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Keywords:

  • acceptance;
  • humanitarian action;
  • insecurity;
  • NGOs (non-governmental organisations);
  • security management;
  • violence

This paper documents current understanding of acceptance as a security management approach and explores issues and challenges non-governmental organisations (NGOs) confront when implementing an acceptance approach to security management. It argues that the failure of organisations to systematise and clearly articulate acceptance as a distinct security management approach and a lack of organisational policies and procedures concerning acceptance hinder its efficacy as a security management approach. The paper identifies key and cross-cutting components of acceptance that are critical to its effective implementation in order to advance a comprehensive and systematic concept of acceptance. The key components of acceptance illustrate how organisational and staff functions affect positively or negatively an organisation's acceptance, and include: an organisation's principles and mission, communications, negotiation, programming, relationships and networks, stakeholder and context analysis, staffing, and image. The paper contends that acceptance is linked not only to good programming, but also to overall organisational management and structures.