The Syria crisis is often described as the worst humanitarian catastrophe since the end of the Cold War. Inside Syria, 7.6 million people are internally displaced and 12.2 million are in need of humanitarian assistance, with 4.8 million in hard-to-reach areas. There are 4 million Syrian refugees in neighboring countries. This is no short-term humanitarian episode. The devastating human consequences to huge numbers of people will endure for decades. The destruction of relationships, communities, livelihoods, homes and infrastructure will take years to repair.
IRC is offering a robust humanitarian response to the Syria and Libya crisis. With an annual budget in excess of $120 million and a rapidly expanding portfolio, supported by more than 2,250 staff in the region, IRC is undertaking programs in Syria, Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan and Libya in the fields of health, child protection, education, women’s protection and empowerment, NFI and food distribution, cash assistance, and livelihoods programming. Our work in these challenging settings gives rise to some of the most pressing issues facing contemporary humanitarian action, including questions of access, security, funding and coordination.
Job Overview/Summary: IRC understands that duty of care means an institutional responsibility to all staff, regardless of position, location or employment category, to ensure safe and secure working conditions and a work environment that promotes staff well-being, increases individual resilience, and supports a healthy and productive workforce.
Under the supervision of the Regional HR Director for MENA, the Regional HR Specialist – Staff Care will (1) support in the implementation of global IRC Duty of Care policy and framework, (2) lead the identification, development and delivery of staff care services and emergency interventions in the areas of self-care, resilience, stress management and psychological trauma response for IRC staff, (3) equip senior management teams (SMTs) and supervisors with guidance, tools, resources and training to support staff resilience and productivity, (4) create a regional network and inventory of vetted staff care resources. This work will be completed in close collaboration with Country Directors, HR Leads, and regional and country program SMTs.
• Provide multiple channels of marketing for IRC Employee Assistance and Resilience Program (KonTerra program) including but not limited to distributing materials produced regionally and globally, support the initiatives in creating locally relevant materials, speaking at staff forums and serving as a focal point of contact for staff questions on the EARP program.
• Participate in at least one session with KonTerra counselor so that s/he better understands the program and can provide personal testimonial and explore opportunities to add on and enhance the provided services.
• Design and roll out staff awareness campaigns about Duty of Care services and resources and existing IRC policies and benefits that support staff care; consult with and bring a staff care perspective to recruitment, benefits and other HR functional areas.
• Utilize various methods to understand the support needs, concerns, and stress levels of staff, and advise management through regular consultation on how to better meet the needs of staff to minimize staff care risks.
• Develop specific staff care plans to be incorporated into strategic action implementation plan and support country programs to develop responsive and appropriate staff care plans that social, physical, and psychological well-being of staff.
• Develop and coordinate a comprehensive database of staff care services through identifying and assessing potential local counselors in the areas where IRC works; liaise with other local agencies, INGOs and professional organizations to maximize learning and efficiency.
• Receive training in Psychological First Aid (PFA) and basic counseling. Use this knowledge to triage incoming staff concerns and to link staff with appropriate caregivers within IRC’s medical and psychosocial support vendors.
• Advocate for staff care and facilitate access to counselors (through the EARP and in person) during critical incidents and other high stress periods like program closure, political instability, and other times of heightened security restrictions.
• Respond to critical incidents in the region by providing recommendations and guidance to CD and HRL around staff care plans to support impacted staff. Offer direct staff care support to impacted staff if needed while referring them to support resources and counseling options through the EARP.
• Coordinate and help set up individual, group support sessions/webinars, and on-site support for staff with KonTerra counselors upon demand.
• Consider staff health issues and how we can promote health and wellness in IRC workplaces (Ex: Health day events, health awareness sessions, tobacco cessation, NCD screening, sleep, nutrition—linkage to local resources from government/NGO campaigns/ insurance benefits.)
• Travel throughout the region to lead workshops on basic self-care and, in the process, raise awareness of and drive demand for counseling services.
• Partnering with the Duty of Care director to identify optimal ways of talking about counseling that help to destigmatize and demystify the process as relates to any local misconceptions.
