Back Re-advertisement: Security Specialist (Security Analyst), P4 Fixed-term, WCARO Dakar, Senegal, post# 99237

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential.

Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone.

And we never give up.

For every child, safety

The security situation in WCAR unfortunately keeps deteriorating with an increasing number of incidents being registered consistently over the past years. The forecast is that this tendency will continue over at least the next couple of years if not more.  Political instability, the effects of climate change on land use and livelihoods, and the lack of economic opportunities have been drivers of conflict and the number of security incidents has risen steeply in recent years, notably with the emergence of non-state armed groups, with a concomitant increase of humanitarian needs. A significant number of conflicts in the region are cross-border and affect clusters of countries, such as the Liptako-Gourma region, spanning across Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, and the Lake Chad Basin, including Cameroon, Chad and Nigeria.

UNICEF remains committed to continue delivering results, especially for the most vulnerable children living in deteriorating or unstable security contexts.

In that context of insecurity, education, immunization, communication, security and emergency program staff must work very closely together to develop context-specific strategies that integrate stronger security analysis and root cause analysis incorporated into the review of programmatic strategies, overcome access and security barriers, adapt to a modified partners' landscape or diminished capacities of communication and service delivery for the affected areas and ensure that outreach occurs more effectively. Innovative methods and plans are needed to improve the UNICEF program delivery to the benefit of populations while protecting the staff and health workers or other service providers. That requires a meaningful understanding of the versatile and evolving environments based on a methodical information requirement analysis, information gathering and analysis.

How can you make a difference?

Purpose for the job

Under the direct supervision of the Regional Security Advisor UNICEF, the Security Specialist will provide specific analysis, advice and support to the Regional/Country Offices relative to the UNICEF programme activities and operations in insecure areas as well as affected personnel and partners. 

The incumbent will develop country and regional specific thematic analysis of specific insecure areas, analysis of the underlying cause of inaccessibility and insecurity, the local dynamics, and planning and implementation of mitigation measures customized to the local context and risk analysis.

The incumbent will provide programmatic security support and analysis for all programs which will strengthen regional strategic orientations and inform existing strategies, including communication and access strategies and provide the basis for measures to assist in reducing the number of targeted population missed in hard to reach areas. 

The incumbent will provide technical support and guidance to other UNICEF security and security analyst posts in the region and will establish a functional network for information sharing between them.

The incumbent will carry out regular country visits to support teams on site.


Summary of key functions/accountabilities

Security Risk Management and Planning

Support the Regional Security Advisor in the execution of his/her duties with regards to the safety and security of UNICEF personnel and eligible family members, premises, and in accordance with UN and UNICEF Security Management Systems.  Attend as, when needed and as an observer, all SMT/ASMT meetings. Assist the UN Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS) as appropriate and participate as a member of the security coordination cell established by UNDSS. Provide advice on and manage technical security requirements contained in the UN Security Plan, Minimum Operating Security Standards (MOSS), Residential Security Measures (RSM), and other relevant policies, guidelines, and assessments and monitor their implementation.  Oversee, guide and assess all UNICEF security personnel in the country. Provide technical oversight for contracted security providers. Prepare, maintain, and update UNICEF security documentation including security contingency plans and provide the Regional Security Advisor, and the Office of the Security Coordinator (OSC) with mandatory reports in accordance with UNICEF security reporting guidelines. This includes the monitoring/reporting on security compliance and the submission of all Security Incident Reports (SIRs). Support the development of regional strategy of different aspects and causes of insecurity and share with countries. Provide technical assistance to countries and to the region for more accurate risk assessments. Identify trends, patterns and early warning triggers for insecurity at country level.

