Field Security Officer, Agent de sécurité sur le terrain, Yaoundé, UNHCR

Field Security Officer, Agent de sécurité sur le terrain, Yaoundé, UNHCR

Role Responsibilities/ Responsabilités du rôle

Family Type


Family Type


Residential location (if applicable)



Staff Member / Affiliate Type



Regular > Regular Assignment

Remote work accepted


Target Start Date


Job Posting End Date

April 20, 2023

Standard Job Description

Field Security Officer

Organizational Setting and Work Relationships

The Field Security Officer reports to the manager, who may be, according to context, the Representative/Chief of Mission or Head of Office within a country operation, the Senior Field Security Officer; the Bureau Director in a Regional Directorate; the Chief, Security Operations Section at Headquarters, or the regional Senior Security Coordinator.

The incumbent acts as an adviser to the manager on field security, providing sound, well- reasoned advice followed by support in implementation of agreed measures or steps.

The incumbent may directly supervise security personnel at the international or national level. The incumbent may, depending on the context, be expected to monitor, coach, guide and support security personnel.

The Field Security Officer may, depending on the context, be expected to travel on mission to multiple duty stations to provide advice and support to the local manager as agreed in mission terms of reference.

All UNHCR personnel are accountable to perform their duties as reflected in their job description. They do so within their delegated authorities, in line with the regulatory framework of UNHCR which includes the UN Charter, UN Staff Regulations and Rules, UNHCR Policies and Administrative Instructions as well as relevant accountability frameworks. In addition, personnel are required to discharge their responsibilities in a manner consistent with the core, functional, cross-functional and managerial competencies and UNHCR¿s core values of professionalism, integrity and respect for diversity.


– Advise and support the manager on all aspects of security risk management, crisis readiness and preparedness with regard to maintaining the safety and security of UNHCR personnel, operations, and facilities.

– Undertake security risk assessments/ ad hoc Security Risk Managements (SRM) analysing security factors and levels of risk related to UNHCR activities and programmes.

– Participate in the development or update of the SRM process for designated areas.

– Evaluate existing Security Risk Management Measures (SRMMs) to determine their appropriateness and identify areas needing improvement. Follow up with actions to oversee or implement those improvements.

– Monitor compliance with standards established through the Security Risk Management process.

– Ensure gender considerations are included in the SRM processes and that SRMMs are appropriate. At a minimum these must include security briefings, travel advisories and the development and update of the Aide Memoire for Response to Gender-Based Security Incidents

– Develop specific UNHCR plans as well as contributing to the UNSMS plans and planning for relocation/evacuation, medical evacuation and other contingencies test plans in exercises or drills. to ensure that personnel are familiar with contingency plans and can implement them effectively in an emergency.

– Ensure that security measures are fully integrated into operational planning, including budgetary provisions, at the earliest stages of development.

– Coordinate and assist in management of critical incidents and post-incident processes reporting to manager, regional security coordinator and FSS.

– Participate in and support activities to advise on Programme Criticality assessment process.

– As a member of a multi-functional team, contribute to efforts to ensure the physical protection and security of refugees and other persons of concern by providing security assessments, analysis and advice in developing and implementing effective strategies which underpin the responsibilities of the host state.

– Develop and maintain relationships with security-related actors, including Host Government law enforcement authorities and other stakeholders to ensure effective information sharing.

– Maintain and enhance lines of communication with the UN Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS), and other UNSMS Security personnel ensuring UNHCR mandate and program activities are understood. Actively contribute to the Security cell and support the UNSMS.

– Support UNHCR personnel serving as members of the country Security Management Team (SMT), or Area Security Management Team (ASMT), Area Security Coordinators (ASC) and Wardens.

– Provide country-relevant, security advice and training which is gender inclusive to UNHCR personnel, and where feasible to staff of NGOs and Partners in areas In line with UNSMS and UNHCR standards. Coordinate training with security management training unit of the global learning development centre.

– Prepare periodic analytical reports on security issues in accordance with UN and UNHCR standard operating procedures, sharing with managers in the country of assignment and as relevant the regional Senior Security Coordinator and FSS.

