A Thoughtful, Analytical Approach to NGO Security

Vacancy - Assistant Security Manager ARC - USA

The American Refugee Council has a vacancy for a deputy Security Manager to assist in the management of the ARC Security Program.

Canadian Aid Worker Kidnapped in Haiti Released

Vacancy - UN Field Security Officer - Bossaso Somalia

UNICEF Somalia has a position available for a Field Security Officer in Bossaso, NEZ, Somalia.

Title: Field Security Officer
Category and Grade Level: L-3
Type of Contract: Temporary Fixed Term – 1 Year
Organization Unit: Operations
Duty Station: UNICEF Bossaso, North East Zone (NEZ), Somalia
Date of Issue: 26 May 2008
Closing date of Application: 09 June 2008

Qualified applicants are invited to apply for the position of Field Security Officer, based in Bossaso, NEZ, Somalia. The successful candidate will be offered a Temporary Fixed Term Appointment for 1year. Further extensions will be based on organization needs, funding availability, and satisfactory performance.

Purpose of the Post:

The Field Security Officer (FSO) is responsible for all aspects of security management, crisis readiness and preparedness at his/her respective duty station. He/she serves as an advisor and assists the office staff in the execution of their security responsibilities at the assigned duty station. The FSO is accountable to the UNICEF Representative. Under the general supervision of the Chief Operations, the Field Security Advisor (FSA) has the responsibility for the day-to-day management of the FSO, on substantive matters. The FSO will report on security issues to the FSA and the Chief Operations in times of emergency, the FSO may report directly to The Representative, the UNICEF Regional Security Advisor or the UNICEF Security Coordinator.

Major duties and responsibilities:

- Analyse security factors and levels of risk related to safety of UNICEF staff and their dependents in Puntland (NEZ) and Somaliland (NWZ) and make written recommendations for improvements in both physical safety and operational security in accordance with established MOSS standards and decisions taken by the SMT/ASMT. Follow up on these recommendations to ensure their implementation.

- Coordinate all security aspects of operational/programme planning and contingency responses with the designated UNICEF FSA in Main Office (Nairobi) and in liaison with the UNDSS Somalia FSCOs based in Puntland and Somaliland to ensure highest degree of MOSS compliance, enabling programme access to various areas and ensure staff safety.

- In consultation with UNDSS FSCOs, provide advice and guidance to the UNICEF Chief of Field Office in NEZ and NWZ for participation at ASMT meetings and staff management meetings

- In line with UNICEF specific security strategies and operational procedures assist the FSA to establish and continuously update contingency/evacuation plans and SOPs for all offices i in coordination with the wider UN security plans for Somalia.

- Provide/coordinate security advice and training to all staff in radio communication procedures, convoy procedures, security awareness, mines/explosives identification and procedures to be followed, stress management, first aid, management of guard units, safeguarding of property, identification of security material and equipment required in compounds, evacuation procedures. This training should complement the training staff members receive under the SSAFE-SOM training programme.

- Forward weekly SITREPs and SIRs on occurrence to the FSA to inform the office of developments within the NEZ and NWZ

- Perform any other relevant duties as required

Qualifications, experience and key competences:

- Advanced university degree in Social Sciences or a related technical field like a military or police academy degree would be an asset. Relevant military or police training courses showing career progression with emphasis on operational planning and communication skills, combined with significant practical operational and UN experience would be of great advantage but not essential.

- A minimum of five (5) years of progressively responsible experience in security management, preferably in a police/military context or with considerable UN field mission experience. The applicant’s experience should demonstrate capabilities which should include the ability to conduct planning and operate under extreme stress, a demonstration of high level of leadership and capability of rapid decision-making (with little margin of error). A high degree of physical fitness would be required.

- Fluency in English required. Knowledge of another UN language would be an asset but not essential.

- Knowledge of the local working language of the duty station is an asset.

- Excellent knowledge of security management combined with solid background of military or other security specialization and some political and social knowledge of country of assignment. Practical experience is deemed of higher importance to educational qualifications;

- Ability to effectively deal with stress factor when encountered in security management;

- Good technical skills to understand and consolidate the varying specializations such as electronics, communications, mechanics, explosives and other sophisticated devices encountered in security system management.

