Sep 11, 2015

Safety Advisor - Ukraine

Employer:Danish Refugee Council
Location: Ukraine
Closing date: 20 Sep 2015

Reporting to: Country Director
Supervisory duties: Three national staff members (Donetsk, Mariupol, Dnipropetrovsk)
Duty Station: Donetsk (Non-Government Controlled Area of Ukraine)
Area of Operation: Donetsk, Mariupol, Berdyansk, Dnipropetrovsk, Severodonetsk, Kyiv
Employment Period: 6 months

DRC is an international non-governmental organisation, which promotes and supports durable solutions to the problems faced by refugees and internally displaced people all over the world. As a humanitarian organisation working in some of the most challenging operational environments in the world it is of uttermost importance for DRC to work in compliance with the DRC Accountability and Quality Management system in the areas of Administration, Human Resources, Finances and Procurement/Logistics. Smooth, reliable and effective operational systems are preconditions for DRC to maintain its position as a trustworthy and reliable partner for our donors and an accountable organisation towards our beneficiaries.

The Danish Refugee Council (DRC) operated in Ukraine from 2007 until 2013, implementing a highly successful programme for protection of refugee children and working intensely on the capacity building of civil society and asylum authorities.

DRC has responded to the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine by re-entering the country in the autumn of 2014 and launching protection and winterization/cash transfer activities on behalf of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and conflict-affected persons in Donetsk (de factor Donetsk People’s Republic), Berdyansk (Zaporizhia Oblast), Mariupol (southwestern Donetsk Oblast) and Dnipropetrovsk city (Dnipropetrovsk Oblast), with a representative office in Kyiv. DRC’s specialized unit, the Danish Demining Group (DDG), hast mine risk education activities in government-controlled Severodonetsk (Luhansk Oblast) and Mariupol.

In view of the highly volatile situation, an experienced, international Safety Advisor is required to inform and counsel the Country Director in order to implement the most effective safety measures possible, given the programming needs in an insecure environment.

Pending approval by the de facto authorities, the Safety Advisor will be based in the Donetsk office, but will have nationwide duties. It is roughly estimated that 75% of the work of the Safety Adviser will be located in Donetsk, with the remaining time spent on mission throughout Ukraine. However, this could change rapidly, and more attention and physical presence in, for example, Mairupol, Severodonetsk, or Dnipropetrovsk.

Position’s Overall Objectives

The Safety Adviser’s role is to provide leadership in the development and management of the country programme’s safety strategy and to provide support to the country operations for the management of safety and risk issues.

Position’s Specific Objectives

Furthermore, the Safety Advisor, in coordination and cooperation with the Country Director, is expected to pursue the following objectives in his/her daily work:

Provide accurate, analyzed information on the geopolitical risks and dynamics in relation to DRC operations in government and non-government controlled areas of Ukraine so as to inform access and programming, and advise on risk management.

Work closely with national safety staff and the offices to ensure that safety and security rules and procedures both correspond to an ever-changing reality and are respected by all DRC staff.

Responsibilities and Tasks

To achieve the overall and position’s specific objectives, the Safety Advisor will perform the following tasks and undertake the following responsibilities:

Advise senior management, notably the Country Director, on the risks working in a complex and dynamic operational environment spread across several locations.

Be the lead for a programme Safety Risk Assessment, for targeted risk analysis.

Advise on the most appropriate safety strategy based on programme criticality.

Ensure that the programme maintains a strong safety culture as part of overall programme. Ensure that safety protocols and SOPs are up to date, relevant, complied with and regularly tested in close cooperation with the National Safety Officer(s) and Safety Assistant(s).

Coordinate a crisis response before during and after an incident

Monitor, respond to and communicate to staff on relevant security issues. Includes: maintaining up to date general context analysis, specific area risk analysis; reports to senior management on incidents, trends and risks.

Support, supervise, and build the capacity of national safety staff (currently one National Safety Officer, based in Dnipropetrovsk, and one Safety Assistant, based in Donetsk, and the technical supervision of one Safety Assistant in Mariupol).

Coordinate and provide security training and briefing for all field staff, both national and international, making sure that staff (and visitors) understand the relevance of risk and safety management and their role.

Coordinate with relevant safety actors across the sector (government, OSCE, UNDSS, INSO, and other NGOs).

In depth knowledge of risk management and associated principles is essential.
Knowledge of the INGO sector and the humanitarian imperative.
Thorough understanding of the implementation of a Security and Safety Management Framework (SMF) and all related processes and procedures.
Understanding of major incident response mechanisms during crises.
Good understanding of the ‘duty of care’ principle.
Knowledge of first aid.
Previous experience working in sensitive security/conflict environments.
Russian or Ukrainian language skills an advantage.
Previous DRC/DDG experience strongly preferred.

Necessary Skills and Competencies
Proven networking and relationship building skills.
Analytical and communication skills for: the analysis of context and management acceptance; the development and implementation of Standard Operating Procedures and related documentation.
Demonstrable Monitoring and Evaluation skills for a dynamic safety and security environment.
Ability to assess and coordinate an effective decision making for response under pressure and at very short notice.
Ability to develop and deliver relevant trainings to mixed ability groups sometimes through interpreters.
Computer literate, able to use all common software packages.
Be able to diffuse tensions and remain calm at all times and particularly following an incident
Be sensitive to DRC’s values.
Be able to encourage, motivate and guide team members to approach safety and security issues with confidence especially during crises.
Be able to communicate effectively across DRC’s management structures.
Be flexible to travel at short notice to difficult and risky areas. The position is expected to have considerable travelling demands.

We offer
An interesting job in one of the best NGO’s in the world. DRC will offer the successful applicant a 6-months contract, renewable dependent on both funding and performance. You must be available to start work from October 11 and be willing and able to work in Donetsk, non-government controlled area of Ukraine.

Salary and conditions will be in accordance with Danish Refugee Council’s Terms of Employment for Expatriates; please refer to under Vacancies. This position will be placed at level A10.

Need further information?

For more details on this position please contact the DRC Ukraine Country Director, Krista Zongolowicz,

Please note that applications are not to be sent to Krista Zongolowicz.


DRC has a Humanitarian Accountability Framework, outlining its global accountability commitments. All staff are required to contribute to the achievement of this framework (

Application process

Interested? Then apply for this position by clicking on the apply button or go to and find Current Vacancies. All applicants should send a cover letter and an updated CV no longer than four pages, both in the same language as the vacancy note. Your CV should also include contact details of three professional referees.

Apply here

Applications close 20 September 2015