Let’s Share and Expand the Evidence Base


A great hindrance to our providing preparedness support to counterparts (local staff and partners) and communities has been our unwillingness to share sensitive lessons. We hesitate either because we feel confidentiality for people or tactics require secrecy or due to a conviction that unorthodox measures mean we as professional rescuers have failed and that such measures should remain exceptions to the rule and not formalized. And of course—where is the funding for support of local self-protection?


The net result of lessons spurned (rather than learned, internalized and shared) is that our response to the next crisis is likely to be ad hoc and amateur.


The Center for Civilians in Harm’s Way maintains a databank, How Civilians Survive Violence: A Preliminary Inventory. It is the largest known inventory of how local populations and providers augment their safety as well as life-critical sustenance and services alone amid violence.


Please contact the Center if you are, or are going to be, in the field to document or assess:



How local populations survive amid violence

How local providers survive and serve amid violence

How external groups helped prepare and support the above efforts (if at all)

We can then discuss with you:


  1. Support for your assessment. The Center can share survey templates to supplement any tools you may already have. The question sets include guidance notes for conducting sensitive inquiries while “under the gun”—methods for eliciting more information while drawing less attention. You can have your findings entered in our global databank.


  1. Funding for your research. There are donors explicitly seeking outside-the-box solutions for concerns including preparedness and protection and who place great emphasis on ground-truthed, ground-driven initiatives. Together we can determine if your assessment work fits those specifications.


  1. Protection networks. Share the benefits of affiliating with other researchers and practitioners who are dedicated to a new generation of protection approaches centered on the capacity of locals to survive alone amid violence. Use our briefings, and network with others to stay abreast of current findings and opportunities in support for civilian self-protection.


  1. Protection rosters. Join the Center’s stand-by rosters of protection-related talent. The Center will be engaging NGOs and UN agencies, many of which often announce (or may be persuaded to offer) protection consultancies that augment their own assessment capacity. We can, contingent upon your availability, notify them of your skill sets suited for commissioned studies, particularly those focused on support for civilian self-preservation.


  1. Protection panels. The Center’s staff has in the past recruited and assembled panels for international fora on protection. Contingent upon your availability, join us in future such events to present and disseminate your own findings on the subject.


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