Security and Risk Assessment Director

Employer: Mercy Corps
Location: Turkey
Closing date: 10 Jul 2016


Mercy Corps has been present in the Middle East since the 1980s and currently has offices in Yemen, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Egypt and Libya. Mercy Corps has been working in Syria since 2008. With the protracted conflict and ever-increasing Humanitarian Crisis in Syria, Mercy Corps is working with local partners and business leaders to respond to the growing and highly complex needs for thousands of Syrians. Mercy Corps implements life-sustaining operations mainly in the form of commodity and cash/voucher distributions in various locations in Syria and mainly amidst opposition groups that are frequently in conflict. This humanitarian operation is done with an office culture of humanitarian principles of: transparency, non-alignment, independence, impartiality and accountable, needs-based program priorities are essential.

Security and Risk Assessment Director (SRAD) is responsible for the security management of programs in Syria implemented from Gaziantep, Turkey and largely situated in northern areas of the country. Additionally, this role oversees operational security in Turkey including Gaziantep, Ankara, Izmir and new areas of expansion and this requires advisory services to the refugee response programs. S/He oversees the teams of 1) Operational Security Syria 2) Operational Security Turkey 3) Access and 4) Incident Reporting and documentation. S/He is responsible for leading operational security, information management/analysis and risk assessment, and access for the programs in both Syria and Turkey. S/He will lead on access and acceptance related strategies in these environments with the primary goal of safety and resilience throughout the changing environment. The primacy of life and flexibility in program operations that allow adaptation and pauses in work activities are foremost in this strategy. S/he is expected to know and understand all Mercy Corps’ programs and activities in Turkey and Syria, including expansion in Turkey and areas of Syria. A cultural understanding of this region is essential and has the same relevance as conflict related indicators in program planning. S/He is also expected to oversee the orientation of new team members and ensuring they are trained on local Security Management Plans (SMPs) for each operational area and office. The SRAD must continue the process of reporting and documenting security incidents and with an understanding of donor, legal requirements of accountability. S/He will also coordinate with the INGO Security focal point and other Security focal points in INGOs and security companies. S/He will provide inputs to regional management and security teams.

Security Systems:
• Overall responsible for the operational security in North Syria and Turkey.
• Maintain an updated Risk Assessment for each location and with an understanding of program activities.
• Responsible to maintain and ensure the SMPs in all areas of operation with relevant Standard operating Procedures (SOPs) are up to date and relevant.
• Each office and house location will have HER planning (hibernation, evacuation, relocation) that is communicated to all staff and drilled.
• Maintain a process of briefing and orienting all new team members to SOPs and relevant security documents.
• Is a member of the Crisis Management Team and expected to take a lead role in resolving all critical security-related incidents. This is expected to be in line with the CMT at Mercy Corps headquarters and expectations detailed in internal crisis management guidelines.
• Oversight of the Access Team in close coordination to program with the purpose of gaining the safe access for humanitarian goods, services and personnel in our areas of operation and expansion.
• Maintain and improve on the current system of media and context monitoring in all areas of operation. Ensure an internal information flow is maintained with the capacity to develop context analysis documentation for the team and for external bodies such as donors.
• Will provide analysis and forecasting for team planning. Will coordinate with the Humanitarian Access Team (HAT) located in Lebanon on larger-level forecasting and analysis of Syria and Iraq-wide trends.
• Advise on budgeting needs for security and ensure this is communicated to program management and the Regional Security Advisor and Director of Field Security.
• Ensure a staff and vehicle tracking plan is in place and operational.
• Ensure testing and training of communication equipment.

• Oversee the maintenance a log of all incidents effecting Mercy Corps and coordinate with others on the Security team in mapping and analyzing.
• Supervise donor-reporting requirements for losses of commodities, and security or fraud-related incidents are well-documented and reported at standard.
• Supervise the documentation, trend analysis and follow up on all security incidents to capture critical lessons and that all losses are well-documented.

