Safety & Security Coordinator at IRC Nigeria

Safety & Security Coordinator

IRC has been present in Nigeria since 2012 when the organization responded to flooding in Kogi state. In early 2014, IRC opened a field office in Mubi town of Adamawa state in NE Nigeria followed by offices in Yola (Adamawa state) in November 2014 and Maiduguri (Borno state) in October 2015. IRC has ECHO, OFDA, and Gates funds to respond to humanitarian, nutrition, GBV, and WASH activities. In late 2014 and early 2015, IRC received additional funds from SV, SIDA, USAID, and UNICEF to carry out education, child protection, general protection, emergency food distributions, shelter support, and NFI distributions to newly displaced IDPs. In late 2015 into early 2016, IRC received Swiss and UNHCR funds for additional emergency response humanitarian-focused programming in NE Nigeria. In July 2016, a nutritional and food security crisis emerged in Borno state and IRC began a rapid scale up of its program intervention in that area including startup of programming outside the state capital, Maiduguri. IRC anticipates continued expansion beyond Maiduguri which requires additional security monitoring and management to ensure that IRC teams remain safe as they go into newly accessible areas of NE Nigeria.

Scope of work

The post holder will develop and ensure the systematic application of safety and security management policies and procedures in all of IRC operational areas of Nigeria. This will include the assessment of threats and provision of advice to manage risk; the maintenance and updating of security guidelines and ensuring that field security working practices are robust and that all staff are aware of, trained in, and adhere to security management plans, guidelines and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). Integral to the post is the ability to work successfully with field teams to cultivate capacity and motivation thereby ensuring field-based responsibility for security analysis and management. In parallel to the above, the post holder will capacity build and train a local security manager.

The post reports to the Deputy Directors of Operations and Field Management, works in close collaboration with the CD and broader SMT, Senior Area Managers, Field Coordinators and Security Liaison Officers, as well as all other staff. She/he will receive technical support from the Regional Safety and Security Advisor (RSSA).

Specific Duties:

Humanitarian Access Management

  • Develop and implement humanitarian access strategies and approaches tailored to local contexts in field sites throughout Nigeria
  • Ensure humanitarian access approaches are responsive to local context and include overarching community engagement components
  • Ensure that the IRC field safety, security and access teams conduct principled and sustainable negotiations with relevant actors in Nigeria in miline with humanitarian principles, humanitarian needs, duty of care principles, and the IRC’s strategy
  • Work to ensure that IRC, its mission and work in the areas of operations is known and accepted
  • Work to encourage stakeholders to work with the IRC in ensuring that staff and programs are safe and allowed to continue humanitarian activities in country
  • Provide technical input and advice in assessments to consider new IRC programs in new geographic areas, and regular assessment reviews for existing locations
  • Assist in the continued development of humanitarian access teams and activities across the country
  • Contribute in developing and implementing guidelines for humanitarian access and engagement with non-state actors articulating standard IRC policy and guidance
  • Oversee and advise on the implementation and review of tailored acceptance strategies
  • Maintain a high level of preparedness vis-a-vis predicted contextual fluctuations operationally and programmatically
  • Enhance IRC image and acceptance within the community and amongst stakeholders by providing guidance on inclusive visibility strategies
  • Work with appropriate IRC units, including HR, to ensure timely and appropriate follow-up to violations of IRC’s Code of Conduct, in addition to operational breaches to humanitarian principle

Safety and Security Risk Management and Systems

  • Provide technical support to the CD and Senior Management on all policies, procedures, guidelines and planning for staff safety, operational security and program continuity in Nigeria.
  • Evaluate, review and update the security management plans on a regular basis in compliance with global safety and security standards and requirements and in coordination with the security management team in Nigeria.
  • Provide daily (DSR), weekly and monthly updates on context evolution and security and access trends.
  • Provide credible information and contextual understanding of localized and country wide security situations and incidents along with appropriate advice to IRC field and program management staff.
  • Ensure that all IRC program activities and locations are assessed and monitored relative to their impact on staff safety and security, and make recommendations on protocols and practices to reduce staff risk and vulnerability.
  • In consultation with the CD, DDO, DDFM, Senior Area Managers, Field Coordinators, and Security Liaison Officers continuously monitor the security /safety environment nationally and locally for all IRC program areas and make recommendations to the Country Director, who will consult with the RSSA to adjust security policies and procedures as needed
  • Spearhead the revision and update of Safety and Security Guidelines for all operational areas in accordance with IRC global security guidelines.
  • Ensure that contingency plans for Evacuation, Relocation, Hibernation, and Medical Evacuation are in place, disseminated and adopted amongst staff including a detailed contextual assessment and situational update which is revised at least quarterly.
  • Ensure and regularly reassess that IRC vehicles, premises and equipment are compliant with internationally recognized safety and security standards.
  • Ensure that communication systems are adequate and maintained. Provide training to staff on the use of such equipment and communications protocols in conjunction with the DDO.
  • Monitor HR / Finance / Logistics working practices within the context of safety and security and alert the relevant coordinators, DDO, and the Country Director if inappropriate decisions are impacting on the safety and security of the team or external perception of the organization thereby creating security risks.
  • Work closely with IRC field management teams to ensure all incidents and accidents are managed and followed up with an official written report, which is then shared with relevant stakeholders and filed appropriately
  • In conjunction with the SMT and other relevant staff, assist in the debriefing of staff that has experienced security incidents or ‘near miss’ incidents.
  • Coordinate post-incident follow up actions, analysis and recommendations.
  • Ensure systems are in place to instantly respond to a crisis management situation by working with the Incident Management team; ensure that lines of communication and reporting to the Crisis Management team in New York are fully understood and implemented.
  • Conduct security assessments in new areas of Nigeria prior to entry by IRC program staff, in collaboration with the RSSA.


