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  • Organization: UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  • Location: Buea
  • Grade: P-3, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Security and Safety
  • Closing Date: 2019-02-28

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Field Security Adviser

Buea (Cameroon)

Before submitting an application, UNHCR staff members intending to apply to this Job Opening are requested to consult the Recruitment and Assignments Policy (RAP, UNHCR/HCP/2017/2 and the Recruitment and Assignments Administrative Instruction (RAAI), UNHCR/AI/2017/7 OF 15 August 2017.

Field Security Adviser

The Field Security Adviser takes on the role of leading, coordinating and providing appropriate guidance related to security management within an office.

The incumbent maintains contact with other UN agencies, NGOs, implementing partners, government partners in the area to facilitate the operation.
The incumbent directly supervises general service staff in the office, and reports to the Head of Office.

- Country operations receive practical and well-reasoned security advice and support toward helping ensure an appropriate level of safety for UNHCR¿s staff and operations and compliance with security guidelines and procedures.
- UNHCR benefits from effective relationships with host country law enforcement agencies and the UN Security Management System.
- Staff are aware of threats/risks and how to respond to them, understand and comply with guidelines and procedures.
- Security management is efficient, well-coordinated and consistent with policies and procedures.

- Advise and support the Representative or Head of Office in managing staff safety and security of UNHCR staff, partners, operations, premises and refugees or persons of concern.
- Undertake periodic security assessments in close co-operation with UNHCR senior staff members and interagency partners, analysing security factors and levels of risk related to UNHCR activities and programmes.
- Evaluate existing security measures to determine their appropriateness and identify areas needing improvement.  Follow up with actions to oversee or implement those improvements.
- Assist in ensuring compliance with standards established through the Security Risk Management process.
- Assist in the development of plans for evacuation, medical evacuation and other contingencies. 
- In cooperation with UNHCR senior staff members, ensure that security measures are fully integrated into operational planning, including budgetary provisions, at the earliest stages of development.
- Participate and support in activities to advise on programme criticality assessment process.
- As a member of a multi-functional team, contribute to efforts to ensure the physical protection and security of refugees and other persons of concern by providing security assessments, analysis and advice in developing and implementing effective strategies which underpin the responsibilities of the host state.
- Develop and maintain relationships with security-related actors, including host government law enforcement authorities and other stakeholders to ensure effective information sharing; provide regular feedback and analysis to country managers.
- Maintain close co-operation with staff of the UN Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS), ensuring UNHCR's understanding of applicable requirements, cooperating in security assessments and planning and supporting UNDSS understanding of agency requirements.
- Support UNHCR staff serving as members of the country Security Management Team (SMT), or Area Security Management Team (ASMT), Area Security Coordinators (ASC) and Wardens.
- Provide country-relevant security advice and training to UNHCR staff, and where appropriate, to staff of NGOs and implementing partners in areas including, inter alia, preparation for and conduct of  road  missions, radio telecommunications  and  responding to specific threats within the environment.
- Conduct rehearsals and practical exercises to ensure that staff are familiar with contingency plans and can implement them confidently in an emergency.
- Prepare periodic analytical reports on security in accordance with UN and UNHCR standard operating procedures, sharing with managers in the country of assignment and FSS.
- Maintain linkages with the Staff Welfare Section, and the Medical Service, referring cases as required.
- Undertake other security-related functions or responsibilities as delegated by the supervisor.

- Provide security-related advice, in written and oral form, to the manager and other staff.
- Advise on, and upon approval, implement, needed mitigating measures.
- Participate in criticality assessments.
- Represent UNHCR in interagency working groups and attend SMT or ASMT meetings as an observer.

- Undergraduate degree (equivalent of a BA/BS) with a focus on Security Management and/or related disciplines (Business Administration, Political/Social Science, International Relations) plus minimum 6 years of previous work experience relevant to the function  including 2 years security risk management experience in an international capacity. Graduate degree (equivalent of a Master's) plus 5 years or Doctorate degree (equivalent of a PhD) plus 4 years of previous relevant work experience may also be accepted.
- Also relevant would be military or police academy degree (at Officer level).
- Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English.

- Proven competences in security analysis.
- Excellent communication skills, written and oral.
- Negotiating skills.
- Relevant training an asset.
- Knowledge of additional UN languages.

This is a Standard Job Description for all UNHCR Field Security Adviser positions. The Operational Context may contain additional essential and/or desirable qualifications relating to the specific operation and/or position. Any such requirements are incorporated by reference in this Job Description and will be considered for the screening, shortlisting and selection of candidates. C001L3 - Accountability Level 3
C002L3 - Teamwork & Collaboration Level 3
C003L3 - Communication Level 3
C004L3 - Commitment to Continuous Learning Level 3
C005L3 - Client & Result Orientation Level 3
C006L3 - Organizational Awareness Level 3
M001L3 - Empowering and Building Trust Level 3
M002L3 - Managing Performance Level 3
M006L3 - Managing Resources Level 3
M005L3 - Leadership Level 3
M003L3 - Judgement and Decision Making Level 3
M004L3 - Strategic Planning and Vision Level 3
X007L3 - Political Awareness Level 3
X001L3 - Analytical Thinking Level 3
X008L3 - Stakeholder Management Level 3 <p>The UNHCR workforce consists of many diverse nationalities, cultures, languages and opinions. UNHCR seeks to sustain and strengthen this diversity to ensure equal opportunities as well as an inclusive working environment for its entire workforce. Applications are encouraged from all qualified candidates without distinction on grounds of race, colour, sex, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity.</p>
See below for this postion's Operational Context

