News & views | 29 August 2019 | by Selma van Oostwaard


Job opportunity: Project Leader Human Security Survey Iraq (maternity leave cover)

The protection of civilians in armed conflict is a widely shared objective, but effective ways to organize protection are few and far apart in today’s violent conflicts. PAX aims to amplify the voices and capacities of civilians in conflict to improve the effectiveness of Protection of Civilians (PoC) actors and increase the security of local communities.

This position is based within the PoC Program Group at PAX. The PoC group’s main activities include: survey research and advocacy in South Sudan and Iraq; training of and networking with PoC actors internationally; and defence and security policy research and lobby for inclusion of people-centred PoC policy at the UN, EU and NATO. We work with local partners, likeminded international organizations, military and diplomatic actors, researchers, politicians and policy makers.

To support our existing research, community engagement, and advocacy efforts in Iraq, and to serve as a maternity cover for the current Project Leader, we are looking for a:

Project Leader for the project Human Security Survey Iraq
(0,8 FTE – 6 months, maternity leave cover)

Responsibilities and tasks

The temporary Project Leader (PL) will contribute primarily to a key initiative of the PoC department: the Human Security Survey (HSS). The HSS combines research, advocacy and community engagement efforts to amplify the voice of civilians and to improve the provision of security in situations of conflict. The PL will be responsible for general project and partner management, and will also guide various technical aspects of project implementation. The PL will also be responsible for working collaboratively and strategically with other HSS staff and the local partner organizations in the widest sense possible. The PL will:

  • Maintain regular communication with local partner organisations in Iraq and ensure the timely implementation of local activities
  • Organise and facilitate trainings for data collection teams in the field (e.g. how to implement the HSS methodology, facilitation skills for community engagement and other key topics)
  • Facilitate participatory data analysis of survey results, both within PAX and with local partners, and data validation via comparison to secondary data sources
  • Contribute to the presentation of survey findings via an online dashboard, narrative analytical reports, local dialogues and national/international advocacy meetings
  • Manage annual methodological review processes with colleagues and partners to update the questionnaire and research protocols
  • Engage in continuous monitoring of political and security dynamics on the ground that may have an effect on planned activities or desired results
  • Maintain regular contact with key stakeholders (e.g. researchers, INGOs, diplomats) in Iraq and The Netherlands, as well as within the broader PoC sector
  • Provide guidance and support to the Project Officer (data analyst) who works on both HSS projects in Iraq and South Sudan
  • Engage strategically with members of PAX’s Iraq team staff based in Utrecht and Iraq
  • Manage general project planning, monitoring and evaluation (PME) and budget tracking, and contribute to fundraising efforts as needed

Who are we looking for?

Given that this is a temporary position, we are looking for a highly skilled individual who is capable of taking over the responsibilities for the current Project Leader, and is therefore a quick learner, highly organised, detail-oriented and capable of taking initiative. The PL should have experience with general project management and with technical aspects of conducting quantitative field research, as well as an affinity for peace, security and PoC issues. Our ideal candidate is a team player who is also capable of working independently and with limited supervision under potentially stressful conditions. This individual should have strong social skills and be able to build and maintain effective working relationships with partner organisations located at a distance. The PL should also be a capable networker, a pragmatic problem solver and be someone with a flexible nature and a good sense of humour.

What we ask:

  • MA degree in relevant discipline, such as security studies, conflict resolution, international affairs, statistics or social sciences (BA degrees may apply if combined with substantial relevant professional experience)
  • At least 5-7 years of practical work experience, ideally in the fields of conflict resolution, human rights, governance and/or security sector programming; field experience in Iraq or elsewhere in the Middle East is strongly desired
  • Professional experience with quantitative or survey-based research and analysis
  • Proven strategic and analytical capabilities, as well as leaderership skills
  • Experience managing and collaborating with local partner organisations in the field
  • Strong writing and verbal communication skills, proven in inter-cultural contexts
  • Excellent command of English required; Arabic is strongly desired; Dutch is a plus
  • Willingness and ability to travel regularly to conflict areas
  • HEAT security training certificate attained in the last two years strongly desired
  • Affinity with the core values and tradition of PAX
  • In case of non-Dutch candidates, an existing valid work permit for the European Union is required

What we offer

  • A dynamic position in a high-paced, informal, international working environment in a committed and fun team
  • Place of employment: Utrecht, The Netherlands with regular international travel
  • Temporary appointment for 28,8 hours per week (0,8 FTE) for 6 months, starting in October 2019 and continuing until April 2020
  • Salary scale 10, according to PKN terms and conditions of employment, depending on experience, € 2.454,77 – € 4.152,11 (for a fulltime position, 36 hours per week)
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8,3% year-end bonus
  • Full reimbursement for home-to-work travel costs by public transport

Information and application

For more information about PAX:

For questions regarding this position, please contact Carrie Huisman at

Interested candidates matching the profile and requirements can submit their application, consisting of both a letter of motivation (max. 1 page) and resume/CV in English (max. 2 pages) addressed to Carrie Huisman, Project Leader HSS Iraq, only by using the application form on the bottom of this page.

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