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Field Security Advisor, Amsterdam

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Field Security Advisor, Amsterdam

Post by Ted-Pencry on 25/3/2013, 22:20

Field Security Advisor
MSF Operational Centre, Amsterdam (other OCA HQ locations considered)
Close Date: 31 Mar 2013

MSF Operational Centre Amsterdam (OCA) currently operates medical humanitarian interventions in 25 countries. On a yearly basis MSF-Holland deploys approximately 900 international staff and employs more than 8,000 national staff. At headquarters in Amsterdam, around 180 employees offer their support to the projects. MSF OCA is currently seeking a field security advisor (FSA) (100%). The position is preferably based in Amsterdam, but the other OCA HQ locations (Berlin, London) can be considered.

The candidate must be willing to work irregular hours, to spend approximately 70% of the working time in the field missions and to travel on short notice (i.e. 48 hours).


Global, as well as MSF OCA internal incident statistics show that security for humanitarian aid workers has worsened over the past years. In particular, the number of contexts in which aid workers are at risk of targeted violent attacks has increased. As a result of this, security management in the MSF-OCA field missions has become increasingly challenging.

Given the particular challenges arising from MSF working in increasingly insecure environments there is need to enhance the capacity of MSF (field) staff to effectively manage security in line with the already established MSF-OCA Security Framework.


Within MSF-OCA, security management is an integrated responsibility of the operational line managers. The main focus for the Field Security Advisor is on enhancing the capacity of the line managers with regard to security management and on full implementation of security protocols and guidelines in the field missions.

The overall objective of the Field Security Advisor is to strengthen the quality and consistency of security management across all OCA missions, with particular emphasis towards supporting missions in a compromised security setting.

While the responsibility to monitor compliance with security policies and standards remains with the line management, the Field Security Advisor is expected to pro-actively review mission’s security plans and demand security audits and/or reviews of risk analyses should (s)he doubt the adequacy of the mission’s security management.

To underline the importance of the function, the Field Security Advisor reports directly to the Deputy Director of Operations.

Security Management

On request of Heads of Mission (HoM), Operations Managers (OM), or (deputy) Director of Operations, the Field Security Advisor will provide assistance and advice to missions with the aim to enhance mission security management. The Field Security Advisor will be required to:

Support existing missions and projects in carrying out their respective risk analyses.
Depending on the degree of support required, this will be done through field visits or long-distance support.
Assist missions in defining adequate security strategies, including setting minimum conditions for Negotiated Access and reviewing a mission’s policies for advocacy, communications, visibility, and HR management, and defining parameters for operational ambitions from a security perspective.

Advise HoMs and OMs on the development of security management plans, including Standard Operating Procedures and contingency protocols.
Assist in conducting risk analyses for new missions and projects as determined by the (deputy) Director of Operations.
Security Training

With the aim to enhance the overall security training strategy, the Field Security Advisor will be required to:

Review and develop field security training modules and conduct training for all relevant staff groups. (Eg. guards, drivers, field incident management teams).
Participate in review of HQ security training modules
Ensure implementation of field security training across the OCA operational portfolio in line with priorities set by the (deputy) Director of Operations.

Assess and initiate use of external field security training where indicated and feasible.
Security Audits

Outside-the-line management security audits are conducted in several missions annually.
The objective of such audits is to provide a (semi) external view on mission’s security strategy and implementation of security plans to ensure optimal security management practices in the field.

The Field Security Advisor will be required to:
Ensure security audits are carried out in selected missions in timely fashion
(Conduct approx 2 security audits / year and initiate and supervise others).
Ensure findings and recommendations of security audits are documented and presented to relevant stakeholders in the Operations department.
Maintain a pool of internal and external auditors
Review and update the security audit format as required

Other Responsibilities

Provide ad hoc security advice to line management on request and through review of risk analyses and field security plans.
Support Field Incident Management Teams in terms of training and actual crisis management.
Participates, and represents MSF-OCA, in internal and external security forums as required.


MSF OCA are looking for a candidate with:

A minimum of 5 years relevant work experience and a minimum of 3 years experience with MSF or another humanitarian NGO.

Demonstrable experience with supervising, managing/coaching and training others (people management) and specifically in the domain of security management.

Experience with emergency aid in complex political and humanitarian contexts of which at least two years as programme manager in insecure contexts.

Experience in crisis management is a strong asset.

Team player characteristics and the ability to act as part of a multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary team.
The ability to represent the organisation with (inter-) national counterparts and proven negotiating skills and the willingness to be present in unstable environments.

Good communication skills (presentation and writing skills) are essential, as well as a good command of English and preferably French.

MSF OCA offer:

Full-time employment on a MSF-Holland contract for a period of one year with the option of renewal.
A gross monthly salary of maximum €3331 depending on relevant professional work experience, and per diem when in the field.
Other benefits including a premium free pension scheme and 30 holidays per annum.

If you are interested in this position and would like any additional information, please contact Pete Buth, Deputy Director of Operations, + 31 20 520 8733.

If you believe that you fit the profile outlined above please send your letter of motivation and CV in English before March 31st, 2013 to the attention of Ms Jaline Wijkhuizen, Personnel Officer HQ: and mention “Security Advisor” in the subject line. In your application, please mention where you came across the vacancy.

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