Projects Asia & The Pacific

Safety in the Field (SIF) Exercise

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) | Oct 2022

InterWorks conducted the eCentre’s Safety In the Field exercise from 6-22 October 2022. It was held at the Suan Son Pradipat Hotel and Fort Dhanarajata training center in Thailand, with support from the Royal Thai Army per their longstanding arrangement with the UNHCR eCentre. Participants were from diverse backgrounds, offices, and countries, representing UNHCR, the World Bank, NGO and Government counterparts.

The objective of the workshop was to address basic elements of personal security for staff in the field, and to highlight security risk management tools and strategies for maintaining operations in complex security environments as well as inter-linkages between security and protection. Thus, this course is a complement to the eCentre security risk management workshop. The workshop is highly participatory, emphasizing hands-on application of tools and skills. Participants discussed real-life cases, best practices and lessons learned from the humanitarian and development fields. They were also required to apply lessons in practical and realistic exercises and field simulations.
This was the first SIF in Thailand since 2019 and the second face-to-face workshop since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. The workshop followed the format that was used in 2019. The agenda was based on the 2019 event and focused on personal safety and security including with sessions on immediate responses to various security incidents – hostage taking, terrorist attack, hostile crowds, etc.. The focus on the centrality of protection and the criticality of continuing operations in complex security environments was also maintained. In addition, the course involved structured information exchange amongst participants, with a view to sharing good practices and lessons learned from the field through a series of group presentations.

It is hugely dynamic and creates numerous opportunities for participants to test the theory discussed, as well as explore their own personal responses/strengths/weaknesses and interpersonal skills with team members under pressure. The consistent feedback from experienced trainers is also a great strength, as well as the opportunity to engage with the military who provide a realistic experience.

– Workshop participant