Director Program Operations at Danish Refugee Council

Head of Programme – Nigeria at Danish Refugee Council


The Danish Refugee Council assists refugees and internally displaced persons across the globe: we provide emergency aid, fight for their rights, and strengthen their opportunity for a brighter future. We work in conflict-affected areas, along the displacement routes, and in the countries where refugees settle. In cooperation with local communities, we strive for responsible and sustainable solutions. We work toward successful integration and – whenever possible – for the fulfilment of the wish to return home.

The Danish Refugee Council was founded in Denmark in 1956 and has since grown to become an international humanitarian organization with more than 7,000 staff and 8,000 volunteers. Based in Copenhagen (Denmark) and present in forty countries, the Danish Refugee Council is a non-profit-making, politically independent, non-governmental and non-denominational relief organization.

Our vision is a dignified life for all displaced. All our efforts are based on our value compass: humanity, respect, independence and neutrality, participation, and honesty and transparency.


Danish Refugee Council (DRC) has an operational presence in West and Central Africa since 2014, working in Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon and the Central African Republic. The Regional office, where the Regional Humanitarian Access and Safety Coordinator (RHASC) is based is in Dakar.

Currently, DRC delivers life-saving assistance and protection to vulnerable, conflict-affected populations including internally displaced persons, returnees and host communities in the areas of armed violence reduction, humanitarian mine action, livelihoods, nutrition and food security, protection, shelter and non-food items (NFI) and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH).

DRC is in the phase 2 of its reorganisation. The West and Central Africa, North Africa and Latin America (WANALA) region has 73 bases spread around three main areas in 12 countries: 43 in West Africa (former WARO), 11 in North Africa (former NARO) and 19 in the Americas.

Overall purpose of the role:

Under the authority of the Regional Humanitarian Access & Safety Coordinator (RHASC), the Regional Safety Specialist (RSS) will provide advice and technical support to the Safety Focal Points (SFPs) in the West Africa, North Africa and Latin America (WANALA) region. He/she will also participate in the daily safety activities of the WANALA Regional Office in Dakar.

He/she will support with the implementation of the DRC Safety Risk Management system (SRMS), ensuring compliance with DRC Global Safety policy.

He/she will also support the SFPs’capacity building, especially through the delivery of safety trainings related to SMRS, safety management, personal safety, incident management.

He/she will support with monitoring, reporting and information management.

The RSS will be based in Dakar but is expected to travel up to 50% of the working time through the WANALA region according to needs.

This position requires a strong previous experience in safety and humanitarian access, strong analysis and communication skills in order to feed informed decision-making regarding DRC operations.

Under the direct management of the RHASC he /she is expected to pursue the following objectives and duties in his/her daily work:

Overall objectives

  • Provide safety technical support to the Country Safety Focal Points (SFPs) in the West Africa, North Africa and Latin America (WANALA) region
  • Provide support in the daily safety activities of the WANALA Regional Office
  • Oversee the development and implementation of the Danish Refugee Council’s (DRC’s) Safety Risk Management System (SRMS) in the countries of the WANALA region
  • Provide safety briefings and trainings for the Country SFPs and the relevant staff
  • Manage safety information and reporting at the regional level


  • Ensure that countries are up to date with the different components of the DRC Safety Risk Management System: Safety Level System (SLS), Context assessment, Safety Risk and Threat Assessments (SRA), Welcome Safety Pack, Local Safety Rules (LSR), Minimum Operating Safety Standards (MOSS), Safety Improvement Plan (SIP), SOPs, Contingency Plan (CIMP) etc.
  • Ensure the quality assurance of the aforementioned documentation and processes.
  • Follow-up on SIPs
  • Conduct regular reviews with Incident Management Teams (IMTs) in country offices to ensure that all components of the contingency plans (Hibernation, Relocation, Evacuation, Medical Emergency and Abduction) are up to date, realistic and understood.

Capacity Building

  • Support and mentor the Country SFPs on their role of custodians of the SRMS integrity.
  • Support and mentor the Country SFPs on their role of safety facilitators/trainers when applicable
  • Ensure that all countries in the region are at par with DRC Safety Training Minimum Requirements.
  • Support in the development of the Safety trainings calendar and plan
  • Deliver safety trainings related to SMRS, safety management, personal safety, incident management to the relevant staff

Information Management and Reporting

  • Monitor the overall safety situation in the WANALA region.
  • Maintain the SRMS tracker and the Training Tracker up to date.
  • Maintain the WANALA Safety SharePoint up to date and available online to all the designated users.
  • Ensure an updated Welcome Safety Pack is provided to all WANALA regional newcomers and visitors.
  • Review and approve the Travel Clearance Requests for WANALA.
  • Support in the review and follow-up of Safety Incident Reports (SIR).
  • Provide regular situation reports regarding countries compliance with DRC SMRS and Global Safety Policy.
  • Provide briefings and reports on thematic and specific issues as requested by the RHASC.

In addition to the above, the Regional Safety Specialist may be asked to carry out other duties requested by the RHASC but in the limits of this job description

Required Qualifications

Experience and technical competencies:

  • Minimum 5 years of practical experience in sector area working for an INGO.
  • Management and/or supervisory experience within an INGO or similar organisation.
  • Capacity building experience within an INGO or similar organisation.
  • Experience with critical incident and crisis management.
  • Experience with information gathering, analysis and report writing.
  • Proven ability to develop and implement effective and contextualized documentation, protocols and systems.
  • Proven ability to conduct and produce high quality safety risk assessments (SRAs).
  • Proven ability to prioritize tasks and meet deadlines.
  • Proven commitment to accountability practices.
  • Proven ability to work both autonomously and with a team.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Experience working with national partners, local/government authorities, and UN organisations.


  • Master’s degree (e.g. political science, international relations, safety/security etc.)
  • In lieu of the above, a bachelor’s degree and several years of experience in the sector

Languages: (indicate fluency level)

  • Full professional proficiency in French and English
  • Full professional proficiency in Spanish is a great plus

How to apply

Are you interested? Then apply for this position on line**:** Regional Safety Specialist ( All applicants must send a cover letter and an updated CV (no longer than four pages).

DRC provides equal opportunity in employment and prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of race, sex, color, religion, sexual orientation, age, marital status or disability.

DRC encourages all applicants to apply and does not practice any discrimination in any recruitment process. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

However, all applicants shall take into consideration that DRC cannot offer an international work contract to a citizen of the country of assignment (in this specific case: Republic of Senegal)

Applications close on April, the 24th, 2023 at midnight (GMT-time).Applications submitted after this date will not be considered.

Applicants with a relevant profile and who are immediately available for a short-term assignment will be considered in priority.

Due to the urgency of the position, DRC will review and assess the applications on a rolling bases therefore a candidate may be selected before the above-mentioned deadline.


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