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Head of the Professional Development and Training Service Line in DCAF’s International Security Sector Advisory Team (ISSAT)







Head of the Professional Development and Training Service Line in DCAF’s International Security Sector Advisory Team (ISSAT)


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 capacitybuilding of both state and nonstate security sector stakeholders.


DCAF's Foundation Council comprises 63 member states, the Canton of Geneva and six permanent observers. 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 operational principles of neutrality, impartiality, local ownership, inclusive participation, and gender equality. DCAF embraces and promotes values of accountability, excellence, inclusivity, integrity and respect. For more information please visit


DCAF’s International Security Sector Advisory Team (ISSAT) is a department within DCAF that provides practical support to the international community in its efforts to improve security and justice, primarily in conflict-affected and fragile states. Established in 2008, it works to increase the individual and collective capacity of the international community to support SSR processes, to enhance the effectiveness and quality of SSR programming, and to facilitate the coordination and coherence of international assistance for nationally driven SSR processes.


We are a dynamic team working with, and across, world-leading government departments, multilateral institutions and experts in the international security and justice sector development arena. You will compliment an experienced, values-driven professional group from a broad variety of backgrounds.


For our department, we are looking for a dynamic and experienced individual to be our next:


Head of Professional Development and Training Service Line – (100 %)

Location:               Geneva, with frequent international travel

Starting date:          1 March 2020

Duration:         This is a project funded post, the position will be offered on a one-year contract which can be renewed dependent on performance and availability of funding.


The role


Reporting to Head of ISSAT (with delegation depending on the task), the Head of Professional Development and Training will have the following key areas of operation:


  • Oversee the portfolio of ISSAT’s current trainings in supporting security and justice reform, and identify and assess future professional development, learning and training needs of the globally deployed SSR practitioners from ISSAT’s bilateral and multilateral Governing Board Members;
  • Develop professional and learning development pathways and curriculum for SSR 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 that they address the goals and expectations of ISSAT strategic and development objectives;
  • Manage a small team and contribute to a positive working and learning environment, with additional ad hoc project team management roles involving other advisors and project officers within ISSAT as well as members of ISSAT’s roster of additional experts;
  • Coordination of internal ISSAT staff training opportunities and identification of opportunities for other DCAF colleagues to participate in ISSAT trainings;
  • Deploy and advise on a wide variety of development, learning, and training pathways that understand how to move from blended courses at the individual level to the institutionalisation of career and development paths;
  • Quality assure ISSAT’s professional development and training/learning material, approaches and facilitators; including further developing the facilitation and training delivery skills of ISSAT experts;
  • Lead the provision of assistance to ISSAT’s Governing Board Members in developing their policies for SSR training and professional development;
  • Contribute to ISSAT’s development and dissemination of knowledge products based on good practice and lessons identified from the field;
  • Build and maintain effective liaison with ISSAT’s Governing Board Members, the wider SSR community, and other actors working on linked thematic areas;
  • Input to ISSAT strategic planning and prioritisation, as part of the ISSAT Management Team; and,
  • Given that ISSAT works in a matrix approach, the post holder will also get opportunities for additional advisory field support work and be expected to contribute to ISSAT’s knowledge portfolio.




  • Over 7 years relevant experience in training and learning development, as well as in conflict and development practice in the field;
  • Significant knowledge and experience in one or more of the following: governance mechanisms, conflict and peace development, human resourcing, public financial management;
  • Significant knowledge and experience in: training needs assessments, blended training and learning development design, monitoring and evaluation of learning and professional development, coordination;
  • Programme and project management skills, and experience in Learning Management Systems (LMS);
  • Good communication (verbal and written), influencing, training, presentation, coaching and mentoring skills;
  • Recognised training qualification (Chartered Institute of Professional Development (CIPD) or equivalent) or ability to demonstrate equivalent skills through experience;
  • Able to analyse situations quickly and effectively, adapt to rapidly changing circumstances and produce workable solutions to meet customer requirements;
  • Masters degree in conflict studies, international relations, management and international development, political science, or a related field;
  • Fluency in English and French. Other languages desirable (particularly Spanish, Arabic and Portuguese); and,
  • Swiss or EU citizenship, or a valid work permit for Switzerland at the time of application is a pre-requisite.


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, please send your application to by 17th December 2019 with the subject heading “APPLICATION Head PDT”, enclosing:

  • a one-page motivational statement in English describing your relevant experience and what you can bring to DCAF; and,
  • a concise CV (maximum two pages).


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, been convicted of, nor prosecuted for, 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