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Facilitating Knowledge Exchange in the NGO sector

27 february 2020

Cigna and Cigna Civic Affairs are deeply committed to non-governmental organisations and the third sector. We have been providing health and wellbeing programmes and services to NGOs around the world for more than 60 years. We’re inspired by the work they do – and humbled by the opportunity we have to support the sector.

Beyond providing health services, we also help facilitate knowledge exchange in the NGO sector by organising various events. The past two years, Cigna NGO Health Benefits has strongly focussed on the importance of Duty of Care and Safeguarding and in particular on Critical Incident Management.

Between 2017 and 2019, the Cigna Foundation and Cigna NGO Health Benefits joined forces to organise workshops for NGOs in Belgium, Switzerland, the UK, Kenya and the USA. We gathered the findings from the workshops in our latest whitepaper, Building Organisational Capacity to Prevent and Respond to Critical Incidents. It builds on the knowledge and experiences shared at the Duty of Care workshops by NGOs and advisers to the sector.

Building organisational capacity to prevent and respond to critical incidents

Organisations have a legal duty of care to maintain robust risk management procedures that ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of their staff members and the communities they serve. This can include providing access to quality health care, ensuring a safe working environment, offering counselling, providing tools for managing mental health and mitigating and managing critical incidents.

In addition to the legal and ethical obligations around duty of care, it’s viewed as a core organisational value. People are an organisation’s most valuable resource and those that are well cared for are more likely to be engaged, committed and productive. The benefits of a happy, secure and motivated work force outweigh the costs associated with ensuring their health, safety and wellbeing.

NGOs in particular must be mindful of their duty of care when it comes to safeguarding the health and wellbeing of their staff members. Their staff members are often in risky situations due to the work they do and where they are based. NGOs must do all they can to prevent critical incidents, however, this is not always possible. Should a critical incident occur, it's imperative that it’s managed correctly.

Cigna’s latest whitepaper aims to help NGOs explore how they can build their organisational capacity to better prevent and respond to critical incidents. It covers five key areas:

  1. Understanding Duty of Care and Safeguarding
  2. Preventing Critical Incidents
  3. Responding to Incidents
  4. Investigating Incidents
  5. Facilitating Organisational Change

Get in touch if you would like to receive a complimentary copy of the whitepaper.