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Advisory Forum Event New York City

Experts talk about safety and duty of care

The Advisory Forum in New York City once again brought together global experts in the NGO community. Hosted by Raptim Humanitarian Travel, along with Emirates, Clements Worldwide, and the Western Union, the forum discussed currency, risk mitigation, staff training and tracking aid workers while in the field.

Bringing experts together at the Advisory Forum Event

NGOs are currently experiencing problems sending money into some countries. For example, China and Zimbabwe do not want humanitarian funding coming in anymore. In the Dominican Republic, Western Union faced issues wiring money into the country.  It took several hours of waiting before the money could be delivered to its destination.

Most countries limit the amount of money you can transfer into the country.  These limits are listed online, as well as the amount you can take out within a day and per person.  For future reference, it is advised not to send large amounts at once, but to send it in smaller installments. This way it is ensured that offices in remote areas will receive enough cash.

Another concern with money transfer is protecting the people who are assigned to pick up the funding. The purpose is of visiting a bank is no big secret. There is a risk of getting robbed once the people have left the bank. Though NGOs are already spending 80% more to track their financing, it might be wise to have some sort of security for them.

In an organization, the management of safety and security needs to be communicated from the top levels down. Humanitarians need to be trained on the working processes of the organization. Additionally, education about the remote locations humanitarians are about to visit should also be provided. While you can discuss which type of training is best suited, there are already certified online module tests.  To pass this test, participants must score 75% or higher.

Aside from online training, it is important to go out on the field. For example, Centre for Safety offers real life training to prepare humanitarians for possible dangerous situations overseas. However, not only new aid workers need to be educated, but seasoned travelers should also be updated and continuously trained so as to keep them equipped with the necessary skills.  In the past, signed waivers have been used, but now, it is necessary for more serious training, in which everyone should participate.

Preparation is key, though duty of care also matters on the field. Members of the Advisory Forum stressed on setting up track and trace systems.  That way the humanitarian organizations can always keep track of where humanitarians are located.

In the past, managers have always relied on employees telling them where they are going.  With a proper track and trace systems connected to smartphones, managers have that information in the palms of their hands, at all times. But it is discouraged to take personal smartphones on trips.  If these phones are stolen, criminals possibly have access to all data and contacts.  Humanitarian organizations should provide their staff with suitable phones.

Due to our corresponding goals of helping people, we regularly discuss humanitarian developments and duty of care. Want to learn more about our vision and goals as a travel management company? Be sure to browse through our News & Community page. Also, read some of our other humanitarian blog posts, they are fully loaded with details and information regarding humanitarian-related issues.