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Head of Economic Security Unit

Requisition ID:  15781
Region:  Europe (HQ)
Contract type:  Open-ended contract
Reports to (role)


Assistant Deputy Director of Protection and Assistance Program

What we do


The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) works worldwide to provide humanitarian assistance to people affected by conflict and armed violence. We take action in response to emergencies and at the same time promote respect for international humanitarian law. We are an independent and neutral organization, and our mandate stems essentially from the Geneva Conventions of 1949. We work closely with National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and with their International Federation in order to ensure a concerted, rational and rapid humanitarian response to the needs of the victims of armed conflict or any other situation of internal violence. We direct and coordinate the international activities conducted in these situations.



The ICRC defines economic security as the condition of individuals, households or communities to be able to cover their essential needs and unavoidable expenditures in a sustainable and dignified manner, given physiological requirements, the environment, and prevailing cultural standard.

Economic security is pivotal in the overall well-being of individuals, households and communities affected by conflict, violence and climate change and hazards. It serves as a key building block for their ability to absorb and adapt to sudden and chronic shocks which surpass their coping mechanisms and to manage future stresses and risks. It is thus a central component of the ICRC’s efforts to save lives, alleviate suffering, maintain dignity and respond to the needs of affected people.

The Economic Security Unit has expertise in Nutrition and Food Security; Agriculture; Livestock; Cash & Markets; Micro-economic initiatives; and Livelihoods. This is complemented by growing knowledge and experience in Resilience and Climate-smart programming, Urban livelihoods as well as Analysis & Evidence.

EcoSec teams across the world strive to secure or re-establish adequate nutritional status, living conditions and sustainable livelihoods for affected persons at varying levels of crisis (pre, acute, chronic or post-crisis), whether they are in an urban, peri-urban, or rural environments or temporary settlements. As required, EcoSec teams tailor responses according to the vulnerabilities of people, through a diversity and inclusion prism, catering for their individual characteristics and taking into consideration potential barriers to access humanitarian support. The work is done in a multidisciplinary manner and in close collaboration with Protection, Health, Water and Habitat, Weapon Contamination and other departments across the ICRC, as well as the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement.

ICRC Economic Security programmes span some 40 countries and comprise a global team of almost 800 staff.


The Head of Economic Security directs and develops the ICRC’s economic security (EcoSec) strategy in consultation with relevant Units and departments. S/he ensures that EcoSec activities are aligned with the organization’s objectives, regional strategic frameworks and delegations’ priorities.

Main duties and responsibilities
  • Defines the ICRC's approach to economic security.
  • Plans the ICRC’s EcoSec objectives and resources, coordinates its activities, and supervises attainment of its objectives in the delegations.
  • Follows international developments linked to economic security and keeps abreast of emerging trends and challenges.
  • Oversees, checks and evaluates the relevance and quality of EcoSec programmes and services. Identifies the programmes that require evaluation.
  • Prepares and follows up on the EcoSec budget, checks that it complies with the ICRC’s financial regulations, and directs resource allocation to meet operational and financial needs.
  • Supervises the EcoSec Unit staff and engage them in strategic discussions on key evolutions in EcoSec approaches and modalities.
  • Coordinates closely with peers from other Units, Programmes and Departments on alignment and collaboration on concepts, approaches, methodologies and tools.
  • Establishes (or supports team members in doing so) and drives partnerships with other organisations, academic institutions and the private sector in coordination with relevant units and departments.
  • Participates in institutional change projects as required and drives necessary change within the Unit.
  • Maintains, develops and reinforces contacts with external experts and other organizations (the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, United Nations, NGOs, academic institutions and other international bodies).
  • Represents the ICRC in conferences, workshops, round tables, etc., on topics related to economic security.
People management responsibilities


  • Organizes regular meetings within their team to ensure optimal coordination of the work and proper flow of information.
  • Ensures that job descriptions for employees under their supervision are up to date; seeks feedback and support from the HR Department if needed.
  • Plans and coordinates the annual leave of the employees under their supervision ensuring continuity of the operations throughout the year and making sure that there are no outstanding holiday balances at the end of the year.
  • Coordinates and supports the employees under their supervision in their personal development by coaching and advising them on internal and external training and development possibilities.
  • Understands and supervises the Performance Management & Development (PMD) activities for employees under their supervision and engages in ongoing and continuous feedback and support, particularly for employees under their supervision, but also other staff members.
Scope & Impact


  • Contributes to developing of the ICRC's orientations, strategy and objectives/budget for EcoSec activities at the global, regional and national levels (including during annual reporting for the field and headquarters).
  • Establishes and provides guidance on the interpretation of policies and practice.
  • Follows up on and provides support for all EcoSec programmes and activities.


  • Internally, interacts with staff in the unit at headquarters and in the delegations, with (deputy) regional directors and with staff from other divisions (External Resources, Private Fundraising, Public Communication, Protection, Human Resources and Legal).
  • Externally, develops and maintains a network of economic security related contacts on specific issues; also interacts with contacts in academia and the private sector.
Education and experience required


  • University degree in nutrition, agronomy, economics, sociology or similar, or equivalent experience.
  • At least 15 years' of overall professional experience
  • Minimum of 10 years of experience in the humanitarian field, with at least one ICRC field assignments as an Economic Security Coordinator (or the equivalent within another humanitarian organization).
  • Confirmed experience in a senior managerial position in within the ICRC, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement or with another humanitarian organization.
  • In-depth knowledge of the humanitarian landscape and of the economic security-related challenges in conflict settings.
  • Outstanding communication skills both with colleagues and representing the ICRC's economic security activities externally.
  • Excellent command of English and French; knowledge of other languages an asset.
  • Computer proficiency.
Desired profile and skills


  • Proven senior management and leadership skills, with a strong emphasis on people management and
    leading a multidisciplinary and multicultural team.
  • Clear planning, project management capacities with a focus on delivering results.
  • Capacity to negotiate with and influence a wide range of EcoSec and other external stakeholders.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and capacity for collaborative teamwork.
  • Ability to lead, manage, motivate and develop people. 
  • Ability to develop and strengthen partnerships within and outside ICRC.
Additional information


  • Location:                        Geneva
  • Type of contract:            Required Rotation
  • Length of assignment:   5 years
  • Activity rate:                   100%
  • Estimated start date:      03.05.2021
  • Application Deadline:   Sunday, 27 September 2020


The ICRC values diversity and is committed to creating an inclusive working environment. We welcome applications from all qualified candidates.