II. Operational risks
Having policies and procedures in place is not an absolute guarantee that compliance will occur. In a remote management or emergency intervention, following regular procedures is not always possible. This leads to exposure to risks that are normally mitigated. In response to this risk War Child develops compliance-proof operating procedures tailor-made for these circumstances.
Another challenging operational element with regard to compliance is the management of implementing partners. Risks that are required to be managed include poor quality implementation, discontinued operations and partner fraud. War Child focuses on clear policies and tools that fit operational processes, and places emphasis on supporting cultural change and monitoring adherence via an internal control framework.
IT support and data security risks
Every organisation faces challenges with regard to IT, particularly when working in fragile contexts. In 2017 we implemented new security measures and procedures to protect our War Child IT systems and information against the growing presence of external cyber security threats. We also rolled out a new, more robust systems platform for the entire organisation over the course of the year.
Availability of qualified staff
Every NGO is aware that attracting and retaining quality team members is a challenge in insecure environments. Turnover in staff is costly, puts pressure on teams and can lead both to a loss of valuable knowledge and inefficient operations. A thorough recruitment process with a focus on field-driven and socially interactive humanitarian staff, investments in training and development of staff at all levels, and a focus on organisational learning are key mitigating elements.