• Will read and stay abreast of all programming activities and objectives. Ensure contingency planning is considered and in place for program activities, where possible.
• Will read and help create an awareness and culture of Mercy Corps security principles and humanitarian values.
• Coordinates on a daily basis with heads of program, logistics and border operations in the daily dispatch of commodities and staff. S/He is expected to provide critical input and be a full partner in daily decisions to go-no/go.
• Will advise programmatic and operational responses to security situations and resulting humanitarian needs.
• Ensures his team communicates and presents security updates, briefings and incidents to program teams in a timely and routine manner. This relates to both access and operational security.
• Stay abreast of Mercy Corps program assessments and new business activities. Support these teams and special projects with the necessary support to conduct safe operations, planning and access strategies.

Training and Outreach:
• Coordinate with the Regional Security Advisor on a comprehensive safety and security training plan and portfolio for the extended North Syria and Turkey teams. Oversee the implementation of this with both direct and hired consultants.
• Execute incident and crisis management exercises for all staff and management.
• Coach the team and sharpen their skills in risk and vulnerability assessments, evaluating information and developing security protocols and strategies that work for the team and allow Mercy Corps programs to progress safely and with the lowest risk possible.
• Coach and mentor security team members to effectively fulfill their operational role in the Mercy Corps security management strategy. Develop a work plan that can be remotely managed.

Coordination & Support:
• Place high value on inter-agency coordination in security; encourage Mercy Corps field-level coordination in the NGO community. Seek opportunities for formal and informal cooperation.
• Develop and engage Mercy Corps’ internal network of Security Focal Points and encourage inter-communications between them.
• Pursue opportunities to engage others in our community in creative solutions to our security challenges through collaborative efforts.
• Define and communicate clear and transparent SOPs for each function of the security department

Organizational Learning:
As part of our commitment to organizational learning and in support of our understanding that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities they serve - we expect all team members to commit 5% of their time to learning activities that benefit Mercy Corps as well as themselves.

Accountability to Beneficiaries:
Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts towards accountability, specifically to our beneficiaries and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging beneficiary communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.

SUPERVISORY RESPONSIBILITY: First-level supervisor to two international managers and one Turkish manager in Turkey.
REPORTS DIRECTLY TO: North Syria Director
WORKS DIRECTLY WITH: Finance Director, Operations Director, Program Directors, Regional Security Advisor, Regional HAT team.
COLLABORATES WITH: All Mercy Corps colleagues. Works within agency parameters of impartiality and independence.

• Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in a related field, Masters preferred or 7 years of equivalent work experience: security qualification and advanced civil-military management training
• Advanced level of understanding with the philosophy and mode of operation of NGOs
• 5-7 years of relevant field-based experience in complex and insecure settings and preferably a conflict environment, preferably, in more than one country with large teams of staff.
• Experience in liaising with civilian, police and military government authorities, as well as with regional, national and international institutions
• Previous experience carrying out security and security related trainings will be considered an advantage
• Experience with incident reporting, incident mapping, intelligence collation and analysis functions, set up and execution of an incident warning system, compilation of security reports and assessments
• Highly developed interpersonal and communication skills including leadership, influencing, negotiation and coaching
• Willingness to work and travel in often difficult and insecure environments
• Competency in Internet and Microsoft Office systems including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access and other database/mapping systems
• Fluency in English, both written and spoken is required; ability to speak Arabic is strongly preferred
• Knowledge and understanding of the Middle East region
• Capacity to train and effectively provide trainings to all staff
• Formal training qualifications (HEAT, K&R, Personal Security, First Aid etc)

The successful candidate will have the ability to see and communicate security trends at a local and regional level in a way that effectively increases our safety, security and ability to meet humanitarian needs. Maintaining strong, cooperative relationships with other departments is crucial. A successful candidate will have the ability to interact effectively with international and national personnel both in a managerial as well as training capacity and demonstrate the ability to multi-task, meet deadlines and process information in support of changing program activities. S/he will be able to live and work closely with a diverse team of individuals in a highly intense and fluid work and security environment and be willing to travel regularly to Mercy Corps field offices and project sites. The candidate will ensure a high degree of professionalism and neutrality when it comes to implementing the response.

The position is based Gaziantep, Turkey, with frequent travel to the other field offices in Ankara and Izmir. The location is unaccompanied and is eligible for Rest & Relaxation. An individual apartment is provided and there is access to good medical services. This position requires (30-50% of time) of travel to field offices and partner agencies in some less secure environments.

Mercy Corps Team members represent the agency both during and outside of work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit/TDY to a field posting. Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and Mercy Corps' policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.

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