Consultant Security Evaluation
Call for Expressions of Interest (EoI):
Complete Assessment, Revision and Documentation of Afghanaid’s Security Framework, Policies, Structures and Systems in Afghanistan.
Afghanaid is seeking a consultant to undertake a thorough assessment of its security framework, polices, structures, systems and capacities, to propose prudent and affordable modifications, revise and develop necessary documents, and design and conduct relevant training to ensure our security measures and practices are sufficiently robust and fit for purpose, and perceived to be so.
1.1. The Organization
Afghanaid is a British international NGO that has worked in Afghanistan since 1983. Headquartered in Kabul and with offices across nine other provinces. Afghanaid employs 400 national and 10 international personnel. A small marketing and fundraising office is based in London. Afghanaid’s work helps community-based recovery and development in some of the most remote areas of the country.
Afghanaid works alongside poor Afghans to enhance their opportunities and capabilities to achieve sustainable and equitable economic and social development. Afghanaid does this through a range of programme interventions that support grass-roots development of basic services: such as improving water and sanitation, constructing access roads and education facilities and other community infrastructure; improved livelihoods through natural resource management, improved farm technology and small enterprise development, enhanced value chains and market linkages; as well as disaster risk reduction and humanitarian assistance. Gender mainstreaming, local governance and community development are integrated into all of Afghanaid’s work. The results achieved have earned Afghanaid great respect and widespread recognition.
1.2. Security Context
Afghanistan is a country beset by nearly four decades conflict and insecurity and it remains one of the most dangerous places in the world for aid and development workers; yet Afghanaid is to its mission and to safeguarding the safety and security of its personnel.
Our personnel are exposed to varying levels of insecurity from province to province, district to district, depending on factors such as the level of community acceptance, the type of work undertaken, the profile of beneficiaries, the profile of the specific donor and the staffs’ own conduct.
For the past several years Afghanaid has applied a mixture of “prevention and acceptance” as well as “protection” measures. Afghanaid maintains a longstanding presence in several districts of Badakhshan, Samangan and Ghor provinces, even in areas where armed opposition groups hold sway. The vast majority of staff employed in these provinces originates from the same province, often the same district; we are well known to community members and behave in a respectful manner. In the past two years Afghanaid has expanded operations to include the provinces of Takhar, Nangarhar, Logar, Herat, Daykundi and Kabul, where we have taken a similar approach, employing local staff and building relations with local stakeholders. All project activities are conducted with the support of community committees. Preventive measures are also applied, for example, offices and cars are unmarked and travel is restricted. A body of tried and tested security policy and practice are in place and external reviews are periodically conducted of our security arrangements and facilities.
There is a widespread view however that the security dynamic across the country is evolving. As Afghan and international security forces adopt new approaches, armed opposition groups splinter and evolve, adopting corresponding tactical changes. Criminality is also on the rise and hold-ups are common in Kabul.
The primary threats that Afghanaid is exposed to can be classified as robbery and abduction; collateral damage; street and social incidents; workplace threats and attacks on individuals; and fire and earthquake, but there is also the pervasive possibility of direct armed attack.
2. The Consultancy Assignment
2.1. Purpose of the Root and Branch Review of Afghanaid’s Security
In line with Afghanaid’s duty of care to employees and commitment to keeping our assets and personnel safe and secure, and in line with Afghanaid’s policy and guidelines outlined in the Afghanaid Safety and Security Manual, the organisation wishes to conduct a complete review of our security framework, policies, structures and systems to ensure that all are as fit for purpose in the context in which we work and live as is feasible and affordable.
Ultimately the aim is that personnel are not only as safe and secure as they can be in an insecure context but that they also perceive themselves to be safe and secure. This will require that Afghanaid’s security framework, policies, structures, systems and performance work in coherent synergy, at the same time as being agile and adaptive to changing circumstances; enabling Afghanaid to analyze information and better predict changes in the security environment and accordingly make affordable and prudent preparations.
Afghanaid is choosing to engage an external specialist to undertake this work so as to bring a new perspective to assessment and ensure that sufficient focused time can be devoted to the exercise.
