Senior Safety and Security Officer

Development and Project Management
Addis Ababa, Addis Ababa 
Career Level:
Senior Level (5+ years experience)
Employment Type:
Full time

Job Description

About Mercy Corps


Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible.
In a 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. Mercy Corps has been operating in Ethiopia since 2004, working in rural, peri-urban and urban areas in five regional states – Somali, Oromia, Afar, Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples, Amhara – and the capital city of Addis Ababa. We engage in both development and humanitarian work, and seek to integrate approaches, programs and geographies as much as possible.  Our partners include government, academic institutions, development and private sector actors, civil societies and communities. Mercy Corps Ethiopia invites motivated and qualified candidates to apply for the following vacant position.


Position Title:    Senior Safety and Security Officer


Duty Station:  Addis Ababa


Open Position:  1





Mercy Corps ensures the safety and security of its team working in Ethiopia. The Safety and Security Officer will be responsible to oversee the policies and procedures to mitigate the risks.


The Safety and Security Officer will reduce the risk exposure of Mercy Corps’ team and programs by empowering our field offices to better assess and respond to threats inherent in the region.  The SSO advances best practices through training, technical advice and support for improved assessment, analysis and planning and does not hold the authority to suspend operations, impose procedures or evacuate team. 


He/She will closely work with the Senior Operations Manager and Head of Offices in making sure the safety and security of the team and MC assets are up to date and respected at all field locations.




  1. Security Management and Systems


ü  Provide direct technical support and management to appointed security focal points in the provincial office and liaise closely with the regional managers on the competence and performance of these team.

ü  Spearhead the constant review of all local Safety and Security Guidelines and procedures for all operational areas, in accordance with MC global security guidelines and minimum standards.

ü  Ensure security plans are reviewed as part of a fully inclusive process involving as many team members as possible.

ü  Ensure that contingency plans for each office are in place and include plans for Evacuation, Relocation, Hibernation, and Medical Evacuation. These must be effectively disseminated to all team and must include a detailed contextual assessment and situational update which is regularly revised at least monthly.

ü  Monitors the security situation on a daily basis and shall inform the Senior Operations Officer immediately on important security developments

ü  In a changing environment and when a new threat emerges, the SSO will produce advisories and updates that as required.

ü  Ensure that MC vehicles, premises and equipment are compliant with basic security standards

ü  Maintain a security risk assessment and regularly revise as and when the context and situation on the ground changes.




ü  Research and analyze security-related information from a variety of local and international media sources, regional offices, the UNDSS and other INGOs in order to produce a formal weekly security update.

ü  Monitor HR / Finance / Logistics working practices in the safety and security context and alert the Senior Operations Officer and Country Director if inappropriate decisions are affecting the safety and security of the team.

ü  Ensure that incident report forms are properly compiled by team and are sent to relevant Country Program team and to the contact persons within Mercy Corps head offices. This will include contact points of any further participating members joining the Country program in the future.

ü  Produce and submit to SMT and Regional Security Advisor monthly analytical management report pertaining to the security situations in Ethiopia, program threats, trends, recommendations etc.

ü  With the HR Manager and Heads of offices, to coordinate the induction of all new team joining Mercy Corps.

ü  Ensure that all visitors to the program, receive not only an advance pack advising on security but also a briefing on security within 24 hours of their arrival

ü  Assist in the debriefing of team that have experienced security incidents or ‘near miss’ incidents.

ü  Coordinate post-incident follow up actions, analysis and recommendations.

ü  Ensure systems are in place to instantly respond to a crisis management situation; ensure that lines of communication and reporting to the Crisis Management team in country, Nairobi and HQ are fully understood and implemented

ü  Ensure that all team are regularly trained on personal security.


  1. Documentation


ü  Ensure that briefing documents and maps are developed to help orient all-new team (national and international) about the overall security situation in Ethiopia and the particular threats and procedures in the areas where the team will be based.

ü  Conduct ongoing threat assessments and compile reports on security assessments of offices, team guest houses, field sites, and project areas.

ü  Engage with other agencies and also act as the government liaison for the country office and update the SMT on emerging trends. Ensure field offices adhere to the same process and share information accordingly.


  1. Capacity Building and Training


ü  Provide training to provincial office “security focal points” as required.

ü  Build the awareness and capacity of both international and national personnel in terms of personal safety and security. Develop a program of induction and continuation training for a current and new teams.

ü  Act as a team facilitator during the development of office Security Management Plans.


  1. Coordination, communication and Networking


ü  Coordinate and liaise on program safety and security matters with all relevant actors such as national and international NGOs, UN, Donor organizations, and government authorities.

ü  Proactively share information with the team in Nairobi and in the field, ensuring high-security awareness levels and close situation monitoring.

ü  Ensure that the various management communication systems established adhere


*Other duties as assigned.

Job Requirements


Previous security training or experience desirable. He/she should have received personal security awareness training. He/she should be fully conversant with all aspects of security procedures and general safety and safe practice in the work place. He/she must have and exercise strong training and communication skills in a multi-cultured work environment. The candidate must possess excellent leadership and organizational skills and have a flexible and analytical approach to problem solving.  This post requires the incumbent to provide security solutions to all aspects of MC activities. Fluency in English and Amharic language is required. Proven knowledge of MS office applications and IT literacy and capacity to learn and use other packages.

ü  Graduate degree in a relevant field preferred

ü  Minimum of four years’ field experience related to humanitarian response

ü  Substantial prior experience with adult learning and organizational development and training

ü  Minimum 2 years previous experience in NGO security management

ü  Ethiopia experience essential

ü  Experience developing and implementing NGO safety and security policies and procedures

ü  Experience conducting security risk assessments

ü  Strong assessment and analysis skills

ü  Ability to formulate and communicate analysis of a changing security environment.

ü  Amharic language is a requirement

ü  Ability to provide high quality security training to local team

ü  Proven experience of managing and developing local security capability

ü  Familiar with the challenges of remote management

ü  Experience managing safety and security incidents

ü  Demonstrable experience of creating a culture of security awareness

ü  Proven ability to develop effective working relationships with local team and external stakeholders.

ü  Proven skills in concise and succinct report writing. Ability to prioritize security related tasks and complete reports to deadlines.

How to Apply

All interested candidates are encouraged to apply for the position advertised.  All applications submitted to the Mercy Corps office include a CV, three references, and all relevant official documents. Applications will not be returned and will not be retained for future recruitment efforts.  In order to ensure fairness to all applicants, personal inquiries are not permitted.


Only candidates that are shortlisted will be acknowledged and called for interviews.


“Mercy Corps is an equal opportunity employer promoting gender, equity, and diversity. Qualified female and young candidates are strongly encouraged to apply. We are committed to empowering women and youth.”


    DEADLINE FOR ALL APPLICATIONS: 14 February 2020/ 4:00 PM


Please send non-returnable applications and credentials to one of the following address:                                 [email protected]


Mercy Corps Recruiter

Addis Ababa: P.O. Box 14319

Arbaminch: P.O. Box 33  , Jijiga: P.O. Box 225   

Negelle Borena: P.O. Box 116

Dire Dewa: P.O. Box 974


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