Safety and Security Services

Monitor the security situation and provide independent and comprehensive analysis with the goal of identifying trends and predicting the specific conditions that would impact on the safety and security of UNICEF personnel and eligible family members, premises, assets and resources. Support how communications approaches and tools can contribute to the situation analysis. Provide technical assistance to countries and to the region for accurate threat and risk assessments, including focused analysis on the root causes for inaccessibility at country and regional levels to inform access strategies and improve program delivery in the region. Cross reference and triangulate data to confirm issues and trends. Contribute to establishing a regional “common operating picture” with the purpose of providing a baseline for timely and accurate decision making at all levels. Supervise, evaluate, and review security activities in support of UNICEF operations and participate, coordinate and/or undertake security risk management for all locations where UNICEF personnel and eligible family members are present. Report on focused analysis on the root causes for inaccessibility at country and regional levels to inform access strategies and improve program delivery in the region. Challenge claims of insecurity and inaccessibility (and define specific zones and sub-zones of non-access versus global statement of non-accessibility for a whole region) Ensure that UNICEF personnel are kept informed of matters affecting their safety and security and the actions to take in the event of an emergency including those identified in the UN Security Plan as it relates to UNICEF.  Oversee the establishment of an effective and functioning communications system for security management within UNICEF that is fully integrated into the UN Emergency Communications System.  Coordinate with UNDSS to ensure all UNICEF personnel undertake all mandatory security training/briefings and participate in all security related contingency exercises.  Plan and lead security surveys of international personnel residences in accordance with the Residential Security Measures (RSM).

Programmatic Security Information Analysis

Provide analysis to understand regional level dynamics, particularly when addressing issues of terrorism, inter-tribal conflict and population movements. Ensure the analysis addresses environmental, socio-economic and political factors that make geographical areas difficult to access and have an impact on the delivery of UNICEF programmes, particularly in areas deemed security compromised. Provide analytical input to regional and country specific security, access and programme strategies. Work closely with the UNICEF programme and communication personnel in country to integrate all relevant analysis into the planning and implementation of all country programmes.

Security Networking and Partnership Building

Establish contact and maintain networks with all UNSMS/NGOs security advisors and relevant local authorities as appropriate. Ensure that security collaboration with NGOs working as UNICEF implementing partners is undertaken, in coordination with UNDSS, and using the SLT policies as a framework.

Innovation, Knowledge Management and Capacity Building

Introduce technological innovations and approaches to security procedures and systems. Institutionalize and share best practices and knowledge learned. Organize, plan and/or implement capacity building initiatives to enhance the competencies of clients/stakeholders on security related preparedness and operations. Assist the Regional Security Advisor and ensure the continuity of the WCARO security function in the absence of the Regional Security Advisor. Establish lessons learned database for key programme activities.

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have

An advanced university degree or recognized equivalent in Risk Management, Military or Police Intelligence, Political Science, International Relations or related area. A first level university degree in combination with two years of additional qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree. A minimum of eight (8) years of progressively responsible experience in security analysis and risk management. Demonstrated understanding of security related analytical processes is essential. UN and/or international security management experience is highly desirable. The incumbent will possess analytical and information management skills and will be able to interpret data and security information. Developing country work experience, especially in “D” and “E” duty stations, and/or familiarity with emergency is considered an asset. Fluency in English and French, both oral and written, is required. Knowledge of any of the other official languages of the region (Spanish and Portuguese) is an asset.

For every Child, you demonstrate

UNICEF's values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA).

The UNICEF competencies required for this post are: 

Demonstrates Self Awareness and Ethical Awareness (2) Works Collaboratively with others (2) Builds and Maintains Partnerships (2) Innovates and Embraces Change (2) Thinks and Acts Strategically (2) Drive to achieve impactful results (2) Manages ambiguity and complexity (2)

To view our competency framework, please visit here.

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.

UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.


*This is a re-advertisement of Security Specialist (Security Analyst), P4 Fixed-term, WCARO Dakar #99237 advertised in December 2021.

**This position is based in Dakar; the incumbent will therefore be expected to live and work from Dakar (the duty station).

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.

Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service.

UNICEF appointments are subject to medical clearance. Issuance of a visa by the host country of the duty station, which will be facilitated by UNICEF, is required for IP positions. Appointments may also be subject to inoculation (vaccination) requirements, including against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid). UNICEF reserves the right to withdraw an offer of appointment, without compensation, if a visa or medical clearance is not obtained, or necessary inoculation requirements are not met, within a reasonable period for any reason.

This vacancy is archived.

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