Centralized v. Decentralized Security Management

During the HQ consultations in Washington DC and Geneva discussions arose around the relative merits/constraints between a centralized vs. a decentralized approach to security management.  At Save the Children we have largely used a ‘centralized’ approach; that is, creating a department of Global Safety and Security to bring focus to the issues, developing a strategy for improving safety and security management systems throughout the organization and championing this initiative until such time that it is sufficiently mainstreamed.  Our approach has been to first introduce the concept of safety and security management to SC senior leadership to gain their support.  Next we tried to dovetail whatever elements we could with existing management systems (financial management, HR management, program management, etc.) with a view toward integrating safety and security management standards and procedures into the existing organizational fabric.  By tapping into this admittedly hierarchical approach we have had to be mindful of maintaining our horizontal relationships so that we do not end up in a security silo.

I am curious about approaches others have used to mainstream safety and security management into your respective organizations.  Do you take a centralized or decentralized approach?  How do you monitor the level of mainstreaming?  How do you determine effectiveness?  Compliance?

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