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.
PQU 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
PQU 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 Economic Recovery and Development Unit (ERD) is responsible for providing dynamic, innovative support to the IRC’s field offices for their economic and livelihoods programming, including humanitarian cash transfers. This unit provides technical assistance, ensures innovation, promotes best practices, and helps to improve data collection and analysis for economic and livelihoods programming within the organization. Externally, the IRC has been a leader in developing and promoting market-based responses to emergencies based on a good understanding of critical market systems in order to ensure local economies and livelihoods are supported, not undermined during the emergency and transition phases.
The Cash Technical Advisor will provide technical support in the design and development of economic programs (cash & livelihoods) in countries in crisis and post-crisis settings to ensure the most appropriate delivery of assistance for affected populations. The position will also support and lead select global and country-led initiatives to support the scale-up of cash transfer activities across the IRC’s outcomes of interest and across the operations departments involved in cash transfer programming, in line with the organization’s goal to deliver 25% of the IRC’s assistance in the form of cash or vouchers by 2020.
The Cash Technical Advisor (TA) will spend at least 80% of their time delivering technical assistance in-person and remotely to country program colleagues focused on cash programming within economic programs, cash program model development across sectors as well as general economic program design, implementation and learning support. This is a primarily field-facing position with the central responsibility focused on program quality. The remaining 0-20% of their time is spent on influence, advocacy, research and internal strategic initiatives related to cash program quality and operations, at the discretion of their supervisors. The Technical Advisors’ specific responsibilities are as follows:
Guiding program design:
- Support country program staff to design economic programs and projects as well as cash programing models within other sectors (health, education, protection), ensuring that they are:
- Support selection of indicators for country programs
Engaging in business development:
- Review technical quality of economic programming proposals and other sector proposals that include cash components, including review of technical activities and ensuring alignment to IRC’s outcomes
- Input into go / no go decisions on proposals
- When necessary, write technical narratives of proposals
- 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:
- Work with country program colleagues to help analyze data that inform periodic review and course correction as-needed
- Share cross-context learning with country program staff across the region
- Conduct technical training and ongoing technical coaching for country program staff, including on IRC outcomes, theories of change, evidence and indicators
- Review and share program-specific tools / resources / curricula and work with Technical Unit specialists to contextualize and adapt global and country-specific materials
- Support senior country program staff recruitment and onboarding
Support/lead cash strategic projects to improve IRC global cash programming implementation and operations:
- Work closely with cash team members to provide ongoing support to relevant strategic projects focused on improving the IRC’s ability to scale and implement high quality cash transfer programming in line with best practices
- Lead at least one strategic project related to improving the IRC’s ability to scale and implement cash programming
- Engage in relevant cash working groups and cash platforms both internal and external as relevant
Key Working Relationships:
Position Reports to: Senior Technical Advisor – Cash & Emergencies located in New York, NY
Position directly supervises: N/A
Other Internal and/or external contacts:
Internal: Regular relationships with regional and country program coordinators and managers. 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.
External: Serve as IRC program representative in outside regional meetings and global meetings and academic forums with donors, online forums, other non-governmental organizations, inter-agency groups and foundations.
Education: Master’s/post-graduate degree in development, humanitarian affairs, economics, business administration or relevant field or equivalent combination of education and experience is required. Participate in ongoing training courses and share knowledge and skill sets within the unit.
Work Experience: A minimum of 5 years implementing and/or managing cash-based humanitarian programming in crisis or post-crisis field settings, preferably with a focus on markets and experience in women and/or youth-focused programming. Experience in design and monitoring of cash transfer programming to meet basic needs, food security, NFI, and/or shelter program activities as well as technical tools and materials development, monitoring and evaluation, and research in relation to education is highly desired. Experience in strategy development and working across sectors or disciplines is highly desired.
Demonstrated Skills and Competencies: Demonstrated expertise in program design, monitoring and evaluation, with the ability to turn concepts and strategy into measurable action. Strong verbal and written communication skills. Demonstrated commitment to renewing and maintaining currency with best practices.
Language Skills: Fluency in English required; strong preference for proficiency in French; Arabic is desired/an advantage.
Working Environment: Up to 40% travel may be required. This position will be based in New York.