Back Security & Safety Manager- Central African Republic

  • Added Date: Tuesday, 16 January 2018
  • Deadline Date: Wednesday, 14 February 2018


About Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible.
In disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, we partner to put bold solutions
into action — helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within.
Now, and for the future.

Program / Department Summary

Mercy Corps has been working in the Central African Republic (CAR) since September 2007. With offices in Bangui, Bouar, and Bambari, Mercy Corps works to integrate short-term humanitarian assistance with programs to strengthen community resilience and support market-led economic development, with cross-cutting accents on good governance, protection mainstreaming and gender. Mercy Corps takes a sustainable approach to its programming, seeking to change behaviors and create institutions to foster long-term development in the sectors of protection and gender based violence, governance, civil society capacity building, social cohesion and early economic recovery. By addressing a number of overlapping and associated needs within a wide range of activities, Mercy Corps in CAR takes an integrated approach to ensure the greatest possible impact.

Our funding comes from a range of donors, including USAID/OFDA, the European Commission, UNHCR, UNDP, CHF and private foundations.

Mercy Corps plays a key role in coordinating with other NGOs and United Nations bodies, including being a member of the executive committee of the CCO (Coordinating Committee of INGOs), the NGO coordination platform for international NGOs in the CAR, composed of 52 organizations.

General Position Summary

The Safety and Security Manager (SSM) will manage all aspects of the CAR Security Risk Management (SRM) system in all Mercy Corps geographic areas. This involves regular traveling (60%) to all areas of operation to maintain consistent contacts with the different security stakeholders, to assess risks and develop adjusted mitigations and prevention measures. The SSM, in consultation with the Security and Safety Focal points (SSFP) and Operation Manager, is expected to pursue the following routine objectives in his/her daily work:

? Manage the Security Safety Risk Management (SSRM) process

? Develop and supervise the implementation of area safety & security management policies, protocols and procedures. Update the Security Management Plan (SMP).

? Perform Security Safety Risk Assessments (SSRAs) and supervise the implementation of mitigation measures

? Oversee the information management, analysis and reporting process to support humanitarian access in the impacted geographic areas.

? Maintain relevant security documentation, data and records for the areas of concern

? Facilitate and deliver safety-related training to local and international staff

? Mentor and provide technical supervision to local HoBs-SSFP

? Develop the capacity of, and coordinate, the Security Management Team (SMT). Advise and coordinate the Incident Management Team (IMT)

? Assess and raise the security & safety operational standards in all field sites.

? Act as the focal point for contractual and procurement issues related to security & safety risk management.

Essential Job Functions


Work closely with the Head of Base (HoB) and Operation Manager to support the development and implementation of the SSRM process. Specific tasks include:

  • Perform area-specific Security Risk Assessment and conduct Security Safety Level assessments.
  • Advise (HoB) on available Security Safety Management Strategies, including the transfer, avoidance, acceptance and/or control of risks.
  • Develop and supervise the implementation of area-specific safety plans, including security measures; Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs); Contingency Plans (CPs); mitigation action plans; and Minimum Operating Safety Standards.
  • Monitor and evaluate the SSRM process, providing regular updates on the quality and progress of SRM implementation
  • Support the development and maintenance of current Security Management Plan in the consistent Mercy Corps format through the provision of planning workshops, training, and feedback on plans.
  • Develop a quarterly workplan with clear indicators for his/her position and submit it for validation to the Operation Manager
  • Review the Security Briefing Board (SBB) for each geographic area at least once a month. Make a formal presentation to the SMT who will validate and endorse the proposed modifications and local area risk level.
  • Develop and manage a security budget to contract external consultants as required and other targeted and tactical support.


In coordination with the ECHO Project Manager, formalize a Humanitarian Access Strategy in regards to the relevant armed groups to provide safer humanitarian access in remote areas. Facilitate program access and continuity through the provision of dependable advice to the SMT including:

  • Provision of regular analysis, statistics and reporting to the ECHO Project manager on key developments within the geographic areas
  • Establish and maintain a list of contacts throughout the geographic areas. Create and keep up to date an actor map of all security stakeholders in the geographic area including leadership details, affiliations, strategies, tactics, attitude toward Humanitarian organizations…
  • Maintain a register of negotiations and developments related to access and humanitarian space
  • Maintain and update an incident-tracking database, access restriction and provide trend/pattern analysis
  • Meet regularly members of the civil society who can influence armed actors. Maintain contact with major armed actors to create a true humanitarian space, avoid misunderstanding and prevent potential incidents. Engage armed groups' leadership to explain Mercy corps mandate, values and activities in the geographic areas
  • Encourage NGO joint assessment in the sensitive areas to ensure that access strategy is well coordinated aligned and consistent.
  • Identify potential scenarios, indicators of change and key decision points, in coordination with the ECHO PM and HoBs, develop security triggers when to suspend or resume program activities in the geographic areas.

