Since 1979, we have helped people grappling with the toughest hardships survive - and then thrive. That’s the heart of our approach: We help communities turn crisis into opportunity. Throughout our history, Mercy Corps has demonstrated innovation, timeliness and the ability to adapt quickly to changing realities.
Job Title: Safety and Security Officer
Location: Gombe, Nigeria (With an estimated 75% travel to other program locations; Yola, Yobe and Borno).
Reference Number: ABV/OPS/2020/0014
Program & Department Summary
Mercy Corps works in fragile and conflict-affected environments. While we recognize that these are difficult places to operate, we believe that transitional environments – countries affected by civil wars, economic and political crisis, or natural disasters – offer tremendous opportunities for positive change. Since the late 1990s, Mercy Corps has managed over 100 peace building projects in over 30 countries and regions, making Mercy Corps a true leader in the field. We currently implement 34 peacebuilding programs globally. In Nigeria, Mercy Corps is currently implementing several conflict management programs, focused on reducing violent conflict between farmer and pastoralist communities, preventing/countering violent extremism, and increasing peace between religious groups.
Mercy Corps has starting a five-year, $30 million USAID-funded Rural Resilience Activity in Nigeria’s northeast. The purpose of the Rural Resilience Activity is to sustainably move people out of chronic vulnerability and poverty. The Rural Resilience Activity (RRA) will enable individuals and communities to engage in strong and sustainable market systems rather than continuing to rely on humanitarian assistance and faltering with each new shock.
GENERAL POSITION SUMMARY
Reporting to the Country Safety & Security Manager (CSSM), the Safety & Security Officer will be responsible for the policy analysis and strategic planning support required by the team within the geographical locale of RR project. The Safety & Security Officer is responsible to assist COP/CSSM in managing the safety and security of Rural Resilience staff in RR program locations. The Safety & Security Officer is responsible for supporting the overall strategic planning with RR management and will deliver regular reports, briefing papers, key messages or position papers as required. Where joint messaging on behalf of the SMT is either unproductive or impossible, the post-holder will aim to facilitate and support joint works through “coalitions of the willing.” The post-holder will likewise be responsible for outreach and coordination to local NGO networks to support coordinated engagement work within the relevant geographical locale.
ESSENTIAL JOB RESPONSIBILITIES.
In conjunction with relevant internal focal persons, monitor the security environment within the designated geographical area with particular focus on program areas of operations. Work will include but not be limited to staying informed (through media, social media, contacts, etc.) about the safety and security situation in BAYG (Borno, Adamawa, Gombe and Yobe) states on daily basis.
- Verify acquired security information through secondary sources and update CSSM and management.
- Maintain regular contact with field staff about security situation in their respective assigned geographical area.
- Provide required periodic safety and security updates (daily reports, incident reports, meetings summary etc.) to relevant MCN Staff so they can better plan their work.
- Review the weekly/daily movement of staff in the field and provide on-time and real time advice for program and operational activities ongoing within the field
- Track vehicle movements where and when required until the safe arrival of staff/contract workers to their final destination.
- Track all staff movements when required until the safe arrival of staff/contract workers to their final destination.
- Provide initial analysis of relevant security development and communicate them to MC Senior Management Team.
- Be readily available at all times to the COP, DCOP and field staff to advice on security developments.
- Alongside the relevant operational focal people, ensure that relevant staff members understand and are able to use this equipment, including radios, satellite phones, fire extinguishers, etc through regular training and orientations for new staffs.
- Alongside with the relevant operational focal people, conduct comprehensive security/risk assessment in potential new program/field sites in Middle belt states and its field offices.
- Work with the relevant program and operational focal people as well as the COP/DCOP, on community acceptance messaging and other operational strategies in the area of operations in the North Central and North West regions of Nigeria.
- Stay abreast of political developments and humanitarian trends in Nigeria, with an emphasis on the security situation in the BAYG states, informing project members where relevant.
- Ensuring sufficient capacity and knowledge to support policy analysis and strategic planning around the humanitarian architecture and operational issues.
- Collaborate with the COP/DCOP to act as official representative on behalf of Mercy Corps at meetings with external engagement targets.
- Identify and liaise with external partners.
- Develop a calendar of upcoming lobby opportunities to be tapped into.
- Liaise with leads from relevant international coordination structures.
- Engage with peace building and resilience working groups, through calling for meetings, drafting action-oriented meeting notes, support in sourcing for presenters and developing agenda for the meetings.
- Ensure collaboration with the NGO security clusters and attend any security coordination meetings.
- Daily Risk Ratings per location.
- Monthly Go / No-Go for key roads, LGAs and States in RR program locations.
- Incident Reports and Incident Log – always up to date.
- Ensure the Security Bulletin Boards (SBB) for all RR locations are updated.
- Risk Assessment – quarterly minimum.
- Flash Reports – immediate dissemination of critical incidents in our area of work.
- Weekly security brief to be shared with all RR staff, including COP, DCOP, operational leads, and security management team.
- Conduct security assessments of RR sites and identify safe havens, checkpoints and other key factors critical to our safe operations and contingency plans in the North Central and North West. Will lead a Risk Assessment process that is inclusive and includes risk mitigation measures and strategies.
- Help with preparations of field visits.
- Advise and prepare documented SOPs for travel in all areas including routes, roads, weather, stopovers, check-in and turn-around timings.
- Maintain regular contact with field staff about security situation in their respective areas.
- Request and Review the weekly/daily movement of staff in the field, and provide immediate advice in cases of staff planning to go to a dangerous area. Maintain a whiteboard of all staff movements.
- Conduct safety and road checks daily and prior to any movements. Will recommend approval for travel.
- Provide post-incident analysis for senior management.
Finance & Compliance Management
- Ensure compliance with donor and Mercy Corps regulations related to emergency programming.
- Ensure compliance with all Mercy Corps finance regulation in carrying out activities as a Safety & Security Officer.
Influence & Representation
- Identify, build and manage collaborative partnerships with consortium partners, sub-grantees, donors, local governments and other stakeholders.
- Communicate effectively to ensure overall project targets and donor obligations are met.
- 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.
- Reports directly to: Country Safety and Security Manager.
- Works directly with: Safety and Security Manager – Abuja, Operations Manager, Operations Director, Director of Humanitarian Programs, Team Leader of Humanitarian Programs, Program Managers, and Finance Manager.
Mercy Corps has zero tolerance of every form of abuse and expects team members, operations and programs to do no harm to the people and communities with which we work or put anyone, especially vulnerable populations at risk of abuse or exploitation.
Supervisory Responsibility- none
Reports Directly To: Country Safety & Security manager
Dotted reporting line to the DCOP
Works Directly With: Deputy Safety & Security Manager Abuja, COP/DCOP, Field Security Management Team, Operations and program staff.