NGOs and Risk


In response to increasingly challenging operating environments for humanitarian aid, the aid consortium InterAction commissioned Humanitarian Outcomes to conduct a study of how humanitarian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) perceive, define and manage risks to their staff and operations. The NGOs and Risk Review was designed and implemented with the active collaboration of 14 major international humanitarian NGOs:

Action Contre La Faim (ACF)
Catholic Relief Services (CRS)
Danish Refugee Council (DRC)
International Medical Corps (IMC)
International Rescue Committee (IRC)
Islamic Relief Worldwide
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Holland
Mercy Corps
Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC)
Save the Children
World Vision

Research Questions

The study examined two key principal questions:

  1. What do humanitarian NGOs view as the primary external risks affecting their ability to carry out principled humanitarian action?
  2. How do humanitarian NGOs interpret, differentiate, prioritize and manage these risks internally?



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NGOs and Risk: How international humanitarian actors manage uncertainty was commissioned and funded by InterAction, USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance and the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration.