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Job Description

DCAF – Geneva Center for Security Sector Governance


DCAF – Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance is dedicated to improving the security of states and their people within a framework of democratic governance, the rule of law, respect for human rights, and gender equality. Since its founding in 2000, DCAF has contributed to making peace and development more sustainable by assisting partner states, and international actors supporting these states, to improve the governance of their security sector through inclusive and participatory reforms. It creates innovative knowledge products, promotes norms and good practices, provides legal and policy advice and supports capacity‐building of both state and non‐state security sector stakeholders.

DCAF’s Foundation Council members represent over 50 countries and the Canton of Geneva. Active in over 70 countries, DCAF is internationally recognized as one of the world's leading centres of excellence for security sector governance (SSG) and security sector reform (SSR). DCAF is guided by the principles of neutrality, impartiality, local ownership, inclusive participation, and gender equality. For more information visit www.dcaf.ch and follow us on Twitter @DCAF_Geneva.

DCAF’s International Security Sector Advisory Team (ISSAT) provides practical support to the international community in improving security and justice in conflict-affected and fragile states. ISSAT works with a group of member states and institutions to develop and promote good security and justice reform practices and principles, helping members to build their capacity, to enhance the effectiveness and quality of Security Sector Reform programming, and to facilitate the coordination and coherence of international assistance for nationally driven Security Sector Reform processes. Further details can be found here: https://issat.dcaf.ch/ISSAT/Mission.

Through Advisory Field Support (AFS) services, ISSAT informs better decision-making on Security and Justice (S&J) programming, by offering its International Partner Group (IPG) members tailor-made, targeted, and usually project/programme-specific support at both headquarters and field level. Thematic, contextual and stakeholder analyses - adopting institutional, sectoral, problem-based, or change management approaches as fit – are usually complemented with provision of technical expertise and imparting of good practice, lessons identified and comparative experience. Another key strand of work relates to strengthening the development and enabling implementation of IPGs strategic approaches for supporting S&J.

We are looking for a dynamic and experienced individual to be our next:

Head of Advisory Field Support - ISSAT (100%)

  • Location: Geneva HQ, with some travels
  • Starting date: 03 January 2023, or upon mutual agreement
  • Duration: unlimited

The role:

Reporting to Deputy Head of ISSAT, the Head of Advisory Field Support (AFS) will contribute to ISSAT’s mission and overall performance as a member of the Management Team and enhance ISSAT’s multilateral and bilateral International Partners Group members (IPGMs) ability to identify, develop and globally deploy Security and Justice advisors by helping them to strengthen their systems and providing them with technical expertise and good practice.


  • Contribute to development of DCAF’s corporate, regional and thematic strategies, as well as functional policies and procedures, through participation in the ISSAT Departmental management team and DCAF’s Extended Management Team.
  • Contribute to development of ISSAT’s operational strategy and assist the Head of Department in the development of annual workplans, programme of work and risk management register.
  • Lead the development of the Service Line workplan and priorities in alignment with the Organisational and Department strategies.
  • Assist the Head of Department in identifying and exploring opportunities for ISSAT and DCAF's activities and growth within their area of responsibility.


  • Contribute to overall management of the Department as a member of the ISSAT Management Team (IMT)
  • Provide line management of AFS Service Line personnel
  • Coach and mentor staff within AFS with a focus on programme management and/or substantive SSG/R
  • Provide leadership to AFS personnel and project teams, including guiding them towards a common organisational goal and fostering understanding and respect for policies and procedures
  • Oversee operational activities and ensure quality assurance
  • Lead and monitor the performance management of AFS contributing to both ISSAT and DCAF level results-based management
  • Prevent and constructively resolve conflicts to enable a cohesive and collaborative organisational culture
  • Lead or participate in ISSAT recruitment processes and roster training workshops and contribute to recruitment processes of other DCAF Departments as required
  • Contribute to a successful matrix management system through close exchanges with the other ISSAT Service Line Heads and within the IMT
  • Ensure positive and fluid communication and information sharing within Service Line and foster a culture and environment for organisational learning
  • Provide budget oversight at SL level


  • Contribute to establishment, development and management of partnerships with and across ISSAT’s International Partner’s Group and other organisational partners
  • Support corporate fundraising at own level
  • Ensure optimum interface and joint identification of opportunities for collaboration with other ISSAT and DCAF entities
  • Represent ISSAT and DCAF at relevant events

Operational level

  • Lead implementation for one or more Department-level strategic outcomes
  • Support improvement of management practices and procedures
  • Be responsible for human resource-sizing of the Service Line
  • Provide support, guidance, and oversight to AFS project teams on mandate/project development, planning, implementation and closing stages, in alignment with existing strategies, policies, workplans and programmes of work
  • Be proactive in facilitating sharing of knowledge and good practices within ISSAT and with other DCAF entities
  • May lead or contribute directly to the development and implementation of specific programmes (as required)

Your experience and expertise

  • Over 15 years of experience in the context of Security & Justice, Governance, and development work, with a minimum of seven years specifically in field operations and in a management position
  • Background and experience in one or more of the following: security sector governance and reform, development, conflict management and peacebuilding, capacity and leadership development, organisational change;
  • Project management skills and experience in overseeing and further developing project portfolios;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to establish and maintain effective partnerships and working relationships in a multi-cultural environment. Client-oriented and flexible; Team player with great emotional intelligence;
  • Experience engaging with bilateral donors and multilateral organisations, and understanding of the politics of international development assistance
  • Strong communication capacities (oral and written), highly developed presentation, coaching and mentoring skills;
  • Advanced University degree in political science, international relations, security studies, development studies, conflict studies, or a related field.
  • Fluent in English. Other languages highly desirable, particularly French, German or Arabic.

We offer

  • a rewarding, dynamic and challenging work experience
  • the chance to be part of a multicultural team of supportive, hardworking and values-driven people
  • the chance to contribute to improving security of states and their people within a framework of democratic governance, the rule of law, and respect for human rights

If you think you are a good match for DCAF and the position advertised, please apply online at https://dcaf-flexperso.ch by 30 October 2022 , enclosing:

  • a one-page motivational statement in English describing your relevant experience and what you can bring to DCAF
  • a concise CV (maximum two pages)
  • a copy of work certificates and diplomas

DCAF is committed to equality of opportunity and encourages applications from all qualified candidates regardless of sex, age, disability, gender identity, religion, or ethnicity.

Individuals who seek to serve with DCAF in any individual capacity will be required, if short-listed, to complete a self-attestation stating that they have not committed or been convicted of any criminal offence and have not been involved, by act or omission, in the commission of any violation of international human rights law or international humanitarian law.