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All Oxfam humanitarian responses must include proactive measures to ensure we do not inadvertently cause harm to people, nor undermine the values, standards and norms that underpin our work. Humanitarian work takes place in high-risk environments. Actively managing actual and potential risks enables us to do this work more effectively and safely. Managing risks systematically helps us monitor trends, avoid ‘knee-jerk’ reactions, and helps us plan for likely scenarios. Demonstrating that we understand and are actively managing risk builds confidence with the communities with whom we work, as well as our colleagues, partners and donors. Most of all, it means we can do more to help people in crisis situations without inadvertently causing harm. Managing risk is an ongoing process. Tools such as the quick and simple risk matrix (see page 8) help guide and record the process. Such written risk matrices allow analyses to be reviewed and updated over the course of a response, can be used for briefing incoming staff, and allow staff to document and learn from experience. However, managing risk involves much more than filling in forms—the core of effective risk management is the actions taken.
Oxfam (n.d.). Safe Programming in Humanitarian Responses. A Guide to Managing Risks.. Oxfam
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