UN Women: Security Specialist

Advertised on behalf of :

Location : Nairobi, KENYA
Application Deadline :23-Sep-15 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :FTA International
Post Level :P-3
Languages Required :
Duration of Initial Contract :1 year


Grounded in the vision of equality enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, UN-Women will work for the elimination of discrimination against women and girls, the empowerment of women, and the achievement of equality between women and men as partners and beneficiaries of development, human rights, humanitarian action , peace and security. Placing women's rights at the centre of all its efforts, UN-Women will lead and coordinate the United Nations System's efforts to ensure that commitments on gender equality and gender mainstreaming translate into action throughout the world. It will provide strong and coherent leadership in support of Member States' priorities and efforts, building effective partnerships with civil society and other relevant actors. The Division of Management and Administration is responsible for the security management within UN-Women Headquarters and Field Locations.

The primary objective of the UN-Women Regional Security Specialist is to advise and assist UN-Women Regional, Multi-Country, Country Offices, Programme Offices and UN-Women Security Field Personnel on their security responsibilities to protect and minimize the risk to UN-Women personnel, property, and operations in the field and at the same time enabling UN-Women programme delivery throughout. Achievement of which will require extensive and regular travel outside of the prescribed duty station in accordance with the agreed Annual Work Plan. Additional travel may be required at the behest of the UN-Women Security Advisor or respective Regional director as required.

Under the direct supervision of the UN Women HQ Security Advisor (with extensive regional consultation) the position will adopt a portfolio for Eastern & Southern Africa and Western & Central Africa (2 regions).

The Regional Security Specialist provides leadership and direction to UN-Women Field Security Staff in the implementation of UN and UN-Women security policies, procedures and plans for the protection of UN-Women personnel and assets and the safe delivery of programmes in the field. The Security Specialist is also responsible for the formulation and review of UN-Women security policy, technical content, best practices, security mainstreaming, annual security travel budget, training, UNSMS programme and compliance, and effective administrative support to field security operations as identified in the Security Section annual work plan. The Regional Security Specialist will, as and when required, adopt the role of the UN-Women Security Advisor in his/her absence.

Duties and Responsibilities

Advocacy, Policy Formulation and Planning:

  • Develops, implements, maintains UN-Women Security Policy including fast track policy;
  • Clarifies, interprets, and implements existing UN and UN-Women security policy as applicable;
  • Assists with and prepares briefing notes for managers and staff as required, and inputs to position papers from a field perspective;
  • Keeps abreast of all security-related information as well as monitor international events in order to assess their security-related trends and implications on UN-Women operations and staff;
  • Ensures effective and timely access to UN-Women managers of prescriptive content such as policy, risk management methodology, MOSS and MORSS;
  • Manages the respective regional element of UN-Women Security Annual Work Plan on behalf of the UN-Women Security Advisor;
  • Participates in organisational change management efforts (security and non-security related), including collaboration with other sections and division to bring efficiencies, effectiveness, and automation in support of headquarters and field operations.

Field Support:

  • Provides security policy and technical advice to UN-Women management, Regional, Multi-Country, Country Offices and Programme Offices on related security policy, best practices, and risk management issues;
  • Tracks developing threats and related risks, reviewing the impact of security factors and risk on UN-Women staff, premises, assets, programme design and delivery, and provides timely and proactive recommendations to the UN-Women Security Advisor, Senior Management, and Regional Multi Country, Country Offices and Programme Offices regarding effective risk prevention and mitigation measures, including possible UN-Women support needs and improvements;
  • Provides timely, proactive, and accurate security advice and support to the UN-Women Headquarters’ Divisions and field offices for security-related assistance and follow-up on their implementation, recognizing that staff rely on country-specific security arrangements;
  • In line with the security annual work plan, undertakes regular security assessment missions throughout the designated region and at the request of the UN-Women Security and or Regional Director as required;
  • Assists in the formulation and management of appropriate organisational security-related requests;
  • Ensures UN-Women security measures are compliant with approved MOSS and MORSS measures and assists field offices to reach compliance as required;
  • Addresses field office needs associated with program, operations and premises towards compliance with UN and UN-Women security policy and security operating standards;
  • Provides advice on selection and procurement of appropriate equipment for security.


  • Ensures that UN-Women mainstreams security into their global, regional, and country programmes, taking into consideration gender perspective, whilst ensuring that all security measures are gender-sensitive/responsive;
  • Advocates for the inclusion and mainstreaming of security in field (country) level programming; including gender specific issues into the CCA, UNDAF, AWP and country programme (or future equivalent instruments);
  • Advises UN-Women Divisions and field offices to mainstream security in project planning, budgeting, implementation, monitoring and evaluation;
  • Reviews the impact of security factors on UN-Women programme designs and delivery, as well as the potential impact that programmes might have on stability and security (both positive and negative), making recommendations, including to the UN-Women Security Advisor, Regional, Multi-Country, Country and Programme Offices regarding possible support needs and improvements;
  • Addresses field office needs associated with program, operations and premises towards compliance with UN and UN-Women security policy and security operating standards;
  • Facilitates mainstreaming of security as an integral part of UN-Women operations and projects, including reflecting in budgets the security cost of doing business.

Managerial Functions:

  • Supported by the UN-Women Security Advisor, provides leadership in managing and directing the activities of UN-Women Security Focal Points, Security Personnel and other security designated staff;
  • Supports the formulation of the knowledge management plan for the UN-Women Security Office;
  • Provides presentations on security awareness in various forums as required;
  • Serves as a reporting officer on performance evaluations of field security staff;
  • Supports the management of the UN-Women security budget;
  • Manages and ensures effective security information and communication within UN-Women on behalf of the UN-Women Security Advisor.

