Risk management

Free Press Unlimited works in a complex and dynamic environment. Some risks are inherent to our work, such as partners who are not (yet) able to properly execute a project, or working in conflict areas.

Indeed, part of our work consists of building the capacities of (starting) media organisations, and we work extensively in conflict areas. Despite this increased readiness to take risk, it is extremely important that we recognise the risks at different levels in the organisation and deal with them appropriately. In 2018, we integrated risk management at every level of the organisation. Our risk management is based on the international ISO 31000 standards.

Risk levels

Free Press Unlimited is a project organisation and risks are associated with of projects. That certainly applies to the sector in which we work and the hostile environment in which our partners operate. We distinguish four different risk levels:

  1. At organisational level: we have ranked the potential internal and external risks in our risk register. For every risk there are risk limiting measures that we monitor closely. Every year we renew this register and once every two years we make an update.
  2. At process level: we determine the risks and risk limiting measures during the annual planning and report cycle. When assessing process risks we describe the risks that may have a major (unexpected) impact on the core processes of Free Press Unlimited, and the associated risk limiting measures.
  3. At project level: a risk assessment is mandatory for all our projects and is part of the annual work plans. The emphasis here lies on the internal and external risks, including risk limiting measures.
  4. At individual level: every new employee who has to travel for his or her work, receives a safety training, safety instructions and debriefing. Furthermore, we monitor the security situation in our project countries. After all, we work in fragile and conflict areas where people may run great risks; the safety of our employees is paramount.

In the table below, we have listed the most important risks, how likely they are, what the consequences are and what measures we take to prevent these risks. This table is in line with the new RJ650 guideline, among other things.

  Threat Measure Opportunity Impact
Continuity of the organisation Funding of media projects becomes more difficult through the decreased attention (also from donors) for press freedom, human rights etc. Active policy influencing via GFMD for Sustainable Development Goal ‘access to information’.
Active policy influencing for media development at Eu and Dutch politics.
Actively search for alternative funding.

Possible

Major
Reputation Threat of damage to reputation Free Press Unlimited due to poor project execution or negative reporting about projects / in crisis situations. Compliance with and regular monitoring of project procedures.
Crisis management plan is integrated in organisation and management is trained. Managers followed a media training.

Possible

Major
Fraud Fraud or other false information is discovered during the performance of a project. Compliance with project procedures, incl. financial controls, location visits, limit sub-grants (1 year), sanctions. Probable Minor
Integrity Employees and freelancers (trainers, consultants) do not comply with the Code of Conduct and misbehave. The Code of Conduct is part of contracts. Free Press Unlimited has an ISO-complaints mechanism and a confidential advisor. Possible Limited
Digital safety By hacks, phishing, spying or unsecured digital communication privacy sensitive information that may endanger people’s lives is leaked. Digital environment is outsourced to specialised IT-host
Regular training of employees. Security policy is part of the general safety policy.
Probable Limited
Conflict areas The country where we are carrying out one or more projects becomes too instable, forcing us to suspend activities. Context analysis prior to carrying out project, so that risks are known. In case of an unexpected crisis, contact donor immediately and inform partner of steps (closure, hibernation). Probable Minor
Compliance Free Press Unlimited or partner do not or insufficiently meet the agreements with the donor during the performance of a project, resulting in damage to the finances and/or reputation of Free Press Unlimited. Finance checks all the demands prior to project submission and the reports during project performance.
Compliance with donor demands is part of the start-up procedure.
Possible Limited
Finance Insufficient financial control over local offices.  Annual financial checklist, continuous monitoring of local financial reports by Free Press Unlimited. Regular contact and coordination with local financial staff. Pay advances monthly. Unlikely Limited

 

Sustainability

Free Press Unlimited tries to reduce its carbon footprint as much as possible:

  • We encourage travelling by public transport and working from home.
  • We purchase green energy from renewable sources, i.e. solar and wind.
  • We compensate our air travel through sustainable power projects of the Climate Neutral Group: biogas plants in Cambodia, Kenya and Tanzania. This CO2 emission was considerably higher than in 2017, partly because we made more short flights; the emission is relatively higher. In 2019, we aim to use the train for travel within Europe.
  • Our paper consumption in 2018 remained stable, despite the increase in the number of employees. We use 50% recycled paper with the European Ecolabel. What helps, is that we digitally share almost all the internal information and revise it through our Wiki.
  • If we buy products, installations or services, we choose the most sustainable and greenest variant where possible.