Mental Health Senior Coordinator

  • Senior-level, Full-time staff position
  • Posted on 18 September 2018
  • New York, New York, United States
  • Closing on 17 October 2018

Job Description

Requisition ID: req2751

Job Title: Mental Health Senior Coordinator

Sector: Health

Employment Category: Fixed Term

Employment Type: Full-Time

Location: USA-New York, NY - HQ

Job Description

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 Program Quality Unit has three central objectives that we work towards:
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 Program Quality Unit is comprised of seven technical Units, all of which have deep expertise in their respective sectors: Education, Economic Wellbeing, Gender Equality, Governance, Health, Violence Prevention and Response, and Research Evaluation and Learning (REL).

The health technical unit is organized in four sectors; primary health, reproductive health, environmental health and nutrition. The structure emphasizes a clear division of roles between technical assistance core and important functions versus other specialized support/thought leadership functions in order to best meet the needs of country programs and regions. In 2017, the health technical unit supported programming in 6 regions and 27 countries.

Position Scope:
This position is responsible for providing the strategic vision and overall leadership and representation for IRC’s work in integration of mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) in primary health care (PHC), including stakeholder engagement at the global level and, where applicable, at the national and district levels. The position provides the technical oversight and support necessary for strategic, TU-led projects-including considerable evaluation components focused on integrating MHPSS into PHC. For the TU-led MHPSS integration projects, this position is ultimately accountable to provide the necessary support to the implementation team allowing for timely achievement of project results.

Specific Responsibilities:
It is expected that the Mental Health Advisor will spend at least 80% of their time defining, coordinating and advocating for IRC’s strategic vision for MHPSS integration in PHC programming and evaluation, as well as overseeing the implementation of this vision through TU-led projects. The remaining 0-20% of their time will be focused on the provision of technical support to improve the quality of country-led MHPSS programming, in close collaboration with Primary Health Care Technical Advisors (PHC TAs).

The Advisor’s specific responsibilities are as follows:

Thought Leadership:
* Strategically engage donors to influence trends important for IRC to achieve MHPSS integration into PHC across country programs.
* Provide strategic donor engagement support for country-led grants, where applicable.
* Identify and/or develop global tools/resources/curricula relevant for quality MHPSS integration into PHC programming and evaluation.
* Work with PHC TAs, and country program staff when applicable, to operationalize these tools/resources/curricula.
* Support collection and synthesis of global mental health program data
* Collaborate with advocacy and communications teams to identify ways to leverage programmatic and evaluation work to influence donors, peers and policy makers.
* Attend targeted conferences and develop specific publications (issues papers, technical documents, presentations and peer-reviewed articles) relevant to advancing IRC’s mission and strategy, related to MHPSS integration into PHC program strategies and evaluation results.
* Synthesize key findings of current literature related to integration of MHPSS into PHC for dissemination within the Health Unit and country programs.
* Participate in coordination efforts within the health unit and with other technical unit and departments in IRC as required.

TU-led Project Coordination:

Engaging in program design and business development
* Identification of opportunities, including prepositioning work and partnership and donor cultivation.
* Strategic opportunity analysis, including provision of input into go/no-go decisions on proposals and partnerships.
* Negotiation of teaming agreements.
* Lead efforts related to proposal development, including:
- Writing of technical narrative, when necessary.
- Indicator and output/outcome selection.
- Coordination and oversight of budget development.
- Determination of role divisions among partners and sub-grants negotiation.
- Review of final technical proposal, focused on intervention design and alignment to IRC’s outcomes.

Project coordination/implementation
* Recruit and onboard senior project staff.
* Support grant opening meeting activities.
* Oversee project implementation and quality of service delivery, including:
- Development of monitoring & evaluation plan and tools.
- Oversight of data analysis to inform periodic course correction.
- Budget management
* Coordinate and contribute to the development of all external project reporting.
* Review, provide all technical edits and ensure submission narrative and financial reports per grant timeline.
* Coordinate with Health Unit Country Focal Points on technical assistance to country programs receive.

