Inter - Regional Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) Officer Job Vacancy in Nairobi, Kenya - Jesuit Refugee Service

Position Title: Inter - Regional Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) Officer

General Purpose of the Position


The Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) is an international non-governmental organisation with a mission to accompany, serve, and advocate for the rights of refugees and forcibly displaced people. The organisation was founded in November 1980 and has a presence in over 57 countries. JRS undertakes services at national and regional levels with the support and guidance of an international office in Rome. The style of JRS service is human and spiritual, working in situations of greatest need, seeking the long-term wellbeing of refugees and displaced persons, while not neglecting their immediate or urgent needs. JRS offers opportunities to a wide variety of staff, local and international, while maintaining a realistic and localised scheme of salary/stipend, insurance, etc.


The Eastern African Region has projects in 6 countries: Ethiopia, South Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, Burundi and Tanzania. These countries are among the top refugee hosting countries in the world, and some of them have hosted refugees for more than two decades. JRS projects in the region serve both urban and camp-based refugee populations as well as internally displaced people (IDPs). The Southern Africa Region includes South Africa, Malawi, Angola, and Mozambique. The South African operation is urban-based while the other operations are camp-based.


The Regional MHPSS Officer will be responsible for supporting JRS Eastern Africa and Southern Africa Regions’ MHPSS teams in conception, supervision, and implementation of projects responding to the specific MHPSS needs of refugees and forcibly displaced people in the region. S/he will report to the Regional Director /DRD and the Regional Programmes Manager under the supervision of and support from the global MHPSS team based at JRS/USA.

The MHPSS officer will support JRS MHPSS staff in Ethiopia, South Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, Burundi, Tanzania, Angola, Malawi, South Africa and Mozambique. with the aim of developing and strengthening MHPSS services. S/he will be responsible for ensuring that MHPSS staff are able to provide high-quality psychosocial services across all levels of the IASC MHPSS Intervention Pyramid for children and adults who access JRS services. In this role they will coordinate with and support teams comprising of Social Workers, Case Managers, paraprofessionals, Needs Assessment Teams, Tutors, Medical Staff, and any other PSS staff to ensure that they are able to deliver psychosocial support in line with IASC Reference Group MHPSS Guidelines and JRS Policy and Standards. The MHPSS Officer will also support the integration of MHPSS into other sectors through assessment, design, and training.

The Regional MHPSS Officer will also work closely with the Senior MHPSS Specialist based in JRS/USA to implement JRS’s global MHPSS strategy and implementation plan in Eastern and Southern Africa.


JRS has zero tolerance towards all forms of sexual exploitation and abuse and takes seriously all concerns and complaints about sexual exploitation and abuse against children and vulnerable adults by JRS personnel. JRS is committed to safeguarding children and vulnerable adults and has policies which outline the expected behaviour, code of conduct and responsibility of all persons acting on behalf of JRS (Staff, consultants, volunteers, interns, Pastoral team and other representatives). JRS personnel are expected to abide by these policies and guidelines.

Main Responsibilities of the Position



  • Serves as a technical resource to the Regional Director/DRD, Regional and Country Programme Officers and Country Mental Health and Psychosocial staff to evaluate and assess new MHPSS projects and the direction of existing projects.
  • Plans and implements training, coaching and supervision to reinforce the capacities of MHPSS teams
  • Supports MHPSS focal points who are engaged in meetings with local government officials and specialized institutions, and other relevant authorities and stakeholders (MHPSS service providers, communities, etc.) to represent the priorities of the organization, provide necessary technical expertise, and support local teams in implementation of projects.
  • Stays up to date on MHPSS, protection and humanitarian best practices and promotes communication with other relevant partners and actors by attending coordination meetings.
  • Networking with key external stakeholders to help build referral pathways.
  • Supports regional and country offices in recruitment and hiring of MHPSS staff at project and country levels to ensure appropriate MHPSS service delivery, respecting do-no harm principle.



  • Defines the strategy and priority actions of the MHPSS programs and activities in the region under the supervision of the Regional Director, and in collaboration with the MHPSS Global Unit at JRS USA and the rest of the regional team.
  • Provides technical support to the annual review and planning of JRS projects considering regional and international strategies and guidelines, as well as international standards for MHPSS in emergencies.
  • Leads and manages all MHPSS needs assessment activities within the region for the development of new locations.
  • Provides technical guidance and support to country and project MHPSS staff for ongoing evaluation and needs assessment at existing MHPSS projects.
  • Develops technical inputs for all proposals with MHPSS and related outcomes and activities within the region.
  • Proposes innovative strategies and activities to address MHPSS and related needs in the region.


