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Insecurity Insight - Data on people in danger
Aid in Danger - Security in Numbers SEE OUR NEW PROJECT PAGE link


As the global burden of conflict-related death toll has fallen over the years, the number of aid workers killed and injured has risen to unprecedented levels. Aid workers assist increasing numbers of vulnerable populations in violent contexts and have saved many lives in highly challenging environments. Acting in the service of humanity has become one of the most dangerous occupations.

The most severe incidents of violence are only a fraction of events that affect the delivery of aid. This project is the first to systematically track patterns of severe incidents, the ‘everyday’ and less severe violence that aid workers face as well as the impact of these incidents on the delivery of aid. Everyday violence includes everything from a carjacking or armed robbery not resulting in injury to anonymous threats and the theft of equipment. Violence, or the threat of violence, also affects an organisation’s ability to reach vulnerable populations. This project works directly and in partnership with aid agencies to:

The Security in Numbers Database (SiND) combines data gathered from open source media and agency-reported incidents. SiND offers a unique facility for aid agencies to pool their security event information while maintaining confidentiality and anonymity, and to benefit from the inclusion of additional media-reported incidents.

SiND started as a pilot project in July 2008 and has since expanded into a global database. It includes over 3,000 incidents. More than 40% have been submitted by agencies on a confidential basis. Around 60% of the events describe ‘everyday violence’ with the remainder covering more serious violence. The database has been backdated to the mid 1990s.

Learning From Data

The breadth of information included in the SiND – from threats, fatalities, and access, and from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe - allows for nuanced analysis of patterns of violence based on the ‘Six Ws’: who did what to whom, where, when, and with what weapon. The SiND also tracks the impact of violence on the delivery of aid. This approach helps to inform strategic decision-making on how to minimize vulnerability and helps understanding aid worker security in a broader policy context.

The Aid in Danger project produces outputs on demand. We work with partners to identify issues and then generate analysis that reflects current concerns and debates. We also carry out customized analysis for individual agencies.

Examples of Products:

Becoming a Partner

Becoming a partner is easy. By joining the project your organization will gain access to data about patterns and trends of incidents that interfere with aid delivery and affect agencies pooled from multiple sources over time. By sharing data your organization contributes to a better understanding of the threats and vulnerabilities facing aid workers and aid operations.

By being a partner you gain:

Find out more

Our existing partners are:

AED link

CARE International link

Concern Worldwide link

European Interagency Security Forum (EISF) link

International Medical Corps (IMC) link

International NGO Security and Safety Association link

Oxfam UK link

Save the Children link

Security Management Initiative (SMI) link

Winrock International link

World Vision link


We thank the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland (FDFA), and the Kroc Institute and the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts (ISLA), both of the University of Notre Dame, for their support for the Security in Numbers Database (SiND) project.

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