Humanitarian Access and Security Coordinator

Closing date

Scope of work

The IRC is seeking a Humanitarian Access & Security Coordinator (HASC) for its Iraq program based in Erbil with frequent travel to program locations. A member of the Senior Management Team (SMT), the HASC will work with country leadership to ensure that organizational security policies and procedures are responsive to the context, are contextually appropriate and known to staff, and will advise on humanitarian access processes and approaches in close coordination with program teams.

Reporting to both the Country Director and Regional Safety and Security Director, the HASC will analyze security trends, advise, update, and implement IRC’s Security Management Plans. The HASC will streamline humanitarian access approaches in line with humanitarian principles, humanitarian needs, duty of care and the IRC’s strategy action plans for Iraq.

The HASC will conduct onsite training for staff, facilitate the development and implementation of appropriate plans, standard operating procedures and contingency plans. S/he will provide expert humanitarian security and access advice to all levels of IRC staff across the country program including building relationships, negotiating and mediating humanitarian access, contextual understanding, and conflict analysis, advisories, and incident management. This position will manage the Humanitarian Access Officers (4) in Iraq .


1. Safety and Security Management Planning

• Provide technical support to the CD on all policies, procedures, guidelines and planning for staff safety, operational security and program continuity.

• Evaluate, review and update security management plans on a regular basis. Reference and ensure compliance to the IRC Security Management Framework within the SMP and all annexes.

• Work with key stakeholders to develop, consolidate and implement operating procedures and contingency plans.

• Evaluate, review and update the hibernation and evacuation plans for all IRC offices and residences in Iraq and ensure that practical preparations are in place and known to all relevant staff.

• Conduct risk assessments of contracted and prospective offices and residences. Follow up on actions to be taken to ensure compliance with safety and security standards.

• Undertake continual assessments of equipment, and the protocols by which that equipment is used, to ensure that minimal conditions for security are being met.

• Provide and implement best possible solutions for use of equipment to facilitate communication between staff, including proposing safe alternative means of communication and equipment.

• Develop and maintain a network of IRC Security Focal Points at each field office and program sites enhancing gender balance.

• Follow up on actions to be taken to ensure compliance with safety and security standards

• Ensure safety and security protocols, reporting mechanisms, and capacity building initiatives account for gender-specific risks, staff profiles and background, and are sensitive to local contexts.

2. Humanitarian Access Management

• Develop and implement humanitarian access strategies and approaches tailored to local contexts in field sites in Iraq.

• Ensure humanitarian access approaches are responsive to local context and include overarching community engagement components.

• Develop ongoing relationships with local authorities and other power brokers within Iraq.

• Work to ensure that IRC, its mission and work in all areas of operation is known and accepted.

• Work to encourage stakeholders to collaborate with IRC in ensuring that staff and programs are safe and given permission to continue humanitarian activities in Iraq

• Provide technical input and advice on assessments to consider IRC programming in new geographic locations.

• liaise with relevant security actors e.g., NGO Security Focal Points, NGO security coordinators, NCCI, INSO, NES NGO Forum, local community stakeholders, Governors, Civil Councils.

3. Networking and Liaison

• Maintain a network of IRC security focal points across Iraq as well as external professional contacts and counterparts.

• Provide timely feedback on questions and technical assistance requests from country program team members, MENA regional staff and HQ.

• Monitor and provide support and reporting on NGO field security initiatives, as required.

• Identify, create and maintain a network with NGO/UN and other humanitarian access and security specialists appropriate to this region.

• Facilitate regional NGO security coordination through networking, collaboration and coordination with humanitarian actors.

4. Training and Capacity Building

• Update and implement staff capacity development plans in line with the regional Humanitarian Access & Security Learning and Development Strategy.

• Work closely with the Regional Security L&D Coordinator to identify learning and development needs across the country program.

• Provide regular trainings for IRC staff on humanitarian principles and safety and security preparedness. Training(s) may include Standard Operational Procedures;

• Humanitarian Negotiations; Contextual Understanding; Safety and Security Risk Management; Incident Management & Reporting; etc.

• Liaise with partners to assess capacity building needs and provide advice and support where feasible and necessary.

• Work with relevant internal focal points to develop and review information and on-boarding package for new hires and visitors.

• Contribute to the design & elaboration of the safety and security raining’s offer for IRC local partners

5. Context Understanding and Reporting

• Compile and submit regular reports that track incidents and trends in humanitarian access and local security contexts within IRC’s areas of operation.

• Submit daily contextual updates as needed to relevant field and program management staff.

• Work closely with IRC field management teams to ensure all incidents and accidents are followed up with an official written report, which is then shared with relevant stakeholders and filed appropriately. Ensure that final incident reports are provided when IRC is closing the case.

• Monitor the operating environment in the region, identify new threats, assess IRC vulnerabilities and recommend possible responses

• Coordinate regularly with the RSSD on safety and security, and fulfill reporting requirements to the region

• Provide credible information and contextual understanding of localized and country-wide security situations and incidents along with appropriate advice to IRC field and program management staff.

6. Program Development

• Participate in program design in close cooperation with DDP and Field Coordinators.

