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Humanitarian Access and Safety & Security Coordinator

Closing date
OrganisationInternational Rescue Committee (IRC)
LocationYaounde, Cameroon
External URL https://rescue.csod.com/ux/ats/careersite/1/home/requisition/10849?c=rescue

Job Title: Humanitarian Access and Safety & Security Coordinator

Sector: Safety & Security

Employment Category: Fixed Term

Employment Type: Full-Time

Open to Expatriates: Yes

Location: Yaounde, Cameroon


Job Description

Chad background and Humanitarian Context:

Located in the Sahel region of Africa, Chad is grappling with regional refugee crises in addition to seasonal droughts and flooding that destroy crops and threaten millions of people with hunger. For more than a decade, Chad has been a home to refugees. In 2004, hundreds of thousands of Sudanese refugees from Darfur poured into eastern Chad, where many remain more than a dozen years later. Due to escalating conflict in neighbouring Central African Republic, thousands have fled to southern Chad. In addition, the humanitarian situation in the Lake basin region has been deteriorating since the outbreak of violence in northern Nigeria in January 2015, which caused thousands of displaced people. Incursions and attacks by Boko Haram group continue to ravage the Lac province, resulting in internal displacement. People are also moving as they are affected by floods in the province.

The IRC started operations in Chad in 2004 to respond to the humanitarian crisis caused by the influx of refugees from Darfur to eastern Chad, with intervention in the Ouré Cassoni refugee camp. Assistance to Sudanese refugees has now expanded to the management of the ten camps in the East and one camp in the West with assistance to refugees and local communities in health, nutrition and water, hygiene and sanitation. In 2012, to respond to drought and food insecurity, IRC expanded its geographic coverage in the Guéra region. IRC is currently working in three health districts Mongo, Mangalmé and Melfi and is providing prevention and treatment of malnutrition to the local population. In May 2016, IRC opened an office in the Lac Region to respond to the Boko Haram crisis. IRC implements assistance projects in health, nutrition as well as protection and response to gender-based violence.

IRC Chad is committed in its 2015-2020 Strategic Action Plan, to continue to provide essential humanitarian services in health, nutrition and protection / Gender Based Violence, while improving the economic well-being and building the resilience of beneficiaries, especially women and girls. IRC Chad will continue to work with and closely support states actors/ Ministries for key areas of intervention so that IRC’s actions fit into national policies to ensure better ownership of actions taken towards. Building on this work over the years, the IRC Chad has committed to ensure access to quality health care, sexual and reproductive health care, more specifically to prevent unintended pregnancy, to protect and treat them for complication of pregnancy and childbirth. IRC Chad has also committed to protect from and treat women and girls for the consequences of Gender Based Violence (GBV). Furthermore, in terms to better respond to needs of our clients, IRC proposes projects integrating different sectors and various approaches. IRC has committed to work in consortium with local and international partners as well as with local authorities, to assure sustainability of our actions.


Cameroon background and Humanitarian Context:

The IRC started operations in Cameroon in 2016 to respond to the increasing concerns for people affected by violence linked to Boko Haram, in the Far North of the country.  Assistance to displaced populations extends across the Far North, notably Mayo Sava, Mayo Tsanaga and Logone & Chari, delivering lifesaving programming to increase access to water and improving hygiene practices in vulnerable displaced and host communities, cash programming to enable poor families to meet basic needs and improve food security, and protection programming, including meeting specific needs of women and girls. The IRC has field bases in Maroua and Kousseri.

Following the increasing crisis in the North West and South West regions of Cameroon, the IRC expanded its operations into the South West region in August 2018 and into the North West in 2019. The IRC is delivering lifesaving humanitarian assistance to internally displaced populations, with field bases in Buea and Bamenda.

IRC Cameroon is committed in its 2020 Strategic Action Plan, to continue to provide essential humanitarian services, with a focus on safety in communities and ensuring affected populations can meet their basic needs, whilst also building the resilience of beneficiaries, especially women and girls. IRC Cameroon is funded by European and American donors. The Coordination office is located in Yaoundé.

Scope of Work:

The Humanitarian Access, Safety & Security Coordinator will inform strategic decision-making and deliver operational management in Cameroon and Chad. The person will be based in Yaounde with 75% of their time spent travelling in the field. The selected person will dedicate 50% of his/her time to manage each country.

She or he is a member of the Senior Management Team of each country, reporting to the CD in Cameroon and Deputy Director Operations (DDO) in Chad. She or he will develop and oversee the implementation of humanitarian access and security management systems and protocols in line with humanitarian principles, humanitarian needs, duty of care principles, and IRC’s overall strategy.

She or he will identify changes and trends in the humanitarian access and security environment in Cameroon and Chad, develop and oversee the implementation of responsive plans, standard operating procedures and contingency plans, and facilitate training and capacity building of both management and field staff.

She or he will ensure that expert humanitarian access and security risk management advice are provided to all levels of IRC staff in country offices, building relationships with stakeholders, negotiating and mediating humanitarian access, contextual understanding, managing critical incidents, and providing timely advisories.

She or he will work closely with the Deputy Director of Operations (DDO) / Operations Coordinator and the Field Coordinators to ensure that organisational security policies and procedures are responsive to the context, adequate and known to staff, and in line with global safety and security standards. She/he will also support Field Coordinators in setting up and clarify roles and responsibilities in security management.