2.2. Key Objectives of the Assignment
The assignment has several explicit objectives for the consultant:
a) Review and become familiar with all of Afghanaid’s existing security related documents, including the Safety and Security Manual, Welcome Guide, Risk Matrix, 2018 Security Plan, Check Lists, etc., and security protocols and practices, and ensure relevance and alignment, redesigning and rewriting as necessary.
b) Conduct desk research and meet with staff, key informants and other security specialists as necessary, to understand the evolving security context in areas of Afghanaid’s operations, assess perceptions of Afghanaid and of personnel, map actors and incorporate these findings into policy and practice.
c) Assess physical and environmental security of Afghanaid’s facilities in Kabul and all 10 of the provinces in which we currently work, and recommend improvement according to priority and affordability.
d) Assess both Afghanaid’s security preparedness, movement control, security related communications and incident response in all locations and recommend and develop system improvements, according to priority and affordability.
e) Assess the strengths and weaknesses of Afghanaid security personnel and security focal points. Formulate personnel development plans, coach, mentor, train and recommend recruitment to create a highly professional team.
f) Develop necessary policies, tools and checklists for assessing, controlling, reporting security related information, as well as for measuring effectiveness and improvement in security management
g) Prepare and pilot security orientation and training and simulation manuals for HR/Security personnel to deliver to new and existing staff, covering areas such as security policy, personal safety, first aid, movement control, incident reporting and crisis management, etc.
h) Coordinate arrangements and/or facilitate key staff participation in good quality (and affordable) Hostile Environment Training (HEAT) and Crisis Management simulations.
i) Ensure that gender and gender perspectives are factored into all aspects of the above objectives.
j) Prepare a final report with recommendations, including annexes of all other products, on the entire assignment, and supplement with presentations to the Afghanaid Security Team, Directors and Board of Trustees.
3. Assignment Methods
The commissioned consultant and Afghanaid will be jointly responsible for choosing the methods that are most appropriate for assessing, designing, developing, sharing and training on the outcomes of the assignment. Methods should be rigorous and effective yet at all times proportionate, appropriate and affordable to the context of the assignment. Where possible, the consultant is encouraged to triangulate data sources and draw on appropriate existing material and established practice so that inputs and outputs are as robust as possible.
3.1. Different approaches
The consultant is encouraged to apply a mixture of methods to gathering and assessing information as well as developing policies and tools and providing training.
Indicative methods may include, desk research, interviews, focus group discussions, field surveys, videos, brainstorming, small and large group discussions, role-play, simulations etc.
4. Profile of the Consultant
The consultant may be one or more individuals working together or a consulting/security firm meeting the criteria described below. All people engaged on the assignment should meet the “essential” criteria.
4.1. Essential Education & Professional Qualification:
k) Master in international security management, security studies, business administration, development studies or related field or Bachelors degree along with extensive relevant professional experience.
4.2. Essential Work Experience and Knowledge
a) A security specialist with a minimum of five years’ experience in security assessment and management in at least 3 insecure international development contexts;
b) Minimum of 4 years living overseas in a cross-cultural environments with a minimum of 2-years recent experience in a conflict-affected country
l) A minimum of 3 years working in international humanitarian relief and/or development.
m) Experience and clear understanding of the challenges in working in consortia and partnerships and proven ability to build collaboration and trust with partners.
n) Demonstrated ability to think strategically, plan effectively, set priorities and meet project deadlines in an emergency relief/ development context.
o) Experienced in developing and applying gender sensitive, participatory approaches in a traditional Islamic cultural contexts
p) Proven ability to effectively designs and implements work plans and budgets.
q) Broad understanding of international humanitarian and development work, including community infrastructure, livelihoods, agriculture, community development and governance, gender mainstreaming, disaster risk reduction and emergency responses
r) Proven and substantive expertise in policy analysis and development especially around security management
s) Displayed ability in preparing well-organised, coherent reports, templates and other documents
t) Consistent and proven track record as an exceptional team player and leader
u) Proven ability to mentor, coach and motivate staff.