– Maintain linkages with the Psychosocial Well Being Section, and the Medical Service, referring cases as required.

– Undertake other security-related functions or responsibilities as delegated by the supervisor.

– Assist in building the capacity of national field security personnel by providing mentoring, on the coaching and other forms of guidance

– Perform other related duties as required.

Minimum Qualifications

Education & Professional Work Experience

Years of Experience / Degree Level

For P3/NOC – 6 years relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or 5 years relevant experience with Graduate degree; or 4 years relevant experience with Doctorate degree

Field(s) of Education

Security;     Security Management;   Business Administration;

Political Science;   Social Science;   International Relations;

or other relevant field.

Certificates and/or Licenses

Security Management,   Security Risk Management,   Security and Safety certification,


Relevant Job Experience


Security risk management experience in an international capacity.


Proven competences in security analysis. Experience in high-risk/hardship environments. Experience working within or with humanitarian NGOs.  Experience in implementing gender-inclusive Security Risk Management processes.

Relevant training (first aid, WSAT, SSAFE, presentation skills, training skills). Examples of having established networks with Host Government or other security actors from previous employment. Experience of effectively handling gender-based security incidents.

Experience of delivering presentations and training.

Functional Skills

*FS-Security Risk Management

*FS-Field Security Operations

*FS-Security Planning

*FS-UN/UNHCR Rules, Regulations and Guidelines on Security Management

FS-Security Analysis

(Functional Skills marked with an asterisk* are essential)

Language Requirements

For International Professional and Field Service jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English.

For National Professional jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English and local language.

For General Service jobs: Knowledge of English and/or UN working language of the duty station if not English.

All UNHCR workforce members must individually and collectively, contribute towards a working environment where each person feels safe, and empowered to perform their duties. This includes by demonstrating no tolerance for sexual exploitation and abuse, harassment including sexual harassment, sexism, gender inequality, discrimination and abuse of power.

As individuals and as managers, all must be proactive in preventing and responding to inappropriate conduct, support ongoing dialogue on these matters and speaking up and seeking guidance and support from relevant UNHCR resources when these issues arise.

This is a Standard Job Description for all UNHCR jobs with this job title and grade level. The Operational Context may contain additional essential and/or desirable qualifications relating to the specific operation and/or position. Any such requirements are incorporated by reference in this Job Description and will be considered for the screening, shortlisting and selection of candidates.

Desired Candidate Profile

Cameroon security context encompasses diverse situations such as the volatile environment of the Far-North, North-West and South-West regions where the Field Security Officer can be called upon at short notice to assist in crisis/incident management. The incumbent should be opened for interaction with UNDSS and other security personnel from sister agencies and implementing partners while dealing with such situations. In addition, the person will have to perform as OIC UNDSS when the UNDSS FSO is on leave or on mission and therefore must possess excellent managerial and analytical skills. Knowledge of the context and ability to make an analysis of the security situation. The FSO should be able to speak/write English and proactively advise the representative on security issues.

Required languages (expected Overall ability is at least B2 level):



Desired languages


Operational context

Occupational Safety and Health Considerations:

The current security situation in Yaoundé is relatively calm. UNDSS Security levels are currently rated at SLS 2 (LOW) for Yaounde and SLS 4 (Substantial) in the North-West, South-West and Far-North regions. The main security concern in Yaoundé city is crime, which includes petty thefts, vehicle break-in, house break-in, street robberies, physical assault and fraud. The holding of legislative and municipal elections was marked by an upsurge in violence in North-West and South West regions of the country as secessionists attempted to disrupt the elections.

A UNDSS security clearance must be requested through TRIP system at least 72 hours before travel date and must be obtained before starting any official trip. UNHCR mission members must timely liaise with Yaoundé Branch Office to coordinate pick-up from airport upon arrival.