• Support Program Coordinators and field management staff in developing conflict-sensitive and contextually appropriate approaches in Iraq

• Participate in program review meetings and contribute to implementation plans to ensure the timely, safe, and secure delivery of IRC service to beneficiaries

• Advise program and field management teams on context-specific risks pertaining to humanitarian access, safety, and security, and contribute to the development and implementation of mitigation measures and plans.

7. Emergency Preparedness and Response

• Contribute to the development of country emergency preparedness plans

• As required, support and advise the country leadership during humanitarian or security/safety emergencies

• Contribute to the development of operational and programmatic contingency plans that respond to different emergency scenarios

8. Staff Performance Management, Learning & Development

• Hire, supervise, and build the capacity of team members in relevant technical and management competencies

• Develop and implement remote management capacity building approaches to build the strengths of the security members in field offices

• Coach, train, supervise and mentor direct-report staff, including communicating clear expectations, setting annual performance objectives, providing regular and timely positive and constructive performance feedback, and providing documented semi-annual performance reviews

• Maintain open and professional relations with team members, promoting a strong team spirit and providing oversight and guidance to enable staff to successfully perform in their positions

• Approve and manage all time, attendance and leave requests to ensure adequate departmental coverage; ensure monthly, accurate timesheet submission and carry out probationary reviews

• Provide a measurable development plan including on-the-job learning with the aim of strengthening technical capacity, exchanging knowledge within the team and providing guidance on career paths.

• As required identify staff performance issues and work with Human Resources to document and address these in accordance with the National Staff Employment Policies

• Maintain open and professional relations with team members, promoting a strong team spirit and providing oversight and guidance to enable staff to successfully perform in their positions

• Promote and monitor staff care and well-being. Model healthy work-life balance practices. Support appropriate interventions in response to identified staff care needs of both national and international staff

• Look for opportunities to support staff in their career growth, where appropriate. As part of succession plan and nationalization goals, identify, train and develop capability and capacity of national staff to successfully transition role and responsibilities, by the end of assignment

• Adhere to and act in accordance with the IRC Global HR Policies and Procedures, and communicates through word and example a high standard of compliance with all applicable policies and regulations.

Job Requirements

Education: University degree in Business Management, International Relations, Political Science, or related field, preferred. Technical degree or certification in related field with significant applicable experience.

Work Experience:

• A minimum of 5 years of non-profit or NGO work experience within international humanitarian assistance programs with demonstrated capabilities in planning, organizing and executing humanitarian security operations in the field.

• Understanding the humanitarian principles, code of conduct and specific sub-sector work linked to NGO field and operations contexts.

• Advanced knowledge in communications technology, including, satellite communications, cell phone mediums, etc.

• Strong experience as a trainer; ability to develop, implement, facilitate and impart learning to a wide range of audiences

• Experience of gaining a precise and impartial understanding of local, regional and international policies, operational positions and interactions, providing clear dynamic briefings and analysis of given and unfolding security and political situations when they occur

• Regional experience strongly preferred

• Previous NGO, UN security management essential.

Demonstrated Technical Skills:

• Proven experience as a professional and reliable manager (including management of people and projects)

• Highly skilled in organizing large-scale, fast-paced, responsive field programs

• Situational awareness and opportunity awareness

• Solid ability to provide team-building, coaching, and development for staff as well as encourage cross-functional collaboration and cooperation

• Exceptional organizational and coordination skills

Demonstrated Managerial/Leadership Competencies:

• Excellent relationship-building, interpersonal skills and the ability to effectively represent IRC at forums and with external stakeholders

• Strong negotiation and mediation skills essential with experience in conflict resolution essential

• 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.

• Proven ability to design and lead training engagements with staff and partners to enhance skills and adapt to changing program demands

Languages Required/Preferred:

• Fluency in spoken and written English. Fluency of Arabic is highly preferred.

Computer/Other Requirements:

• Full professional competency in Microsoft Office Suite, especially Word, Excel, PowerPoint

Ability to Travel: 30-40% travel within Iraq

Working Environment

The security level is 3 (Orange) in Erbil though the situation is generally quite calm. Staff must comply with all IRC security policies and procedures applicable to IRC employee.

Standards of Professional Conduct : The IRC and IRC workers must adhere to the values and principles outlined in the IRC Way – Code of Conduct. These are Integrity, Service, Accountability and Equality. In accordance with these values, the IRC operates and enforces policies on Beneficiary Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Harassment-Free Workplace, Fiscal Integrity, Anti-Retaliation, Combating Trafficking in Persons and several others.

Gender Equality: IRC is committed to narrowing the gender gap in leadership positions. We offer benefits that provide an enabling environment for women to participate in our workforce including parental leave, gender-sensitive security protocols and other supportive benefits and allowances.

Attention Returning National Candidates : IRC strives to attract, motivate and retain qualified national staff in our programs. We strongly encourage national or returning national candidates to apply for this position. If you are a national of the country in which this position is based and are currently located outside of your home country and possess over two years of international work experience, the IRC MENA Region has introduced an attractive remuneration package. The package includes competitive compensation, return flight to post, shipping allowance, temporary housing and a relocation allowance. Certain restrictions may apply.

Notice to all Job Seekers

IRC implements an equal employment opportunity policy and our recruitment process is based on merit.

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IRC is an Equal Opportunity Employer. IRC considers all applicants on the basis of merit without regard to race, sex, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, disability or any other characteristic protected by applicable law

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