  • Ensure all S&S documentation as per Global S&S policy and Standards are update and systematically filed.
  • Ensure that a centralized filing system of security-related documents is maintained in Nigeria.
  • Conduct ongoing threat assessments and compile reports on security assessments of offices, staff guest houses, field sites and project areas.
  • Systematically map all incidents on a dedicated map and provide timely analysis to identify emerging trends. Ensure field offices adhere to the same process and share information with the post holder.

Briefing, Training and Capacity Building

  • Ensure Security briefings (arrival and complete) are of adequate quality and done in timely manner
  • Work with national and international staff to build a shared understanding of security analysis and risk mitigation.
  • Provide an annual training/ development plan for IRC staff regarding safety, security and access.
  • With the support of the RSSA, develop a standardized security training method and provide security training for all staff in safety and security related subjects ensuring that policy and guidelines are understood and are being adopted and implemented across the program.
  • Act as a team facilitator during the development of Field office Security Management Plans.
  • Build capacity of local security liaison officer(s) and other IRC staff
  • Guide and train all staff to ensure the Country’s Minimum Standards in Safety and Security are followed and respected

Coordination and Networking

  • Coordinate and liaise on program safety and security matters with all relevant actors in country such as national and international NGOs, UN, Donor organizations, government authorities and other stakeholders within the population.
  • Proactively share information with staff in the CO and in the field ensuring high security awareness levels, close situation monitoring and effective two-way communication on security-related issues.
  • Under guidance of the CD, serve as a key resource to IRC and its operational partners in times of emergencies, such as natural or manmade disasters.

Program Development:

  • Participate in program design in close cooperation with the DDP, DDFM and DDO.
  • Participate in program review meetings and contribute to implementation plans to ensure the timely, safe, and secure delivery of IRC service to beneficiaries
  • Advise program and field management teams on context-specific risks pertaining humanitarian access, safety, and security, and contribute to the development and implementation of mitigation measures and plans


  • A formal security qualification or advanced security management training.
  • Substantial practical field experience in security management in a leadership role (e.g. direct INGO security management).
  • Fluent in written and spoken English
  • 3 to 5 year work experience in insecure/hostile environments.
  • Ability to work within a multi-cultural, multi ethnic team
  • Experience and knowledge of personnel and organizational security issues, threat/risk assessment, security management and security awareness in an insecure environment.
  • Experience of incident reporting, incident mapping, intelligence collation and analysis functions, set up and execution of an incident warning system (warden system), compilation of security reports and assessments.
  • Experience in training and coaching national and international staff in safety and security.
  • Technical competency and training experience in field based communications systems such as HF Codan, Motorola VHF, Thuraya, satellite systems and internet systems.
  • Ability to adapt to needs and balance demands of beneficiary and security actors while maintaining appropriate contextual NGO security advice and coordination.
  • Sound knowledge of humanitarian principles of impartiality and neutrality as outlined in the Humanitarian Charter and the International Red Cross Code of Conduct.
  • Strong report writing, analytical and interpersonal skills.
  • Previous security management work experience with INGOs in Africa.


  • Knowledge of Nigeria’s context
  • Previous experience with IRC
  • Knowledge of mapping software


The Safety and Security Coordinator will be based in Maiduguri, Nigeria with travel throughout the country particularly rural parts of Borno, Yola and Mubi in Adamawa state, and Abuja. The security situation in Nigeria continues to be volatile in the NE with the security level at 3 (orange). The candidate should be prepared to manage security in an unpredictable, insecure environment. This is a non-accompanied position. The Safety and Security Coordinator will live in shared housing.

Standards for Professional Conduct:

The IRC and IRC workers must adhere to the values and principles outlined in IRC Way – Standards for Professional Conduct. These are Integrity, Service, and Accountability. In accordance with these values, the IRC operates and enforces policies on Beneficiary Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Anti Workplace Harassment, Fiscal Integrity, and Anti-Retaliation

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