Threat analysis - Situational analysis

From Gender and Tech Resources

Title of the tutorial Situational analysis
Kind of learning session Holistic
Tutorial category Discussion
Duration (hours) 1h 30m
"h30m" can not be assigned to a declared number type with value 1.
Learning objectives To learn about current trends in the situation in which HRD operate, to develop a critical analysis of sources of information and identify strengths & weaknesses of current approach.

To analyse the political, economic, social, technological context from a security perspective.

Prerequisites None
Methodology Methodology

Activity: PEST Analysis (15 minutes)

Before starting on a large area of wall, ideally with some butcher-block, map out the 12 months of the last year.

Step 1. Give participants pieces of paper and get them to plot the most important events of the last 12 months. Ask participants to consider: political developments, economic developments, social developments, technological developments. Optionally, you may want to include environmental developments and legal developments.

Step 2. If you wish to add a layer of complexity, you may wish to allow participants to distinguish between: International developments, National developments, Regional/local developments.

Discussion (10 minutes)

Considering the map of developments created by participants, pose questions such as: What are the current trends people can observe in the past year in the different categories (political, economic, social, technological, etc)?. What are its implications for your work? Are there any categories about which we know less? Why? What are our sources of information for this? How trustworthy are they? What new sources of information do we need? Are there any events here which could have an impact on our security?

Input (15 minutes)

We often carry out situational analysis in our day to day lives and make decisions for our security or well-being based on this. It helps to be a little more organized about it as HRDs, so that we can stay as aware as possible about the changing situation around us, our allies and adversaries and what this could mean for our security. However, our ability to do this also depends to some extent on the availability of sources of information and their trustworthiness. It may be difficult to find sources of information about certain topics, or we may not have the habit. Therefore it's a good idea to think critically about our sources and actively seek new ones. We may want to consider: - Talking to trusted friends and colleagues; - Meetings with authorities, experts, diplomats and academics; - Online tools such as Google Alerts; - Regularly reading and analyzing the local and international media;

Deepening: Identifying and mapping trends (45 minutes)

Step 1. Assuming that participants are from the same organization or country, divide them into four groups (Political, Economic, Social, Technological). Each group is given a flipchart and markers. One person from each group should stay, while the others will rotate.

Step 2. Participants are asked to: Identify at least THREE developments in the last year which may have a (positive or negative) impact on their security and explain why.

Step 3. Give participants 15 minutes to get started, and then rotate the groups 3 times, each for 10 minutes. Participants can use the internet to search for information about anything they're not aware of.

Step 4. Make a gallery of the flip-charts. Ask some questions including: Did anyone discover new sources of information while carrying out the exercise? If participants are a mixed group, each participant can do this exercise individually and compare notes afterwards with another participant.


  • Regular analysis of our environment will help us to identify opportunities and threats relative to our work and our security and well-being.
  • Our analysis depends on the trustworthiness of our sources, so it helps to think critically about them.
Number of facilitators involved 1
Technical needs Large area of wall space, colored paper in small squares or ovals, butcher paper, pins or blu-tack or similar
Theoretical and on line resources [[Theoretical and on line resources::Holistic Security Guide

Front Line Defenders Workbook on Security

Protection International: Protection Manual for Human Rights Defenders]]