- Good communication skills, both oral and written.
- Technology awareness
- Good computer skills
- Teamwork
- Good interpersonal skills
- Ability to establish and maintain effective working relations with mission directors, security officers in other agencies, specialists in other fields related to security, representatives of local and national governments and the non-government community, with sensitivity and respect for diversity.
- Leadership - Demonstrated leadership skills; ability to make quick decisions in emergencies or when rapid response is required.
- Demonstrated ability to work in a multi-cultural environment and establish harmonious and effective working relationships both within and outside the organization.

Please note that documents submitted along with your applications will not be returned. Ensure you send copies of your testimonials.

Only short-listed applicants will be acknowledged


Vacancies Contact
Interested and qualified candidates should send their applications with updated UN Personal History Form (P.11), updated CV, copies of academic certificates to the following addresses. UN staff are requested to provide last to Performance Evaluation Reports (PERs). Please quote the vacancy number in your applications
Human Resources Specialist
Vacancy Number 2008/053
Nairobi, Kenya
Or email to: somaliahrvacancies@unicef.org

Gunmen Threaten INGO Staff in Batticaloa, Sri Lanka

Gunmen in civilian clothing have reportedly threatened INGO staff and local residents in Batticaloa, Sri Lanka. In one incident an INGO staff member had a weapon pointed at his head.

Young gunmen in civilian clothing have caused a series of disturbances on the town streets in recent days, threatening civilians and aid workers in broad daylight.
At least one International NGO has gone into hibernation until the situation stabilizes.

Medecins du Monde Aid Worker Kidnapped in Haiti

A Canadian aid worker with Medecins du Monde was kidnapped on 21 May from the Tomasin neighborhood of Port-au-Prince.

Haiti has a well established kidnapping industry. At least 139 people have been kidnapped this year. Most kidnappings occur in the capital.

How Many Kidnapped Aid Workers?

Sometimes the mainstream media really makes my blood boil. You may recall that on 21 May three aid workers were kidnapped by gunmen in Somalia. The headlines that came in on my news feeds were maddening.

First off the mark was DawnNews via Twitter with the headline "Two Italians among three aid workers kidnapped in Somalia." OK, so we have two Italians and somebody else. Maybe they just don't know his nationality yet.

"Two Italians kidnapped in Somalia" - PRESS TV Hmmm... what about the other guy?
"Italian aid workers kidnapped in Somalia" - Independent Online
"Somali gunmen kidnap two Italian aid workers" - Reuters South Africa OK... so maybe its just two Italians?
"Officials say gunmen kidnapped aid workers" - Reuters Or maybe the other person wasn't an aid worker?
"Somali gunmen kidnap two Italian aid workers: officials" - Reuters
"Somali gunmen kidnap two Italian aid workers: officials" - Washington Post
"Witness: Somali gunmen seize 2 Italian aid workers" - The Associated Press Just two Italians I guess.
"Somali gunmen kidnap two Italian aid workers-officials" - AlertNet Newsdesk
"Witness, diplomat: Somali gunmen seize 2 Italians" - The Associated Press
"Somalia: Two Italian aid workers kidnapped" - آكي adnkronos
"Somali official: Gunmen seize 3 aid workers" - The Associated Press Five hours after the DawnNews report the AP editor realizes that it was three aid workers.
"Somali official: Abduction of 3 aid workers, including 2 Italians ..." - PR-Inside.com (Pressemitteilung)
"Somali official: Gunmen seize 3 aid workers" - The Associated Press
"Somali official: Gunmen seize 3 aid workers" - Adal Voice of Eritreans
"Somali official: Abduction of 3 aid workers, including 2 Italians" - Adal Voice of Eritreans
"Gunmen Seize 2 Italians, One Somali Aid Worker In Somalia" AHN via Hiiraan Online. And finally Hiiraan Online points out that there is such a thing as a Somali aid worker.

