Regional Safety and Security Advisor

IRC’s International Programs provides relief, rehabilitation, and development programming for refugees, internally displaced persons and those affected by conflict in 23 countries worldwide in five regional entities. IRC’s programs cover a broad range of sectors, including health, protection, children affected by war, unaccompanied minors, water and sanitation, infrastructure rehabilitation, community development, education, and emergency response and assistance. Security is a critical component and challenge for nearly all of IRC’s Country Programs impacting staff and effective program implementation.

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The Regional Safety and Security Advisor for Horn and East Africa and Zimbabwe reduces the vulnerability of IRC staff and programs to the threats and dangers in the IRC security environment, serving as a technical resource to field staff – providing training opportunities, guidelines, timely advisory information and technical support.  The RSSA will report to the Regional Director HEAZ.



The Regional Safety and Security Advisor for Horn and East Africa and Zimbabwe is a key member of IRC’s regional management team and of the Safety and Security Advisory Unit at IPD. He/she will be based in Nairobi, Kenya and will have primary responsibility for the region, which currently consists of: Kenya, Somalia, Chad, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda and Zimbabwe.


The RSSA will work with the country team to ensure that organizational security policies and procedures are responsive to the context, adequate and known to staff, provisional security measures are maintained, as well as current and appropriate.  Additionally, the RSSA will conduct training on site for both security staff and others through which the different IRC field offices can develop appropriate security plans and training for their staff. He/she will provide expert security advice to all levels of IRC staff in the mentioned region, focusing on awareness, planning, practice, management and training in security management.He/she will assess insecure operating environments, recommend action and support the implementation of security management plans and provide follow-up on IRC security policies and reporting systems thus enabling better programming and support to the beneficiaries.


The RSSA will need to be aware of early warning advisories affecting security situations, and also will travel regularly and maintain a contextual knowledge of the designated portfolio. Crucially, the RSSA will mentor and build IRC national staff counterpart capacities to operate more effectively and contribute to reducing IRC’s operational vulnerabilities.





Field Security Management Planning

  • Ensure each Country Program in the portfolio has current, adequate security management plans on file in New York and that each plan is revised at least once per year.
  • Provide written feedback to field offices as they develop or revise their security plans.
  • Request plan revisions when there is a significant change in the security environment.
  • Assist country programs in developing Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) in the areas of operational (administrative, procurement, vehicle management, house and office) and Financial (e.g. safe usage, bank withdrawals, cash handling) safety and security management.


Security Orientation Training:

  • Ensure that each new employee – international or national – receives appropriate security orientation within 72 hours of arrival in the field. Provide a framework for field security orientations and ensure that IRC Connect security information is up-to-date and utilized.
  • Through close complementary liaison with the IPD Safety and Security Advisory (SSA) Unit, HR NY and each Country HR and Administrative teams, assure each new international employee receives an appropriate security briefing packet and, when possible, a briefing on personal security, IRC security policies and the relevant national security management plan.
  • Create, along with the IPD SSA Unit, a security training program that reaches a maximum number of national and international staff.  Keep useful records on staff training and report at least annually on training performed at all levels.
  • Assist field offices in arranging ad hoc security training workshops
  • Assist as requested in selection processes for international and national security staff.


Advisory monitoring services:

  • Monitor all communications from the field related to security incidents and planning and provide timely feedback to questions raised from the field.
  • Make a minimum of 1 visit per year to each country in the region to monitor security preparedness and field training. Provide a follow-up report with clear recommendations after each visit.
  • Together with the Regional Safety and Security Advisors, develop and sustain a database of security incidents. 
  • Generate monthly activity reports on security, including database analyses, new threats, responses and vulnerabilities and any relevant lessons learned from security and safety incidents.
  • Maintain the network of IRC Security Focal Points at each IRC Country Office and conduct quarterly update calls with DRDO and security focal points.


Liaison and Networking:

  • Monitor and provide support and reporting on any NGO filed security initiatives as required.
  • Identify, create and maintain a network with INGO/UN and other security specialists suitable for the region.
  • Facilitate regional NGO security coordination through networking, collaboration and coordination with humanitarian actors.


Regional Context Analysis and early warning:

  • Provide credible information and contextual analysis of localized and regional security situations and incidents along with appropriate advice to IRC managers.
  • Understand the salient issues for the region country programs and update CDs and RDS as the contexts dictate as part of a regional early warning system.


Field Security Assessments:

  • Conduct field security assessments examining IRC staff, assets, compounds, residences, field sites and projects and compile a report with recommendations.


Emergency Response and Crisis Management:

  • As required, support and advise the Regional Director, the DRDO HEAZ, Country Directors and Senior Managers during humanitarian or security/safety emergencies, serving on a Senior Management Crisis Team.
  • Assist with the security component (situation analysis and background information, security assessments) of the Emergency Response Team deployments in the region.





  • University/Masters degree in security management, international affairs or similar


Work experience

  • A minimum of 3 years of non-profit or NGO work experience within international humanitarian assistance programs with demonstrated capabilities in planning, organizing and executing security operations in the field. A police/military experience in peace-keeping settings an asset.
  • Understanding of humanitarian principles, codes of conduct and ideally, specific sub-sector work linked to NGO field operations contexts.



  • English Fluency; French desirable.


Other skills

  • Advanced level knowledge of communications technology, including VHF, HF radio systems, satellite communications, cell phone mediums, etc.
  • Effective people management skills: a leader’s ability to guide staff and promote productivity in a pleasant work environment.
  • Substantial and documented, prior experience as a trainer and training skills – the ability to develop, implement, facilitate and impart learning to a wide range of audiences.
  • Ability to gain a precise understanding of the various local, regional, country and international policies, operational positions and interactions, providing clear dynamic briefings and analysis of given and unfolding security and political situations when they occur.


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