IRC has been present in Nigeria since 2012, when the organization responded to flooding in Kogi state. In early 2014, IRC opened a field office in Mubi town of Adamawa state in NE Nigeria, followed by offices in Yola (Adamawa state) in November 2014 and Maiduguri (Borno state) in October 2015. IRC has ECHO, OFDA, and Gates funds to respond to humanitarian, nutrition, GBV, and WASH activities. In late 2014 and early 2015, IRC received additional funds from SV, SIDA, USAID, and UNICEF to carry out education, child protection, general protection, emergency food distributions, shelter support, and NFI distributions to newly displaced IDPs. In late 2015 into early 2016, IRC received Swiss and UNHCR funds for additional emergency response humanitarian-focused programming in NE Nigeria. In July 2016, a nutritional and food security crisis emerged in Borno state, and IRC began a rapid scale-up of its program intervention in that area, including the startup of programming outside the state capital, Maiduguri. IRC anticipates continued expansion beyond Maiduguri, which requires additional security monitoring and management to ensure that IRC teams remain safe as they go into newly accessible areas of NE Nigeria.
The Access Safety and Security Director (ASSD) for Nigeria is the principal access safety and security risk advisor to the country program and provides technical leadership and direction to the Access Safety & Security Team (ASST) team in IRC Nigeria. A member of the Senior Management Team (SMT) and reporting to both the Country Director (CD) and Regional Safety and Security Coordinator (RSSC), the ASSD will supervise a team of access, safety, and security personnel based in Nigeria. 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.
• 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.
• Ensure safety and security due diligence processes are developed, responsive to arising requirements, and aligned to IRC’s principled approach to public advocacy and communications, partnerships, and external 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.
• Proactively collaborate with key members of the leadership team and program leads to ensure that 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 policies and international best practices.
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 Field Directors, Program Coordinators, Finance and 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 real-life scenarios; ensure every individual knows their roles and responsibilities when plans fall to operational realities.
Humanitarian Access Management
• Support the SMT in evaluating access constraints for IRC interventions in Nigeria, 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 tracking incidents and trends in humanitarian access across the country.
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 counterparts, including the regional safety and security coordinator.
• Submit monthly security situation reports with mitigation measures to relevant leadership and field staff.
• Work closely with the field management teams to ensure all incidents are captured in a timely manner 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.
Training and Capacity Building
• Identify learning and development needs across the country program.
• Develop and implement training and capacity development plans and prioritize initiatives based on the needs of the country program and the evolving context.
• Build the capacity of the ASS team to operate in volatile contexts with limited supervision.
Partnership and 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, Access working group, etc.
• Contribute to the creation of a positive image and overall credibility of the organization vis-à-vis donors and other external stakeholders.
Key Working Relationships:
• Position Reports to the Country Director and dotted technical line to the Regional Safety and Security Coordinator
Position directly Supervises 1 Access Safety and Security Coordinator, 3 Access Safety & Security Manager, 1 Access Manager and 1 Access Safety, OTL Access and Safety Manager, and Security Officer.
• Internal: SMT members, Country Leadership Team, Field Coordinators, Regional Safety and Security Coordinator.
• External: Partners, donors, peer humanitarian agencies, training providers, specialized networks, and forums.
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. Previous regional or Nigerian experience is highly desirable.
• Demonstrated understanding of the humanitarian principles, code of conduct, and specific sub-sector work linked to NGO field and operations contexts.
• Experience in 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.
• 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 the ability to express ideas and concepts clearly and persuasively with senior internal and external stakeholders.
• Experience working successfully with local stakeholders such as local and international NGOs, government, etc., with sensitivity and diplomacy.
• Able to lead teams effectively and efficiently through crisis and during times of uncertainty.
• English is required, while local language is an advantage.
• 50% travel to the field in Nigeria.
Diversity and Inclusion: at IRC Nigeria, we are passionate about creating an inclusive workplace that promotes and values diversity. Organizations that are diverse in age, gender identity, race, sexual orientation, physical or mental ability, ethnicity, nationality, and perspective are validated to be better organizations. More importantly, creating a safe workspace environment where everyone from any background can do their best is the right thing to do. So, bring your whole self to work.
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