Of the seventeen headlines that crossed my virtual desk more than half would have had me believe that only two aid workers were kidnapped. Seven of seventeen acknowledged that in fact three aid workers were kidnapped. Only one clearly identified the nationality of the Somali aid worker.

With headlines like these it is no wonder that so many national staff in INGOs feel like the second class citizens of the aid world.

Human Security Brief 2007 - We Are Winning!

The Human Security Brief 2007 has been released. It challenges the conventional doom and gloom we've become so used to hearing. Maybe, just maybe, the voices of reason are winning.

Number of Reported Battle-Deaths from State-Based Armed Conflict by Type, 1946-2006

You can also listen to a webcast of Andrew Mack's press conference to discuss the report. Sorry but you'll need RealPlayer. Note to UN - why can't you use a non-proprietary format?

Three Aid Workers Kidnapped in Somalia

Three aid workers from Cooperazione Italiana Nord Sud were kidnapped by gunmen on 21 May in the Lower Shabelle region of Somalia. Two Italians, one male and one female, and a male Somali colleague were kidnapped early in the morning in the village of Awdhegle.

Two Italians among three aid workers kidnapped in Somalia: officials
Somali gunmen kidnap two Italian aid workers-officials
Witness: Somali gunmen seize 2 Italian aid workers

Military Humanitarian Relief?

Mother Jones has an interesting article that outlines the tensions between NGOs and military forces' involvement in what the US military calls "stability operations." While it should be nothing new to the experienced NGO security practitioner it is a good primer for those who may not understand the debate.

Chinese Red Cross Update

GlobalVoices has an update on the ongoing saga of Red Cross China. The situation is far from clear especially for those of us who cannot read Chinese script. I'm not even sure if this is related to yesterday's post.

Red Cross Website Hacked to Steal Quake Relief Donations

A section of the Chinese Red Cross website has reportedly been hacked. Apparently the hacker gained access to the website and created four fraudulent bank accounts to steal earthquake relief funding. If you can read Chinese you can read the report here. Otherwise check out the link attached to the graphic below. Read the full report from The Dark Visitor.

Crossing Borders with your Laptop

Recent media coverage of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' decision to allow border agents to search travellers laptops without cause has inspired a lot of coverage in tech media circles. However, as an aid worker it is important to remember that the US border is not the only place where your laptop can be searched. Aid workers have reported having their laptops searched by authorities in Sudan, and Pakistan. Sri Lankan security forces frequently demand access to aid worker's laptops when they are entering LTTE controlled areas or travelling by to or from Jaffna. In one case they even seized the computer of the Executive Director of an NGO.

So how do you keep prying eyes from accessing your sensitive files while travelling? The EFF has some good advice for protecting your laptop from arbitrary searches. Bruce Schneier has his take as well. Finally you shouldn't overlook Front Line's "Digital Security and Privacy for Human Rights Defenders".

Gunmen Kill Aid Worker in Southern Somalia

The director of the Somali aid organization Horn Relief was killed by masked gunmen as he arrived at his house in Kismayo, Somalia late Saturday. According to village elders the reason for the killing of Ahmed Bariyow was not readily apparent.

The killing comes as central Somalia enters a humanitarian emergency amid fears of a full blown famine.

Press TV: Somali aid organizer shot dead.

Kidnapped Aid Workers Released in Pakistan

On 17 May, Taliban fighters operating in Mohmand Agency, Pakistan, released four employees of two NGOs. The four were kidnapped by the Taliban on 23 April.

The aid workers were reportedly released after a local Peace Jirga facilitated talks between the Pakistani government and the Taliban.

Aid Vessel Hijacked near Somalia

A Jordanian vessel carrying 4,000 tonnes of sugar donated by Denmark was seized by pirates off the coast of Somalia on 17 May.

The Indian Ocean near Somalia has one of the highest piracy rates in the world. At least twelve ships have been attacked this year. Vessels carrying aid shipments are easy and lucrative targets for the pirates who ply the Somalia coastline.

Vacancy - PATH Safety Officer - USA

PATH seeks an experienced professional to strengthen its organizational emergency preparedness activities in support of employee safety and business continuity for PATH's facilities and programs across the globe.

