International MHPSS Specialist

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Last update: 5 days ago Last update: Jan 24, 2023


Deadline: Jan 28, 2023
Location: Ethiopia Ethiopia
Sectors: Health Health
Job type: Contract, 4 to 12 months
English English
Work experience: From 5 years
Date posted: Jan 24, 2023


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The Position

The International MHPSS Specialist is based in Mekelle field office. Under the direct supervision of the Senior Project Coordinator, the International MHPSS Specialist will be responsible to support the Tigray Sub- office to increase the capacity of UNFPA and implementing partner staff to deliver services in compliance with IASC Guidelines for Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings. 

How the International MHPSS Specialist can make a difference:

UNFPA is the lead UN agency for delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person's potential is fulfilled. UNFPA’s new strategic plan (2022-2025), focuses on three transformative results: to end preventable maternal deaths; end unmet need for family planning; and end gender-based violence and harmful practices. 

In a world where fundamental human rights are at risk, we need principled and ethical staff, who embody these international norms and standards, and who will defend them courageously and with full conviction.

UNFPA is seeking candidates that transform, inspire, and deliver high impact and sustained results; we need staff who are transparent, exceptional in how they manage the resources entrusted to them and who commit to deliver excellence in Programme results.

Job Purpose:

Under the overall guidance and direct supervision of Senior Project Coordinator , the incumbent facilitates the implementation of UNFPA’s MHPSS programming to assist those affected by the conflict in Tigray region of Ethiopia. 

The incumbent will be part of the Improving access to GBV response Services in Tigray project team and will support the assessment, planning, programme oversight, monitoring, and evaluation of MHPSS initiatives through the use of available IASC global guidelines and standards, tools to be in line with UNFPA’s Minimum Standards for Addressing GBV in Emergencies integrated with MHPSS. Build MHPSS partnership and Capacity-building of national and local partners on MHPSS to respond, prevent and mitigate risk of mental health issues in emergency and humanitarian settings. 

International MHPSS specialist will be responsible for the following: 

Major Duties and Responsibilities: 

Ongoing assessment of current PSS interventions and staff knowledge and skills in UNFPA’s Women and Girls Friendly Spaces (WGFS) and One Stop Centers ( OSC), with attention to staff changes, ongoing recruitment, and increase in number of centers.
Lead the design of MHPSS interventions for UNFPA and implementing partners in Tigray, including consideration of a cognitive behavior-based approach tailored to staff without formal MHPSS qualifications. 
Support ongoing assessment of psychosocial needs of men and boys in affected locations/IDP sites and support appropriate activities in collaboration with social welfare officers /GBV case workers and participants.
Develop training, mentoring and a supervision plan to equip GBV caseworkers and case managers/social workers/Midwives to deliver specialized interventions that address common psychosocial responses to both long standing and acute trauma and abuse. Deliver training sessions and maintain intensive follow-up/coaching to ensure skill development and application.
Lead and support case managers with training reviews on PFA and other psychosocial interventions to ensure capacity of health staff and community mobilisers to recognize and respond appropriately to MHPSS needs in close collaboration with the International GBV Case Management Specialist.
Lead and support ongoing self-care sessions of UNFPA staff and IP case workers and social welfare officers, facilitated by IP case managers and national MHPSS Specialist.
Develop/Regularly review and modify when necessary existing field manuals and guidance materials to ensure ongoing cultural appropriateness 
Review existing monitoring tools to ensure MHPSS interventions are being carried out in compliance with international guidelines and best practices. 
Represent UNFPA in MHPSS coordination structures and maintain linkage between MHPSS Working Group and GBV AoR to support information sharing and skills transfer.   
Actively participate in and support the facilitation of inter-agency, multi-sectoral GBV and MHPSS coordination groups at national and local levels as necessary. 
Bring an MHPSS lens to reporting and assessments undertaken by UNFPA partners or jointly with other organizations. 
Identify MHPSS services available to include in GBV referral pathways at UNFPA-sponsored locations. Determine protocol for triage and referral of survivors to these services. 
Lead and facilitate sub-working groups for special GBV-related issues with UN agencies and INGOs as required.
Document training and supervision using tracking tools designed in collaboration with UNFPA M&E Specialists. Create record of participants’ progress. Report on effectiveness of training materials and process. Take steps to assess and address gaps through iterative improvements to training protocols.      
Supervise and review monitoring tools for MHPSS interventions to support quality programming in compliance with international standards. Conduct monitoring and provide reports on compliance and challenges. 
Conduct review of GBV response and prevention interventions in collaboration with the International GBV Case management Specialist to ensure that all interventions are in line with the Guiding Principles, including the IASC Guidelines for Integrating GBV Interventions in Humanitarian Settings, IASC Guidelines for Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings and other international standards. 
Produce regular progress reports and contribute to SitReps as required. 
Review the training material tailored for the MHPSS intervention within the GBV response and prevention intervention.
Provide support to IP case manager’s capacity building activities to implementing partners, including Government counterparts and health responders. Support should include the provision of quality psychosocial first aid responses for survivors of GBV or trauma.
Support monitoring and evaluation of PSS activities.
Analyze results of monitoring visits and data to identify capacity development needs  
Contribute to the development of appropriate IEC material to support the training and programme implementation for MHPSS interventions and review existing IEC materials to ensure that MHPSS aspects are included in SRH IEC and GBV response and prevention messaging.
Support the ongoing capacity development of UNFPA staff to respond to emergency/humanitarian crisis with awareness of MHPSS needs, referral options, and interventions.  
Support the ongoing development of MHPSS and GBV IEC material for case workers providing a direct response. 
Provide technical updates and training to UNFPA staff and partners in relevant technical areas related to GBV, particularly the MHPSS component of GBV case management.
Prepare monthly work plans and reports as needed or requested. 

Qualifications and Experience 


Master’s degree with specialization in areas such as social work, mental health/psychology, public health, gender, law/human rights, international relations, and/or other related social science disciplines from recognized universities/colleges 

Experience and Knowledge: 

At least 5 years of specialized experience in GBV programming, preferably including in a complex, volatile, humanitarian context.
Proven understanding of the survivors-centered and human-rights-based approaches.
Direct experience providing support to GBV survivors is an asset.
Excellent programme management skills, including organizational and time-management skills, IT literacy, and proven experience in programme / budget management and monitoring. Experience working through Implementing Partners and establishing / managing remote monitoring systems an asset. 
Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
High resilience and coping with stress abilities. Capability of delivering results on time, even under stress.


Fluency in English required. Knowledge in other UN languages is an asset. Proficiency in Tigrinya language is highly desirable. 

Required Competencies


Exemplifying integrity, 
Demonstrating commitment to UNFPA and the UN system, 
Embracing cultural diversity, 
Embracing change

Core Competencies: 

Achieving results,
Being accountable,
Developing and applying professional expertise/business acumen, 
Thinking analytically and strategically,
Working in teams/managing ourselves and our relationships,
Communicating for impact

Managerial Competencies:

Providing strategic focus,
Engaging in internal/external partners and stakeholders,
Leading, developing and empowering people, creating a culture of performance
Making decisions and exercising judgment

Functional Competencies:

Advocacy/ Advancing a policy-oriented agenda
Leveraging the resources of national governments and partners/ building strategic alliances and partnerships
Delivering results-based programme
Internal and external communication and advocacy for results mobilisation

Compensation and Benefits

This position offers an attractive remuneration package including a competitive net salary plus cost-of-living adjustment, rental subsidy, education grant, home leave, health insurance and other benefits as applicable.