Safety & Security Advisor - Derek, Syria

  • Added Date: Friday, 31 January 2020
  • Deadline Date: Sunday, 01 March 2020

Make sure to include a cover letter in your application. All applications with no cover letter will not be considered.

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 had a presence in the Middle East since the 1980s with offices in Yemen, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Syria, Iraq and Greece. Mercy Corps has worked in Syria since 2008 and in recent years, focused on emergency and life-saving work for the Syrians affected by the conflict. Mercy Corps works through local partners including, local administrations, city councils, business leaders and civil society. Programs include emergency food and commodities and where possible cash/voucher distributions that engage local markets and traders. Mercy Corps is an international, humanitarian organization that holds closely the core values of impartiality, transparency and high accountability.

General Position Summary

The Safety & Security Advisor (SSA) is responsible for supporting the NES Security Team in the day-to-day operational security needs for programs in Northeast Syria as well as for the capacity building of the team members. This position is expected to directly support humanitarian programs by working with the Safety & Security team to produce analysis / forecasting and planning. The SSA will mentor and coach existing national team members supporting them administratively and actively build professional skills.

Essential Job Responsibilities


  • Understand the immediate and longer-term humanitarian programs and This position is expected to know and understand all program activities so s/he can effectively. build the capacity of the Safety & Security team.
  • Assist with the tracking, mapping and analysis of incidents in Syria, particularly NES, and work with the Security Team to ensure there is a high level of understanding of patterns, trends and early warning indicators as they may pertain to the NES team and wider context within the area.
  • Support the Senior Safety & Security Officer (SSSO) to ensure high standards of steady communication with Northeast Syria team members, including Amman, in daily and routine briefings.
  • Participate in incident management as determined through the roles and responsibilities of the security team.
  • Work with the SSSO to ensure that all NES team members are cognizant of security procedures and are following them at all times, highlighting challenges in their implementation when necessary.
  • Work with SSSO to continue developing a community acceptance strategy and other operational strategies involving the context.
  • Is considered part of senior leadership for this office and a core member of a crisis management team responsible for the resolution of all incidents.


  • Provide mentorship to the Northeast Safety & Security team to produce relevant, timely analysis which effectively informs programming.
  • Oversees inputs to the Syria Weekly Update by editing and ensuring drafted reports answer programmatic needs and address key events in the reporting period.
  • Support the relevance of NES Team Contingency Planning by supporting scenario planning and response option planning.
  • Support the SSSO to coordinate with other NGOs in the area of operation, contributing to shared analysis and coherent operational decisions within the humanitarian sector.
  • As requested, conduct security assessments either in work locations either directly or Is responsible for maintaining updated risk assessments and security strategies.
  • Support the SSSO to ensure the larger Mercy Corps team is fully aware of the context (political, social, security and humanitarian) and the possible implications this may have for the team, for participants and for programs.
  • Support the SSSO to produce timely flash reporting that is accompanied with sound recommendations for the NES team where appropriate.


  • Coach and mentor Senior Safety / Security Officer with the intent of nationalizing the Safety & Security Manager position.
  • Work with the SSSO to put in place and implement a realistic and holistic capacity building plan for the Security Team as a whole. This will address key needs and gaps and reflect a number of different learning methodologies including but not limited to; trainings, workshops, on the job training, coaching and mentoring
  • Develop the facilitation skills of the Security Team to ensure they are able to roll out interesting and sophisticated security trainings for the rest of the NES team
  • Work with the SSSO to develop his skills in providing support to his line managees, particularly coaching and mentoring
  • S/he will identify strategic weaknesses in security or situational awareness with the entire Northeast Syria team and address this by directing/coaching the Senior Safety & Security Officer to remedy issues.


  • 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.


  • Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts towards 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.




Reports directly to: Area Director, Northeast Syria

Technical Reporting line to: Safety & Security Director, Syria

Works directly with: Sr. Safety & Security Officer, Safety & Security Officer, Program Managers, Area Director of Operations, Iraq Safety & Security Manager, HAT Director.

Knowledge and Experience

  • Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline, Master's degree preferred.
  • 3-5 years of field experience in safety and security with a humanitarian or development non- governmental organization.
  • Formal security qualification / advanced security management training.
  • Demonstrated understanding of complex emergencies, related security concerns, and appropriate responses to such emergencies. Good context analysis skills and ability to teach them.
  • Experience of incident reporting, incident mapping, intelligence collation and analysis functions, compilation of security reports and assessments, and capacity building staff in these areas.
  • Highly developed interpersonal and communication skills including presenting concepts, coaching and ability to work with a team from diverse backgrounds and cultures.
  • Competency in Internet and Microsoft Office systems including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access. Sound knowledge of mapping systems highly preferred.
  • Experience living and working in the Middle East region, preferred. Understanding of Syria and Iraq context highly preferred.
  • High level of English language proficiency required (verbal and written), knowledge of Arabic language preferred.

Success Factors

The Safety and Security Manager will enable the Mercy Corps team in Northeast Syria to more effectively provide humanitarian relief to civilians affected by the conflict with 1) speed 2) strategy 3) duty of care. A successful candidate will be able to follow and read the quickly changing conflict and enable the team to better plan and forecast. They will help the Team Leader create an environment of a well-trained staff with contextual awareness. The Mercy Corps office and programs will be fit for purpose and with a culture of safety-mindedness across departments.

Living/Environmental Conditions

This unaccompanied position will be based in Derek, Syria. It requires field travel 80% of the time security permitting. This position will be required to reside in group housing in an austere environment. The team member must follow all security protocols at all times. This position is eligible for hardship and R&R breaks.

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.

Fostering a diverse and open workplace is an important part of Mercy Corps' vision. Mercy Corps is an Equal Opportunity Employer regardless of background. We are committed to creating an inclusive environment.


Apply Here

This vacancy is archived.

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