Training and Orientation:

  • Work with the offices to ensure that all new staff hired at a local, national or expatriate level, as well as official visitors to the region, receive a consistent and thorough security orientation upon hire/arrival in the region.
  • With the HoB, develop a visual presentation to ensure that security briefings in the geographic areas are consistent, relevant and comprehensive.
  • Work with the Operation Manager and HoBs to identify capacity gaps and provide necessary training.
  • Ensure that those deployed in high risk areas receive enhanced training on personal security, first aid and the specific threats in those areas.
  • During routine field visits, provide on-site training aimed at the special needs of all staff.

Emergency Preparedness:

Support the country office with Emergency Preparedness Planning and will work with the designated Emergency Focal points.

Incident and crisis management and response, including:

  • Train and supervise the establishment of Area SMT
  • Coordinate the SMT in the event of a critical incident or crisis
  • Develop the area level Critical Incident Management Plan and support area-specific Contingency Plans. Ensure that the HoBs can implement the area CP at short notice.
  • Brief SMT members on their responsibilities and ensure alternate members are available and briefed
  • Assist in the management of safety incidents and provide timely and accurate incident reports

Information Management:

  • Ensure that field offices have access to good security information sources.
  • Maintain a file with all current security plans and make sure these plans are submitted to HQ for tracking on the dashboard.
  • Develop adequate and dynamic means of communication such shared VHF frequency in the geographic areas, WhatsApp/ skype .,
  • Share security information when possible with INSO and others NGO in a timely manner
  • Provide weekly security and access analysis to the ECHO Project Manager and the HoBs

Control and Monitoring

Quality assurance of security- safety-related policies, protocols, procedures and regulations, including:

  • Security -safety audits in all geographic areas
  • Monitoring of guards and watchmen
  • Assess the implementation of physical sites and asset protection protocols and regulations
  • Ensure that appropriate access controls are in place for all MC facilities
  • Conduct regular site assessments and advise on mitigation measures

Act as the focal point for the procurement and installation of safety-related equipment, facilities and other resources, including:

  • Assist the Operation Manager with the procurement, delivery and control of security/ safety equipment
  • Act as the focal point for telecommunications systems, including radios, tracking devices and satellite phones

Manage and oversee all aspects of international staff safety and security including:

  • Coordinate and directly supervise all field visits outside of the office
  • Supervise all travel authorizations for permanent and visiting international staff
  • In coordination with the HoB, check, authorize and monitor all movements in the field.

Technical support:

  • Readily available at all times to the Head of Base, Operation Manager, Country Director or field staff to advise on security developments.
  • Bring additional expertise where needed in addition to field visits. S/he is expected to be available during times of critical incidents and will be part of any Crisis Management team.

Representation and team collaboration:

Represent MC within inter-agency fora as related to safety issues, including:

  • Focal point for safety co-ordination between relevant actors within the area of operations
  • Attend CIMIC, UNDSS, INSO and other relevant external fora
  • Establish a network of contacts and represent MC at security meetings.
  • Seek opportunities for formal and informal cooperation on security issues;
  • Develop a network of support with peers in the humanitarian community.
  • Develop strong positive working relationships with key stakeholders as needed through compelling presentation of risks, costs and benefits of enhanced security on program impact and effectiveness.

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 toward 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

The SSM will supervise a national security assistant based in Bangui


Reports Directly To: Operation Manager

Works Directly With:** Head of Base of Bouar, Project Manager of ECHO's Project, Project Manager of the Protection Monitoring Project, Regional Security Advisor, Country Director

Knowledge and Experience

  • five to seven years' field experience
  • Minimum two years' experience in humanitarian response
  • Familiar with CAR context and more specifically with Nana Mambere, Manbere Kadei and Ouham Pende Prefectures
  • Minimum 2 years previous experience in NGO security management
  • Strong understanding of key humanitarian principles and good practices
  • Excellent verbal communication skills and networking abilities
  • Knowledge of Songo language will be an advantage

Success Factors

The successful Security Manager will have strong communication and diplomacy skills. (s)he must focus on understanding the conditions and concerns of the various Mercy Corps areas of operations and respond to them in a way that meets local needs, while enhancing the safety and security environment. S/he will not protect Mercy Corps staff per se, but will strive to empower our staff to better protect themselves primarily through building and supporting the capacity of the country teams. It is imperative that the Security Manager has a clear understanding of, and willingness to work within the culture and mandate of humanitarian response.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The Central African Republic is a nation of 4.6 million people, ranked as one of the poorest nations in the world, with an average life expectancy of only 39 years. Bangui is a capital city of about 700,000 inhabitants. Following 3 years of instability and transitional Government, an despite a newly elected government in March 2016, insecurity continue and more than 70% of the territory is still under the control of armed groups.

Bangui is generally free of any serious threats towards international or national staff, outside of petty theft. However, carjacking and targeted looting do occur on occasion. There are virtually no telephone land lines in CAR, though mobile phones and cellular service are widely available. Internet is limited, but available in all Mercy Corps offices. Travel to field sites will be required where living conditions are clean and secure, but basic. There are a number of health services available with several evacuation options for serious illnesses. There's reasonable access to most consumer goods, although they can be expensive. Suitable group housing is available, but electricity and clean water are sometimes sporadic.

This position is based in Bangui ,with at least 60% of the time spent in the field; it is unaccompanied for spouses and/or children and includes hardship allowance and R&R benefits.

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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This vacancy is archived.

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