Assessing and Managing Risk

Whether traveling on your own or with a group, your attention to health, safety, and security is crucial to a successful overseas activity. Careful preparation improves your ability to manage risk and allows most problems to be resolved quickly or avoided altogether. Global Programs is happy to assist you in understanding the current conditions and risks at your destination and provide guidance in developing a plan to mitigate the associated risks.

You can start the risk management process by taking the following steps:

  1. Assess your location’s risks.

The first step is to identify conditions and possible events that may present a threat to the health, safety, or security of participants. Factors you may consider in a risk assessment include local health concerns, health care availability, crime levels, political and economic climate, environmental conditions or threats, and the availability and reliability of transportation. You should also take into account the risk profile of your planned activities as some may require separate review—for example, if they involve working with human subjects or exposure to communicable illnesses or involve activities that may not be covered by your insurance.

  1. Familiarize yourself with available resources.

A variety of organizations and providers, as well as your own on-site partners or collaborators, can help you assess risk and monitor conditions at your destination. The U.S. Department of State offers the following resources for travelers:

International SOS has numerous tools available to assist you with identifying medical and security risks as your destination(s). Learn more about their available services.

Global Programs is also available to assist you in understanding the current conditions and risks at your destination.

  1. Consult with Global Programs Health, Safety, and Security team to develop plans and trainings to mitigate risks.

Knowing and understanding the essential actions for responding to an emergency are important aspects of managing risk. Global Programs can help you develop emergency response and communication plans to ensure you and other participants are prepared.

Global Programs also develops pre-departure trainings and orientation materials for participants in international activities. All participants should be well versed in an activity’s potential risks and its safety planning and be prepared to execute any necessary emergency procedures. Please contact Global Programs to discuss emergency planning and pre-departure training sessions.

As a basic guide to help you organize your preparation, use our Pre-departure Checklist for International Travelers.