The International Rescue Committee (IRC) responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive and rebuild their lives. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC offers lifesaving care and life-changing assistance to refugees forced to flee from war or disaster. At work today in over 40 countries, we restore safety, dignity, and hope to millions who are uprooted and struggling to endure. The mission of the IRC is to help people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover, and gain control of their future.
IRC opened the national program in Mali in 2012. Our programs range from humanitarian assistance to early recovery activities, focusing on child protection, education, economic well-being, nutrition, health, water and sanitation, and governance. We work both in the north, the center, and the south of Mali. Conflict and drought have caused the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people in Mali and neighboring countries. The security situation in the north remains fragile. Nonetheless, the needs of internally displaced persons and conflict-affected host communities are still pressing, and the issue of humanitarian access is an ongoing process.
The Senior Safety and Security Coordinator is a Senior Management Team (SMT) member, reporting to the Country Director (CD). The Coordinator 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 strategy. The position holder will identify changes and trends in Mali’s humanitarian access and security environment, develop and oversee the implementation of responsive plans, security risk assessments, security management plans, standard operating procedures, and contingency plans, and facilitate training and capacity building of both management and field staff.
The Coordinator will ensure that expert humanitarian access and security risk management advice are provided to all levels of IRC staff in the country office on building relationships with stakeholders, negotiating and mediating humanitarian access, contextual understanding, managing critical incidents, and providing timely advisories. S/He will work closely with the Country Director (CD) and the Field Coordinators to ensure that organizational security policies and procedures are responsive to the context, adequate and known to staff, and aligned with global safety and security standards.
Working closely with the Deputy Director of Operations, the Deputy Director of Programs, and Program Coordinators, s/he will help maximize the effectiveness of IRC’s activities in Mali 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 organizations and ensure the capacity building of IRC staff, incentive workers, and partners with active, hands-on collaboration.
Humanitarian Access Management
• Develop and implement humanitarian access strategies and approaches adapted to local contexts at field sites across Mali.
• Ensure that humanitarian access approaches are adapted to the local context and include key elements of community engagement.
• Ensure that IRC humanitarian access teams in the field conduct principled and sustainable negotiations with relevant actors in Mali, in line with humanitarian principles, humanitarian needs, duty of care principles and the IRC Strategic Action Plan (SAP).
• To ensure that the IRC, its mission, and its work in areas of operation are known and accepted.
• Encourage stakeholders to work with the IRC to ensure the security of staff and programs and to enable humanitarian activities to continue in Mali.
• Provide technical input and advice to assessments to consider new IRC programs in new geographical areas, as well as regular evaluation reviews for existing sites.
• Contribute to the establishment of humanitarian access and security teams and activities in Mali.
• Contribute to the development and implementation of 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 appropriate acceptance strategies.
• To maintain a high level of preparedness for anticipated operational and programmatic contextual fluctuations.
• To improve the image and acceptance of IRC within the community and among stakeholders by guiding inclusive visibility strategies.
• Work with appropriate IRC units, including HR, to ensure timely and appropriate follow-up of violations of the IRC Code of Conduct and operational violations of humanitarian principles.
• Provide technical support on all policies, procedures, guidelines and planning for staff security, operational security, and programs continuity in Mali.
• Regularly assess, review and update security management plans in line with global safety and security standards and requirements.
• Work with field coordinators to develop, consolidate and implement operational procedures and contingency plans.
• Develop and maintain a network of IRC security focal points in each field office and programs site, reinforcing gender balance.
• Assess, review and update hibernation and evacuation plans for all IRC offices and residences in Mali and ensure that practical preparations are in place and known to all relevant staff.
• Carry out risk assessments for contracted and potential offices and residences. Follow up on measures to be taken to ensure compliance with safety and security standards.
• Carry out ongoing assessments of equipment and equipment use protocols to ensure that minimum safety conditions are met.
• Provide and implement best practice solutions for the use of equipment to facilitate communication between staff.
• Ensure that the safety and security protocol, reporting mechanism and capacity building initiative, consider gender-specific risks, staff profiles and backgrounds and are adapted to local contexts.
Safety and Security Risk Management
• Provide technical support on all policies, procedures, guidelines, and planning for staff safety, operational security, and program continuity in Mali.
• Evaluate, review, and update the security management plans regularly 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 an IRC Security Focal Points network at each field office and program site, enhancing gender balance.