Supporting Project Implementation

  • Defines and coordinates actions that guarantee the implementation of global and regional strategic priorities in the region.
  • Ensures that programs have the resources (materials, tools, knowledge) needed to effectively monitor and evaluate MHPSS services.
  • Ensures that MHPSS considerations are integrated into other JRS Core Priorities resulting in improved cross-sectoral outcomes.
  • Works on improving JRS intervention to vulnerable young people and their families by networking with key external medical, psychosocial and education stakeholders to help build referral networks.
  • Supports JRS teams and reinforces their capacities in terms of MHPSS by:
  • Drafting and preparing key documents in order to implement and harmonize key interventions and support interventions.
  • Leads contextualized in person MHPSS skills-based trainings based on staff capacity assessments (Ex. IASC MHPSS Guidelines, IASC M&E Framework, integrated approaches to psychosocial and protection; community based MHPSS, Case Management, scalable psychological interventions etc.).
  • Where necessary, identifies external experts to conduct training and to assist the organisation of such training.
  • Provides coaching and supervision as follow-up to training provided in alignment with best practices for MHPSS skills-based trainings.
  • Coordinating with other actors in the MHPSS sector in the region:
  • To ensure the effective exchange of information, technical support, and advocacy regarding MHPSS in emergencies in the region among JRS and other key actors.
  • To support the technical work of the teams in the field and coordinate their interaction with local authorities.



  • Visits JRS MHPSS projects and monitor their implementation, reporting to regional and global MHPSS staff on progress.
  • Writes and submits monthly activity reports to the Senior MHPSS Specialist in the USA Office and the regional team.
  • Proposes and creates tools to evaluate impact indicators and the quality of JRS MHPSS projects.
  • Works with relevant regional and country M&E staff to develop and train for efficient reporting on MHPSS in all the region.
  • Undertakes any other duties that are within the ambit of the position as assigned by the Regional Director/DRD and Regional Programmes Manager.

Personal Specification – Essential Requirements


  • Advanced degree in psychology, social work required;
  • Additional degrees/certification in mental health in humanitarian settings a plus;
  • Experience in case management and supervision is desirable.


  • Minimum of 5 years of relevant experience with at least 2 years of relevant field experience in humanitarian settings, within the context of mental health and psychosocial support programming;
  • Experience in MHPSS program development, relationship management, capacity building, conducting needs assessments, case management, conflict mediation, basic counselling, and monitoring and evaluation;
  • Experience working with people with complex needs and children and in making referrals;
  • Strong knowledge of social work discipline, different types of intervention; protection topics, particularly GBV and Child Protection and Safeguarding;
  • Awareness and knowledge of other sectors including Emergency Assistance, education, reconciliation, livelihoods, and protection is a plus;
  • Knowledge of and experience in applying the IASC MHPSS guidelines and best practices as part of work;
  • Demonstrated ability and experience of working in a multi-cultural environment;
  • Experience in advocacy especially for the people served with international, regional and country/national stakeholders.


  • Demonstrable experience of, and capacity for, working collaboratively as part of a team and putting in practice team building skills;
  • Knowledge of the context, humanitarian sectors and actors in the East and Southern African region is desirable;
  • Fluency in written and spoken Portuguese, French or Swahili is an asset ;
  • High proficiency in written and spoken English is essential;
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office, particularly Word and Excel;
  • Demonstrated ability to work in limited resources settings and adapt to dynamic and changing work environments;
  • Excellent interpersonal, cross-cultural communication, planning, and organizational skills;


  • Commitment to JRS mission and vision, and the ability to convey with enthusiasm JRS’ role in accompanying and serving forcibly displaced people and in advocating for their right to protection and a life in dignity;
  • Good understanding of and compatibility with the values of JRS; Impartiality, Compassion, Hope, Dignity, Solidarity, Hospitality, Justice, Participation, Accountability, Transparency and Integrity.
  • Compassion for refugees and displaced people, a motivation to serve, and (desirable) experience of working in the context of forced migration;
  • Trustworthy, good listener, creative, flexible, honest, and can maintain confidentiality;

Acceptance of diversity and inclusion as a core value.

Travel Expectation

  • Ability and willingness to travel to JRS project sites across the region and adapt to modest living and working conditions;
  • A capacity to adapt to basic living and working conditions particularly to operate in a sub optimal working environment subject to power cuts / intermittent electricity

How to apply

Please send all applications to:

The application should include the following documents:

  • Curriculum Vitae (CV) in English including three (3) professional references with their contact information, phone and email address.

  • A cover letter describing the candidate's desire and motivation to work for JRS and how his/her qualifications and experience are a good fit for this position.

  • Deadline: 25th of September 2022

    No late applications will be considered.

    Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted