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Head, Assistance and Protection Branch (P-5)

Principal Functions

Working under the supervision of the Director of International Cooperation and in accordance with the OPCW Core Values of Integrity, Professionalism and Respect for Diversity/Gender Equality the post holder will be responsible for the following:

Plan, manage, and control the work programme and priorities of the Branch.

  1. Performance management of staff members to ensure the quality of delivery of programme and individual objectives; planning, reviewing and advising  the Director, ICA on the Branch its budget to ensure maximum fiscal responsibility and efficiency;
  2. Ensuring the effective and timely implementation of capacity-building projects and other activities relating to Article X of the CWC (whatever the source of funding), through effective project management; ensuring proper financial and project management of the Branch's resources and programmes. At the same time the postholder will be required to actively promote knowledge management principles within the work of the branch to ensure operational effectiveness transparency and adequate knowledge retention and dissemination;
  3. And ensuring accurate and timely reporting both internally, and externally to donors (both Member States and other organisations) on projects funded through voluntary contributions.

Support the States Parties in meeting their obligations under Article X.

This includes informing States Parties of their obligations pursuant to paragraphs 4 and 7 of Article X, providing timely reminders and following up with those States Parties not in compliance. This also includes providing the necessary updates to the senior management in advance of engagements with States Parties to create the conditions for appropriate interventions by the Secretariat.

Lead and promote the development and utilisation of the Assistance and Protection Databank (APD).

This includes the continued implementation of the online databank (PAD) ensuring its ongoing introduction to States Parties and promoting its adoption as an effective tool for States Parties. This will also include overseeing that the databank contains relevant information furnished by States Parties and other important Article X-related materials to support assistance and protection measures undertaken.

Maintain the capacity within the OPCW to manage a request for assistance under Article X.

This includes maintaining a holistic oversight of the Secretariat's SOPs and capabilities to respond, as well as a detailed knowledge of assistance delivery options, the various offers made by States Parties, and the Voluntary Fund for Assistance. This will also include, in line with guidance from the Director-General, the training of Secretariat staff to perform tasks as members of an Assistance Coordination and Assessment Team (ACAT) and maintenance of those skills through table top and field exercises when necessary. These efforts should be closely coordinated with the Capacity Building and Contingency Operation Cell of the Inspectorate to ensure that deployed ACAT members can work seamlessly with Investigation of Alleged Use (IAU) teams or as part of a Rapid Response and Assistance Mission (RRAM).

Maintain and promote the International Support Network for Victims of Chemical Weapons.

In line with the relevant decisions of the Conference, this includes ongoing promotion of the objectives of the network within the resources provided to the attendant Trust Fund by States Parties.

Assist the Director as a member of the ICA management team.

Lead the work of the branch in such a way that it contributes to promoting and ensuring coordinated and synergised work planning and delivery across the division nurturing a joined up working culture and practices.

To perform other duties as required.

Knowledge and Experience



An advanced university degree in management, social sciences, science and technology, international relations, or a related discipline. A first level university degree in combination with additional qualifying experience (minimum 12 years) may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.



At least 10 years practical experience in a field related to the convention on chemical weapons, including especially administration of international or bilateral technical assistance and capacity building programmes, preferably in the area of emergency response and preparedness, involving:

  1. Preparing strategies, formulating policies and negotiating agreements;
  2. Planning and executing exercises and training courses;
  3. Managing the programmes in line with results-based principles;
  4. Previous working experience within an international organisation would be an asset.

Skills and Abilities

Key Competencies

  1. Excellent and proven planning, organisational, coordination, negotiation and problem-solving skills;
  2. Strong analytical and conceptual skills in analysing and interpreting operational issues, assessing assistance needs and determining priorities, formulating options, and proposing and implementing solutions;
  3. Demonstrated experience developing and managing capacity-building and other training programs, and in mobilising resources from donor states for such development programs;
  4. Political awareness and a capacity to think strategically are critical skills for this post;
  5. Demonstrated leadership and management skills, including ability to think strategically, achieve results, and learn lessons and manage knowledge; a capacity for people management, team building and staff development would be an asset;
  6. Excellent inter-personal and communication skills with demonstrated ability to apply tact and accuracy and to present information clearly and logically both in writing and verbally;
  7. Solid information technology skills including proficiency in Microsoft desktop packages;
  8. Knowledge of Results-Based Budgeting (RBB) or similar budgeting processes;
  9. Ability to ensure an effective work structure to maximise productivity and achieve Section goals;
  10. Ability to coordinate the work of others, forge collaboration with other work units, work to tight deadlines and handle multiple concurrent activities;
    Proven ability in establishing and maintaining effective working relationships with people of different national and cultural backgrounds.

Language Requirements

Fluency in English is essential and a good working knowledge of one of the other official languages (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, and Spanish) is desirable.