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Field Security Adviser

Damascus (Syria)

  • Organization: UNOPS - United Nations Office for Project Services
  • Location: Damascus (Syria)
  • Grade: IICA-2, International Individual Contractors Agreement - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Security and Safety
  • Closing Date: 2020-09-24

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Background Information - Job-specific

The UNOPS Hub in Amman implements projects in Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Turkey, and Yemen, in partnership with bilateral donors, national governments, and other UN agencies.  With an established presence across the region, the office runs operations including large-scale procurement, project development, and technical management, and provides financial, human resources, and infrastructure-related services. The functional objective of UNOPS Hub in Amman is to deliver its projects in an efficient and effective manner and in line with the principles, rules and regulations of UNOPS, in order to support the response to the current needs and national priorities in the region. 

Functional Responsibilities

  1. The incumbent functions within the framework of the UN Security Management System, under the supervision of the Head of Support Services and general guidance of the UNOPS Chief of Security, coordinating directly with the local UN Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS) office, if available.  The position is responsible for providing effective and efficient security services to enable the safe conduct of local programmes and operations in the relevant geographical business unit/s. The incumbent promotes a compliance and client-oriented approach consistent with UNOPS rules and regulations and UN Security Management System regulations.  He/she works closely with and advises Programme Management and personnel to plan for and resolve security related issues.

III. Functions / Key Results Expected
  • Advisory and technical 
  • Operations
  • Staff Development
  • Team management 
  • Knowledge Building and Knowledge Sharing
  1. Advisory and Technical 

  • Advise the office management team and all Project Managers on all safety and security related matters including the planning and implementation of projects.

  • In line with the UN Security Management System methodology, policies, and procedures, develop, as required, security risk assessments outlining potential threats, risks levels and recommended mitigation strategies for office and project operations, taking into consideration relevant and existing assessments; 

  • Provide technical advisory and oversight services to ensure that safety and security is a core component of all programmes at the duty station and that appropriate funding is provided based on actual needs.

2. Operations

  • Review all new project proposals from a security perspective and provide comments and proposals to ensure security concerns are addressed.  Conduct field assessments if deemed necessary.

  • Maintain close relations with UNDSS and assist UNDSS in performing their overall coordination role providing information and support on issues related to UNOPS.

  • Develop, adapt, and implement security policies, protocols and procedures for local conditions, consistent with UN security frameworks.

  • Propose and control budgets for security operations and monitor expenses.

  • Analyze data to form proposals for improvements (e.g. implementation of new technology)

  • Prepare an annual security work plan including budget for all aspects of office security including full compliance with UN security management policies, procedures and guidelines; including:

    • Fire Safety 

    • Security plan

    • Implementation of mandatory security mitigation measures

    • RSM

  • Revise and update the office Business Continuity Plan from a Security and Safety perspective

  • Maintain up-to-date database of personnel and their dependents, information and related to UNOPS offices, residences, project sites, focal points, and the warden system for the implementation of the office/operation’s security plan; ;

  • Review security arrangements for all operations, maintaining relevant instructions, such as security and evacuation plans for ready access by all parties;

  • Ensure the smooth and efficient evacuation of UNOPS staff members, designated personnel, and dependants, managing the implementation of UNDSS and UNOPS evacuation and extrication policies, and assuming leadership in the case of declaration of evacuation. 

  • Coordinate personnel when responding to emergencies and alarms.

  • Develop mechanism for reporting all security related incidents that may have an impact on UNOPS projects or programmes.

  • Liaise with and update regularly the UNOPS Chief of Security on the security situation, submitting periodic reports on security issues and performance.

  • Plan and coordinate security operations for specific events and visits.

  • Brief all new project managers on security concerns specific to their projects;

  • Perform security assessments, both routine and exceptional, as required, to ensure optimal safety standards are in place for staff traveling across the area of operation.

  • Manage and perform daily monitoring, taking necessary action when required, and generate reports as needed.

  • Maintain accurate multi-sourced country records on current and projected security issues (assessments, security plans, etc.) and brief necessary staff across the region when required;

  • Manage the inspection of the main office, facilities, residential compounds, as well as field offices and compounds, providing guidance and procedures for achieving full compliance with the mandatory mitigation measures and RSM compliance.

  • Monitor and facilitate staff adherence to, and compliance with, the various UNDSS advisories, in particular: directions related to warden systems; mandatory mitigation measures); residential security management (RSM), etc.

  • Ensure that appropriate and effective coordination is maintained with other UN security officers and other regional security services to facilitate seamless implementation of the security arrangements across the respective business unit/office.

  • Liaise with the local government security organizations to gather and assess information on security and safety matters that might affect UNOPS personnel and programmes located in various areas in the country and provide analysis of security related information obtained. 

  • Determine, manage and account for the use of security equipment including security communications equipment.

3.  Staff Development

  • Develop and deliver staff development and training programs for UNOPS personnel and security focal points, including on Security Risk Assessments within the area of operation. 