Working closely with the Deputy Director of Programs and Program Coordinators, she or he will help maximise the effectiveness of IRC’s activities in Cameroon and Chad by contributing to the design and ongoing adaptation of programming to ensure it is contextually appropriate. Where applicable, she or he will also provide guidance and support to partner organisations and ensure the capacity building of IRC staff, incentive workers, and partners with active hands-on collaboration.

Major Responsibilities

Humanitarian Access Management

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

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

• Ensure that the IRC field humanitarian access teams conduct principled and sustainable negotiations with relevant actors in Cameroon and Chad in line with humanitarian principles, humanitarian needs, duty of care principles, and the IRC’s Strategic Action Plan (SAP).

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

• Work to encourage stakeholders to work with the IRC in ensuring that staff and programs are safe and allowed to continue humanitarian activities in Cameroon and Chad.

• Provide technical input and advice in assessments to consider new IRC programs in new geographic areas, and regular assessment reviews for existing locations.

• Assist in the continued development of humanitarian access and security teams and activities across Cameroon and Chad.

• Contribute in developing and implementing guidelines for humanitarian access and engagement with non-state actors articulating standard IRC policy and guidance.

• Oversee and advise on the implementation and review of tailored acceptance strategies.

• Maintain a high level of preparedness vis-a-vis predicted contextual fluctuations operationally and programmatically.

• Enhance IRC image and acceptance within the community and amongst stakeholders by providing guidance on inclusive visibility strategies.

• Work with appropriate IRC units, including HR, to ensure timely and appropriate follow-up to violations of IRC’s Code of Conduct, in addition to operational breaches to humanitarian principles.

Safety and Security Risk Management

• Oversee and provide technical support to implement all policies, procedures, guidelines and planning for staff safety, operational security and program continuity in Cameroon and Chad.

• Mainstream a gendered approach in security risk management

• Evaluate, review, and update the security management plans on a regular basis in compliance with global safety and security standards and requirements.

• Work with Field Coordinators to develop, consolidate and implement operating procedures and contingency plans.

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

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

• Oversee 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.

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

• Ensure that incident and crisis management protocols are known by the different teams that may be implicated.

Networking and Liaison:

• Organise and ensure IRC offices keep and maintain a network of key informants and interlocutors at field level.

• Link to universities or other institutions that could support context understanding.

• Identify, create and maintain a network with NGO/UN and other humanitarian access and security specialists suitable for Cameroon and Chad.

Context Understanding and Reporting

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

• Submit daily (DSR) and monthly contextual updates as needed to the SMT and 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 and that lessons learnt are incorporated in the security management system.

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

• Coordinate regularly with the Regional Safety & Security Advisor on access, safety and security, and fulfill reporting requirements to the region.

• Contribute to local-level conflict sensitivity analysis and macro- level analysis of trends within the Cameroon and Chad conflict.

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

Training and Capacity Building

• Identify safety, security and access learning and development needs for country program staff

• 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 & 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 the IRC Cameroon and Chad information and on-boarding package for new hires and visitors., ensuring they went through a complete safety and security briefing.

Program Development:

• Participate in program design in close cooperation with the Deputy Directors of Programs and Deputy Director of Operations (DDO) / Operations Coordinator.

• Ensure that safety and security needs are included in the country program’s budgets. In case, there is a specific budget allocated to Safety and Security, he/she will be in charge of managing it.

• Support program coordinator and field management staff in developing conflict-sensitive and contextually-appropriate approaches in Cameroon and Chad.

• 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 humanitarian access, safety, and security, and contribute to the development and implementation of mitigation measures and plans

Emergency Preparedness and Response:

• Contribute to the development of country emergency preparedness plans.

• Support and advise the SMT during humanitarian or security/safety emergencies.

• Assist with the humanitarian access and security component (situation analysis and background information, security assessments) of the Emergency Response Team deployments in Cameroon and Chad.

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

Staff Performance Management, Learning & Development:

• Hire, supervise, and build the capacity of team members in relevant technical and management competencies. He/She will be the technical supervisor of Security ad Access focal points and will participate on the definition of their objectives and in the performance appraisal (management in partnership with Field Cos).

• Develop and implement remote management capacity building approaches to build the strengths of the team in Cameroon and Chad.

• 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

• Hold  meetings with each direct report on a regular and predictable basis, at least monthly

• 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.

• 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 nationalisation 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


Education: University degree in Management, Political Sciences, 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, organising and executing humanitarian operations safely in the field.

• Understanding the humanitarian principles, code of conduct and specific intricacies of delivery essential of services to people in need inside Cameroon and Chad sub-sector work linked to NGO field and operations contexts.

• Understanding of regional and local context, dynamics, and access limitations.

• Knowledge in communications technology, including, satellite communications, cell phone, etc. is a plus

• 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.

• Provide clear dynamic briefings and analysis of given and unfolding security and political situations when they occur.

• Experience in the Lake Chad Basin or Cameroon experience strongly preferred.

Demonstrated Technical Skills:

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

• Highly skilled in organising 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

• Solid organisational 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 with experience in conflict resolution are essential

• Good 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 French and English is required. Arabic is a plus

Computer/Other Requirements:

• Full professional competency in Microsoft Office, especially Word, Excel, PowerPoint. Geographic Information System knowledge is a plus.

Ability to Travel: 75% travel, within Cameroon and Chad

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, and Accountability.  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.

Working Environment: The Senior Safety and Security Coordinator will be based in Yaoundé with regular travel up to 75% to field offices in Cameroon and Chad. Strict adherence to security guidelines is requested of all IRC staff.


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