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GISF Research & Communications Manager

Closing date31 Mar 2023
LocationLondon, UK
Downloads HR FM 014 - Application Form_GISF_Final[86] (218 KB DOC)
Candidate info UK_Research_Comms Manager 2023[72] (152 KB DOC)
GISF Research_Comms Manager_Advert[80] (230 KB DOCX)

Fixed term contract for 12 months (with possibility of extension)

Full time: working 37.5 hours per week

Salary: £40,416

Location: London (flexibility of working from home)

Role Context

GISF is an independent NGO peer support network established in 2006 to provide a platform for global security focal points to share experiences, knowledge and learning. GISF is dedicated to improving the protection of aid workers and operations, to achieve sustainable access to populations in need.

Recognising that NGOs need to develop expertise in security risk management in order to deliver aid effectively in unpredictable operating environments, GISF’s vision is to continue to grow as a global hub for humanitarian security risk management for NGOs and other stakeholders that impact on security risk management in the humanitarian space.

The forum currently represents over 140 aid agencies operating internationally, its members including development, human rights and humanitarian organisations. Over the past 14 years, GISF has created a centre of excellence that gathers and disseminates good practice in security risk management (SRM) to improve policy and practice. GISF collaborate with a range of experts within and beyond the sector to ensure a coordinated approach and maximise gain for the whole sector. GISF crafts innovative research, hosts original training and events, and maintains a ‘one-stop-shop’ for security risk management in the humanitarian sector through its online hub.

GISF acts as a resource for the humanitarian sector and other stakeholders, including donors, academics and the private sector to improve good practice and build capacity on humanitarian security risk management.

GISF is supported by its membership and is funded by the US and UK governments. The Forum is not a registered organisation, but an independently run entity, hosted by a Member Organisation, currently Mines Advisory Group (MAG).

GISF Vision:  Aid workers and operations are safe and secure to achieve sustainable access for populations in need

GISF Mission:  GISF drives positive change in security risk management across the humanitarian sector through original research, collaboration and events.

GISF Values: 

  • GISF operates according to the fundamentals of the humanitarian principles, i.e. humanity, impartiality, neutrality and independence.
  • GISF takes a professional, member driven and collaborative approach to its’ work.
  • GISF aims to remain relevant to its’ members and the broader sector through continuous innovation and added value.
  • GISF champions inclusivity across security risk management and operates in a transparent, accessible and open manner.

For more information, visit: www.gisf.ngo

The Job

We are looking for a Research and Communications Manager to lead on the production of relevant and original research papers and guides, to proactively respond to global humanitarian trends.

The Research and Communications Manager will develop and implement the communications strategy, ensuring an integrated research approach, promoting the use of evidence based recommendations, to enhance GISF’s position as a global centre of excellence for security risk management. This role will manage the Research and Communications team, to oversee GISF’s internal and external communications material, utilise social media platforms and ensure the GISF website is maintained, updated and expanded to remain a key global resource for security risk management for the humanitarian sector.

Additionally, the Research and Communications Manager will play a key role in GISF to promote and identify networking, coordination and capacity building opportunities and activities across the humanitarian sector, including NGO coordinating bodies, UN agencies, institutional donors and consultants.

The successful candidate will have experience of developing and implementing communication plans, including social media and website content, as well as a track record of success in policy and project development and research. You will have experience of field or head office level humanitarian programme or policy work. Strong communication and interpersonal skills are essential, to represent GISF externally and build strong working relationships. Familiarity with aspects of and approaches to security risk management would be advantageous.

Job Description

Managing GISF’s Research function:

  • Lead GISF’s team to produce relevant and original research papers and best practice guides.
  • Proactively monitor the changes in the humanitarian and aid sector and global debate on humanitarian security risk management, including an overview of global threats, to ensure development of timely research initiatives and events.
  • Identify relevant research topics and initiate, develop and manage the research projects and good practice guides. This includes:
    • managing consultants and service providers as required – complete project ToRs and managing deliverables to meet GISF needs
    • inputting into and oversight of contracts
    • forming working and peer review groups
    • reviewing and editing drafts and overseeing online versions
    • overseeing translation of documents
  • Identify opportunities for participating in and leading joint research and collaborative learning projects with NGOs, policy bodies and academic institutions.

Managing GISF’s Communication function:

  • Ensure an integrated research and Influencing approach is taken when developing and implementing the GISF communications strategy
  • Lead in developing and promoting the use of evidence-based recommendations for sector influencing and to enhance GISF’s position as a global centre of excellence for SRM.
  • Manage the ongoing development and implementation of the GISF communications plan.
  • Oversee the development of thematic and contextual communications material for internal and external use (blogs, articles etc), with inputs from GISF team and other experts.
  • Lead the development of social media and other communications to ensure GISF’s activities and outputs reach the right audiences.
  • Ensure the GISF website, including the library, is maintained, updated and expanded to remain a key global resource for security risk management for the humanitarian sector.

Managing Research and Communications team:

  • Manage the Research & Communications Team which currently includes the Research & Communications Assistant, the Admin & Projects Assistant (Comms) as well as a ‘dotted line’ management responsibility for the Americas based Research & Communications Assistant.
  • Manage the research budget and develop research based proposals for funding opportunities
  • Support the GISF Executive Director and the secretariat in organising bi-annual GISF forums, as well as other specialist workshops and webinars.

Networking and Coordination:

  • Identify, network and communicate with security risk management specialists from the humanitarian and other sectors and act as a hub bringing different experts together to support new and ongoing projects.
  • Represent GISF at relevant international forums and events, presenting GISF projects to a wider audience.
  • Promote informed dialogue on security risk management issues in the humanitarian sector as a whole.
  • Develop GISF’s ability to enhance information sharing and exchange of good practice within and between NGOs and other stakeholders.
  • Identify events for the dissemination of GISF projects to the broader humanitarian community.
  • Contribute to research projects for other stakeholders in the sector.

All HQ staff are expected to undertake the following general duties:

  • Work within the framework of GISF and MAG’s core values, promoting its ethos and mission statement.
  • Work towards achieving programme and/or department business plan objectives.
  • Ensure familiarity with and adhere to all GISF and MAG policies and procedures and keep informed of GISF activities.
  • Undertake and apply learning from appropriate training and development programmes.
  • Undertake the role in a manner appropriate to the cultural context and within the local legal framework.
  • Understand and uphold the standards outlined in MAG’s Safeguarding Framework, acting with due care and attention to safeguard the wellbeing of anyone that comes into contact with MAG’s work and reporting concerns if they do arise.

This is a non-contractual document that can be varied from time to time as circumstances dictate. This job description is intended to summarize the main duties and responsibilities of the post; this is not intended to be a full and exhaustive list of tasks. All MAG staff are expected to demonstrate flexibility and willingness to perform appropriate tasks when the need arises.

Person Specification

Essential Experience

  • Experience of humanitarian programme or policy work at field or head office level.
  • Experience and a track record of success in policy and project development and research.
  • Experience in managing consultant and contracts.
  • Experience of developing and implementing communication plans, including social media and website content.
  • Experience of representing organisations externally.
  • Experience of managing a small team.

Essential Skills

  • Excellent writing and editorial skills in English.
  • Good project management including experience of developing budgets and working within their constraints.
  • Proven initiative and ability to manage a complex workload, working at times to tight deadlines.
  • Proven ability to build relationships from a distance with a wide range of stakeholders.
  • Conceptual thinker with solid problem-solving and analytical skills.
  • Strong communications skills, including the ability to work with different stakeholders, supporting others to work collaboratively to solve problems.
  • Meticulous attention to detail and accuracy of information.

Essential Aptitude

  • Strives to achieve excellence.
  • Can represent and promote GISF at various levels.
  • Can think and work independently to prioritise and meet strict deadlines.
  • Resilience and stamina to manage a varied and demanding workload with competing demands and priorities.
  • Innovative, creative, assertive, and pro-active.
  • Willingness to travel for a minimum of four – six weeks per year.
  • Committed to the vision, mission, and values of GISF.


  • Postgraduate qualification or equivalent experience.


  • Familiarity with aspects of and approaches to security risk management.
  • Good understanding of content management systems for websites.
  • Familiarity with the humanitarian system.
  • Working knowledge of other languages.

How to Apply

Application is by an application form, CV and cover letter. These documents should be submitted to

gisf-admin@gisf.ngo highlighting:

  • Your suitability for the role and interest in joining GISF
  • Relevant research you have authored/contributed to
  • Your understanding of the security risk management challenges faced by humanitarian agencies
  • How you see this role fitting into your future career plans
  • Also complete the attached Application Form. Your application will not be considered without this.


As this post is UK-based, you will need to show evidence of your eligibility to work in the UK.

For further details: see www.gisf.ngo or contact gisf-admin@gisf.ngo


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