Security Advisor

The Security Advisor leads the security function ensuring War Child’s security management (HQ and country operations) is fit for purpose. Reporting to the Director of Programmes (DP) as well as direct and independent access to CEO and Audit & Risk Committee, you will implement effective strategies for risk mitigation, programme continuity, and protect all individuals engaged in War Child activity overseas.

War Child is a growing organisation working in challenging environments, and we are looking for a Security Advisor to lead the security function across the organisation. Security of personnel and programmes is one of the biggest challenges to humanitarian activity, and the Security Advisor is primarily responsible for ensuring our people are safe and our programmes are delivered securely in high-risk countries. You have significant influence on programmatic decisions in assuring War Child’s duty of care obligation both in UK and overseas. Security management is about protecting and preserving the lives and wellbeing of War Child staff and partners, protecting assets and reputation, and delivering sustainable humanitarian assistance to children in conflict. You play a crucial role in enabling this.

Department: Programmes

Contract Type: Permanent

Place of Work: NW5, London

Working Hours: Full-time (37.5 hours per week)

Reports to: Director of Programmes

Salary Range: £40,634 – £45,995 per annum

About us

War Child, the charity for children affected by war. We are the only specialist charity for children in conflict, delivering high-impact programmes that are rebuilding lives across Afghanistan, Iraq, Jordan, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Central African Republic and Yemen. We understand children’s needs, respect their rights, and put them at the centre of the solution – from supporting Syrian children to access education, to reintegrating child soldiers in the Central African Republic and upholding the rights of children caught up in juvenile justice in Afghanistan. We look forward to a world in which the lives of children are no longer torn apart by war. This is a vision that can only be realised through the collective actions of children themselves, communities and their leaders, organisations like War Child, governments and key decision makers.

Your Role

The Security Advisor leads the security function ensuring War Child’s security management (HQ and country operations) is fit for purpose. Reporting to the Director of Programmes (DP) as well as direct and independent access to CEO and Audit & Risk Committee, you will implement effective strategies for risk mitigation, programme continuity, and protect all individuals engaged in War Child activity overseas. Internally, the role business partners to Heads of functions, SMT and Country offices providing meaningful information, analysis and subject matter expert advice. Externally, you engage with international security agencies and partner organisations overseas. You represent the organisation at international analytical fora, and significantly, you engage with War Child’s external commercial risk services facilitating a global crisis response capability. You are a core staff when resolving security incidents or crises, and closely support the Country Directors (CD), DP and CEO. You risk manage global travel of disparate profile staff and visitors.

Your Responsibilities

  • Develop and maintain a global security risk management system for WCUK. Manage risk thresholds across programme activity, develop contextual analysis and advise senior managers. Develop and annually review the organisation’s security strategy.
  • Lead and develop appropriate security policies and crisis management plans ensuring they are continually applied. Foster a strong global security culture, maintaining safety standards across the organisation. Record all security incidents, conduct analysis, inquiry and reports. Develop and manage the annual security budget recommending security investment to HQ and country operations. Control purchase and issue of security related equipment at HQ.
  • Lead global crisis management (CM) capability. Ensure a reliable CM response from London, lead CM training and build capacity of country CM teams synergizing country and HQ responses. Liaise with national authorities and stakeholders during crises.
  • Provide security technical input to field offices and develop country Security Officers and CDs’ security management capacity. Annually train security managers in risk management.
  • Support development of field-based security plans, analysis and training for safe programming. Identify offices or programmes that require safety improvements, advise best practice in relation to context and financial capacity.
  • Represent organisational security at the Audit & Risk Committee, providing clear, concise written risk reporting for better oversight of the organisation. Advise CEO and Directors risk mitigation measures and resources requirements, work to minimise WCUK’s risk exposure.
  • Business partner with department Heads to manage security risks associated with War Child’s strategy objectives: advocacy, media, philanthropy and partnerships, youth engagement etc.
  • Risk manage global travel for staff, donors, consultants, media and ambassadors, develop a robust travel process ensuring travellers are adequately prepared to go into hostile environments. Enable quality security training across the organisation within financial constraints.
  • Develop and maintain an effective information management process (WCUK security Salesforce). Analyse incidents and recommend improvements to security plans. Manage threat warnings and SITREPs, collate data and supply analytical products for HQ or country offices.
  • Provide security input and analysis to Program Funding Unit (PFU) and Finance for new proposals, ensuring security is considered and resourced.
  • Line manage Programmes Assistant prioritising workplans. Initiate bespoke security products and technical support to field offices.

These duties provide a framework for the role and should not be regarded as a definitive list. Other reasonable duties may be required consistent with the grade of the post.

About You

  • Senior level HQ and field experience with INGO or similar background.
  • Expert in security best practice, risk management and crisis response in conflict zones.
  • Able to set strategic direction and culture for organisational security function and policy.
  • Can develop operational security plans and key performance objectives for field programmes.
  • Experience of humanitarian & development security strategies; acceptance, deterrence, protection.
  • Experienced line manager with knowledge of remote management and staff mentoring.
  • Work autonomously with competing internal and external stakeholder security priorities.
  • Can quickly absorb and analyse large amounts of security information from wide-ranging sources.
  • Strong knowledge of conflict and political violence in, Middle East, Africa and Central Asia.
  • Able to evaluate complex situations being comfortable with ambiguous, nuanced circumstances.
  • Concise communicator with ability to navigate contentious issues and convey complex themes to advise senior leaders and trustees. Strong ability to deliver written and verbal briefs.
  • Able to operate calmly under pressure and can problem-solve security solutions when faced with incomplete information.
  • Can enable security training for programme staff in the field and when required train UK based staff.
  • Relevant degree or professional risk management qualification.

All candidates for roles based in London are required to have the right to work in the UK.

Child safeguarding

Our work with children to keep them safe is the most important thing we do. We are committed to the safeguarding of children in all areas of our work. Successful applicants will be expected to be compliant and sign up to our Child Safeguarding policy.

Contact information

To explore the post further or for any queries you may have, please contact: Dan Collison, Programmes Director,

How to apply

  • Please download the application pack from
  • All applications must be sent to by 11:59pm on 17/06/19
  • Due to limited resources, we will contact only the shortlisted candidates
  • Interviews will be held the week commencing 24/06

Pre-employment checks

Employment with War Child will be subject to the following checks prior to your start date:

  • a satisfactory police record check to include a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and/or an International Criminal Record Check, and a clear vetting and Due Diligence check
  • receipt of three satisfactory references
  • proof of eligibility to work in the UK (roles based in London only)