What is INSSA?

INSSA is a non-profit global membership association of individuals committed to improving the quality and effectiveness of safety and security for humanitarian relief and development assistance workers operating in complex and dangerous environments. INSSA does this through four main avenues of programming: Advocacy, Collaboration, Education & Professional Development, and Standardization.

The INSSA Security Risk Management Professional-Regional level certification exam has gone live

In partnership with DisasterReady.org, the INSSA has launched the Security Management Professional- Regional (SRMP-R) level certification exam. The SRMP-R certification is a strategic level certification, which applies to security management with responsibility for more than one country office. INSSA certification process and requirements may be found on both INSSA and DisasteryReady.org websites.

COVID-19 Resources

INSSA is providing this curated list of third party resources to help members remain informed and updated during the COVID-19 Pandemic. While we've made very effort to choose sites that are relevant to the NGO and International Development community, INSSA is not responsible for the content of these sites. Given how quickly the COVID-19 Pandemic is evolving, it's essential to reference the date of any materials used to ensure they reflect current data where needed. 

SRMP Exam Payment Coupons

In response to requests from members and NGO security directors wanting to pre-pay the SRMP exam certification fee in support of their security management staff, INSSA is pleased to announce that coupons are now available for purchase here.

Launch of Mentoring Program

After years of consultations with NGO security professionals worldwide, the Mentoring Program is now live. Register yourself as mentee, mentor (or both!) and give your professional career and personal development a BOOST. Grow and give back!

INSSA Membership Survey 2018 Results

INSSA 2018 Membership Survey results and analysis are now available. The results of the survey offer a snapshot of the security management best practices in place, providing the community with peer benchmarking data in this essential area of operational management along with INSSA membership engagement data. Analysis of the data along with links to the survey results can be found here.

Recovery and Wellness, COVID-19: Operating Considerations for US Based International NGOs:


Over the past few months, many INGOs have been coping with the impacts of COVID-19 and the restrictions imposed by national governments and states. As restrictions are loosened and INGOs are planning to re-open offices and adapt programs it is incumbent on risk managers to consider the changing risk landscape and the mitigation measures required to meet their respective duty of care responsibilities to their colleagues and partners.  INSSA is thrilled to have been part of a team of highly-respected professionals in developing "Recovery and Wellness, COVID-19: Operating Considerations for US Based International NGOs", a principles-based approach to planning and implementing recovery strategies in a manner that mitigates risks, supports staff, and meets INGO duty of care responsibilities.

Pledge Now

INSSA can count on moving company DeWitt Move Worldwide for its interest in and support for the humanitarian security profession. Can we count on you too?

Become a Sponsor or Supporting Member with a monthly donation. Your contribution will make a positive impact in achieving our mission. Being a sustaining member makes giving easy!

RSM Partnership


INSSA is happy to announce a new partnership with RSM to offer members a discount on select courses.  Click here for more information.

Partnerships and Security Risk Management: from the local partner’s perspective

This research paper complements GISF’s 2012 report Security Management and Capacity Development: International agencies working with local partners. This first analysis brought key insights into partnership dynamics, including strengths and weaknesses from the international NGO (INGO) perspective.

The latest research builds on this work by dedicating similar attention to the perspectives of local and national NGOs (L/NNGOs).

The paper seeks to:

  1. Provide insight into L/NNGOs’ security risk management cultures, perceptions, capacities, practices, needs and expectations in their partnerships with INGOs;
  2. Establish a platform for L/NNGOs to share their views and enhance dialogue between international and local/national NGOs;
  3. Identify opportunities to improve the effectiveness of support in partnerships as well as shared understandings of security risks.

The paper is based on a literature review, a global survey with over 200 respondents, more than 70 interviews with representatives of L/NNGOs and 4 case studies (in Colombia, Ethiopia, Myanmar and Syria).

The security risks that L/NNGOs face, and their management of them, aren’t sufficiently addressed in their partnerships with INGOs. Besides a lack of systematised collaboration and support within partnerships, there is an absence of conversation. Because issues aren’t voiced – or sufficiently listened to – security risks remain under-prioritised and poorly addressed. Open discussion between partners is necessary to collectively progress on the issue. This research project makes initial steps in this direction by deconstructing obstacles to honest conversations on security risks and investigating the perspectives of L/NNGOs on both their partnerships with international agencies and the management of security risks.

Necessary Risks: Professional Humanitarianism and Violence Against Aid Workers by Abby Stoddard


INSSA is pleased to announce the release of Necessary Risks: Professional Humanitarianism and Violence Against Aid Workers by Abby Stoddard and published by Palgrave Macmillan.  This book provides an in-depth analysis of the challenges to humanitarian action in warzones, the risk management and negotiation strategies that hold the most promise for aid organizations, and an ethical framework from which to tackle the problem. By combining rigorous research findings with structural historical analysis and first-person accounts of armed attacks on aid workers, the author proposes a reframed ethos of humanitarian professionalism, decoupled from organizational or political interests, and centered on optimizing outcomes for the people it serves.

“A deeply practical and very readable book. Stoddard explains why humanitarian workers are attacked, and how the aid system needs to change to reduce risk and increase effective coverage of people’s needs in armed conflict. An important text for every humanitarian who wants to do a better job.”

—Hugo Slim, Head of Policy for the International Committee of the Red Cross, author of Humanitarian Ethics: A Guide to the Morality of Aid in War and Disaster

INSSA members can contact the author here to receive a 40% discount toward purchase of the book.

E-versions of the book are available here.

Principled Humanitarian Action in Afghanistan

Principled Humanitarian Action in Afghanistan

INSSA Board of Directors