Senior Field Security Advisor

UNOPS Somalia Country Office (SOCO) exciting career opportunity

“UNOPS plays a critical role in providing management services for our life-saving, peacebuilding, humanitarian and development operations. I have seen many examples of how these activities help suffering people in troubled parts of the world.”

-**Ban Ki-moon, United Nations Secretary-General**

UNOPS mission is to expand the capacity of the UN system and its partners to implement peacebuilding, humanitarian, and development operations that matter for people in need.

Working in some of the world’s most challenging environments, UNOPS vision is to always satisfy partners with management services that meet world-class standards of quality, speed, and cost effectiveness.

By assisting UN organizations, international financial institutions, governments, and other development partners, UNOPS makes significant, tangible contributions to results on the ground.

UNOPS is committed to achieving a truly diverse workforce.

Background Information: Somalia

Somalia is amid major new political and security developments that will offer a greater possibility for peace and security than the country has seen in over 20 years. The Federal Government of Somalia (FGS), established in 2012, and the international community have driven a process of rebuilding of functioning government institutions and processes through Somalia’s peacebuilding and state-building priorities under the Somali Compact (2013-2016), based on the Busan “New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States” agreement. The Somalia National Development Plan (2017-2019), builds on this foundation laid by the Compact and sets the priorities for national recovery and development in full collaboration with national and regional governments. A landmark electoral process in late 2016 and early 2017 resulted in a peaceful transfer of power to a new President and government, in place since February and March 2017 respectively. The government has set out an ambitious agenda for its term (the period to 2021). At the London Somalia Conference in May 2017, a Security Pact was agreed by Somalia and the international community, which will allow for sustainable, long-term security based on mutual accountability.

The functional objective of UNOPS in Somalia is to deliver projects in an efficient and effective manner, to achieve the development outcomes sought by the Government of Somalia and the donor community. The aim of UNOPS in Somalia is to provide implementation services to the Government of Somalia, the donor community, and partner agencies in the reconstruction and development of the country. In doing so, UNOPS aims to exceed client expectations in the delivery of quality services throughout the country.

Background Information: Somalia Country Office (SOCO)

Located in Mogadishu, Somalia, the Somalia Country Office manages a growing portfolio of engagements. SOCO works with multiple partners including the Governments of Somalia, bilateral and multilateral donors, United Nations agencies, funds, and programmes.

SOCO is largely focused on assisting partners with the implementation of physical infrastructure projects including construction and rehabilitation of rule-of-law infrastructure, transport infrastructure (roads, airports), and public administration infrastructure.

Purpose and Scope of Assignment:

The Senior Field Security Advisor will be based in Mogadishu, Somalia and s/he will be responsible for the following duties:

  1. Advisory and Technical;
  2. Operations;
  3. Personnel /Staff Development;
  4. Team Management;
  5. Knowledge Building and Knowledge Sharing.

Under the direct supervision of the Country Director, the Senior Field Security Advisor will be based in Mogadishu, Somalia and s/he will be responsible for the following duties:

Summary of Key Functions:

  • Advisory and Technical
  • Operations
  • Personnel /Staff Development
  • Team Management
  • Knowledge Building and Knowledge Sharing

Advisory and Technical:

  • Advise the Country Director and all UNOPS personnel under the United Nations Security Management System on all safety and security-related matters and the possible impact on project design, implementation and funding;
  • In line with UN Security Management System methodology, policies, and procedures, develop as required security risk assessments outlining potential threats, risks levels and recommended mitigation strategies for the office and project implementation/operations taking into consideration relevant and existing assessments;
  • Provide technical advisory and oversight services to ensure that security is a core component of all programmes/projects at the duty station and that appropriate funding is provided based on actual needs.
  • Act in an advisory capacity to the Country Director on any security-related issues in Somalia;


  • Make substantive safety and security recommendations in line with UN and industry best practice enabling project implementation without compromising UNOPS personnel safety and security;
  • As the Single Agency Security Officer operate within the framework of the UN Security Management System and coordinate directly with the local UNDSS office and the Security Cell;
  • In addition to liaising with UNDSS and members of the security cell, ensure that appropriate and effective coordination is maintained with other UN security officers and other regional security services so as to enhance coordination and implementation of the security arrangements across the respective Operation Centre;
  • Support the Country Director in the UN Security Management Team, and represent UNOPS at the security cell;
  • Report all security-related incidents across Somalia that may have an impact on UNOPS’ projects or programmes to the Country Director;
  • Adapt and implement security policies, protocols, and procedures for local conditions, consistent with the UN Security framework;
  • Establish security as an integral part of Somalia’s programme and budget planning and operations, in particular for effective delivery of projects;
  • Prepare an annual work plan, including on budgetary issues, for all aspects of UNOPS security in Somalia to include compliance with UN Security management policies, procedures, and guidelines in respect of Fire Safety, Security plan, implementation of mandatory security mitigation measures, review and update the Business Continuity Plan from security perspective as well as training needs;
  • Submit monthly reports to the management on security issues and performance to the annual work plan/budget;
  • Review all new project proposals from a security perspective and provide comments to ensure security concerns are addressed. Conduct field assessments if deemed necessary;
  • Brief all new personnel/project managers on security concerns specific to their projects;
  • Review all aspects of convoy procedures and medical evacuations as relevant;
  • Review security arrangements for all field offices in the Somalia and maintain copies of all the relevant instructions such as security and evacuation plans;
  • Ensure personnel adherence and compliance to the various UN security advisories as issued by the Designated Official, in particular: compliance with the United Nations Security Management System Security Policy Manual, UNSMS guidelines and SOPs, as well as other security communications from the UNSMS system and UNOPS headquarters;
  • Maintaining up-to-date instructions for personnel of the precautions they should take in relation to the implementation of security plans, including a comprehensive listing of emergency supplies they should have on hand and guidance on action taken during emergencies, including natural disasters and political crises;
  • Reporting all cases in which personnel of the organization have been involved in a security incident and submitting the required reports on such cases to the Country Director and UNOPS Chief of Security;
  • Assume the leadership in case an emergency has been declared by activating and managing UNSMS and UNOPS policies ensuring a smooth and efficient evacuation of UNOPS personnel and dependants;
  • Ensure by supervising the process, that timely submissions of personnel travel security clearance requests are carried out;
  • Perform security assessments, both routine and exceptional, as required, to ensure optimal safety standards are in place for personnel traveling across the area of operation;
  • Maintain accurate multi-sourced country files on current and projected-security issues (assessments, security plans, etc.) and brief the necessary personnel across the region when required;
  • Define, manage and account for the use of security equipment including communications equipment
  • Ensure that safety and security is a core component of all programmes at the duty station and that appropriate funding is provided based on actual needs;
  • Must be contactable/on call 24/7 to assist in all security issues (including traffic accidents) in relation to UNOPS projects and staff;
  • Carry out other assigned tasks as directed by the Country Director;
  • Keep in close contact with and share information with the UNOPS Chief of Security at HQ.