• Evaluate, review, and update the hibernation and evacuation plans for all IRC offices and residences in Mali and ensure that the practical preparations are in place and known to all staff involved.
• 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 the best practical solutions for the use of equipment to facilitate communication between staff.
• Ensure safety and security protocol, reporting mechanism, and capacity-building initiative account for gender-specific risks, staff profiles, and background and are sensitive to local contexts.
Networking and Liaison:
• Maintaining a network of IRC security focal points in the country program and external professional contacts and counterparts.
• Provide timely feedback on questions and technical assistance requests from country program team members.
• Monitor and provide support and reporting on NGO field security initiatives as required.
• Identify, create, and maintain a network suitable for Mali with NGO/UN and other humanitarian access and security specialists.
• Maintaining a network with other IRC security Coordinators within the Region.
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 contextual updates 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.
• Monitor the operating environment in the country, identify new threats, assess IRC vulnerabilities, put preventive and mitigation measures in place, and recommend possible responses.
• Coordinate regularly with the Regional Safety and Security Director on 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 Mali conflict.
• Provide credible information, contextual understanding of localized and country-wide security situations and incidents, and 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 training 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 and reporting, Safety and Security FIELD-READI, 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 Mali information and onboarding package for new hires and visitors.
• Participate in program design in close cooperation with the Deputy Director of Programs and Deputy Director of Operations (DDO).
• Ensure that the country program’s budget includes safety and security needs.
• Support program coordinator and field management staff in developing conflict-sensitive and contextually appropriate approaches in Mali.
• 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 developing and implementing 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 Mali.
• Contribute to developing operational and programmatic contingency plans responding to emergencies.
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 team’s strengths in Mali.
• Encourage, train, oversee, and guide the team members reporting directly and those managed within the MIP framework. This includes effectively communicating explicit expectations, establishing yearly performance goals, delivering consistent and timely feedback that is both positive and constructive, and conducting comprehensive semi-annual performance evaluations.
• Maintain open and professional relations with team members, promoting a dedicated team spirit and providing oversight and guidance to enable staff to perform in their positions successfully.
• 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 and those managed within the MIP framework on a regular and predictable basis, at least monthly.
• Provide a measurable development plan, including on-the-job learning to strengthen technical capacity, exchange knowledge within the team, and provide guidance on career paths.
• Identify staff performance issues and work with Human Resources to document and address these under 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 perform successfully 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 career growth, where appropriate. As part of the succession plan and nationalization goals, identify, train, and develop the capability and capacity of national staff to successfully transition roles and responsibilities by the end of the assignment.
• Adhere to and act following the IRC Global HR Policies and Procedures and communicate 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 a related field with significant applicable 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 intricacies of delivering essential services to people in need inside Mali sub-sector work linked to NGO field and operations contexts.
• Understanding regional and local context, dynamics, and access limitations related to gender, disability, religion, tradition, and local norms.
• Knowledge of communications technology, including satellite communications, cell phones, etc. is a plus.
• Strong experience as a trainer; ability to develop, implement, facilitate, and impart learning to various audiences.
• Experience 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.
• Sahel experience is strongly preferred.
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.
• Solid 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 with experience in conflict resolution are essential.
• Good 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.
• Proven ability to design and lead training engagements with staff and partners to enhance skills and adapt to changing program demands.
Fluency in spoken and written French and English is required. Arabic is a plus.
Full professional competency in Microsoft Office, especially Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Geographic Information System knowledge is a plus.
Working environment: The Safety and Security Coordinator will be based in Bamako with regular visits up to 40% of his/her time in the field. While the security situation in Bamako is generally calm, conflicts continue elsewhere in Mali. Strict compliance with security guidelines is required of all IRC staff.
Standards of business conduct: IRC employees are expected to adhere to the values and principles set out in the IRC Code of Conduct – IRC Way. These are Integrity, Service, and Equality and Accountability. In line with these values, IRC has policies on protecting beneficiaries from exploitation and abuse, protecting children, a harassment-free workplace, fiscal integrity, anti-retaliation, anti-trafficking, and many others.
Gender equality: IRC is committed to reducing the gender gap in leadership positions. We offer benefits that provide an environment conducive to women’s participation in our work including parental leave, gender sensitive safety protocols and other benefits and support allowances.