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UN Jobs: Regional Humanitarian Access and Safety Coordinator – Senegal

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Regional Humanitarian Access and Safety Coordinator

The Danish Refugee Council assists refugees and internally displaced persons across the globe: we provide emergency aid, fight for their rights, and strengthen their opportunity for a brighter future. We work in conflict-affected areas, along the displacement routes, and in the countries where refugees settle. In cooperation with local communities, we strive for responsible and sustainable solutions. We work toward successful integration and – whenever possible – for the fulfilment of the wish to return home.

The Danish Refugee Council was founded in Denmark in 1956 and has since grown to become an international humanitarian organization with more than 7,000 staff and 8,000 volunteers. Based in Copenhagen (Denmark) and present in forty countries, the Danish Refugee Council is a non-profit-making, politically independent, non-governmental and non-denominational relief organization.

Our vision is a dignified life for all displaced. All our efforts are based on our value compass: humanity, respect, independence and neutrality, participation, and honesty and transparency.


Danish Refugee Council (DRC) has an operational presence in West and Central Africa since 2014, working in Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon and the Central African Republic. The Regional office, where the Regional Humanitarian Access and Safety Coordinator (RHASC) is based is in Dakar.

Currently, DRC delivers life-saving assistance and protection to vulnerable, conflict-affected populations including internally displaced persons, returnees and host communities in the areas of armed violence reduction, humanitarian mine action, livelihoods, nutrition and food security, protection, shelter and non-food items (NFI) and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH).

DRC is in the phase 2 of its reorganisation. During this phase, the former West Africa region will expand considerably, from 6 to more than12 countries in West and Central Africa, North Africa and Latin America.

Overall purpose of the role:

The Humanitarian Access and Safety Coordinator has a regional focus and ensures compliance to DRC procedures and guidelines within the whole regional area. Under the authority of the WANALA Executive Director, the Regional Humanitarian Access & Safety Coordinator (RHASC) will provide advice, coordination, and technical support on all aspects of the DRC Safety Risk Management system (SRMS) in the countries of operation, ensuring compliance with DRC Global Safety and Global Access policies. S/He develops regional strategies, which are translated into action plans and day-to-day tasks.

S/He manages the WANALA Safety Specialist and provides support and/or technical guidance to country operations (12 Country Safety Coordinators, 1 RECOLG Humanitarian Access Coordinator), while overseeing activities with regional scope.

The RHASC will be the pivot for critical incidents and crisis management throughout the region.

This position is a senior one, requiring a strong previous experience in safety and humanitarian access. This position also requires strong communication and analysis skills in order to feed informed decision making regarding DRC operations. The Regional Humanitarian Access & Safety Advisor will be based in Dakar but may have to travel up to 40% of the working time through the region.


The Regional Humanitarian Access & Safety Advisor will manage all aspects of the DRC Safety Risk Management (SRM) system in the region (Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Central African Republic, Cameroon, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Colombia, Venezuela and Mexico). Under the direct management of the Regional Executive Director he /she is expected to pursue the following objectives and duties in his/her daily work:

Overall objectives

  • Manage the development and implementation of the Danish Refugee Council’s (DRC’s) Safety Risk Management System (SRMS)
  • Facilitate program access and continuity by providing reliable advice
  • Ensure compliance with DRC safety policy as stated in Chapters 19 & 20 of the DRC Operations Handbook
  • Supervise and mentor the Country Safety Coordinators
  • To develop policies and procedure, in coordination with project staff, for the safe delivery of program activities
  • Increase the visibility of DRC as a champion of humanitarian access, safety and localisation

In more detail, your main duties and responsibilities will be:

Incident and Crisis Management and recovery

  • Support Incident Management Teams (IMTs) with the implementation of contingency plans.
  • Work as Coordinator and primary point of contact for critical incidents and crisis management. Ensure smooth flow of information both upward (from field to HQ) and downward (from HQ to the field).
  • Assess all After-Action options for programme continuity and recovery using the risk assessment framework developed at WANALA region.
  • Regularly inform the WANALA Executive Director and the Global Safety Advisor on Incident management and After-Action Reviews (AAR) through the Region.
  • Work with the Global Safety Advisor on the development of the Safety Incident Report (SIR) and on the safety workstream.
  • Conduct post-incident inquiries, if required, and monitor compliance with action points on SIRs and AAR.
  • Ensure all incidents are duly reported in the Safety Incident Report (SIR) system.

