MHPSS Technical Specialist


Level 3:  the post holder will have contact with children and/or young people either frequently (e.g. once a week or more) or intensively (e.g. four days in one month or more or overnight) because they work country programs; or are visiting country programs; or because they are responsible for implementing the police checking/vetting process staff.

The Mental Health and Psycho-Social (MHPSS) technical Specialist is based in Iraq country office is to strengthen quality MHPSS programming across a portfolio of projects. The position is strategically designed to support in-country Implementing partners, Programme Mangers and MHPSS officers. A key marker of success will be measurable improvements in MHPSS capacity among partner and SCI staff as well as programming, and how it strengthens positive results for children.  The specialist is expected to provide technical inputs and guidance throughout the project lifecycle, from community assessment to proposal development and design, through implementation, monitoring and evaluation. In addition, the Specialist will stay abreast of programming developments within Save the Children, such as Common Approaches, and industry developments while maintaining relationships with key players in the thematic space and within Save the Children Members.  The focus of this position is to build in-country capacity to exceed expectations on high-quality MHPSS programming, and facilitate a community of practice in Iraq.  The position requires regular travel across country.


Reports to: Director of Programme Development and Quality 
Staff reporting to this post: None
Key working relationships: Directors of Programme Development and Quality, Technical Specialists, Programme Managers, Business Development Manager and MEAL. It also relies on interface with RO and Member MHPSS and other thematic experts 


Technical Program Quality Assurance 
•    Ensure MHPSS activities have sufficient resources and expertise to build capacity, monitor, quality-assure, capture evidence and learning, and develop further in their ability to provide quality and needs-based MHPSS interventions. 
•    Supervise technical competence of field staff providing MHPSS services (SC and Implementing Partners) through on site observation, case planning review, case conference discussions, case consultation, etc. 
•    Support the strengthening of person-focused MHPSS interventions/services delivered by SC and implementing partners, by identifying appropriate counselling models, setting and implementing practice standards, building staff capacity, and establishing the related documentation system
•    Ensure appropriate and contextualized protocols for prioritization and referral of cases in need of MHPSS services are established and practiced across programmatic activities. 
•    Identify the need for, and lead the development of, new or adapted programmatic tools to ensure appropriate, safe, and dignified MHPSS services in line with global standards, and global and regional guidance and best practices.
•    Ensure all MHPSS activities (such as HEART, Child and Youth Resilience Programme, etc.) are implemented according to SC and international standards. 
•    Ensure monitoring and evaluation of all MHPSS programs and activities. 
•    Identify training needs of the MHPSS teams (SC and Implementing Partners, as necessary) and assist the development of training modules, MHPSS implementation tools and awareness raising activities for staff, volunteers, key community members and partners’ staff on various topics. 
•    On behalf of SCI lead in different working groups, task forces and Cluster meetings.
•    Support field staff in project sites who are responsible for the planning and implementation of action plans for MHPSS activities, as needed (e.g., project kick-off, project adaptation, problem solving). 
•    Organize regular meetings with the MHPSS focal point(s) in each intervention location to review program activities as part of regular program monitoring and evaluation. 
•    Organize technical supervision meetings with field staff providing MHPSS services.
•    Support regular participatory activities with different groups of children, adolescents and youths to identify issues affecting children in their communities, and assist the teams to develop appropriate responses. 
•    Monitor and analyzing the findings of participatory activities with community groups to ensure their needs are appropriately reflected and resourced for support in Iraq’s response program strategy and proposals. 
Strategic Leadership
•    Overall thought leadership of MHPSS work in Iraq.
•    Define vision and develop contextually relevant, cross-thematic MHPSS strategy (program and advocacy) in alignment with the Country Strategic Plan, ensuring alignment to Save the Children’s global thematic priorities and breakthroughs and regional MHPSS steer, with a focus on gender and inclusion.
•    Lead the scale up of MHPSS programing in Iraq including assessment of new areas, design of interventions and recruitment of human resources. 
•    Ensure cross-sectoral integration of MHPSS approaches, capacity and services within existing and new programs. 
•    Assist Save the Children in development and documentation of a replicable MHPSS model. 
•    Assist Save the Children in development and roll out of evolving and new MHPSS monitoring and evaluation protocols and practices, aligned with global and regional frameworks. 

Representation and Networking
•    Represent Iraq Country Office as the MHPSS Focal Point for MHPSS related activities and programming and represent SCI in relevant groups and fora, including relevant donor meetings, as required.
•    Build collaborative partnerships, through representation in clusters, working groups and technical fora, specifically on Child Protection and MHPSS, in order to facilitate learning and promote child rights in advocacy priorities.
•    Participate in the global MHPSS Community of Practice as well as the MEEE MHPSS Specialists Group to engage in the dialogue and advancement of evidence-based, contextually adapted, gender-sensitive best practices for integrated MHPSS, mutually benefitting SC COs and other actors in the region.
•    Maintain oversight of and coordinate as appropriate with MHPSS actors in the country, regularly sharing relevant information with direct and indirect reporting lines.