4.3. Desirable Work Experience and Knowledge
a) Experience and strong understanding of security and operating environment in Afghanistan (or a similar conflict-affected context)
4.4. Essential Professional Skills, Competencies and Qualities:
a) Native fluency in written and spoken English and demonstrated ability to write, lay out and present high quality documents and reports for diverse audiences
b) Personal integrity, initiative and drive to get the things done and achieve results
c) Excellent conceptual and analytical skills able to distil key ideas with clarity and precision
d) Strong organisational and coordination skills, able to work with significant levels of autonomy, manage personal priorities and meet tight deadlines
e) An outgoing and engaging personality with a strong sense of humour and a natural inclination to engage others, able to built trust, work collaboratively in teams and manage relationships with a variety of stakeholders
f) Ability to clearly and confidently articulate ideas in a persuasive manner at a senior level, able to lead and influence others with diplomacy and tact
g) Strong facilitation, training design and presentation skills, able to organise and lead meetings, workshops, trainings and conferences
h) Flexible and dynamic with the ability to deal with difficult, often ambiguous and challenging situations and creatively solve problems
i) Proficiency in common office software: spread sheets, word processing, PowerPoint and Outlook
j) Commitment to the vision, mission and values of Afghanaid
k) Sensitivity to Islamic culture and respect for Afghan customs and traditions
l) Resilience and willingness to live, travel and work under confining security protocols and in hardship conditions as well as in isolated and possibly insecure locations
4.5. Desirable Professional Skills, Competencies and Qualities:
a) Conversant in Dari
5. Contractual and Reporting Arrangements
5.1. Management arrangements
For the duration of the contract, the Security Consultant will work alongside and coordinate with Afghanaid’s Head of Security and report regularly/bi-weekly to the Managing Director and Security Committee.
Afghanaid will provide accommodation and transportation, as well as logistical and technical support to facilitate required travel, meetings and training, as well as provide suitable workspace and Internet and phone access while in Afghanistan.
5.2. Timeframe and Deliverables
The Consultant is expected to start the assignment within June 2018 at the latest but scheduling will need to recognise that Eid-al-Fitr will be in mid-June and Eid-al-Adha will begin around the 22nd of August. The consultant will be expected to complete the work over a period anticipated not to exceed 70 working days.
The main body of the final report must be a substantial document that:
a) Fully addresses the Objectives;
b) Provides findings and makes recommendation that are prudent, proportionate, appropriate, affordable and consistent with Afghanaid’s values and way of working.
c) Limited to a maximum of 30 pages of A3 paper. Annexes may we added.
The consultant will include following specific activities in the assignment and will indicate the number of days they propose for each activity. Ultimately, the duration has to be discussed and agreed with Afghanaid. Afghanaid expects that the consultant will need to spend at least 50 working days inside Afghanistan.
Number of Days
Conduct desk review of Afghanaid security policies and documents and discussions with Afghanaid personnel to consider alignment and appropriateness.
Conduct desk research and meetings with key informants and other security specialists to understand the evolving security context in areas of Afghanaid’s operations; assess perceptions of Afghanaid and personnel, map actors and incorporate these findings into policy and practice.
Undertake site assessments of Afghanaid’s facilities in Kabul and all 10 operational provinces and document recommended improvement according to priority and affordability. At the same time assess movement control, security related communications and incident response arrangements in all locations.
Assess the strengths and weaknesses of Afghanaid security personnel and security focal points. Formulate personnel development plans, coach, mentor, train and recommend recruitment to create a highly professional team.
Develop necessary policies, tools and checklists for assessing, controlling, reporting and security related information as well as for measuring effectiveness and improvement in security management
Prepare and pilot security orientation and training and simulation manuals for HR/Security personnel to deliver to new and existing staff, covering areas such as security policy, personal safety, first aid, movement control, incident reporting and crisis management, etc.
Identify and coordinate arrangements and/or facilitate key staff participation in good quality (and affordable) Hostile Environment Training (HEAT) and Crisis Management simulations.
Prepare a final report with recommendations, including annexes of all other products, on the entire assignment, and supplement with presentations to the Afghanaid Directors and Board of Trustees.
Anticipated Total Days
1. Submission of Expression of Interest (EoI)
Please email the following:
a) A covering letter of application explicitly referring to previous similar experiences
b) CVs of all consultants involved on the assignment
c) A detailed description of the intended approach
d) A work plan indicating dates and number of days for each task
e) Professional fees, either as a daily rate or lump sum, and the cost of travel to and from Afghanistan, in Pounds Sterling.
f) The start and end dates and any alternative date
to firstname.lastname@example.org , including the assignment title and your name/company name in the subject line by April 28th 2018. Your covering letter should be no more than 2 standard A4 pages in length and explain how you meet the assignment requirements and why you feel you would be a suitable candidate for this role. Each CV should be no more than 4 pages and include 3 professional references. The precision and style with which you present yourself in the above listed documents will be given significant weight in short listing applicants.