For those people applying for High Risk Duty Stations, we strongly encourage them – before deciding to apply- to read the country specific security and welfare country profiles which can be found on the Intranet under Support Services - Duty of Care ( Ensuring staff are better informed is part of the increased attention UNHCR is paying to Duty of Care.


Staff after having applied to High Risk Duty Stations will have access to country specific information webinars with Field Safety Section (FSS) and Staff Welfare Section (SWS) colleagues and provided with a tool to test their psychological preparedness for serving in High Risk Duty Stations. Applicants who applied for a position in a High Risk country will receive, after the deadline for applications has expired, a joint invitation from the Staff Welfare Section (SWS) and the Field Safety Section (FSS) to participate in these webinars. During the Webinars, latest updates on security and well-being will be provided, and FSS and SWS will address questions raised by participants. Applicants are highly encouraged to benefit, when applicable, from all measures as they provide most up-to-date security and well-being information helpful to assess staff’s readiness to serve in a High Risk Duty Station. A Staff Welfare Officer will also be available, if and when required, to discuss with interested applicants the results of the psychological preparedness tool as well as readiness for assignment in High Risk Duty Stations.


The preferred candidate should have a strong Security background and demonstrate experience in managing security issues in highly volatile and unpredictable environments.

The candidate should have prior experience of working in high-risk duty station were coordination with UNDSS and other actors is important.

S/he should be able to coordinate with actors in presence for increased access to people of concern. S/he should have strong negotiation capacities, given the propensity for hostage taking.

Strong communication capacities in English and French is essential. The socio-political Anglophone Crisis, which has its origins in Cameroon¿s colonial legacy is a conflict which has essentially pit non-state armed groups (NSAG) against the French speaking central government in the capital, Yaounde, for amongst various issues, the marginalisation of the English speaking minority from key government posts and positions for Cameroonians educated in the French legal and education tradition. NSAG began to emerge in 2017 after a security force crackdown on mass protests. What began as a campaign for greater political and civil rights, spiralled after government¿s perceived heavy-handedness in containing the situation, giving rise to increased support for the NSAG who have also been accused of committing atrocities against civilian populations. The NSAG have adopted tactics typical of guerrilla warfare, moving around targeting isolated security force units, schools and labourers, kidnapping local chiefs and so on. The security level of the region remains SLS 4 for UN operations across SW\NW Regions.

The Anglophone region is classified by the UNDSS as a family restricted duty station. The operation in the North West and South West regions has been declared in internal L2 Emergency.  There is a presence of a sizeable number of Partner Organizations, but most of them are new to UNHCR and its mandate. The relationship between UNHCR and authorities on the one hand, and with belligerent non-state actors is very hostile. The security situation is very volatile, with very reduced freedom of movement for people of concern and humanitarian actors. Ghost towns are observed each Monday while other Ghost towns are declared on an ad-hoc basis. UNHCR is Lead of two clusters: NFIs/Shelter and Protection and coordinates a sizeable number of actors. Because of the prevailing situation, UNHCR delivers its responsibilities with regard to Protection and vital assistance in terms of Core relief items and Shelter. The climate in Buea is mild with no extreme temperatures, but at times very humid. There is very basic infrastructure as well as less leisure and recreational facilities.  Limited health facilities available locally.  Although Buea is a Family Duty Station (with restrictions), there are no appropriate educational facilities. Education is offered only in English. Banking services are available (Afriland First Bank, Atlantique, Société Commerciale des Banques, NFC Bank, Ecobank, BICEC and Société Générale de Banques). Due to security restrictions, cleared accommodation arrangements for international staff members are very limited. Only one Hotel is cleared by UNDSS. Hence, the possibility of renting private accommodation is subject to restrictions. Current operational environment requires frequently working hours. Flights can be taken only from Douala (1 to 1.5 hours from Buea). The context is highly stressful, therefore, capacity for self-care is critical. The potential for security incidents on staff is very high, although UN staff are not necessarily targeted. The socio-political context is very sensitive and could put staff security at risk.

Hence, previous experience in similar security risk operations and good security awareness is needed.  Although there is no official curfew in place, staff are advised not to circulate after dark and during Ghost Towns. English is the local working language, but Cameroon being a bilingual country, knowledge of French is equally desirable. Local staff and local population are hostile to the exclusive using of the French Language without translation. However, some documents need to be elaborated in French and some meetings with local authorities are held in French.

Please note that the closing date for vacancies in the Addendum 4 is Thursday 28 February 2019 (midnight Geneva time)

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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