Staff and Personnel Development:**

  • Develop and deliver personnel and staff development and training programmes for UNOPS Personnel on Security Risk Assessments within the area of operation.
  • Ensure that all UNOPS personnel receive briefings upon arrival, local security training as necessitated by changes in the security environment, and are kept informed of matters affecting their security.
  • Provide heightened security awareness training to staff, beyond the required security and emergency procedures, if necessary;
  • Maintain up-to-date instructions and training for personnel on implementation of security plans. including required precautions, comprehensive listing of emergency supplies, and guidance on action taken during emergencies, including natural disasters and political crises.

Team Management:

  • Facilitate the engagement and provision of high quality results and services of the team supervised through effective recruitment, work planning, performance management, coaching, and promotion of learning and development.
  • Provide oversight, ensuring compliance by team members with existing policies and best practices.

Knowledge building and knowledge sharing:

  • Organize, facilitate and/or deliver training and learning initiatives for Business Unit personnel on Security related topics.
  • Lead and conduct initiatives on capacity development and knowledge building for Security personnel, including network development, plans, learning plans and activities, procurement practice information, and best practice benchmarking.
  • Oversee team’s contributions to Security knowledge networks and communities of practice including collaborative synthesis of lessons learnt and dissemination of best practices in Security.
  • Guide team’s collection of feedback, ideas, and internal knowledge about processes and best practices and utilize productively.

A: Education

  • Master’s Degree in Social or Political Science, Law, Public Administration, Business Management or Security management or other relevant discipline is required.
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Social or Political Science, Law, Public Administration, Business Management or Security management with a combination of two (2) additional years of relevant professional experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
  • Technical/Professional Diploma in Civilian Police/Military with a combination of four (4) additional years of relevant professional experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
  • Substantial experience (a minimum of 15 years) in civilian police/military may be accepted in lieu of formal education.


  • UNDSS Security Certification Programme (SCP) is highly desirable but will be required 1 year after joining.

B: Work Experience

  • A minimum of seven (7) years experience of progressively in international security management with at least 3 years in senior programme leadership roles for security and justice reform and/or conflict management programmes is required.
  • Direct experience with the United Nations Security Management System is a strong advantage.
  • Demonstrated experience and exposure in the international security arena dealing with security-related issues is an asset.
  • Experience in handling emergency, security-related situations is highly desirable
  • Experience of working in East Africa is desirable;
  • Knowledge of the UN system and familiarity with UNOPS procedures an advantage;
  • Ability to produce Standard Operating Procedures/Security Risk Assessments/Security Plans in accordance with UNDSS methodology is an asset;
  • Knowledge of UN rules & procedures is desirable.
  • Experience/knowledge of web-based applications and Google Suite products, especially google forms, sheets, docs, and slides is an asset.

C: Language Requirements:

  • Fluency in English Language (i.e. written, reading and speaking) is required;
  • Written and oral fluency in Somali Language is an added advantage.

D: Key Competencies and Skills:

  • Diligence, attention to detail, a keen sense of work priorities, and resourcefulness in obtaining and researching important information:
  • Knowledge of the mechanisms for the identification and mitigation of security threats and risks;
  • Proven ability to operate in physically and mentally demanding environments globally;
  • In-depth understanding of project and risk management;
  • Successful completion of trauma (first-aid) training, or a willingness to requalify;
  • Driving license and high standard of driving competence including Armoured Vehicles;
  • Excellent team player;
  • Capable of working in a multi-national/cultural environment;
  • Reliable and able to work under pressure;

E: Additional Considerations:

  • Please note that the closing date is midnight Copenhagen time
  • Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.
  • Only those candidates that are short-listed for interviews will be notified.
  • Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • Work-life Harmonization – UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands. We have a progressive policy on work-life harmonization and offer several flexible working options. This policy applies to UNOPS personnel on all contract types.
  • Mogadishu is a Non-Family Duty Station.
  • UNOPS seeks to reasonably accommodate candidates with special needs, upon request.
  • UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post.
  • The incumbent is responsible to abide by security policies, administrative instructions, plans, and procedures of the UN Security Management System and that of UNOPS.
    It is the policy of UNOPS to conduct background checks on all potential recruits/interns. Recruitment/internship in UNOPS is contingent on the results of such checks.

How to apply

Qualified candidates to apply using the Vacancy Announcement Link below: