Humanitarian Access and Security Director
The Syria crisis is often described as the worst humanitarian catastrophe since the end of the Cold War. Inside Syria, 6.5 million people are internally displaced and 13.5 million are in need of humanitarian assistance, with 4.5 million in hard-to-reach areas. The International Rescue Committee (IRC) first began assisting Syrians in 2012, responding to needs in both Northwest and Northeast Syria (NWS-NES). Our programs are coordinated by teams based in Syria, Turkey, Iraq, and Jordan providing support that is tailored to the needs of local communities in the fields of health, child protection, education, women’s protection and empowerment, food distribution, cash assistance, water and sanitation, and livelihood.
The Humanitarian Access and Security Director (HASD) for Syria is the principal humanitarian access and security risk advisor to the country program and provides technical leadership and direction to the Humanitarian Access & Security Team (HAS) team in IRC Syria. A member of the Senior Management Team (SMT) and reporting to both the Country Director (CD) and Regional Safety and Security Director (RSSD), the HASD will supervise a team of humanitarian access, safety and security personnel based in Syria, Turkey and Jordan. S/he will oversee the development and implementation of sound humanitarian access, safety and security management strategies in line with IRC’s strategy, humanitarian principles, and Duty of Care principles.
1. Strategy Development
•Advise the country program on security and access risks by ensuring that the security risk management process is strategically integrated into the project management life cycle and program decision making – including program design and budgets development – in order to achieve a holistic and inclusive approach to the management of access, safety and security risks across the country program.
•Understand the existing gaps between security risk, programs, operations, and other functions and identify measures to collaborate, coordinate, and jointly plan for managing risk with others
•Ensure safety and security due diligence processes are developed, responsive to arising requirements, and aligned with IRC’s principled approaches pertaining to public advocacy and communications, partnerships, and other externally facing stakeholders
•Lead on the development and implementation of strategies to enhance the country program security culture both within the SMT and across the field by ensuring that the humanitarian access and security agenda remains front and center for the country leadership team and by adopting an open and engaging approach to influencing others.
•Pro-actively collaborate with key members of the country leadership team and program leads to ensure that the humanitarian access and security management strategies are appropriately aligned with response priorities across all locations
•Ensure humanitarian access and security management procedures are in alignment with IRC’s global polices and international best practice
2. Safety and Security Management
•Develop a quality assurance framework for existing safety and security systems and procedures by regularly evaluating, reviewing and updating security management plans and SOPs
•Seek to develop an agile and flexible safety and security support system that focuses on delivery at the field level, employing appropriate change management approaches when required
•Work with Program Coordinators and the Grants team to ensure security budgets and staffing levels are in alignment with the assessed levels of risk in each location.
•Ensure that all field staff are fully cognizant of prevailing security threats, report noticeable changes in threats through appropriate channels and receive timely advice on means to reduce their vulnerability to those threats
•Conduct in-person and remote safety and security assessment/audit on a regular basis in each field location to assess the level of adherence to relevant security plans and procedures designed for each geographical area
•Codify a solid critical incident management plan and conduct exercises for management and field staff using various real-life scenarios and ensure that every individual knows their roles and responsibilities when plans fall to operational realities
3. Humanitarian Access Management
•Support the SMT in evaluating access constraints for IRC interventions in Syria, including input on new program development opportunities
•Develop and implement humanitarian access strategies tailored to the local context in each field location in order to improve the existing and expand principled humanitarian access to conflict-affected populations.
•Ensure that humanitarian access strategies in field locations are considerate of the risks and opportunities for programs and operations in other locations controlled by the same or different actors.
•Support the field teams to develop and implement community engagement strategies that promote acceptance of IRC mission and enable durable programming
•Compile and submit regular reports that track incidents and trends in humanitarian access within each area of operation.
•Leverage existing tools to track
4. Monitoring and Incident Reporting
•Monitor the operating environment across all areas of operation, identify new threats, assess IRC vulnerabilities and recommend adequate response strategies or corrective action plans
•Contribute to local-level conflict sensitivity analysis and do no harm assessments to inform risk and opportunity management decisions in partnership with relevant country and regional technical counterparts, including the Regional Humanitarian Context Analyst
•Submit monthly security situation reports with appropriate mitigation measures to relevant field and program management staff
•Work closely with the field management teams to ensure all incidents are timely captured and followed up with an official written report, which is then shared with relevant stakeholders and filed appropriately
•Fulfill other reporting requirements to the country program, regional office and donors as requested
5. Training and Capacity Building
•Work closely with the Regional Security Learning and Development Coordinator to identify learning and development needs across the country program
•Develop and implement training and capacity development plans in line with the regional Humanitarian Access & Security Learning and Development Strategy
6. Partnerships & External Representation
•Promote partnership equality principles through thoughtful engagement with partners to share capacity, capability, and experience pertaining to humanitarian access and security
•Liaise with peers and attend meetings at relevant humanitarian fora e.g., NGO Security Focal Points, INSO, NGO Forums, HAO etc.
•Contribute to the creation of a positive image and overall credibility of the organization vis-à-vis donors and other external stakeholders
Education: A university degree in a relevant field or an advanced certification in safety and security operations management in complex environments.
Work Experience: A minimum of 10 years of leadership and management experience, at least 7 of which with INGOs, with demonstrated capabilities in planning, organizing and executing complex humanitarian security operations in multiple conflict or high-risk settings.
•Demonstrated understanding of the humanitarian principles, code of conduct and specific sub-sector work linked to NGO field and operations contexts.
•Experience of monitoring relevant local, regional and international developments and assessing their impact on operational positions and interactions.
•Demonstrated ability to provide clear and timely incident reporting on unfolding security situations when they occur.
•Strong experience as a trainer; ability to develop, implement, facilitate and impart learning to a wide range of audiences.
•Excellent relationship-building, interpersonal and leadership skills
•Strong negotiation, mediation and conflict resolution skills
•Superior oral and written communication skills, with ability to express ideas and concepts clearly and persuasively with senior internal and external stakeholders
•Experience of working successfully with local stakeholders such as local and international NGOs, government, etc. with sensitivity and diplomacy
•Able to effectively and efficiently lead teams through crisis and during times of uncertainty
•Fluency in spoken and written English is required
•Knowledge of Arabic or Kurdish language is a strong plus
•Advanced competency in Microsoft Office Suite
•Willingness and ability to travel to areas of responsibility approximately 40% of time
•Previous regional or Syria experience highly desirable
The IRC and IRC workers must adhere to the values and principles outlined in IRC Way - Standards for Professional Conduct. These are Integrity, Equality, Service, and Accountability. In accordance with these values, the IRC operates and enforces policies on Beneficiary Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Anti Workplace Harassment, Fiscal Integrity, and Anti-Retaliation.#LI-GR2