IOM, Sheffield Hallam University Launch Global Security App

United Kingdom - Sheffield Hallam University and the UN Migration Agency (IOM) have launched a mobile phone app designed to enhance the safety and security of IOM staff, while deployed in the world’s most challenging and dangerous environments.

The team at the University's Centre of Excellence in Terrorism, Resilience and Organised Crime Research (CENTRIC) have worked with IOM to develop the security-focused situational awareness dashboard and app.

The project, called SCAAN (Security Communications and Analysis Network), is designed to enhance the safety and security of IOM's field staff, while keeping them up to date during crises and emergencies. The dashboard also allows staff members to report problems to IOM’s 24/7 security team in Manila and get an instant response. The SCAAN app and dashboard uses GPS, direct messaging, calls and reporting features to provide urgent assistance to IOM field staff working in inhospitable and dangerous parts of the world.

“The security of our 10,000+ staff in over 150 countries is of paramount importance and remains a priority for me and the Organization,” said William Lacy Swing, IOM Director General.

“With security challenges increasing worldwide, the safety of staff working in hostile conditions is essential,” said William Wairoa-Harrison, IOM Global Head of Security. “Working with CENTRIC in developing this state of the art tool means that any staff member facing danger can instantly alert us with detailed information enabling a rapid response.”

"The SCAAN dashboard and app is advancing from development, testing and piloting and is currently being rolled out as a pre-release globally to relevant IOM field staff,” said Tony Day, CENTRIC’s lead developer on SCAAN.

"It is vital for IOM staff to have timely and accurate information on emerging situations locally and globally, as well as to ensure that they are accounted for wherever they may be. With SCAAN, they will be able to instantly share details with IOM on their location, their safety and relevant updates from the ground,” he continued. "The aim is to eventually roll this out to other areas of the United Nations and their partners."

SCAAN was launched at the event at the University by William Wairoa-Harrison, IOM's Global Head of Staff Security, Amy Rhoades, IOM Community Engagement Programme Manager, and Professor Babak Akhgar, Director of CENTRIC.

About Sheffield Hallam University

Sheffield Hallam University is one of the largest universities in the UK, with more than 31,500 students. As one of the UK's most progressive universities, providing opportunity through widening participation is at the heart of the University. Ninety-six per cent of its young full-time undergraduate UK students are from state schools/colleges and 41 per cent are from low income backgrounds. Sheffield Hallam’s research is characterised by a focus on real world impact – addressing the cultural, economic and social challenges facing society today. Sixty-five per cent of its research was rated world-leading or internationally excellent in the Research Excellence Framework.

For further information, please contact:

Tim Ward in the Sheffield Hallam University press office, Tel: +44 114 225 2811, Email

Amy Rhoades at IOM HQ, Tel: +41227179948, Email: