Sub-Regional Security Specialist

UNDP Careers

Job Description


Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are core principles at UNDP: we value diversity as an expression of the multiplicity of nations and cultures where we operate, we foster inclusion as a way of ensuring all personnel are empowered to contribute to our mission, and we ensure equity and fairness in all our actions. Taking a ‘leave no one behind’ approach to our diversity efforts means increasing representation of underserved populations. People who identify as belonging to marginalized or excluded populations are strongly encouraged to apply. Learn more about working at UNDP including our values and inspiring stories.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.

The United Nations Development Programme is the global development network of the United Nations system and is working in 177 countries, with its Headquarters based in New York. The Bureau for Management Services (BMS) is the central Bureau tasked with the development of corporate strategies, policies, tools and systems in key cross-cutting management areas. Drawing on sound analytics and a risk-management approach, BMS supports the achievement of development results through management advice, innovative business solutions, and other corporate services in line with international best practices and evolving needs and expectations of development partners.

In support of UNDP’s current Strategic Plan, the Service Delivery Model adopted by BMS aims to provide more integrated, effective, and customer focused services. To this end, it delivers improved management services as well as promotes continuous improvements in efficiency and productivity in the areas of Legal Support, Procurement Oversight, Information Management and Technology, Consolidated Transactions, Sourcing and Operations, and Security.

Reporting to the Regional Security Advisor, the Sub-Regional Security Specialist (SRSS) will provide security support to UNDP Regional Bureau, Regional Centers, regional programmes and country offices as and when required. S/he will focus on providing security advice to UNDP Resident Representatives, Deputy Resident Representatives and managers. Through a keen understanding of the UN and UNDP security policy, its interpretation, and the application of security best practices, s/he ensures that security enables safe UNDP programme delivery and activities. S/he will carry out the activities listed below to facilitate the safety and security of UNDP personnel within the context of UNDP’s development role, while dovetailing with and respecting UNDSS’ mandate and role, and working within the UN and UNDP security policy and accountability framework.

The SRSS will provide security coverage of a portfolio of country offices focused as priority to countries at risk or in high security level with significant programmatic activity. The SRSS will also be the first line of UNDP security crisis response in their area of responsibility as directed by the Regional Security Advisor and Security Office (SO). Changes to this security coverage plan will be discussed with the Regional Bureau, but approved by the RSA with SO concurrence. The SRSS will also provide direct security support to the duty station where s/he is based.

In terms of functional matters related to UNDP security, the SRSS will report to the UNDP Security Office through his/ her supervisor. At Headquarters level, UNDP BMS Security Office (SO) will, through the RSA, provide policy and technical advice to the UNDP SRSS regarding the safety and security of UNDP personnel, eligible family members, property and operations within the context of UNDP’s development role, while dovetailing with and respecting UNDSS’s mandate and role, and working within the UN and UNDP security policy and framework. The SRSS will, in consultation with the CO Management at the duty station in the designated area of responsibility, respond to requests to perform UN system related security tasks.

Duties And Responsibilities

The incumbent provides security coverage for RBEC focused as priority to countries at risk or in high security level with significant programmatic activity. The SRSS will also be the first line of UNDP security crisis response in his/her area of responsibility as directed by the Regional Security Advisor and Security Office (SO).

UNDP adopts a portfolio approach to accommodate changing business needs and leverage linkages across interventions to achieve its strategic goals. Therefore, UNDP personnel are expected to work across units, functions, teams, and projects in multidisciplinary teams in order to enhance and enable horizontal collaboration.

Summary Of Key Functions

  • Enabling Programming through Security Risk Management as practiced in the United Nations Security Management System.
  • Security Planning and security inputs into Business Continuity planning.
  • Security Risk Management Measures and Residential Security Measures.
  • Information Management and Sharing of Knowledge.
  • Resource Management and Mobilization.
  • Enabling Programming through Security Risk Management
  • Provide security policy guidance and security management support to the Resident Representatives and CO management teams enabling effective programme planning, implementation and delivery within the framework of all UN security policies and procedures.
  • Ensure the mainstreaming of security into all levels of programme design, implementation and delivery through the substantive monitoring of ongoing and future projects and programmes providing innovative and proactive support, direction and solutions where required.
  • Review the impact of current as well as future potential security factors and trends on UNDP planning, programme design and delivery, as well as the possible impact that programme design might have on the stability and security, ensuring that possible support needs are identified and improvements are implemented.
  • Liaise and coordinate activities of partner organizations and counterparts in the planning, preparation and execution of missions, ensuring the safety and security of UNDP staff as the highest priority.
  • Protect and minimize the risk to UNDP staff, project personnel, property and operations in all locations and at the same time enabling UNDP programme delivery throughout.
  • Maintain a security network of international and national personnel.
  • Participating as a member of the security cell established by DSS in country (only at CO where SRSS is based).
  • Monitor Country Offices’ ability to ensure effective common services are being provided to the security machinery in-country and assist them as required (budget, local staffing, procurement, communications equipment & maintenance, physical security measures, UN House aspects, etc.)
  • Respond to country offices security-related requests as assigned by the Director/RSA RBEC.
  • Security Planning and security inputs into Business Continuity planning
  • Work closely with UNDSS to ensure that UNDP procedures conform to the UN security framework.
  • Provide inputs and assist UNDSS in establishing, maintaining and updating the country specific security plans and contingency plans in accordance with the UN Security Policy Manual (SPM) and Security Operations Manual (SOM).
  • Ensure that all UNDP personnel are included in the Security Plan of the respective duty stations, (including UNDP sub offices) being prepared by UNDSS.
  • Update the UNDP component within country-specific security plans and contingency plans in coordination with UNDSS.
  • Provide security inputs into functional emergency business continuity plans for the COs, in accordance with the UNCT business continuity plan.
  • Security Risk Management Measures (SRMMs) and Residential Security Measures
  • Advise t Country Office Management in ensuring that UNDP premises and international staff residences are SRMM and RSM compliant. Oversight of UNDP personnel and equipment for SRMMs compliance.
  • Conduct security compliance evaluations for country offices and programmes within the designated area of responsibility. Assess the levels of compliance of UNDP with UN security planning and UNDPs implementation of requirements and determine what support BMS/SO might provide, in cooperation with UNDSS;
  • Ensure that UNDP personnel are provided with; and proficient in the use of, safety and security equipment, including communications equipment, vehicle emergency equipment and personal security safeguards required for work in the field.
  • Establish internal communication systems and ensure UNDP communications are integrated into the appropriate UN Security Emergency Communications System.
  • Provide advice on selection and procurement of appropriate equipment for security (vehicles, telecommunications equipment, etc.).
  • Provide advice on the security of transportation and logistics;
  • Coordinate with DSS 24-hour response to all security related incidents involving UNDP staff and eligible family members.
  • In coordination with UNDSS, and on behalf of the RR and SFP, ensure appropriate professional liaison with local authorities responsible for security, law and order, counterparts in diplomatic missions and municipal/civic/religious and traditional leaders.
  • Conduct periodic appropriate security assessments of UNDP premises and equipment and advice on shortfalls in security preparedness with recommended improvements and solutions for UNDP (Country) Offices in the designated area of responsibility; including ensuring physical security measures in accordance with framework of the UNSMS Premises policy.
  • Represent UNDP security interests in any common premises that UNDP occupies ensuring that staff safety and security are primary considerations.
  • Information Management and Sharing of Knowledge
  • Collect, perform required analysis and disseminate security centric information pertaining to the designated area of responsibility. Promote information exchanges with UNDSS, as well as other agencies and organizations, to enhance coordination and implementation of security management arrangements . Monitor international events and information sources in order to assess their security-related trends and implications on UNDP operations and personnel. Ensure that analysis of major events are highlighted to the RSA, Security Office and Country Office management
  • Ensure that UNDP programme personnel are provided with situation reports and other appropriate security-related information generated by UNDSS in a timely and efficient manner.
  • Where required and in coordination with UNDSS, establish good relationships with national law enforcement, military and civil intelligence authorities, counterparts in the Diplomatic Missions and municipal/civic/traditional leaders within the designated area of responsibility.
  • Encourage an exchange of information relative to risk management for UNDP programme implementation.
  • Participate in inter-agency security coordination efforts.
  • On special request and in coordination with UNDP HQ, assist in the conduct of preliminary investigations in cases of breach of the UN code of conduct by UNDP staff.
  • Provide ongoing mentoring to and coordinate appropriate security training for security personnel in the region
  • In coordination with UNDSS, provide orientation and training to international and national staff members on security guidelines, communication procedures, travel precautions, emergency procedures and existing restrictions in movement.
  • Contribute to knowledge networks and communities of practice.
  • Resources Management and Mobilization
  • Support mainstreaming of security costs. Monitors that all projects/programmes contribute resources to implementation of security measures.
  • Liaise with COs to enable the completion and management of security annual work plans and related budgets.
  • Monitor that allotted UN Mandated Security Measures (UNMSM) funds are budgeted in a timely manner.
  • Advise Country Office Management and Project Management in ensuring that the security cost of doing business is included in all appeals and project descriptions for COs in the designated area of responsibility.
  • Where appropriate, participate in the drafting of CAP and CAP reviews, to be presented to donors, as well as provide inputs to donor reports.
  • Contribute in the performance evaluation of the private contractors, suppliers and consultants providing security services to the Country Office, as required.
  • Participate in the assessment processes for locally recruited staff assigned to the security functions, and, in collaboration with the HR unit, ensures that recommended candidates meet all qualifications.
  • Serve as Regional Security Advisor ad interim, as and when required.

