Switzerland: Head, Strategies and Standards Division

Organization: Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining
Country: Switzerland
Closing date: 28 Aug 2016


The Strategies and Standards division is one of three divisions under the Director of Operations. It focusses its services and technical expertise on strategic planning, standardisation and quality management in support of national authorities in mine action and the wider mine action sector.

The GICHD assists countries to develop and improve their own national mine action strategies, which in turn promotes more effective, efficient and inclusive mine action operations. Through our strategic planning, training and advice we foster and strengthen national ownership and increase awareness of relevant strategic challenges. Ultimately, the implementation of strategic plans strengthens the ability of affected states to clear their territories of explosive hazard contamination.

The International Mine Action Standards (IMAS) are global guidelines for mine action, designed to improve safety and efficiency and ensure quality in operations. On behalf of the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS), the GICHD develops, reviews and promotes the IMAS. The IMAS guide national authorities develop National Mine Action Standards (NMAS) that fit the environment and context of a particular country. The GICHD provides training and advice on the design and development of NMAS, or the review and revision of the existing ones.

All components of the Strategies and Standards division work in synergy with each other as well as with the other divisions under the Directorate of Operations.


Strategic and internal management

The Head of Strategies and Standards is responsible for the division’s personnel, resources and achievements in its key thematic areas: Mine Action Standards and Quality Management, Strategic Planning and National Ownership Transition. She/he leads and coaches the division’s team, striving for high standards of expertise, results-based management, cost-effectiveness and the achievement of sustainable outcomes. She/he designs and implements the strategic objectives, policies and work plans, monitors and fosters compliance with the GICHD regulations, standards and regulatory framework.

The Head of Strategies and Standards serves on the Management Board with all Heads of divisions and as such plays an essential role in the overall strategic and business development, external relations, partnerships, resource mobilisation, accountability and reporting at the organisation’s level.

The Head is responsible for the design, coordination and delivery of services and the results of the three thematic areas led by the Strategies and Standards division:

Mine Action Strategies

  • Guide the planning and development of mine action strategies and transition of responsibilities and ownership to capable national authorities, including promotion of the role and the capacity development of military, civil defence and police forces to find appropriate and sustainable local solutions.
  • Foster the adoption and implementation of priority-setting systems in national mine action programmes that focus resources on strategic objectives and enhance transparency while strengthening linkages between Mine Action and Development.
  • Promote standards, methods and tools to ensure that the management of residual contamination is embedded in appropriate strategic and operational plans.

Mine Action Standards

  • Ensure that appropriate secretariat services and support is provided to the international IMAS Review Board.
  • Oversee the planning and development of IMAS and the associated Technical Notes.
  • Ensure that IMAS and the associated documents, including their translations, are promoted effectively to the mine action community, through the IMAS website, the provision of training and advisory services and on-line support.
  • Direct and supervise the support the Centre provides to national mine action authorities and other stakeholders in the development, review and application of country-specific National Mine Action Standards.
  • Direct and supervise the collection, analysis and reporting of the demining accidents globally.

Quality Management in Mine Action

  • Foster the adoption of an effective quality management system for mine action, to ensure a high level of confidence in mine action products and services, and oversee the development of appropriate standards, methods and tools.

Profile Requirements

The successful applicant will have a substantial experience in managerial / executive functions in international development cooperation, humanitarian affairs, disarmament, security sector reform, peace-building or post-conflict reconstruction and possess the following attributes and competences:

  • Significant field experience in (post-) conflict countries and knowledge of the related development and recovery mechanisms;
  • An academic education in development studies, economics, international relations, political sciences, international humanitarian law, humanitarian programme management or other subject of relevance;
  • Competence in the design, promotion, implementation or monitoring of quality standards in his/her industry or sector of activity;
  • Competence in project management and tools, budgeting and financial monitoring in a desk/headquarters environment;
  • Experience in relations with international donor institutions, with knowledge of grant management mechanisms and reporting procedures;
  • Fluency and efficient communication skills in spoken and written English;
  • Inter-personal communication skills to engage effectively with a wide range of stakeholders from diverse cultures;
  • Effective management of individuals and teams from diverse backgrounds; commitment to the continuous improvement of individual and organisation-wide results;
  • Accountability and team spirit with an interest to contribute to the executive management team;
  • Availability to travel regularly for short missions worldwide.

Desirable characteristics

  • Qualification or certification in Standards or Quality management systems;
  • Experience or advanced understanding of mine action as a component of human security and socio-economic development;
  • Knowledge of capacity-building mechanisms and cycles;
  • Experience or understanding of the concept of Results-based Management, Theories of change, strategic and programme planning/ monitoring/ reporting;
  • Applied practice or an understanding of gender and diversity mainstreaming in strategic planning and programming;
  • Working knowledge of French, Spanish, Arabic, Russian, Portuguese or another language spoken in mine-ERW affected countries.

How to apply:


Please apply through the GICHD Career Website.

Your application will include:

  • A CV of maximum 5 pages
  • A letter of motivation in English
  • Your date of availability or your current notice period
  • Any other additional material you wish to present in support of your candidacy

The GICHD implements a Gender and Diversity policy and is an equal opportunities employer. We encourage applications from women, nationals of mine-affected countries and individuals with a disability or special needs, who meet the above profile requirements. This position is open to applicants from any location and nationality; the GICHD will facilitate the procedure to obtain a residency and work permit in Switzerland for the contracted incumbent.