  • Ensure that all UNOPS personnel receive briefings upon initial arrival, local security training as necessitated by changes in the security environment, and are kept informed of matters affecting their security;

  • Maintain up-to-date instructions and training for personnel on implementation of the security plan, including required precautions, comprehensive listing of emergency supplies, and guidance on action taken during emergencies, including natural disasters and political crises

  • Provide heightened security awareness training to staff, beyond the required security and emergency procedures, if necessary.

4.       Team Management

  • Facilitate the engagement and provision of high quality results and services of the team supervised through effective recruitment, work planning, performance management, coaching, and promotion of learning and development.

  • Provide oversight, ensuring compliance by team members with existing policies and best practices.

5.       Knowledge building and Knowledge sharing 
  • Organize, facilitate and/or deliver training and learning initiatives for Business Unit personnel on Security related topics.

  • Lead and conduct initiatives on capacity development and knowledge building for Security personnel, including network development, plans, learning plans and activities, procurement practice information and best practice benchmarking.

  • Oversee team’s contributions to Security knowledge networks and communities of practice including collaborative synthesis of lessons learnt and dissemination of best practices in Security.

  • Guide team’s collection of feedback, ideas, and internal knowledge about processes and best practices and utilize productively.


Education/Experience/Language requirements

  • Advanced university degree in social or political science, law, public administration, business management or security management is preferred

  • A first-level university degree in combination with an additional 4 years' relevant experience (9 in total) at the international level OR 

  • A Technical/Professional Diploma in combination with an additional 6 years (11 in total) relevant, international and national experience OR 

  • Secondary Diploma in combination with an additional 8 years’ (13 in total) relevant, international and national experience may be accepted in lieu of an advanced degree.

  • Substantial experience (a minimum of 15 years) in civilian police/military may be accepted in lieu of formal education.

  • A minimum of 5 years of progressively responsible experience in international security management, with at least 3 years in a senior command or leadership role. 
  • Demonstrated experience and exposure in cross-border and/or international security-related issues is required;

  • Direct experience with the United Nations Security Management System is a strong advantage;

  • Ability to produce Standing Operating Procedures/Security Risk Assessments/Security Plans in accordance with UNDSS methodology is an asset;

  • Proficiency in computer skills, including MS office, is required.

Language Requirements
  • Fluency in English is required. Fluency in Arabic is preferred. 
  • Knowledge of another official UNOPS official language is an asset


Develops and implements sustainable business strategies, thinks long term and externally in order to positively shape the organization. Anticipates and perceives the impact and implications of future decisions and activities on other parts of the organization.(for levels IICA-2, IICA-3, LICA Specialist- 10, LICA Specialist-11, NOC, NOD, P3, P4 and above)
Treats all individuals with respect; responds sensitively to differences and encourages others to do the same. Upholds organizational and ethical norms. Maintains high standards of trustworthiness. Role model for diversity and inclusion.
Acts as a positive role model contributing to the team spirit. Collaborates and supports the development of others. For people managers only: Acts as positive leadership role model, motivates, directs and inspires others to succeed, utilizing appropriate leadership styles.
Demonstrates understanding of the impact of own role on all partners and always puts the end beneficiary first. Builds and maintains strong external relationships and is a competent partner for others (if relevant to the role).
Efficiently establishes an appropriate course of action for self and/or others to accomplish a goal. Actions lead to total task accomplishment through concern for quality in all areas. Sees opportunities and takes the initiative to act on them. Understands that responsible use of resources maximizes our impact on our beneficiaries.
Open to change and flexible in a fast paced environment. Effectively adapts own approach to suit changing circumstances or requirements. Reflects on experiences and modifies own behavior. Performance is consistent, even under pressure. Always pursues continuous improvements.
Evaluates data and courses of action to reach logical, pragmatic decisions. Takes an unbiased, rational approach with calculated risks. Applies innovation and creativity to problem-solving.
Expresses ideas or facts in a clear, concise and open manner. Communication indicates a consideration for the feelings and needs of others. Actively listens and proactively shares knowledge. Handles conflict effectively, by overcoming differences of opinion and finding common ground.

Contract type, level and duration

Contract type: ICA (Individual Contractual Agreement Contract level: IICA-2
Contract duration: Ongoing ICA – ‘Open-ended, subject to organizational requirements, availability of funds and satisfactory performance.’

For more details about the ICA contractual modality, please follow this link: 

Additional Considerations

  • Please note that the closing date is midnight Copenhagen time
  • Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.
  • Only those candidates that are short-listed for interviews will be notified.
  • Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • Damascus is not a UN Family Duty Station.
  • UNOPS seeks to reasonably accommodate candidates with special needs, upon request.
  • Work life harmonization - UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands. We have a progressive policy on work-life harmonization and offer several flexible working options. This policy applies to UNOPS personnel on all contract types
  • For staff positions only, UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post
  • For retainer contracts, you must complete a few Mandatory Courses (around 4 hours) in your own time, before providing services to UNOPS.
  • The incumbent is responsible to abide by security policies, administrative instructions, plans and procedures of the UN Security Management System and that of UNOPS.  

It is the policy of UNOPS to conduct background checks on all potential recruits/interns. Recruitment/internship in UNOPS is contingent on the results of such checks.

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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