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Published: May 30, 2013

When working with NGOs in hostile and challenging security environments, Pilgrims is ever conscious of the client perception of relatively high percentage cost of security risk services when set against the cost of achieving a client’s programme objectives.

"We have found that really listening to and working together with our NGO clients and adding the spice of innovation and imagination when coming up with solutions, yields an optimum balance between sensible management of risk and client programme delivery," explains Pilgrims Director of Business Development, Peter Kaye.

"It's working in real partnership with mutual understanding grown over time that delivers the benefit and keeps cost in control," stresses Kaye. "Also, things take time and change, so both parties need to ‘roll with it’ to a degree, such as in Afghanistan, and be flexible when getting things done."

The years that Pilgrims has spent building relationships with host country nationals now gives the company access to really competitively priced local services in logistics and life support. "In Afghanistan this means we naturally get on well with the team at the Afghan Public Protection Force, who are really doing their best to do their job, but like any new organisation need support to so that the right knowledge can be successfully transferred to them," says Kaye.

"Whatever happens in the future, we have positioned ourselves to be able to train, develop and support those operating in Afghanistan, Iraq and similarly challenging environments."

That’s 'The Pilgrims Way'... and it works.

Here are 5 key points for NGOs considering their security in hostile and challenging environments:

1. Choose a provider who will build a genuine relationship with you and understand what you need to stay safe.

2. Work with your provider to understand your risks and derive a cost of mitigation that matches your appetite and budget.

3. Choose a risk management provider experienced in the environment and with mature host nation relationships.

4. Work together to prepare your programme team to respond to the unexpected and be flexible to the changing nature of Afghanistan.

5. Pick the right provider and they will keep you moving and safe, enabling you to achieve your objectives.