Engaging Private Security Providers: A guideline for Non-governmental Organisations

Manual and Guideline
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EISF is pleased to share its newest publication “Engaging Private Security Providers: A Guideline for Non-governmental Organisations” written by Max Glaser. The paper was made possible by a grant of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. A French version is also available.

Over the past decade humanitarian agencies have increasingly made use of Private Security Providers (PSPs) to support their security requirements. The reason for this is attributed to a real and perceived growth in insecurity, leading to concern for the safety of staff, sustainability of programs and growing awareness of the legal dimensions of the duty of care. Although the outsourcing of security to PSPs is well recognised by policy-makers, at the operational level there is still a noticeable lack of guidelines on engagement with PSPs.

This briefing paper by EISF provides guidelines that offer an approach for assessing the viability of involvement of external professional resources in security – measured by the advantages and disadvantages and the risk and opportunities of involving PSPs. The paper covers ‘soft services’ such as training and crisis management support, as well as ‘hard services’ such as (armed) guarding and bomb tracing and destruction. The guidelines are intended to be used by humanitarian NGOs at management level and by those that are involved in the provision of security at headquarters, country and field level.