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5. Resources

This section contains the risk library, downloadable resources and definitions of acronyms and key terms.



Toolkit for Principled Humanitarian Action: Managing counterterrorism Risks (full Toolkit PDF)

Practical guide: Project cycle management and counterterrorism risks


Toolkit for Principled Humanitarian Action: Managing counterterrorism Risks (full Toolkit PDF)


Toolkit for Principled Humanitarian Action: Managing counterterrorism Risks (full Toolkit PDF)


Risk library

International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA), 2020
‘Risk and Humanitarian Culture: An ICVA Briefing Paper’

Christian Aid, 2019
‘The Grand Bargain and the issue of Risk Management’

Human Security Collective, 2019
‘Derisking and Civil Society: Drivers, Impact and Solutions’

International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), 2019
‘International Humanitarian Law and the Challenges of Contemporary Armed Conflicts – Recommitting to Protection in Armed Conflict’

InterAction, and Humanitarian Outcomes, 2019
‘NGOs & Risk: Managing Uncertainty in Local-International Partnerships’

InterAction, 2019
‘Resources on NGO Risk Management’

The Cash Learning Partnership (CaLP), 2019
‘Cash and Voucher Assistance and Risk in Financial Management and Compliance Briefing Note’

The New Humanitarian, 2019
‘The creeping criminalisation of humanitarian aid’

U4 Anti-Corruption, and Transparency International, 2019
‘Managing corruption challenges in humanitarian settings’

Humanitarian Policy Group (HPG) and Overseas Development Institute (ODI), 2018
‘Counter-terrorism, bank de-risking and humanitarian response: a path forward’

HPG, and ODI, 2018
‘The impact of bank de-risking on the humanitarian response to the Syrian crisis’

Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), 2018
‘Principles under Pressure: the impact of counterterrorism measures and preventing/countering violent extremism on principled humanitarian action’

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), 2018
‘Bridging the Emergency Gap’

NRC and United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), 2017
‘Presence and Proximity - To Stay and Deliver, Five Years On’

Charity and Security Network, 2017
‘Financial Access for US Non-Profits'

Chatham House, 2017
‘Recommendations for Reducing Tensions in the Interplay Between Sanctions, Counterterrorism Measures and Humanitarian Action’

Harvard Law School Program on International law and Armed Conflict (HLS PILAC), 2017
‘Pilot empirical survey study on the impact of counterterrorism measures on humanitarian action’

MSF, 2017
‘Perilous terrain. Humanitarian action at risk in Mali’

Geneva Call, 2016
‘In their words: Perceptions of armed non-state actors on humanitarian action’

Global Public Policy Institute (GPPi), and Humanitarian Outcomes, 2016
‘The effects of insecurity on humanitarian coverage’

‘Understanding humanitarian exemptions: U.N Security Council Sanctions and Principled Humanitarian Action’

Humanitarian Outcomes, and InterAction, 2016
‘NGOs and Risk: How international humanitarian actors manage uncertainty’

Humanitarian Outcomes, and InterAction, 2016
‘Residual Risk Acceptance: An advocacy guidance note’

Humanitarian Outcomes, 2016
‘What It Takes: Principled pragmatism to enable access and quality humanitarian aid in insecure environment’

Humanitarian Outcomes, ODI and Humanitarian Practice Network (HPN), 2016
‘Tug of War:  Ethical decision-making to enable humanitarian access in high-risk environments’

Humanitarian Outcomes, and InterAction, 2016
‘NGO Risk Management: Principles and Promising Practice’

‘Suppressing Foreign terrorist fighters and supporting principled humanitarian action’

NRC, 2015
‘Risk Management Toolkit: In relation to counterterrorism measures’

Humanitarian Outcomes (2014-2016)
‘Secure Access in Volatile Environments’

Harvard Law School, 2014
‘An Analysis of Contemporary Counterterrorism-related Clauses in Humanitarian Grant and Partnership Agreement Contracts’

MSF, 2014
‘Where is everyone? Responding to emergencies in the most difficult places’

HPG, and ODI, 2013
‘Paradoxes of presence: Risk management and aid culture in challenging environments’

NRC, and OCHA, 2013
‘Study of the Impact of Donor Counter-Terrorism Measures on Principled Humanitarian Action’

Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research (HPCR), 2011
‘Humanitarian Action under Scrutiny: Criminalizing Humanitarian Engagement’

OCHA, 2011
‘To Stay and Deliver’

Global NPO Coalition on Financial Action Task Force (FATF)
Report Collection

List of Acronyms

AML: Anti-Money Laundering 

CaLP: The Cash Learning Partnership 

CHS: Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability

CTF: Counter Terrorism Financing 

CVA: Cash Voucher Assistance 

DFID: Department for International Development 

DTG: Designated terrorist group

EU: European Union

FATF: Financial Action Task Force

FDFA: Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs 

IASC: Inter-Agency Standing Committee

IHL: International humanitarian law

INGO: International Non-Governmental Organisation

M&E: Monitoring and evaluation

NGO: Non-governmental organisation

NMFA: Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs 

NPA: Norwegian People’s Aid

NPO: Non-profit organisation

NRC: Norwegian Refugee Council

NSAG: Non-state Armed group

OCHA: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

OFAC: Office of Foreign Assets Control

OFSI: Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation

PCM: Project cycle management

PVS: Partner Vetting System

UK: United Kingdom

UN: United Nations 

UNSC: United Nations Security Council

US: United States

USAID: United States Agency for International Development

Key Terms and Definitions

A single globally accepted definition does not necessarily exist for each of the terms below, and organisations use some of them differently. The definitions given here are for the purpose of this toolkit only.

Access — Humanitarian organisations’ ability to reach affected populations, provide humanitarian assistance andthe ability of affected populations to access assistance.

Anti-diversion policies and practices — Measures to ensure that humanitarian assistance reaches the intended beneficiaries.

Code of conduct — A set of principles adopted by an organisation designed to maintain standards of behaviour.

Counterterrorism measures — International, regional, national and donor instruments and policies related to counterterrorism 

DTG — A group or organisation that has been listed as terrorist by a government pursuant to its national law or by an international body pursuant to international law.

Due diligence — The implementation of an organisational policy and controls designed to assess and track how an organisation’s activities and relationships affect its humanitarian work throughout the project cycle.

Evaluation — A learning process intended to systematically assess the efficiency, effectiveness, relevance, sustainability and impact of an activity, project or programme. Evaluations focus on assessing outcomes rather than outputs.

Fraud — A deception practised to secure unfair or unlawful gain.

Monitoring — The continuous and systematic oversight of the implementation of an activity, which is used to measure the achievement of objectives using allocated funds.

Residual risk – The risk that remains after efforts to manage or mitigate risks.

Risk - The effect of uncertainty on an organisation’s objectives.

Risk management — The coordinated activities to direct and control an organisation with regard to risk. 

Risk transfer – The shifting of risk from one organisation or group onto another. Risk transfer can occur between donors and humanitarian organisations, between international organisations and local implementing partners, and between headquarters and field-based staff.

Sanctions — Restrictions imposed by one or more countries upon another country for political reasons. They may take many forms, including economic and targeted sanctions.

Vetting — The action conducted by an organisation to check whether prospective partners, contractors or staff members appear on designated terrorist lists such as those maintained by donor governments, host governments or bodies such as the UN or EU.