The incumbent performs other duties within their functional profile as deemed necessary for the efficient functioning of the Office and the Organization.

Supervisory/Managerial Responsibilities: None.


Core: Full list of UNDP Core Competencies can be found here

  • Achieve Results- LEVEL 3: Set and align challenging, achievable objectives for multiple projects, have lasting impact
  • Think Innovatively – LEVEL 3: Proactively mitigate potential risks, develop new ideas to solve complex problems
  • Learn Continuously- LEVEL 3: Create and act on opportunities to expand horizons, diversify experiences
  • Adapt with Agility – LEVEL 3: Proactively initiate and champion change, manage multiple competing demands
  • Act with Determination – LEVEL 3: Think beyond immediate task/barriers and take action to achieve greater results
  • Engage and Partner – LEVEL 3: Political savvy, navigate complex landscape, champion inter-agency collaboration
  • Enable Diversity and Inclusion – LEVEL 3: Appreciate benefits of diverse workforce and champion inclusivity

Cross-Functional & Technical competencies

Business Direction & Strategy – System Thinking

  • Ability to use objective problem analysis and judgement to understand how interrelated elements coexist within an overall process or system, and to consider how altering one element can impact on other parts of the system.

Business Management – Portfolio Management

  • Ability to select, prioritize and control the organization’s programmes and projects, in line with its strategic objectives and capacity; ability to balance the implementation of change initiatives and the maintenance of business-as-usual, while optimizing return on investment

Security Services – Security Information Management

  • Analytical capabilities to process diverse security information and develop recommendations.

Security Services – Security Advice, Planning & Coordination

  • Ability to provide with authoritative advice and guidance on security management, plan and coordinate security activities.

Security Services – Security Risk Management

  • Ability to assess threats and risks, identify and oversee implementation of mitigation measures, including ability to design and test security plans

Security Services – Security Crisis Management & Response

  • Knowledge of crisis management and response arrangements as well as the ability to prepare for, respond to, support/manage security crisis events.

Security Services – Physical/premises Security Design, Implementation And Management

  • Ability to conduct accurate premises assessments on UN facilities to ensure appropriate mitigation measures are in place. Ability to design, support the implementation and test physical security systems for UNDP premises.


Required Skills and Experience

  • Advanced University Degree (master’s degree or equivalent) in Disaster or Emergency Management, Political Science, Military Science, Public Administration, Law Enforcement, Law or related fields, is required.
  • A first-level university degree (bachelor’s degree) in the areas mentioned above, in combination with two years of qualifying work experience will be given due consideration in lieu of the advanced university degree.
  • Formal training in security risk management is an asset.


  • A minimum of five (5) years (with a master’s Degree) or seven (7) years (with a bachelor’s degree) of relevant work experience in risk management or security experience gained in an operational environment in public or private service in such areas as national security, military or police service or in a corporate environment.
  • International experience in security, or experience in UN peace keeping, or in the UN security management system is required.
  • Previous experience of working in a conflict/post-conflict or crisis environment is an asset.
  • Experience and knowledge of UNDP business, operations and programming cycle is desirable.

Language Requirements

  • Fluency in the English language, both written and oral, is required.
  • Working knowledge of another UN language is an advantage.

Please note that continuance of appointment beyond the initial 12 months is contingent upon the successful completion of a probationary period.


Important information for US Permanent Residents (‘Green Card’ holders)

Under US immigration law, acceptance of a staff position with UNDP, an international organization, may have significant implications for US Permanent Residents. UNDP advises applicants for all professional level posts that they must relinquish their US Permanent Resident status and accept a G-4 visa, or have submitted a valid application for US citizenship prior to commencement of employment.

UNDP is not in a position to provide advice or assistance on applying for US citizenship and therefore applicants are advised to seek the advice of competent immigration lawyers regarding any applications.

Applicant Information About UNDP Rosters

Note: UNDP reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement. We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNDP at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.


UNDP has a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual exploitation and misconduct, sexual harassment, and abuse of authority. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.

UNDP is an equal opportunity and inclusive employer that does not discriminate based on race, sex, gender identity, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, pregnancy, age, language, social origin or other status.

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