Humanitarian Liaison Officer

  • Mid-level
  • Posted on 12 June 2020
  • Washington, D.C., District of Columbia, United States
  • Remote position
  • Closing on 12 July 2020
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Job Description

PROJECT BACKGROUND

Internews will disrupt and mitigate the flow of misleading, inaccurate or malign information for vulnerable populations affected by humanitarian crises during COVID-19, when the accuracy and timeliness of public health information and the quality of communication between communities and the agencies that serve them is vital to health outcomes. Internews’ methodologies are part of the wider humanitarian Community Engagement and Accountability efforts and contribute to Risk Communication & Community Engagement (RCCE) efforts from health and humanitarian partners, by ensuring that community perspectives are captured to inform RCCE strategies and that concerns, rumors and questions are addressed with reliable information that comes from, and is created by, local media or other reliable information providers on a variety of both traditional and social media platforms. This approach galvanizes and supports local media, particularly those trusted and used by vulnerable communities experiencing humanitarian crises, to fully play their role as information providers, as facilitators of conversations within their communities, and as watchdogs and agents of accountability for responders and service providers. Internews will ensure that the work of humanitarian and health organizations is shaped by and responsive to the expressed needs of vulnerable communities and local contexts as the pandemic unfolds.

Internews is a very diverse organization globally. We value the perspectives that result from the inclusivity of different voices, and the foundation of our work is to support free and open communications between all people. We are an organization of dynamic, mission-driven individuals who are passionate about our core values and about supporting positive change in the world. We pride ourselves on our commitment to innovation and flexibility. We are an EEO employer and strongly encourage people from all backgrounds to apply for any of our open positions.

POSITION OVERVIEW

The main task of the Humanitarian Liaison Officer (HLO) is to represent the community’s perspectives as collected within the different activities with the humanitarian system and in return, make sure that the project staff are up to date with the latest developments in the humanitarian and health response. In doing so, the HLO will be in regular contact with officials from the UN, national and international NGOs and the national and local government. The HLO will participate in relevant coordination meetings.

Note: Hiring will be dependent upon receipt of funding. This short-term response project is expected to begin in mid-July 2020, with an anticipated length of six (6) months.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES include the following. Other duties may be assigned:

  • Develop, maintain and establish excellent working relationships with a wide range of humanitarian responders (UN agencies, NGO partners, etc.) and government representatives (MoH, MoI, etc.). Make them aware about the projects and its objectives;
  • Contribute to the discussions and developments of new guidelines, resources, rules and regulations as issued by governments and UN agencies, to ensure the community’s perspectives are taken into account, local media is included and supported and the overall health & humanitarian response is accountable to the affected populations;
  • Represent the coordination and liaison work of the project and actively participate in all relevant humanitarian coordination forums to identify critical information gaps regarding the recovery;
  • Liaise with UN agencies and partner NGOs to gather and disseminate content for and from the Humanitarian Information Service – rumor bulletins, audio content and feedback analysis;
  • Share with the rest of the Project Team the latest humanitarian updates to enable them to turn it into useful, actionable, accurate and engaging content that communities can relate to/understand;
  • Support the content production team to identify and connect with relevant experts within humanitarian agencies and/or local and national government institutions;
  • Become aware of agreed upon protocols regarding the Health response and regulations, and stay up to date with the latest Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices (KAP) surveys concerning the health crisis;
  • Work closely with the rest of the team to ensure that all content and messages are accurate and 1) improve knowledge among local population; 2) follow approved protocols; 3) improve resilience among the local community;
  • In coordination with the Project Team, ensure that feedback gained form the project activities is made available to humanitarian organizations (i.e. brief presentations at coordination meetings and other relevant forums), and government officials, as required;
  • In close coordination with the humanitarian data analyst and content manager, liaise with relevant humanitarian agencies in the production of humanitarian updates and information to disseminate important messages, news and information for local communities;
  • Maintain and update a database with all the relevant contacts (i.e. spokespersons and focal points) from the different organizations and government ministries/units involved in the recovery;
  • Support gender mainstreaming of all aspects of the project;
  • Ensure all content produced within the project follows core humanitarian principles, often summarized but not limited to “Do No Harm”;
  • Support production of regular multimedia materials (i.e. blog posts, photos, photo slideshows, etc.) documenting the project for external audiences, as required;
  • Contribute to the wider communications for the project as a whole, with excellent writing and communication skills;
  • Support the project lead with project management as and when needed;
  • Understanding of and demonstrated commitment to upholding Internews’ Core Values.

QUALIFICATIONS

  • Extensive experience working in complex relief operations in challenging environments, preferably in humanitarian and/or health crisis contexts;
  • Very good knowledge of the mandates and modalities of the international humanitarian sector;
  • A thorough understanding of the work of humanitarian and development agencies, including working within the UN cluster system;
  • Proven interpersonal and networking skills to liaise authoritatively with figures from the aid and donor communities and host governments;
  • Experience in Communication with Communities (CwC) and Accountability to Affected Populations (AAP) projects, with a strong focus on ensuring feedback from the communities is taken into account within the humanitarian system;
  • A good understanding of technical language and jargon used by humanitarian agencies – and demonstrated experience of turning this into engagement content with “human speak” for people who are not familiar with it;
  • A good understanding and experience of accountability platforms and tools – experience working with communities to gather their concerns and issues turning these into engaging content;
  • Strong communication and diplomatic skills;
  • A self-starter and proactive problem solver who enjoys communication and collaboration in a multi-stakeholder environment;
  • Proven ability to develop and monitor workplans and training plans;
  • Fluent in the relevant national languages – knowledge of local languages is a definite plus;
  • Sensitivity to cross-cultural dynamics in the workplace;
  • Must be self-reliant, resourceful, good problem-solver, good humored and flexible.

About the Organization

Internews works to ensure access to trusted, quality information that empowers people to have a voice in their future and to live healthy, secure, and rewarding lives. We envision a world where everyone can communicate freely with anyone, anywhere, and exchange the news and information they need to shape their communities and the world.

For close to 35 years and in more than 100 countries, we have worked with our local partners to build hundreds of sustainable organizations, strengthened the capacity of thousands of media professionals, human rights activists, and information entrepreneurs, and reached millions of people with quality, local information, improving lives and building lasting change. Our decentralized and entrepreneurial model gives us the local flexibility to find the best solutions and the nimbleness required to work in a rapidly changing, uncertain and complex world. On issues ranging from health and the environment to conflict and governance, Internews has developed approaches that harness the power of media and information to create positive change.

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