Learning & Innovation:  
•    Distil learnings and evidence generated in CO on measurable improvements in programming due to focussed MHPSS capacity into succinct and compelling programmatic guidance and thought leadership for internal and external consumption.
•    Facilitate an CO Community of Practices to disseminate good practice and stimulate cross-learning.
•    Lead/support the development of new tools and resources across our programs, advocacy, partnerships and operations. 
•    Monitor developments in the sector and field to develop and refine program models and identify new research opportunities.
•    Partner with the Communications team to develop and disseminate technical and project materials related to MHPSS

SKILLS AND BEHAVIOURS (our Values in Practice)

•    Holds self accountable for making decisions, managing resources efficiently, achieving and role modelling Save the Children values
•    Holds the team and partners accountable to deliver on their responsibilities - giving them the freedom to deliver in the best way they see fit, providing the necessary development to improve performance and applying appropriate consequences when results are not achieved
•    Creates a managerial environment to lead, enable and maintain our culture of child safeguarding
•    Sets ambitious and challenging goals for themselves and their team, takes responsibility for their own personal development and encourages their team to do the same
•    Future orientated, thinks strategically and on a global scale
•    Approachable, good listener, easy to talk to; builds and maintains effective relationships with colleagues, Members and external partners and supporters
•    Works collaboratively to achieve shared goals and thrives on diversity of people and perspectives; knows when to lead and when to follow and how to ensure effective cross-boundary working.
•    Communicates clearly and confidently with others to engage and influence; promotes dialogue and ensures timely and appropriate messages, building confidence and trust. 
•    Invests time and energy to actively develop self and others to help realise their full potential, and to build the organisation’s capability for the future. 
•    Applies the required technical and professional expertise to the highest standards; promotes and shares best practice within and outside the organization. 
•    Develops and implements innovative solutions to adapt and succeed in ever-changing and uncertain global and working environments. 
•    Takes effective, considered and timely decisions by gathering and evaluating relevant information from within or outside the organization. 
•    Honest, encourages openness and transparency, builds trust and confidence
•    Displays consistent excellent judgement

•    Master degree in child psychology (clinical or educational) or related field (e.g., Masters in Social work, Masters in Mental Health/Child & Adolescent Mental Health, or equivalent training/experience. (Substantial relevant working experience in an international environment may be accepted in lieu.)
•    5 -7 years’ field work experience implementing, managing, and/or providing technical assistance to programs in developing countries with a focus on MHPSS; focus on child and youth programming desirable.

•    Proven experience in CP and MHPSS assessment, monitoring, and evaluation. 
•    Excellent communication and interpersonal skills with the ability to present clearly and effectively at all levels, as well as cross-culturally, and manage through influence.
•    Experience in writing proposals and/or integrating MHPSS effectively in design, especially large and complex programmes in both development and humanitarian settings.
•    Proven ability to conduct needs assessments of individual projects, and a portfolio of projects.
•    Training skills, both face-to-face and by webinars, to communicate new information and change behaviours amongst professionals of all levels.  
•    Strong results orientation, with the ability to challenge existing mindsets.
•    Ability to synthesize and develop high-quality knowledge products from diverse data sources including programmatic materials and tools.
•    Experience working independently and solving complex issues through analysis, definition of a clear way forward and ensuring buy in from multiple stakeholders.
•    Ability to present complex information in a succinct and compelling manner.
•    Demonstrated ability to juggle multiple requests and organise time and resources efficiently to achieve priority results.
•    Fluency in English, both verbal and written, required Fluency in Arabic would be an asset
•    Commitment to Save the Children values, including willingness to abide by and enforce the Child Safeguarding policy.

•    Significant experience in the region
•    Experience in working as a MHPSS Advisor/Specialist in Humanitarian and/or Development contexts is considered an asset     

Additional job responsibilities
The duties and responsibilities as set out above are not exhaustive and the role holder may be required to carry out additional duties within reasonableness of their level of skills and experience.
Equal Opportunities 
The role holder is required to carry out the duties in accordance with the SCI Equal Opportunities and Diversity policies and procedures.
Child Safeguarding:
We need to keep children safe so our selection process, which includes rigorous background checks, reflects our commitment to the protection of children from abuse.
Safeguarding our Staff:
The post holder is required to carry out the duties in accordance with the SCI anti-harassment policy
Health and Safety
The role holder is required to carry out the duties in accordance with SCI Health and Safety policies and procedures.

The Organisation:
We employ approximately 25,000 people across the globe and work on the ground in over 100 countries to help children affected by crises, or those that need better healthcare, education and child protection. We also campaign and advocate at the highest levels to realise the right of children and to ensure their voices are heard.  

We are working towards three breakthroughs in how the world treats children by 2030:
•    No child dies from preventable causes before their 5th birthday 
•    All children learn from a quality basic education and that,
•    Violence against children is no longer tolerated 

We know that great people make a great organization, and that our employees play a crucial role in helping us achieve our ambitions for children.  We value our people and offer a meaningful and rewarding career, along with a collaborative and inclusive environment where ambition, creativity, and integrity are highly valued. 

We need to keep children safe so our selection process, which includes rigorous background checks, reflects our commitment to the protection of children from abuse.

All employees are expected to carry out their duties in accordance with our global anti-harassment policy.

Job description:

Find out more about this role by downloading the job description here Job description

Date advertised: 12 Nov 2020

Closing date: 30 Nov 2020 - 23:59 +03

Location: Erbil, Iraq

Department: Programme Operations

Type: Fixed-term contract

Schedule: Full-time

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