Thursday, March 30, 2006

Thinking Outside the Box

As security practitioners, we frequently apply tried and true solutions to decrease the amount of risk to staff members and beneficiaries. Of course there's nothing wrong with this, but sometimes it's worthwhile to think outside the box. As an example, if you were in charge of camp security and there was a growing number of women being abducted and raped while gathering firewood, your first thoughts might be to use male escorts, restrict movement to certain areas during set times, or provide some type of personal safety training. All very good conventional solutions, but what else might you do?

Relief International took a thoughtful approach to this problem in Darfur. They're providing fuel-efficient stoves and training to at-risk women, thus reducing the amount of time spent gathering firewood outside the security of the camps. This is an excellent example of fully understanding a security problem and then applying a very creative solution.


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