Representation and engagement
* Represent the project with Ministries of Health, WHO and other key technical stakeholders at global and national levels, as needed.
* Manage the relationship with project donor(s).
* Lead all engagement initiatives.
* Represent the project internally.
* Promote project strategy and/or results for increased visibility opportunities and internal resources, where applicable.

Core and Important Technical Assistance Responsibilities for Country-led MHPSS Programming:

Engaging in program design and business development
* Review and provide input on technical quality of proposals, at the request of PHC TA focal points, including review of MHPSS interventions, results, indicators, and alignment to IRC’s outcomes.

Building technical capacity of country program staff
* Conduct technical trainings and ongoing technical coaching for country program staff related to MHPSS programming quality improvement.

Knowledge Transfer:
* Identify, jointly with PHC TAs, the core competencies required by PHC TAs to integrate MHPSS into PHC, remotely and in-country.
* Develop and implement a capacity building plan to transfer some of the core competencies to PHC TAs.
* Share latest relevant evidence and cross-context learning with PHC TAs, and country program staff when applicable.

Key working relationships:
Position Reports to: Senior Technical Advisor for Primary Health located in New York
Position directly supervises: This position supervises, on occasion, interns.

Other Internal and/or external contacts:
Internal: Regular communication with all PHC TAs and the extended Health Unit, as well as REL, the Violence Prevention and Response Unit, the US programs Unit, the Education Unit, the Gender Equality technical unit teams, and country programs involved in integration projects. Interacts with IRC internal departments, including business development, external relations and advocacy departments, to keep them informed of MHPSS programming and evaluation initiatives.

External: Serve as the primary external representative for IRC’s MHPSS integration into PHC work at global, regional and national fora. Be IRC face in meetings related to MHPSS integration with stakeholders including donors, other non-governmental organizations, inter-agency groups and foundations.

Job Qualifications:
Education: Degree in clinical psychology or health sciences plus a post-graduate degree in Public Health or equivalent.

Work Experience: Minimum 5 years in managing or providing technical assistance in the field of international public health and minimum 2 years direct experience supporting MHPSS integration into PHC programs in several developing countries, preferably in Africa. Full-time field experience preferred over only experience in delivery of remote support. Strong experience in development of technical materials and monitoring and evaluation 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. Ability to transfer technical knowledge and skills. Demonstrated commitment to renewing and maintaining with current best practices.

Additional competencies include:
* Experience providing strategic leadership to new thematic public health areas.
* Experience working with ministries of health, international agencies and/or NGO public health programs in Africa and other developing countries.
* Proven ability to independently assess primary healthcare program needs for mental health integration and lead stakeholders in the development and implementation of successful program interventions, including prior experience with: 1) national or sub-national mental health strategic planning; 2) capacity building for system strengthening; 3) design of community-oriented strategies to increase access; 4) use of data for monitoring and decision making; 5) assessment of healthcare provider performance and needs; and, 6) other actions to sustain quality mental health services
* Ability to work independently, and meet deadlines, with attention to detail and quality.

Language Skills: Fluency in English required; proficiency in French and Arabic is desired/an advantage.

Working Environment: Ability to travel 40% of the time. This position will be based in New York.

About the Organization

From emergency response through post-conflict development work, in a great variety of roles around the world, the International Rescue Committee’s 8,000-plus staff is a force for humanity and hope. If you’re skilled and passionate, we’d like to add your energy to ours.

Careers at the IRC are as wide-ranging and far-reaching as our work. Encouraging staff development through promotion, transfer and rehire, the IRC nurtures long-term career paths and helps employees grow within the organization.

At any given moment, on any given day, all around the world, IRC staff members are restlessly and effectively working for the sake of the most vulnerable among us—to restore and renew hope, dignity and freedom.

The IRC and IRC workers must adhere to the values and principles outlined in IRC Way - Standards for Professional Conduct. These are Integrity, Service, and Accountability. In accordance with these values, the IRC operates and enforces policies on Beneficiary Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Anti Workplace Harassment, Fiscal Integrity, and Anti-Retaliation.

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