Head of Safety and Security

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ROLE PURPOSE:   The security environment in Ethiopia is complex and dynamic and the changing political landscape on the local, regional and national levels, contributes to the changing security environment.

There is a need to strengthen the Safety and Security management function of SC in Ethiopia and provide an efficient support function to country office and field offices and program managers SC working in this context requires a Head of Safety and Security to inform and advise on the continually changing security environment.

The overall objective of this position is to mitigate the risks posed to the program, personnel and assets SC in Ethiopia through the provision of specialized, coordinated and focused access, safety and security management support.

The Head of Safety and Security leads the strategy and plan development regarding access, safety and security and ensures implementation by monitoring regularly. The post holder also leads the identification, analysis and mitigation efforts concerning access, safety and security risks in addition to managing incidents, response and reporting


Reports to:  Country Director

Dimensions:  Save the Children works in 8 regions in Ethiopia with a current staff complement of approximately 1,600 staff.

Staff directly reporting to this post:  TBC


As a member of the Extended Senior Leadership Team, contribute to:

  • Leadership of the Ethiopia Country Office
  • Support the development of an organizational culture that reflects our dual mandate values, promotes accountability and high performance, encourages a team culture of learning, creativity and innovation, and frees up our people to deliver outstanding results for children and excellent customer service for our Members and donors
  • Play a significant role in ensuring gender equity among staff is maintained across the organization.
  • Help design and implement a coherent organizational structure that is consistent with agency practices and appropriate to program needs
  • Ensure Ethiopia Country Office complies with all Save the Children Management Operating Standards and Standard Operating Procedures
  • Ensure that all required support is provided promptly, at scale and in line with the rules and principles during emergencies, working closely with the Regional Office

Policies and procedures

  • Develop and maintain country-wide security plan that is consistent with the acceptance model and Save the Children standards
  • Ensure that all staff understand country-wide security plan and agree to abide by its policies and procedures
  • Monitor the security environment and adjust security policies and procedures accordingly
  •  Ensure quality and relevance of area security plans
  • Undertake reviews of policies and procedures; identify opportunities to enhance security
  • Ensure all safety procedures are in place and enforced

Assessment and analysis

  • Ensure that incident report forms are properly compiled and distributed to Country Office and Regional Office
  • Monitor events, review incidents and coordinate analysis, follow-up actions and recommendations
  • Provide security update, which includes situational analysis, actions taken and actions recommended, to SC Senior Leadership Team on a regular basis
  • Submit written weekly and monthly reports to SC SLT and regional management
  • Provide informed recommendations in the context of security assessments and reviews
  • Assess the security policies and level of vulnerability of SC programs, staff and facilities; recommend changes to enhance security
  • Monitor HR/Finance/Logistics working practices within context of safety and security and alert Country Director if inappropriate decisions are impacting safety and security of the team or external perception of the organization, thereby creating security risks

Program implementation

  • Advise on safe movement of staff, e.g. proper vehicle fleet management policies, adequate safety and communications equipment in vehicles, and training of drivers in established procedures and requisite skills
  • Assist with program proposal development to ensure adequate consideration of safety and security needs and inclusion of safety and security costs
  • Undertake security assessments of and frequent field missions to program areas and potential program areas; report on findings and design necessary improvements
  • Provide access, safety and security support and advice to SLT and field office managers

Communication and training

  • Liaise on a regular basis with other NGOs, UN, federal, regional and local authorities, diplomatic and consular officials and community leaders in the process of gathering and verifying security information
  • Coordinate the gathering and flow of security information with other relevant actors; classify security information according to its reliability and accuracy
  •  Maintain and review incident reporting and mapping system; ensure that up to date incident maps are available for all SC staff on a regular basis
  • Ensure that appropriate systems are in place to effectively disseminate safety and security information and updates of the security system to staff
  • Coordinate and manage the proper use of SC telecommunications systems
  • Ensure that regular security meetings are conducted with relevant SC staff
  • Develop and implement security training plan for all staff; develop and apply evaluation processes to determine whether training competencies are met
  • Facilitate security management training with staff in the country office and at project locations
  • Build capacity of security focal points to conduct threat assessments
  • Provide recommendations to SC staff as to ways in which they can effectively reach out to, gain acceptance from and improve their image in host communities
  • Develop security briefing materials and provide orientation for newly appointed SC staff and guests

SKILLS AND BEHAVIOURS (our Values in Practice)


  • Holds self, accountable for making decisions, managing resources efficiently, achieving and role modelling Save the Children values
  • Holds the team and partners accountable to deliver on their responsibilities – giving them the freedom to deliver in the best way they see fit, providing the necessary development to improve performance and applying appropriate consequences when results are not achieved


  • Sets ambitious and challenging goals for themselves (and their team), takes responsibility for their own personal development and encourages others to do the same
  • Widely shares their personal vision for Save the Children, engages and motivates others
  • Future orientated, thinks strategically


  • Builds and maintains effective relationships, with their team, colleagues, members and external partners
  • Values diversity, sees it as a source of competitive strength
  • Approachable, good listener, easy to talk to


  • Develops and encourages new and innovative solutions
  • Willing to take disciplined risks


  •  Honest, encourages openness and transparency

Job Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree in a related field
  • Formal security qualification or advanced security management training
  • Advanced level of understanding with the philosophy and mode of operation of NGOs
  • 10 years of relevant progressive experience, out of which 5 years in managerial, in complex and insecure settings, preferably in more than one country with large teams of staff
  • Experience in liaising with civilian, police and military government authorities, as well as with regional, national and international institutions
  • 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
  • Strong analytical capacity, resourcefulness and creativity in developing the role of security within programmes and ensuring the most effective support to line management
  • Ability to balance demands of beneficiary and security actors while maintaining appropriate contextual NGO security advice and coordination
  • Highly developed interpersonal and communication skills including influencing, negotiation and coaching
  • Highly developed cultural awareness and ability to work well in an international environment with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures
  • Ability to present complex information in a succinct and compelling manner
  • Excellent planning, coordination and reporting skills, with the ability to organize a substantial workload comprised of complex, diverse tasks and responsibilities
  • Ability and willingness to dramatically change work practices and hours, and work with incoming surge teams, in the event of emergencies
  • Willingness to work and travel in often difficult and insecure environments
  • Competency in Internet and Microsoft Office systems including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access and other database/mapping systems
  • Fluency in English, both written and spoken
  • Ability to speak Amharic and preferably other local languages
  • Commitment to Save the Children values
  • Qualified female candidates are highly encouraged to apply.

We offer a competitive package in the context of the sector.

This role is offered on the basis of national terms and conditions only.

The Organisation

We employ approximately 25,000 people across the globe and work on the ground in over 100 countries to help children affected by crises, or those that need better healthcare, education and child protection. We also campaign and advocate at the highest levels to realise the right of children and to ensure their voices are heard.

We are working towards three breakthroughs in how the world treats children by 2030:

  • No child dies from preventable causes before their 5th birthday
  • All children learn from a quality basic education and that,
  • Violence against children is no longer tolerated


We know that great people make a great organization, and that our employees play a crucial role in helping us achieve our ambitions for children.  We value our people and offer a meaningful and rewarding career, along with a collaborative and inclusive environment where ambition, creativity, and integrity are highly valued.

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