Program Safety and Access Director

Relief International
  • Location
    Kabul, Afghanistan
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career / Advanced
  • Posted
    Mar 01

Position description

RI is seeking a Program Safety & Access Director (PSAD) Afghanistan who will be responsible for the implementation of RI’s Safety and Risk Management (SRM), ensuring and managing oversight of safety and access policies and strategies, developing contextual analysis, building capacity within the Afghanistan offices safety and access teams, and developing and implementing context appropriate RI safety protocols and procedures (SOPs) across RI’s field and program locations in Afghanistan. This position is based in Kabul (Afghanistan), with a significant portion of time spent visiting field locations and providing recommendations and guidance to RI’s Afghanistan Country Director.

The position requires that the PSAD provides direct support to the Afghanistan Senior Management Team (SMT) and Country Director (CD) for the oversight for operations in Afghanistan. In addition, ensuring that he/she works closely with staff, partners, communities, and peers to enhance the capacity of the sub offices, providing routine and timely analysis and incident reports to the CD, and the Regional Safety and Access Director (RSAD) Asia & Africa, deploying as needed in support of Country Office teams, and developing regionally consistent strategies for the management of safety and security.


Planning and Preparation

  • Design, establish and maintain safety support systems, conducting scheduled and ad-hoc field visits at each program sites, including central and sub-offices and program delivery location for safety and access assessments, safety related audits and awareness training across Afghanistan.
  • Conduct a comprehensive programs access assessments including, but not only, with the local counterpart and audit of all existing program and access policies and procedures and their application and practice by all staff at program sites, offices, residencies/guest houses, and with respect to all vehicles, drivers and standing SOPs; provides and implements recommendations in consultation with the CD, and with the RSAD to make changes in order to meet the compliancy with RI Field Operational Procedures, templates and SOPs.

Advice and Report

  • Leads an on-going process of design, establishment, review of safety policies and procedures to ensure understanding, “buy -in “, and compliance by staff; routinely revises safety and access plans to adapt to evolving safety situation in conjunction with country counter parts and CD, and RSAD.
  • Maps and reports safety incidents, ensures by weekly safety and access reports in all Afghanistan locations and understands trends and threats; facilitates the development of situation specific, coordinated evacuation plans; writes well-researched security incident reports for review by CD and RSAD.

Strategy development

  • Supports RI country teams with strategy in as whole.
  • Set out a clear vision for knowledge and skills transfer to national staff by the end of the transitional period (last quarter of 2023)
  • Work with the country team and regional PD leads to ensure funding for humanitarian access is built into all new awards.

Analysis and assessment

  • Ensure that analysis of the Afghanistan context is kept relevant and up to date with RI programs. Advice CD, Provincial Project Coordinators (PPCs) and RSAD on any important developments. Advocate for contingency planning where necessary and support teams in thinking about scenario planning and trend analysis.
  • Ensure application of situation appropriate rules and guidance per RI’s Field Security SOP’s, RI Global Safety & Access and UNDSS; conducts visits to RI’s field project offices and residential sites in Afghanistan to assess safety and access conditions; develops comprehensive risk assessments in conjunction, but not only, with country counterparts, leading to the updating of effective safety plans, train colleagues on the safety plans and ensure compliance.
  • Ensure humanitarian access approaches are responsive to local context and include overarching community engagement components.
  • Provide relevant input on all existing and new program concerning Afghanistan both with pre analysis prior to go no go decisions as well as full involvement in budgeting at the time of proposal writing to ensure staff safety needs are met.

Capacity-building and gap-filling

  • Train, supervise and mentor national and international (if applicable) country safety staff/focal points. Recommend and/or provides staff training on safety and access in a proactive and positive manner that promotes inclusion, participation, and leadership among the entire RI team, including expatriates, relocatable and local national staff.
  • Takes a lead on very regular safety and access drills for support offices inside Afghanistan and supporting hubs: conduct safety and access drills, trains country counterparts in how to conduct drills, and ensures that counterparts implement drills regularly.
  • Work with programs and operations colleagues in ensuring constructive relations with de facto authorities at provincial and district levels.


  • Ensure RI is linked via all inter-agency and safety & access coordination lists and fora to ensure RI safety presence in the INGO community within the areas of operation.
  • Liaises with local and regional UN & inter-agency safety personnel on safety & access matters for country programs; advises CD, and RSAD on safety issues; provides safety briefings and updates for RI staff and visitors

RI SRM Compliance

  • Ensure all Afghanistan areas that compliance is met. At a minimum biannual Program Safety Risk Assessment (PSRA) for all areas concerned are updated as are country safety plans, RIGSS etc. Further to this the implementation of compliance is considered in all areas as mandatory. Ensure that Afghanistan RI teams do regularly comply and carry out evacuation drills, head counts, travel authorization etc.


  • Other duties as advised


  • Master's degree with demonstrated experience
  • Proven minimum of six (6) years’ experience in a similar role with equal responsibilities within NGO, UN or IO in high-risk country settings. Afghanistan experience is required.
  • Proven ability in safety & access management and crisis management in an unstable and insecure environment. Previous experiences managing humanitarian crisis/emergencies an added advantage.
  • Effective technical/instructional skills.
  • Strong analytical and organizational skills with the ability to manage multiple complex tasks independently.
  • Strong leadership and communication (interpersonal, verbal and written) skills.
  • Excellent computer skills with solid knowledge of MS Office.
  • Experience of delivering training.
  • Experience in a multi-cultural environment necessary.
  • Experience in conducting assessments necessary.
  • Fit to travel.

Application instructions

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