Consultant (Video Production – Humanitarian Risk Management 101)


Job Description

  Working in humanitarian settings almost always means addressing a variety of risks (see page 5). Humanitarian operations take place in sudden onset emergencies and in protracted conflicts, where there are few functioning institutions left and increasingly in areas controlled by armed groups including those that are under sanction regimes. The nature of the Humanitarian Emergencies and protracted conflicts leads all involved to consider trade-offs between the needs of affected communities, potential harm to staff, reputation risk, fiduciary control, etc. Especially in protracted crises, humanitarian organizations are often the primary risk-bearers because other non-humanitarian actors are less willing to expose themselves to risk.

Risk management involves the forecasting and evaluating of potential risks associated with day-to-day operations, while actively identifying ways to reduce them or minimize their impact on operations. Risk management is critical to enabling humanitarian activities in the highest risk settings (i.e. Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan, Nigeria, Syria etc.), yet many frontline teams are unaware of how pervasive and interconnected risks are in such settings. This compromises early awareness and early action to prepare for and mitigate emerging threats. Furthermore, attention and resources are largely channelled towards addressing fiduciary risks. This reinforces a siloed approach to risk management, and ignores other connected risk areas (i.e. operational risk can cause fiduciary risks if not managed accordingly). Without considering the interconnectedness between risk areas, the likelihood of increasing risks in other areas escalates.

Lastly, this discourages cross-team risk ownership, information sharing and decision-making. This adds to the overall insufficient visibility of risk exposure within teams as risk ownership also becomes a question that is largely left without a clear answer.


Recognizing the challenges in fostering a more risk aware and responsive culture across NGO teams, InterAction seeks to create a free and widely available educational video to equip humanitarians with the basic knowledge they need to begin understanding risk in their day-to-day operations management. Building on the research InterAction has undertaken over the last several years (Risk I in 2016 and Risk II in 2019) this video is intended to distil lessons learned from previous research into a useful and usable educational video for NGO teams. It is intended steppingstone to expanding awareness of risk policies and practices across a range of crises and humanitarian actors to improve humanitarian delivery in the long run. Suitable across a range of crises and humanitarian actors, the video should introduce basic principles of risk areas, management, and mitigation to the humanitarian community.

The estimated 5–7-minute animated video will enhance understanding of risk management in Humanitarian Action across frontline teams operating in high-risk settings. The video will aim to:
  1. Build understanding of key risk areas (i.e. operational, reputational, informational, security and safety, fiduciary, ethical, and legal/compliance) and how they interact;
  2. Convey the inherent tensions in managing and mitigating risks, and how these tensions can create new risks in other areas in the delivery of humanitarian aid;
  3. Highlight the roles and responsibilities frontline field teams undertake in relation to evaluating, assessing, managing and responding to risks. within organizations in risk Analysis, information sharing within and between organizations, and ownership; and
  4. Present the benefits of proactive risk management and information sharing as it relates delivering quality, life saving programming to people in need of Humanitarian Assistance.

Through guidance and engagement with InterAction’s Senior Manager for Humanitarian Policy, this consultancy will execute the following key deliverables:
  1. Review existing InterAction materials on risk management and other relevant materials to develop the language and visual framing to introduce key principles and practices related to risk management and mitigation in humanitarian aid;
  2. Prioritize and develop and outline and script for video, including the use of visual and storytelling components to convey complex topic area.
  3. Produce draft scripts and video and undertake reviews and refinement alongside InterAction and other key experts throughout production cycle;
  4. Finalize video, including the integration of three additional translated versions, working alongside InterAction and other translation partners engaged by InterAction.
* A final scope of work and specified expected deliverables will be finalized upon hire based on additional consultations with the consultant. PRODUCTION PROCESS, CONTENT AND AUDIENCE

The Risk 101 video will be created in collaboration with project leads on InterAction’s humanitarian team and several NGO focal points who will provide expert advice and guidance on various relevant areas including risk management, “plain language” and translation for humanitarian programs. Estimated to be between a 5-7 minute video, Interaction will use that time to explain the seven risk categories (safety, security, legal/compliance, operational, reputational, information, and ethical) and what it means to practice adequate risk management. The animated film will be easy to translate into Arabic, French, and Spanish by using plain language, with key messages explained clearly in easily understood / widely used terms and culturally sensitive messaging.

Throughout the process of developing the video, InterAction will consult with the reference group and will seek input InterAction staff and a select group of key NGO experts.

  • Basic definitions, descriptions, and examples of risk and risk areas for international and local NGOs on the field and at headquarter level;
  • Answering what risk management is and why it’s important;
  • Explanation of interconnectedness of the risk areas with examples ;
  • Examples of different risk scenarios and risk management and mitigating efforts that can be taken.
TARGET AUDIENCE The Risk 101 video will be designed with several target audiences in mind, including:
  • NGO frontline teams who manage humanitarian programs and oversee work, particularly staff operating in high-risk areas;
  • Though it should not replace a comprehensive risk training for full-time front-line staff, this video can be used as a temporary substitute to ensure basic understanding of key risk management concepts and terms;
  • Staff working at NGO headquarters, as an introductory resource to understand the nature of risk management in the field.
This video will also be a tool to complement the more comprehensive guides and tools created as part of the Risk III initiative, serving as an introduction on the seven core risk areas and risk management principles that are easy to digest for humanitarian staff that have had limited or no exposure to risk messaging in the past.