Develop Humanitarian Access Regional Framework

  • Support all WANALA countries in developing access strategies.
  • Support the development of tools and training strategies to operationalize access strategies with the Global Access Advisors. Contribute to the DRC ACE Community on Humanitarian Access through, inter alia, the definition of Access minimum standards and Access minimum operating procedures (AMOPs) and the development of the Access Level System.
  • Work in collaboration with the Country Safety Coordinators and program teams to ensure that humanitarian access strategies deliver the purpose while minimizing unforeseen adverse consequences on people in need (do no harm), within DRC risk acceptance. Mainstream the use of the risk assessment framework developed at WANALA region to present and chose from different humanitarian access options.
  • Supervise country offices efforts in mapping, planning and coordinating engagement with all key stakeholders as it relates to humanitarian access and access negotiations.
  • Technically support and quality check ongoing access assessments and other interventions as needed.
  • Coordinate the preparation of WANALA outreach papers and publications that will promote DRC primacy on humanitarian access.

Oversee the development and implementation of the SRMS process

  • Ensure that countries are up to date with the different components of the DRC Safety Management System: Contingency plans; Safety Level System (SLS), Minimum Operating Safety Standards (MOSS), Local Safety Rules (LSR), Safety Risk and Threat Assessments (SRA); Record of Emergency Data (RED) as per the SRMS tracker that will be provided.
  • Ensure that countries provide updated Safety Risk Assessments (SRA), Context Assessments and Programme Assessments for each programme area pursuant to DRC Safety Policy.
  • Ensure each programme area has appropriate SOPs developed and implemented. Monitor compliance with SOPs. Keep track of the SOPs in the SRMS tracker.
  • Ensure that appropriate Safety improvement plans (SIP) accompany the MOSS audits to address outstanding requirements not yet met.
  • Manage, guide and mentor the WANA Safety Specialist.
  • Provide methodological and technical support for the training of guards, drivers and Watchkeepers.
  • Assess the implementation of physical and asset protection protocols and regulations.
  • Conduct regular site assessments and advise on mitigation measures.
  • Assist logisticians and administrators with the technical design, procurement, delivery and control of safety equipment and countermeasures.
  • Support the interest of safety and access through the management of operation risk registers
  • Act as the focal point for specialist systems and support options, contributing to overall DRC security policy.

Quality assurance of safety and access related policies, protocols, procedures and regulations

  • Ensure due process is followed during the different phases of incident and crisis management: immediate and rolling actions, post-incident recovery, residual risk assessment and options for programme continuity. Ensure appropriate mitigation measures developed during the After Action Review are translated into an executable Safety Improvement Plan.
  • Conduct regular reviews with Incident Management Teams (IMTs) in country offices to ensure that all components of the contingency plans (Hibernation, Relocation, Evacuation, Medical Emergency and Abduction) are up to date, realistic and understood.
  • Ensure access and safety issues are effectively represented in operation risk registers.
  • Ensure that safety and access needs are adequately budgeted at the Regional Level. Instruct countries to the same at their level.
  • Follow up on Scheduled MOSS audits of all programme areas. Monitor the advancement of achievable and cost-effective mitigation measures set up in the countries Safety Improvement Plans.
  • Sharing the burden with the WANA Safety Specialists and the Colombia CSC, conduct at least annual travel to each of permissible DRC Country offices, designated Areas, Base or site location for review and capacity building.
  • Hold regular calls / meetings with Country Safety Coordinators to discuss safety and access developments across WANALA, know the evolution of threats and produce timely mitigation measures.
  • Provide quarterly analysis, statistics and reporting on key developments within the country to the WANALA Executive Director and HQ Global Safety and Global Access Advisors on safety and access risk. Support and monitor the quality of periodic reporting within the WANALA countries.

Regional representation and outreach

  • Attend NGO security coordination, Humanitarian Access Regional Working Group, UN and other relevant external fora.
  • Establish a network of contacts and represent DRC at security meetings in support to the Regional Office team, or Country Offices if requested.
  • Act as the primary point of contact for safety and humanitarian access related matters with the Regional Office and other local actors (UNDSS, inter-agency fora etc).
  • The RHASC is expected to play a pivotal role in the preparation of WANALA outreach papers and publications that will promote DRC primacy on humanitarian access, localisation and safety.
  • Attend DRC monthly Regional Safety Coordination meetings and other DRC fora on safety and humanitarian access.