Representation and Networking:

  • Supported by the UN-Women Security Advisor, participates in inter-agency security working groups to exchange views and experiences on related security issues and advises other UN agencies on the mainstreaming of gender into security and risk management;
  • Under the supervision of the UN-Women Security Advisor, interfaces with relevant regional and country level functional units within UN-Women to address policy and implementation dimensions overlapping with security;
  • On behalf of the UN-Women Security Advisor, interacts with UN-Women Regional, Multi-Country, and Country Office Directors regarding UN-Women security advice;
  • Represents UN-Women on behalf of the Security Advisor at security meetings, and attends security workshops/training sessions, working groups and conferences as required.

Management of Emergency Preparedness Plans:

  • Supports the maintenance and updating of Crisis Management Plans within area of responsibility;
  • Supports the implementation and training of personnel in preparation for activation of the plans;
  • Ensures effective security related information flow/exchange to enable and improve operational assessments, planning, awareness, coordination and implementation of security arrangements;
  • Serves as the representative for the joint management of the Business Continuity Planning process within the UN-Women regional area of responsibility;
  • Acts as the regional focal point of business continuity;
  • Ensures preparedness through training, simulation exercises, and workshops toward preparedness;
  • Mainstreams the inclusion of Business Continuity Planning within the context of Crisis Management and interface closely with IST and HR toward that end;
  • Brings the most state of adequate solutions and ensure operability of the same to enhance crisis response by senior management;
  • Monitors constantly the effectiveness of the crisis communication platform and ensure that it is tested periodically to be most effective during an emergency
  • Ensures that field offices Business Continuity Plans (BCP) are maintained;
  • Ensures that BCPs are aligned with Crisis Management Plans.

Maintain liaison with UN HQ Security, Security Focal Points and Host Governments:

  • Maintains interface with the Security and Safety Services with the United Nations Department of Safety and Security and sister agencies;
  • In cooperation with UNDSS, interfaces with the Host Government security services;
  • The Security Specialist shall remain informed on local laws and ordinance changes that will impact UN-Women operations;
  • Will engage and cooperate country and regional level INGOs and other UN-Women Implementing Partners (IPs) in support of programme enabling.

Perform any other duties as required and request by the UN-Women Security Advisor.


Core values and Guiding principles:


  • Demonstrate consistency in upholding and promoting the values of UN Women in actions and decisions, in line with the UN Code of Conduct.


  • Demonstrate professional competence and expert knowledge of the pertinent substantive areas of work.

Respect for Diversity:

  • Demonstrate an appreciation of the multicultural nature of the organization and the diversity of its staff. Demonstrate an international outlook, appreciating difference in values and learning from cultural diversity.

Core Competencies:

Ethics and Values:

  • Demonstrating / Safeguarding Ethics and Integrity.

Organizational Awareness:

  • Demonstrate corporate knowledge and sound judgment.

Developing and Empowering People / Coaching and Mentoring:

  • Self-development, initiative-taking.

Working in Teams:

  • Acting as a team player and facilitating team work.

Communicating Information and Ideas:

  • Facilitating and encouraging open communication in the team, communicating effectively.

Self-management and Emotional intelligence:

  • Creating synergies through self-control.

Conflict Management / Negotiating and Resolving Disagreements:

  • Managing conflict.

Knowledge Sharing / Continuous Learning:

  • Learning and sharing knowledge and encourage the learning of others.

Appropriate and Transparent Decision Making:

  • Informed and transparent decision.

Functional Competencies:

  • Knowledge of security and risk management;
  • Knowledge of security mainstreaming;
  • Knowledge of business operations and programming cycle;
  • Monitors developments inside and outside the clients' environment to keep informed and anticipates problems;
  • Seeks and applies knowledge, information, and best practices from within and outside.


  • Excellent oral and written skills;
  • Listens actively and responds effectively.

Task Management:

  • Plans, prioritizes and delivers a variety of tasks on time;
  • Exercises sound judgment/analysis;
  • Develops creative solutions;
  • Ability to function effectively in crisis and stressful circumstances.

Required Skills and Experience


  • Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in security management, business administration, leadership, political/social science, psychology, international relations or a related field;
  • A first-level university degree in combination with qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.


  • Minimum 5 years of progressive experience in security with experience of programme management in the field in a development context;
  • Knowledge and experience within the UN Security Management System would be an advantage;
  • Knowledge and experience of programme delivery and project implementation, within a regional context will be an asset;
  • Budget management experience as it relates to field support;
  • Experience of conducting security risk assessments as integral part of operational planning and the enabling of operations;
  • Experience of disaster and/or conflict surge support is highly desirable.


  • Fluency in written and spoken English is required;
  • Working knowledge of French is required;
  • Knowledge of another UN language is an asset.


  • All applications must include (as an attachment) the completed UN Women Personal History form (P-11) which can be downloaded from http://www.unwomen.org/about-us/employment;
  • Kindly note that the system will only allow one attachment, please combine all your documents into one (1) single PDF document. Applications without the completed UN Women P-11 form will be treated as incomplete and will not be considered for further assessment.


In July 2010, the United Nations General Assembly created UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. The creation of UN Women came about as part of the UN reform agenda, bringing together resources and mandates for greater impact. It merges and builds on the important work of four previously distinct parts of the UN system (DAW, OSAGI, INSTRAW and UNIFEM), which focused exclusively on gender equality and women's empowerment.

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