PLAIN LANGUAGE SCRIPT Developing both a strong and widely understood script will be vital to the success of the film. Our partner non-profit will offer a final plain language review during the end stages of the script development process. The aim is to make the script concise and easily understood, using an active voice, short sentences, strong verbs, and consistent terms, all of which will be supported by basic and clear visuals. In turn, this will make overall translation easier.

TRANSLATION A partnership with a humanitarian translation specialist will work together with InterAction and the video production consultant to advise the development of script content and ensure translation into three additional languages -- Arabic, French, and Spanish. InterAction will also work to explore the potential of the translation provider in developing a short ‘translation and dubbing guide’ to go with the film which can enable others to translate and dub it as necessary.


The video will need to be finalized no later than October 15, 2021.


  • Advanced creative and video production capabilities, including animation, strategic Content Development, storytelling, and Design;
  • Experienced project managers in creative work, attention will be given particularly to candidates with experience in creative content development for humanitarian and/or non-profit entities;
  • Capacity to handle high-level multimedia needs and meet critical deadlines;
  • Proven track record of understanding complex and sensitive content, especially in the humanitarian sector, and designing content/multimedia for an array of audiences;
  • Ability translate complex issues and themes into clear, concise and compelling informational and/or story-driven narratives that resonates and appeals to relevant target audience(s);

There are no extraordinary physical requirements for the performance of the essential functions of this position. InterAction will make reasonable accommodation to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions.

Interested organizations or individuals should send the following documents to indicating Consultancy for Video Production – Humanitarian Risk Management 101 in the subject line:
  • Company’s contact details, background and qualifications (see above) as it pertains to the objectives of the work, and relevant credentials;
  • Outline and overview describing the proposed methodology and creative concepts, and how the design will meet project objectives
  • Estimated timeline (including estimated number of days per type of material to develop)
  • Links to at least three relevant sample videos in your portfolio
  • Detailed cost proposal (daily rate and total number of days) with breakdown of staff capacities and relevant resources
  • Two references with full contact details, humanitarian specific references encouraged
  • Proposed timeline for video production
The position will remain open until filled but applications received before April 23, 2021* are preferred. *Due to the expected volume of applications, only finalists will be contacted. Annex: Introduction to Risk Management Issues in the Humanitarian Field – Key Risk Areas and Definitions DIFFERENT TYPES OF RISK AND HOW THEY APPLY TO HUMANITARIAN CONTEXTS

Most humanitarian activities include varying levels of risk. The standard typology of risk can be applied as well to humanitarian contexts. The list below is indicative and not exclusive and some of the risks are inter-related. Different organizations and individuals identify, weigh, quantify and address these risks differently.

  • Operational risk: Risk for organizations and donors on the implementation, quality and impartiality of humanitarian programs, due to lack of security and access restrictions. This risk has gotten worse in certain conflicts (e.g. Syria, Yemen, South Sudan, Afghanistan) and remains the same in others (e.g. Chad, Mali, Palestine, Pakistan). The operational risk includes the risk of unexpected fiscal outcomes or inability to finance activities (financial risk) as well as the ‘human capital’ risk (e.g. the risk for humanitarian organizations in hiring, retaining, and training staff to work in non-permissive and high-threat operating environments). It is increasingly difficult for organizations to hire experienced staff to work in these environments, with many getting “burned out”.
  • Legal/Compliance risk: Risk for humanitarian operations and humanitarian workers resulting from a proliferation of different counter-terrorism laws, sanction regimes, anti-money laundering and countering financing of terrorism laws, domestic laws, which can restrict the impartial targeting of beneficiaries and funding of NGOs. These create a “chilling effect” of the entire chain of services and suppliers that are necessary for the delivery of humanitarian assistance, including the private sector, which means that things are not done out of fear of prosecution.
  • Information risk: Risks posed through new or existing Information Technology and innovations as well as lack of a regulatory framework on certain aspects of protection of data. More access to data, so more information, but this also means there is an increased risk of loss or misuse of data, capacity and resilience of information technology.
  • Fiduciary risk: Risk for organizations, Financial Institutions, and donors in the misuse of funds, due to corruption, diversions of aid or a general waste, fraud and abuse of funding. When does it hinder operating impartially prioritizing populations most in need? Impossible choice between secrecy (to avoid punishment) and stalling operations due to the impossibility of passing on to implementing partners what might be perceived by them as a ‘zero-risk threshold’ imposed by donors, while donors might refer to their policies as a ‘zero tolerance’ for waste, fraud, abuse and for ‘non-action’.
  • Reputational risk: Risk for organizations or donors, and for individuals, of loss of trust by their constituents and affected people. This risk may result from public opinion trends and could compromise the credibility of humanitarian operations.
  • Safety and Security Risk: With heightened levels of violence in conflict settings, aid organizations are facing new and increased risks to their personnel and assets, which result from acts of war, violence and crime.
  • Ethical risk: Unethical behaviors, including sexual miss-conduct and exploitation, inadequate duty of care, or insufficient consideration of humanitarian principles can seriously harm humanitarian responses.
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