Assess Risks and Resources

Global Programs is happy to assist you and/or your team in understanding the current conditions and risks at your destination. The first step is to identify conditions and possible events that may present a threat to the health, safety, or security of all participants.


The factors you will consider in a basic risk assessment include, but are not limited to:

  • Local health concerns
  • Health care resources
  • Crime and general safety
  • Political climate
  • Economic conditions
  • Environmental conditions and/or potential for natural disasters
  • Road conditions and public transportation

You will also take into account the program participants and nature of the activity. The risk profile of your activity, your plans, and your obligations will vary depending on whether you are traveling alone or with students, collaborating with people or organizations on-site, working in laboratories, traveling or commuting while abroad, or conducting human subject research.


The following organizations and providers, as well as your own on-site partners or collaborators, can help you assess risk and monitor conditions abroad.

Travel and Other Third-Party Providers

When working with external organizations and third-party providers, a basic vetting of the sponsoring organization, its facilities, and its personnel also becomes a factor in risk assessment. If you are considering using a vendor, you must evaluate its qualifications and track record, and ask if it provides:

  • Health insurance, travel insurance, and/or emergency travel assistance
  • Information about health, safety, and security at the destination(s)
  • An emergency and evacuation plan, including fire safety
  • A 24-hour communication plan
  • Staff to accompany students, including security when necessary
  • Information regarding the quality, licensing, and insurance of any transportation vendors, accommodations, or other subcontractors
  • Information on the working and living conditions at internship and field sites
  • Pre-departure information for students and parents
  • Pre-departure orientation.

On-Site Resources to Help Manage Risk

Your research into health, safety, and security resources at your destination helps keep small events from escalating into crises. You will want to collect basic information on these resources, including addresses, telephone numbers, and websites. Use the template provided to you in the Develop an Emergency Management Plan section to do so.

Much of this information is available through your health insurer or emergency travel assistance provider, which can be found on the Prepare for Travel page.

Remember, we’re here to help, so contact us for assistance in assessing risks associated with your activity and identifying resources available to you on-site.

Once you’ve completed this assessment, you will be ready to develop your Emergency Management Plan with the aid of the Global Programs Emergency Management Plan Workbook.