Capacity Building

  • Conduct – or facilitate the delivery of – safety training (HEAT, PAST, First Aid, Incident Management, Family Liaison) for staff at all levels. Ensure that all countries in the region are at par with DRC Safety Training agenda. Prepare an annual safety training plan and ensure budget is available.
  • Liaise with external commercial providers of safety trainings, conduct their vetting and add their offer to the annual safety training plan. Put Country offices in contact with those providers for the delivery of safety trainings.
  • Supervise and mentor the Country Safety Coordinators on their role.
  • Promote the integration of Safety & Access departments with Programmes and Operations in all phases, including in the drafting of proposals and budgeting.
  • Regularly travel to Area offices in WANALA to deliver training to DRC staff on the diverse aspects of the SRMS and the associated SOPs. Contribute to maintaining a “safety culture” by mainstreaming DRC Global Safety Policy and SRMS at all levels of DRC operations.
  • Assist and mentor the Country Safety Coordinators on their role of custodians of the SRMS integrity.

Information Management and Reporting

  • Maintain detailed soft and hard copy files of all relevant safety documents and make sure they are rapidly accessible to of Critical Incident or Crisis Management Teams.
  • Maintain the SRMS tracker and the Safety SharePoint up to date and available online to all the designated users.
  • Provide regular situation reports regarding compliance with DRC Global Safety Policy.
  • Ensure an up-to-date visitor briefing package is provided to all Regional office visitors and international staff.
  • Conduct safety briefings for all visitors and staff at the Regional Office level. Ensure that Country Offices do the same
  • Provide briefings on thematic and specific issues, as requested by the WANALA Executive Director or the Global Safety and Global Access Advisors

In addition to the above, the Regional Humanitarian Access & Safety Advisor may be asked to carry out other duties requested by the Regional Director or the Global Safety and Global Access Advisors.

About You

To be successful at this role we expect you to posses the following:

  • Master’s degree or equivalent (e.g. political science, international development, or economics)
  • In lieu of the above, a bachelor’s degree and several years of experience in the sector
  • Security risk management certification or equivalent.
  • Minimum 5 years of practical experience in sector area working for an INGO
  • Management and/or supervisory experience within an NGO or similar organisation
  • Proven ability to prioritize tasks and meet deadlines
  • Proven ability to develop and implement effective and contextualized protocols and systems
  • Ability to conduct and produce high quality assessments on access and safety issues.
  • Experience with critical incident management
  • Proven commitment to accountability practices
  • Experience with information gathering, analysis and report writing
  • Ability to steer the joint definition and implementation of access strategies in a participatory manner within consortia and with local partners
  • Experience with delivering safety and/or access-related training
  • Experience working in hostile or hazardous environments
  • Humanitarian programmatic experience an advantage.
  • Full professional proficiency in French and English is required
  • Working knowledge of Spanish, Arabic and other languages native to the WANALA region is an asset but not a requirement.

In this position, you are also expected to demonstrate DRC’ five core competencies:

Striving for excellence: You focus on reaching results while ensuring an efficient process.

Collaborating: You involve relevant parties and encourage feedback.

Taking the lead: You take ownership and initiative while aiming for innovation.

Communicating: You listen and speak effectively and honestly.

Demonstrating integrity: Upholding and promoting the highest standards of ethical and professional conduct in relation to DRC’s values and Code of Conduct, including safeguarding against sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment.

We offer

Contract length: 1 year, open for extension pending performance, funding, and programme needs

Level: E

Designation of Duty Station: Dakar, Senegal l Family duty station, accompanied

Start date: As soon as possible

General Regulations

  • The employee shall follow DRC instructions on safety, confidentiality and ethical guidelines, including the Code of Conduct and the Humanitarian Accountability Framework
  • Employee should not engage in any other paid activity during the DRC contract period without prior authorization
  • Employee should not engage in any activity that could harm DRC or the implementation of any project during the DRC contract period
  • Employee should not give interviews to the media or publish project-related photos or other material without prior authorization
  • Employee shall return all borrowed equipment for the project to DRC after the end of the contract period or upon request

How to apply

Are you interested? All applicants must send a cover letter and an updated CV (no longer than four pages). Please click here to apply

DRC provides equal opportunity in employment and prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of race, sex, color, religion, sexual orientation, age, marital status or disability.

DRC encourages all applicants to apply and does not practice any discrimination in any recruitment process.

However, all applicants shall take into consideration that DRC cannot offer an international work contract to a citizen of the country of assignment (in this specific case: Republic of Senegal)

Applications close on the 17 October 2022 at midnight (GMT-time).Applications submitted after this date will not be considered.

Due to the urgency of the position, DRC has the right to recruit a candidate who matches the required profile before the above deadline.

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