Threat analysis - Introducing context & risk analysis
From Gender and Tech Resources
|Title of the tutorial||Introducing context & risk analysis|
|Kind of learning session||Holistic|
|Learning objectives|| To know existing strategies and tactics for security, protection and well-being.
Profound context analysis as key to making informed decisions.
Format: Interactive Discussion & Input
Step 1. Ask participants: imagine you are preparing to go to a public protest. What are THREE security measures you take. Allow it to be a popcorn exercise but prompt: what devices do we bring or not bring with us? Write the three suggestions at the bottom-right of a sheet of flip-chart paper or butcher block. At the bottom-right, in a different colour, write: STRATEGIES, TOOLS, TACTICS
Input: So we are beginning from the end. Each of us already has strategies, tools and tactics which keep us safer at a protest. What we will now do is explore how and why we came to these conclusions.
Step 2. Going one by one through the suggestions, ask participants for each: Why would you do this: what are you protecting yourself against? Participants will respond with a number of suggestions, e.g. taking a gas-mask in case of a tear-gas attack; not bringing a mobile telephone in case of devices being confiscated during arrest. Write at least one of these threats related to each of the strategies on the left side of the flip-chart. On the right, write: THREAT IDENTIFICATION/ANALYSIS
Input: We have taken these decisions because we have identified threats: potentially harmful events during the protest.
Step 3: Ask participants: Why do we feel like these are things that could happen to us during a protest? Participants will respond with answers such as: it's happened before, we've read about it, other people have told us, or you see the police approaching with tear gas projectiles. On the left of the flipchart, write the sources of this information that participants give On the right, write: SECURITY INDICATORS.
Input: We've observed our surroundings and examined a number of sources of information – friends, colleges, the media – in order to establish that these are the most likely things to happen to us. That is: we have shared and analyzed security indicators.
Step 4: Ask participants: Who is behind these potential threats? Who would carry them out? Write responses on the left of the sheet. Focus on any of the tactics they have which relate to devices: Why did you take this decision, what are you trying to protect, or what might be at risk here? Participants may respond with information held on their devices. Write this on the left of the sheet as well. On the right (above) write: ACTOR MAPPING and (below) INFORMATION MAPPING.
Input: We are aware in most situations that are dangerous such as this, there are some actors who are our OPPONENTS and others who are our ALLIES (ask for examples of this). That is, we've carried out ACTOR MAPPING. Furthermore, among our allies and adversaries, there is always a battle for information, such as through surveillance or access to our digital devices. We have less instinct for this, but it's vital that we carry out some INFORMATION MAPPING to remain in control of this, to the extent possible.
Step 5: Ask participants: So, why are we at a protest in the first place, what's our objective? Answers might include 'justice', 'demanding rights', etc. Write their answers on the left. On the right, write: 'VISION' and 'ACTIONS'
Input: As human rights defenders, we have a vision of the positive change we want to see in our society, and we decide on some actions in order to try to achieve that vision.
Step 6: Ask participants: How did we establish that there was a problem to address in the first place? How do we monitor our progress and changes? Write participant answers on the left. On the right, write 'SITUATIONAL ANALYSIS'.
Input: We're constantly analyzing our surroundings, beginning with our personal experiences but also through secondary and tertiary sources of information such as friends, colleagues, and the media. This is Situational Analysis and informs our strategies for action in defense of human rights.
Synthesis (5-10 minutes)
Step 7: Refer to the complete list of steps and answers. These are the basic steps of context analysis – we carry them out all the time. As human rights defenders, it can be useful to simply be more organized and systematic about it given that we often face threats as a result of our work.
Input: Each of these steps can be an exercise which we should carry out regularly in order to update our security strategies, plans and tactics according to the changing context in which we're operating. This looks like a scientific, rational process: however, it's not. One of the biggest challenges we face is related to our perception: if we are stressed or very tired, we may find this very difficult to do. We need strategies both for managing this stress and tiredness, as well as checking our perception with trusted colleagues or partners. We may discover we have unfounded fears (paranoia) or unrecognized threats (verifiable threats that we didn't perceive before. Write 'PERCEPTION' vertically alongside the steps of context & risk analysis.
Step 8. Allow space for questions and if you will continue with the next steps, give a summary of what is to follow.
|Number of facilitators involved||1|
|Technical needs||Flipchart/whiteboard and markers. If desired: coloured rectangles for writing steps|
|Theoretical and on line resources||[[Theoretical and on line resources::Holistic Security Guide;|