• Work with the Duty of Care Director, Regional HR Director (RHRD), IRC’s Communications teams, and vendors to develop locally relevant marketing approaches that target attitudes about counseling
• With the support of the Duty of Care Director and RHRD, design and implement local assessments on staff welfare and workplace environments. Modalities could include: Survey, focus groups, site visits, listening and dialogue sessions and key informant interviews. Ensure staff concerns with staff care recommendations are properly reported to regional leadership.
• Assist with Arabic translation and cultural contextualization of Duty of Care messages
• Participate in global working groups around Duty of Care topics as a regional representative
• Attend training with the Global DoC Director on IRC’s staff care models and attend external training with staff care vendor(s) as part of capacity development around basic staff care content.
• Lead capacity building of all staff, but especially managers, coordinators and the SMT to recognize the signs and symptoms of stress, burn-out and vicarious trauma, in order to better support staff needs and to facilitate peer support between team members.
• Regularly develop, gather and distribute stress and trauma management resource tools and materials to all staff.
• In collaboration with the Gender Equality Advisor, assess common themes in the area of gender and develop resources to promote improved approaches in staff care matters related to gender equality, sexual assault, gender-based violence, etc.
• On a quarterly basis, provide management with information related to numbers and usage of individual and group services/sessions, including general themes emerging from activities, and suggestions on how to create a more supportive work environment that promotes staff resilience.
Key Working Relationships:
Position Reports Directly to: Regional HR Director and Senior Director- Duty of Care, Management in Partnership
Position directly supervises: none
• Country Program Team: Primary – HR Leads and CDs. Also, Senior Management Teams and relevant program staff
• Regional Team, especially Regional Vice President, Safety & Security Advisor, Gender Equality Advisor, Talent Acquisition Coordinator, etc.
• HQ Team and in particular, Global HR
External Contacts: INGO counterparts; relevant health and well-being colleagues, associations and networks.
• Bachelor degree in psychosocial health, public health, self-care, psychology, Human Resources or Organizational Psychology.
• 4 – 5 years of professional experience with at least 2 years work experience in emergency or humanitarian relief, community development in difficult circumstances, trauma, human resources, occupational mental health or psychosocial support, preferably in the Middle East and North Africa region
• Strong training, presentation and facilitation skills
• Excellent writing, policy development and communication skills
• Formal training or working knowledge in Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM)
• Ability to work in a high-stress, rapidly changing environment with professional grace and a positive approach
• Demonstrated consultative leadership style and problem-solving approach that promotes social support, flexibility and team cohesion
• Ability to develop a scalable strategy and apply creative and innovative techniques to address staff care needs in a remote management and emergency context
• Excellent listening skills
• Fluency in English and Arabic
• Ability to build trust, operate with highest standards of integrity and be inspired by IRC’s humanitarian mission
Working Environment: The position will be based in Amman or Beirut and will require regular travel to Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Tunis and Libya.
Standards of Professional Conduct
The IRC and IRC workers must adhere to the values and principles outlined in the IRC Way – Code of Conduct. These are Integrity, Service, Equality and Accountability. In accordance with these values, the IRC operates and enforces policies on Beneficiary Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Harassment-Free Workplace, Fiscal Integrity, Anti-Retaliation, Combating Trafficking in Persons and several others.
IRC is committed to narrowing the gender gap in leadership positions. We offer benefits that provide an enabling environment for women to participate in our workforce including parental leave, gender-sensitive security protocols and other supportive benefits and allowances.
Returning National Candidates: IRC strives to attract, motivate and retain qualified national staff in our programs. We strongly encourage national or returning national candidates to apply for this position. If you are a national of the country in which this position is based and are currently located outside of your home country and possess over two years of international work experience, the Middle East and North Africa Region has introduced an attractive remuneration package. The package includes competitive compensation, return flight to post, shipping allowance, temporary housing and a relocation allowance. Certain restrictions may apply.
IRC is an Equal Opportunity Employer. IRC considers all applicants on the basis of merit without regard to race, sex, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, disability or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.