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Military specialist on the Protection of Civilians

PAX means peace. PAX brings together people who have the courage to stand for peace. Together with people in conflict areas and concerned civilians worldwide, PAX works to build dignified, and peaceful societies across the globe.

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 team at PAX, in Utrecht. The PoC team’s main activities include: survey research and advocacy in South Sudan and Iraq; training of and networking with PoC actors internationally; defence and security policy research and advocacy for inclusion of people-centred PoC approaches at the UN, NATO and EU. We work with local partners, international organizations, military and diplomatic actors, researchers, politicians and policy makers. (See for details.)

We aim to further professionalize our engagements with a variety of military actors in NATO and UN, in the Netherlands, with military operations and in our project contexts. To this end and to contribute to PoC training and exercise modules, we are looking for a:

Military specialist on the Protection of Civilians

Responsibilities and tasks

The Military Specialist (specialist) will contribute to further developing relations with a multitude of military organizations, notably UN DPO and UN ITS, NATO ACT and ACO/SHAPE, the ministries of Defence in the Netherlands and Germany, peacekeeping training centres and institutes like NODEFIC and Fincent.

The specialist will contribute to our ongoing work with the UN, NATO and Troop/Police Contributing Countries (T/PCCs) on PoC and develop improved training and exercise modules for Protection of Civilians. The main themes for this job include ‘data for peacekeeping’, ‘civilian harm mitigation’, ‘community engagement’ and ‘civmil collaborations’. Contributing to methods and tools to monitor the effectiveness of training for peacekeeping and military advice on all components of our PoC team are part of the job.

The specialist will report to the Project Lead of the Protection in Practice project, itself part of the Protection of Civilians Programme of PAX. The specialist will:

  • Maintain and develop our network with mentioned military actors
  • Contribute to our civilian harm mitigation work in the Netherlands and internationally
  • Provide military advice on all ongoing and future activities within the PoC team and its international partners
  • Organise and conduct training for Dutch and other T/PCC military on PoC and related topics
  • Contribute to the development of PoC training modules and exercise injects
  • Participate in and contribute to military and Civilian-Military exercises
  • Contribute to international discussions on the PoC training and exercise curriculum
  • Advise military and civilian partners on PoC training and exercises

We are looking for

We are looking for an ambitious individual who can apply military experience professionally towards our goals for the protection of civilians in armed conflict. Our ideal candidate is strong (intercultural) communicator with a pragmatic problem-solving approach to working on complex issues with a wide range of people and organizations. Willingness to travel, engage with formal and informal security arrangements and ability to represent our PoC team in a variety of settings is needed. Strong educational skills, a relevant network and a sense of humour completes the description of our ideal candidate.

What we ask:

  • A military background relevant to this position (please detail relevance in application letter)
  • At least 3-5 years of practical work experience in military advice and/or educational or training programs relevant to peace and security in complex settings; field experience in Iraq, South Sudan or a similar environment is strongly desired
  • Track record of ‘comprehensive approaches’ (collaborations with civilians, diplomats, military actors, research actors, police, etc.)
  • Track record showing affinity with Protection of Civilians and Human Security in previous work
  • Excellent command of English required; Arabic is strongly desired; Dutch and/or French is a plus
  • Strong writing and verbal communication skills, proven in inter-cultural contexts
  • Willingness and ability to travel to conflict areas
  • HEAT security training certificate (or similar) attained in the last two years 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
  • Ability to grow within the position through training and on the job coaching
  • Place of employment: Utrecht, The Netherlands with regular international travel
  • Appointment for 28.8 hours per week (0.8 FTE) for 12 months, starting in October 2020 and possibility possibly to be renewed after one year
  • Salary scale depending on experience and PAX’s scale system.
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8,3% year-end bonus
  • Full reimbursement for home-to-work travel costs by public transport

Information and application

For questions regarding this position, please contact Wilbert van der Zeijden at vanderzeijden(javascript needed for readable email)

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) only by using the application form on the bottom of this page. Applications through email will not be considered.

Closing date for responses to this vacancy announcement is Friday 16 October 2020.

PAX is an equal opportunity employer and encourages everyone with skills, passion and courage to participate. We invite applicants from all backgrounds, also with special needs, to apply for this position.