Plan
Annex 14.3        Policy for Deployment of Safety and Security Advisors