Senior Security Sector Governance/Reform Advisor

Senior Security Sector Governance/Reform Advisor

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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, and respect for human rights. DCAF contributes 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 and follow us on Twitter @DCAF_Geneva.

DCAF’s International Security Sector Advisory Team (ISSAT) supports the sixteen donor countries and seven multilateral organisations that make up its International Partners Group (IPG) by reinforcing and improving the way in which they individually and collectively support security and justice development. Through Advisory Field Support services, ISSAT informs better decision-making on Security and Justice (S&J) programming, through offering its IPG members (IPGM) tailor-made, targeted, and usually project/programme-specific support at both headquarters and field-level.

Within its department ISSAT, the Advisory Field Support service line is seeking a professional and qualified person for the following position:

Senior Security Sector Governance/Reform Advisor 100%

Location: Geneva, with some travels

Starting date: 1st September 2023 or upon mutual agreement

Duration: Permanent contract

The role

Reporting to the Head of the Advisory Field Support (AFS) service line, the Senior SSR Advisor will work on ISSAT’s mandates, projects and activities. The Senior SSR Advisor can also be called to support the other ISSAT services lines: professional development and training (PDT), and outreach & and knowledge (OAK). This support is provided according to specific allocation of tasks.

Key areas of responsibility

The Senior SSR Advisor plays a key role in leading AFS project teams delivering programming support and strategic advisory to IPGMs on their international Justice and Security Sector Governance/Reform policies, strategies and programming. This is a demanding and high profile implementation and representational role, requiring overseas travel and wide-ranging high-level departmental contacts within international organisations, governments, development agencies and their staff overseas.

  1. Advisory Field Support (approx 70%)
  • Assist the Head of AFS in identifying and exploring opportunities for DCAF-ISSAT's activities, while keeping a permanent attention on mitigating risks for other DCAF activities.
  • Contribute to productive relationships and building trust with other DCAF Departments, and engage in cross-DCAF knowledge and information sharing in the area of competence.
  • Contribute to engagements with ISSAT IPGM to identify opportunities and assist in shaping Advisory Field Support.
  • Provide strategic advisory and technical assistance to ISSAT IPGM in policy and strategy development for SSG/R international support, including through strengthening whole of government and international coordination approaches.
  • Present analysis, findings and recommendations from mandates/projects feeding into decision-making by IPGMs at regular ISSAT IPGM meetings, and other internal and external events as required.
  • Provide substantive leadership on Security Sector Governance/Reform through advisory support in some of the following governance areas (police reform, human rights, justice, strengthening oversight institutions, civil society, gender, or other relevant themes)
  • Develop solid analysis, strongly anchored in context specificity, stakeholder analysis, conflict sensitivity and risk management, in addition to relevant thematic or sectoral analyses.
  • Support the development and implementation of ISSAT’s Operational Strategy and Annual Workplans, by contributing to implementation, monitoring and reporting on relevant mandates/projects, and continuously feeding into ISSAT’s central monitoring system.
  • Contribute to the development and refinement of the AFS business model.
  • Provide content to ISSAT’s annual activity reports and other such periodic reports that may be required by the head of Advisory Field Support.
  • Adapt and/or contribute to develop specific methodologies and approaches for improved advisory field support on SSG/R.
  • Input to the ISSAT management team in their periodic strategic planning and reporting.
  • Sustitute the the Head of AFS when necessary.
  • Other tasks that may be assigned, from time to time, by the Head of ISSAT or Head of Advisory Field Support.
  1. Outreach, Advocacy and Knowledge (approx. 15%)
  • Contribute, and lead as required, OAK mandates/projects such as donor SSG/R portfolio mappings focusing thematically or geographically.
  • Contribute to the development of key ISSAT Advisory Notes contributing to the knowledge base and supplying recommendations to ISSAT’s IPGMs on strategic linkages between SSG/R and emerging policy agendas.
  • Contribute to identification of SSG/R good practice, feeding into ISSAT’s strategic objective of building the business case for SSG/R, also considering SSG/R contribution to stabilisation, conflict prevention and development.
  • Contribute to the development of emerging trends, challenges and opportunities in the area of SSG/R.
  • Contribute to further development of ISSAT’s methodology and guidance products on project cycle management and main SSG/R thematic areas, leading on designated products.
  • Contribute to in-house brainstorming sessions to determine latest trends, challenges and opportunities in the area of security sector reform and its related themes.
  • Contribute blog posts, forum responses and other inputs to the ISSAT SSG/R Community of Practice.
  1. Professional Development and Training (approx. 15%)
  • Contribute to the design and delivery of standardised or tailored training programmes, courses and conferences to meet donor, partner and ISSAT needs.
  • Contribute to the development and delivery of professional and learning development pathways and curriculum for SSG/R practitioners, which may include training modules as well as other learning, coaching and mentoring opportunities, ensuring that such pathways are designed in line with international best practices, and ISSAT’s strategic and development objectives.
  • Contribute to the production of policies, methodological tools and guidelines to ensure effective and efficient training procedures, as well as their dissemination to IPGMs and other partners.
  • Contribute to the provision of assistance to ISSAT’s IPGMs in developing their policies for SSG/R training and professional development.

Your experience :

  • Masters degree in conflict studies, peacebuilding, development, international relations, political science, law, or a related field.
  • Minimum of 15 years of experience in SSG/R and/or related international development work; field experience is mandatory.
  • Recorded professional experience in Eastern Europe and Africa is highly
  • Effective project management skills and ability to manage multiple projects/activities simultaneously.
  • Demonstrable experience of being a strong team player in a multicultural environment.
  • Excellent verbal communication and presentational skills.
  • Excellent writing skills including of assessment, evaluation and other types of advisory reports intended for donor audiences and supported by evidence and concise expert analysis on a range of SSG/R relevant thematic areas.
  • Strong sense of prioritisation and successful delivery under pressure and tight deadlines.
  • Ability to network and liaise effectively with a wide range of potential stakeholders at all levels both within governments and non-governmental and multinational organisations.
  • Ability to analyse situations quickly and effectively, adapt to rapidly changing circumstances and produce workable solutions to meet IPGM requirements – SSG/R is a fast developing field and it will be necessary to retain currency in the latest thinking and developments.
  • Expert knowledge and understanding in governance, peacebuilding and SSG/R (including it gender and human security dimension) is fundamental.
  • Fluency in English, both written and spoken, is required. Proficiency in French, both written and spoken, is highly desirable. Speaking/reading an Eastern European language (Russian or Ukrainian) is desirable.

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; and
  • 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, If you think you are a good match for DCAF and the position advertised, please apply online at by the 15 August 2023, midnight (CET), 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 your diplomas and work certificates

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