Mission members must also attend a security briefing with UNHCR Security Section upon arrival in Yaoundé. Security arrangements covering UNHCR staff members, include Security Plans, Residential Security Measures, emergency communications and movements restrictions. Detailed information on applicable security arrangements shall be provided to Mission members during the security briefing upon arrival.

Nature of Position:

The position reports to the Representative.

Cameroon has currently two specific areas with high security risk profile, namely, the Far-North Region affected by Boko Haram crisis and South-West and North-West (NWSW) Regions by the Anglophone crisis. The Far North crisis is mainly transnational while the NWSW crisis is more internal. The situation in the Anglophone regions continues to be affected by heightened levels of insecurity marked by armed confrontations between Non-state armed groups and the Government security forces. Boko Haram continues deadly incursions in the far North border area, whereas the clashes of Secessionist militants and Security and Defense Forces (SDF) continue to escalate in the Anglophone regions. There are also spill over attacks against security forces being reported in some localities of the neighboring West region.

The security situation in the NWSW Regions of Cameroon is volatile. Therefore, UNHCR operations often require fast decision making to respond to a variety of security threats and preserve the security and safety of staff members while ensuring that the safety of persons of concern is not jeopardized by the way UNHCR conducts field operations in those regions.

While most security oversight functions of the Field Security Officer will focus on UNHCR operations in the restive Anglophone regions the incumbent will also provide technical oversight and guidance to the whole Security team within the operation.

Cameroon is a bilingual country with English and French as official languages. The language commonly spoken in the community besides the local pidgin is the English language. But French language is the most spoken within the circle of public official and administration.

The current security environment of Cameroon is marked by escalating tension between humanitarian organizations and the host Government including suspicion on the way humanitarians operate in conflict areas. In that context, an effective liaison with host country security apparatus is of paramount importance in dealing with sensitive issues and maintaining appropriate security arrangements for UNHCR staff, people of concern and operations in Cameroon.

He/she will have to establish networks to maximize information on potential threats and provide the Representative with sound analysis and recommendations. He/she will proactively prepare the SMT meetings and provide analyses based on a review of the ASMT and networking. He/she should have the ability to write in English.

Living and Working Conditions:

Yaoundé is a family duty station with suitable infrastructures/facilities. Good quality accommodation (hotels, apartments, houses, studios) at a price ranging from 800 USD to 1,600 USD per month depending on their localization with acceptable standards is available both in the capital and in the field offices. There are several supermarkets where local and foreign goods are available. Expatriates frequent several restaurants offering both local and international foods. French and American International schools exist in Yaounde and Douala. A UN dispensary frequented by staff and other UN recommended medical facilities are also available/accessible by UNHCR staff and their family members. Several banks and ATM are available in the capital accepting Visa and Master cards. Travels within the country are undertaken regularly through UNHAS and CAMAIRCO (national company) flights or by road. Many airlines fly to Douala and Yaounde including Air France, Ethiopian, Kenya, Turkish Airways, Asky, Royal Air Maroc. Traveling by road is also practiced by UNHCR with overnight in approved hotels. Taxi services are available, but it’s recommended to be use them with caution. There is a variety of mobile phone operators providing equipment and internet services (Camtel, MTN, Orange, Nextel). Several entertainment centers exist in Yaoundé: stadium, nightclubs, swimming pools, theatre, handicraft centers, fitness rooms, center of attraction for children, etc. There are two main seasons in Cameroon: rainy (May to October), dry from November to April. Upon arrival, staff will be assisted with proper security briefing sessions conducted both by UNDSS/UNHCR as well as the heads of main units/sections

Additional Qualifications



BA: Business Administration (Required), BA: International Relations (Required), BA: Military (Required), BA: Police Studies (Required), BA: Political Science (Required)


Safety and Security – Other, Security Management Learning Program – Other, Security Risk Management – Other

Work Experience


Accountability, Analytical thinking, Client & results orientation, Commitment to continuous learning, Communication, Organizational awareness, Political awareness, Stakeholder management, Teamwork & collaboration

UNHCR Salary Calculator


March 2023 Compendium – Part B

Additional Information

Functional clearance

This position requires Functional Clearance

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