Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Technical Advisor Job in Kenya - International Rescue Committee

Position Title: Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Technical Advisor

Background/IRC Summary:

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) responds to the world's worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive and rebuild their lives. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC offers lifesaving care and life-changing assistance to refugees forced to flee from war or disaster. At work today in over 40 countries and 22 U.S. cities, we restore safety, dignity and hope to millions who are uprooted and struggling to endure. The IRC leads the way from harm to home.

The IRC’s vision is to lead the humanitarian field by implementing high-impact, cost-effective programs for people affected by crisis and by using our learning and experience to shape policy and practice. To achieve that vision, the IRC’s Program Quality Unit (PQU) provides technical assistance to IRC’s country program staff and shares what we learn to influence policy and practice.

The IRC’s vision is that the impact of our programs and the influence of our ideas empowers those caught in crisis to make lasting change in their lives. To support achievement of this vision, the IRC’s Technical Excellence (TE) unit provides technical assistance to IRC’s country program staff and shares what we learn to influence policy and practice. The TE unit supports technical excellence through the following ways:

  1. Guide program design to achieve outcomes by incorporating the best available evidence
  2. Build technical capacity of country program staff to implement, measure and continuously improve programs
  3. Influence the IRC, peer agencies and donors to use proven interventions and generate new evidence to achieve change in peoples’ lives

The TE Unit is comprised of five technical Units, all of which have deep expertise in their respective sectors: Education, Economic Wellbeing, Governance, Health, Violence Prevention and Response, while cross-cutting work happens with the Gender Equality Unit and the Research & Innovation Unit

The Health Technical Unit (HTU) is organized in three sectors; Health (integrating general primary healthcare including sexual and reproductive health, child health, non-communicable diseases, mental health & psychosocial support), Environmental Health and Nutrition. The structure emphasizes a clear division of roles between technical assistance core and important functions versus other specialized support functions in order to best meet the needs of country programs and regions. In 2020 the HTU supported programming in 6 regions and 34 countries.

Specific Responsibilities:

The MHPSS Technical Advisor (TA) will provide parental leave coverage for the incumbent. The MHPSS TA will spend their time delivering technical assistance in-person and remotely to country program colleagues and coordinate mental health and psychosocial support within the health unit and in collaboration with other units such as the violence prevention and response unit, education and research and learning. This is position will be entirely field facing, supporting the technical quality of MHPSS programs in West and Central Africa, Latin America and Asia. The Technical Advisors’ specific responsibilities are as follows:

Engaging in business development and program design:

  • Support country program staff to design programs and projects, ensuring that they are:
    • Aligned with the IRC’s strategy, which includes supporting country program staff with contextualizing outcomes and the theories of change, and selecting interventions based on the best available evidence and the local context;
    • Responsive to client needs and preferences
    • Based on sound context and gender analysis
  • Support use of indicators for country programs aligned with existing IRC MHPSS Health indicators
  • Review technical quality of proposals, including review of technical MHPSS strategies, interventions and activities and ensuring alignment to IRC’s outcomes and IRC MHPSS Framework
  • Input into go / no go decisions on proposals
  • When necessary, write technical narratives of proposals in addition to regular review of technical narratives, workplans, and any program reports
  • Provide input on budgets required for project delivery
  • Engage with donors and do outreach in support of country programs

Building technical capacity of country program staff to ensure ongoing program quality and innovation:

  • Assist in hiring, mentoring, and technical support to MHPSS and Health staff in country programs
  • Establish and/or strengthen country programs MHPSS capacity building plans and MHPSS monitoring and evaluation standards
  • Conduct technical MHPSS training and ongoing technical coaching for country program staff, including on IRC outcomes, theories of change, evidence and indicators.
  • Share cross-context learning with country program staff across regions, for example through community of practice efforts
  • Support senior country program staff recruitment and onboarding
  • Coordinate closely with other technical teams in country and technical advisors (e.g. Health, Women’s Protection and Empowerment, Child Protection and Protection Rule of Law, and M&E) to ensure MHPSS approaches across technical teams and activities remain aligned with best practices
  • Advocate for the participation of MHPSS staff in country level coordination mechanisms, for example MHPSS Working Groups

Project delivery support:

  • Work with country program colleagues and the Health Technical Advisors to help analyze data to inform course correction as needed
  • Review and share program-specific tools/resources/curricula and work with technical unit specialists to contextualize and adapt global and country-specific materials
  • Help define approach to teaming/partnering with other organizations
  • Support specific MHPSS focused projects within country programs

Management and Coordination:

  • Coordinate and plan with country coordinators and primary health care technical advisors the technical assistance country programs receive.
  • Coordination with TAs across the Health Unit
  • Coordinate with MHPSS TAs within health and VPRU units for joint MHPSS initiatives
  • Coordinate with other unit TAs as per country programs needs and requests
  • Manage and mentor MHPSS consultants and interns where applicable.

Key Working Relationships:

Position Reports to: Senior Technical Advisor, Specialized Health Programs

Position directly supervises: This position will not supervise any staff

Other Internal and/or external contacts:

Internal: Regular communication with education, violence prevention and response, health, economic recovery & development, governance, research, evaluation and learning, and gender equality technical unit teams. Close relationships with regional and country program teams. Interacts with IRC internal departments, including business development, external relations and advocacy departments, to keep them informed of program activities.

Job Qualifications:

Education: Psychologist/Psychiatrist/Social Worker with Master of Public Health.

Work Experience: A minimum of 5 years of international field experience, of which at least 3 in managerial/coordination positions with Non-Governmental Organizations in humanitarian or post-conflict settings. Experience in technical tools and materials development and monitoring and evaluation is highly desired. Experience in strategy development and working across sectors or disciplines is highly desired.

Demonstrated Skills and Competencies: Demonstrated expertise in working with donors, project design, proposal development, and monitoring and evaluation, with the ability to turn concepts and strategy into measurable action. Able to work with remote, multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary teams. Strong interpersonal verbal and written communication skills and ability to facilitate collaboration. Outstanding capacity to understand the country context, portfolio, and overall programmatic needs, and pull and coordinate the relevant technical assistance from within and outside the health unit. Ability to transfer technical knowledge and skills. Demonstrated commitment to renewing and maintaining currency with best practices.

Language Skills: Fluency in English and French is required.

Working Environment:** Up to 30% travel may be required. This position base is to be determined.

Commitment to Diversity and Inclusivity:

IRC is committed to building a diverse organization and a climate of inclusivity. We strongly encourage applications from candidates who can demonstrate that they can contribute to this goal.

Equal Opportunity Employer:

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status. We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us to request accommodation.

How to apply