The person in this position will provide strategic guidance to key leaders and respond to security incidents as appropriate.

* Lead PATH's Emergency Preparedness Program.

* Directly support the implementation of the Crisis Management Leadership Program and Team, including managing the 24x7 point of contact for the Crisis Line.

* Utilize and liaise with contracted vendor to proactively monitor global security situations.

* Develop and maintain emergency preparedness and response plans for the organization. Guide and support the development and training of plans in PATH offices to address all hazards, including natural and manmade disasters, political unrest and pandemic scenarios. Recommend, design and implement systems as needed.

* Design, conduct and evaluate trainings and tabletop exercises.

* Promote and support the safety and security of travelers, national, international and expatriate staff.

* Liaise with peer organizations and security coordinators as well as government authorities and agencies as appropriate.

* Work closely with the Executive Leadership Team, Corporate Services Division Directors, Field Support Team, Site Leaders and Travel Coordinator.

* Continually improve organizational safety and security; ensuring scalability to address organizational growth and dynamic global realities.

* Chair Steering Committees as needed.

* Identify and hire external consultants as needed.

* Maintain a presence on PATH's internal website.

Required Skills

* Strong working knowledge of crisis management programs and standards.

* Understanding and familiarity with business continuity programs.

* Ability to think strategically and develop actionable plans for execution.

* Ability to understand, facilitate and coordinate during urgent, emergency, and crisis situations.

* Strong cross-group collaboration and relationship management skills including advising and coordinating global teams to achieve deliverables.

* Ability to work with and closely support executives.

* Ability to interact effectively at various levels and across diverse cultures.

* Ability to work with little or no supervision.

* Strong computer skills required. Must be proficient in the use of the Microsoft family of products (Outlook, Word, Excel, Access, and Power Point).

* Willingness and availability for international travel.


* This position requires a Bachelor's degree.

* Minimum of 5 years experience in professional program management with demonstrated experience in crisis management, business continuity, corporate safety and/or security.

* Professional certifications strongly preferred.

* Overseas and International NGO experience strongly preferred.

If you are interested, follow this link: Safety Officer, Corporate Services

Vacancy - Country Security Manager - Afghanistan

CESVI has a nine month position for a Country Security Manager in Afghanistan. Applicants should have at least six years NGO security experience in conflict or post-conflict environments. A working knowledge of Italian is desirable.

The person will operate as primary point of contact for all security issues
Activities planning
Maintain awareness of the security environment at all CESVI Afghanistan offices
Specify, implement and enforce security procedures
Review physical security guidelines, protocols, and emergency plans on an ongoing basis and updates them where necessary
Provide detailed analysis and recommendations for security and travel for any event or program activity held in Afghanistan
Provide routine and emergency security updates to Country Representative and CESVI staff
Develop a network of professional security contacts and local actors
Maintain a relationship with ANSO and other security-related offices (UN, military, private security companies, etc.)
Provide on-going security training and refresher courses on all aspects of security protocols

If you are interested send your CV to recruiting@cesvi.org and indicate that you are interested in position "41/2007 CSM AFGH".

Darfur 'No Fly Zone'?

According to sources the Government of Sudan is creating a 'no fly zone' for UN and humanitarian operations in Darfur. There are contradictory reports of airport closures and the grounding of flights. Nyala and El Fasher airstrips were closed on 13 May.

NGO security advisors are advised to reassess their medical evacuation plans for Darfur. The lack of reliable aeromedical evacuation capability increases the threat to life and limb of even relatively minor medical events.

Vacancy - ANSO Regional Safety Advisor - Afghanistan

ANSO is looking for a Regional Safety Advisor for Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan.

Aid-worker, show me your visa!

WFP Head of Sub-office Killed by Gunmen in Northwestern Kenya

On Wednesday, 7 May 2008, gunmen shot dead 37-year-old Zimbabwean Silence Chirara outside a UN compound in Lokichoggio, north of Nairobi, near the border with southern Sudan. He was ambushed while driving a clearly marked UN vehicle.

See also:
UN food agency shocked by killing of staffer in Kenya
Zimbabwean Aid worker killed in Kenya

Another WFP contracted driver killed in Somalia

On 7 May another WFP contracted driver was killed by militiamen at an illegal checkpoint in Somalia. The incident occurred when 12 WFP contracted trucks were stopped at gunpoint at a checkpoint 30 km north of Galkayo. The driver was injured and later died when a gunman opened fire on the trucks.

A similar incident occurred on 13 February when the leader of a WFP contracted aid convoy was shot and killed by militia in southern Somalia.

Centre for Monitoring Election Violence - Sri Lanka

The Centre for Monitoring Election Violence is monitoring the election in eastern Sri Lanka. They are using the emerging standard, Twitter updates mashed with google maps, a blog, and mobile phone access to spread the word. Even if you are not interested in the elections you should check it out in case you need to do something similar in your own country.

CMEV is comprised of the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) the Free Media Movement (FMM) and INFORM Human Rights Documentation Centre. Despite financial constraints they plan to field 330 stationary monitors at selected polling centres across the Eastern Province along with 49 Mobile Teams.

Citizen Reports on Election Violence and Malpractices in Sri Lanka

Vikalpa has launched a new site on Twitter with short reports generated by its citizen journalist network in Eastern Sri Lanka. eastelections08 will provide updates on election related violence and malpractices in the Eastern Province.

You can also view the updates on the vikalpa website. You'll find them in the middle column just above the fold.

Sending GPS Coordinates from your Thuraya to Twitter

Aid Worker Daily has instructions for sending GPS co-ordinates from your Thuraya satellite phone to Twitter via an SMS message. This might come in handy if you get into trouble and need help like James Karl Buck.

Vacancy - NGO Security Focal Point Coordinator - Sudan

Catholic Relief Services has a position for an NGO Security Focal Point Coordinator for Sudan. The NGO Security Focal Point Coordinator supports the work of the Southern Sudan NGO Forum which represents over 50 international and Sudanese NGOs.

Vacancy - Director of Security - USA

CHF International has a vacancy for Director of Security. This is a US based executive level position.

Save the Children Aid Worker Killed in Chad

Save the Children aid worker, Pascal Marlinge, was shot and killed by armed men in Chad on 1 May 2008. The link below has more detail from Save the Children.

Vacancy - Security Coordinator - North Sudan

Merlin (Medical Emergency Relief International) has an urgent requirement for a Safety Coordinator for North Sudan for a period of 9 to 12 months. Along with the usual competencies they consider Arabic and previous experience in the area an asset.

Salary and Benefits: £22,990 - £26,698 plus cost of living allowance of £4,646 per annum, insurance cover, accommodation, & flights.

UNDP Worker Arrested with Pistol - Snarky Comments Follow

This article about a UNDP worker being arrested while carrying a pistol is interesting but its the comments that stand out. Some are funny... some just sad. What does it say about acceptance as a security strategy in Sri Lanka? Have we been doing a good job communicating what it is we do and who we are?

The Taliban and Propaganda of the Deed

The Insurgency Research Group has an excellent analysis of the significance of the Taliban attack on Sunday's Afghan National Day parade. The whole post is worth reading but don't do it yet. Read the following paragraph first and then watch the No Comment TV video.

The incident on Sunday demonstrates a classic propaganda of the deed partnership in which the insurgents with growing skill select a media-significant target and with witless incomprehension international reporters beam the most sensationally damning images of the event around the world so as to deliver the worst possible interpretation. There is no need for a Taliban subtext or even a photo caption, the images speak powerfully for themselves sending messages of a stricken regime put to flight in their gilded uniforms by the daring fighters of the Taliban.

OK. Now go ahead and read the whole post.

iPM: Twittering Around the World

BBC Radio's iPM until Chris Vallance contacted me to talk about using Twitter in Afghanistan. He has put together a a great piece titled "Twittering Around the World". Its definitely worth listening to. There are a lot of fascinating people doing interesting things with Twitter.

Add IPM Radio4's channel to your page

Be sure to check out the blog post too. Chris has links to some cool Twitter related sites.

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