REACH Assessment Specialist - Syria

Job
from IMPACT Initiatives
Closing date: 22 Nov 2019

BACKGROUND ON IMPACT AND REACH

REACH was born in 2010 as a joint initiative of two International NGOs (IMPACT Initiatives and ACTED) and the United Nations Operational Satellite Applications Programme (UNOSAT). REACH’s purpose is to promote and facilitate the development of information products that enhance the humanitarian community’s decision making and planning capacity for emergency, reconstruction and development contexts. REACH facilitates information management for aid actors through three complementary services: (a) need and situation assessments facilitated by REACH teams; (b) situation analysis using satellite imagery; (c) provision of related database and (web)-mapping facilities and expertise.

IMPACT Initiatives is a humanitarian NGO, based in Geneva, Switzerland. The organisation manages several initiatives, including the REACH Initiative. The IMPACT team comprises specialists in data collection, management and analysis and GIS. IMPACT was launched at the initiative of ACTED, an international NGO whose headquarter is based in Paris and is present in thirty countries. The two organizations have a strong complementarity formalized in a global partnership, enabling IMPACT to benefit from ACTED’s operational support on its fields of intervention.

We are currently looking for a REACH Assessment Specialist to provide technical support to the REACH Syria mission, to be based in Amman.

Supervisor: REACH Country Coordinator

Title: REACH Assessment Specialist

Location: Amman, Jordan

Contract duration: 1 year

Start date: ASAP

COUNTRY PROFILE

The dynamic and multi-faceted nature of the Syrian humanitarian crisis has created significant challenges for information management. With 13.1 million people in need within the country as well as 5.6 million refugees outside of the country, and 6.6 million internally displaced, the capacity of the humanitarian community to understand and meet the needs of conflict-affected populations is extremely stretched. To respond to a crisis of such scale, timely and comparable information is required across Syria and its neighboring countries. In this context, since 2013, REACH has been working closely in coordination with humanitarian clusters as well as with other national and regional coordination mechanisms such as OCHA, the nearly all clusters and various working groups within the Syria Coordination Structure to address information gaps and implement assessments that contribute to informing the humanitarian response. Overall, since the onset of the deployment, REACH has been involved in macro and regional multisectoral assessments, informed cash and voucher programming across Syria through monthly Market Monitoring Exercise, extended technical support to the CCCM Community Level IDP Tracking Project in Syria, thematic assessments, and conducted rapid needs assessments in response to contextual changes, as was the case in Idleb, Eastern Ghouta and Deir-ez-Zor among others. Broadly speaking, REACH Syria implements assessments within four key streams:

  • Monitoring of the humanitarian situation in Syria, through monthly assessments covering over 1,600 communities in Syria, market monitoring to track prices of goods as per the survival minimum expenditure basket (SMEB), and ad hoc rapid assessments in times of sudden escalations in conflict or natural disasters.
  • Displacement tracking, through tracking the movement of IDPs and Returnees down to a 24-48 hour-basis, as well as monitoring the humanitarian situation inside IDP camps and informal settlements.
  • Area-Based Assessments to support humanitarian actors in the coordination to identify key response gaps by comparing humanitarian needs data with response data, in a set locality – often one that has recently become accessible and/or that is recovering for instance from besiegement.
  • Technical support to clusters, for example in the form of coordination and implementation of sector and multisector assessments to inform the HNO, production of thematic assessments, presentations of findings, and capacity building.

For an example of REACH Syria information products, please see below:

More information can be found here: http://www.reach-initiative.org/where-we-work/ongoing-field-presence/syria

POSITION PROFILE

REACH is currently recruiting for an Assessment Specialist to provide technical support to teams across the REACH Syria mission. The Whole of Syria Assessment Specialist will support on training and capacity building of REACH teams across the REACH Syria mission as well as support REACH Project Focal Points with technical support in all stages of the Research Cycles (including assessment conceptualization, research design, logistical preparations, training of field staff, supporting data collection teams during data collection, data cleaning, analysis, production of information products, and dissemination of information products). The overall goal of the Assessment Specialist will be to ensure the accuracy of REACH information products and to raise the technical knowledge and expertise of the REACH Syria team, in order to strengthen the accuracy, quality and efficiency of REACH assessments/research cycles.

S/he will mostly work with Project Focal Points managing the various REACH assessments, to make sure that assessments are implemented to a high quality in accordance with REACH standards, donor expectations, and REACH’s ethos of facilitating an evidence-based response. S/he will also be involved in partner coordination, donor reporting, trainings and presentations, and will be required to provide input to the strategic development of REACH in country and region.

The Whole of Syria Assessment Specialist will be based in Amman with travel to Turkey, Iraq and Northeast Syria.

Summary

Under the REACH Country Coordinator, The REACH Whole of Syria Assessment Specialist shall be responsible for:

  • Implementation of training and capacity building across the REACH Syria team to improve the technical capacity of the team;
  • Technical oversight and support to Project Focal Points to systematically review the efficiency and quality of research cycles and information products;
  • Technical oversight and support to Project Focal Points in all stages of the research cycle to ensure the design and implementation of high quality assessments that are in line with REACH processes and values and which accurately address information gaps in the humanitarian system;
  • Review of REACH information products to ensure accuracy;
  • Continuously seek to improve and innovate REACH assessments, information products and processes to identify and meet information gaps in the Syria humanitarian response in order to support in the facilitation of an evidence-based response;
  • Support Project Focal Points and Field Staff in accurately estimating assessment timelines and resources needed for assessment implementation;
  • Support the REACH Syria mission in providing stakeholders within the humanitarian coordination system with reliable and accurate technical advice and support, particularly in relation to ensuring high quality data is available to inform the Humanitarian Programme Cycle;
  • In coordination with REACH Senior Management Team, external representation of REACH with donors, partners, and the wider aid community through clusters and sectoral working groups;
  • Ensuring that assessment strategies are implemented in a structured and coherent manner in line with project and strategic objectives;
  • Coordinate and ensure timely data collection, analysis and, in partnership with GIS/DB team, mapping of datasets, ensure that all collected data are geo-referenced;
  • Works closely with GIS and database teams in country;
  • Supporting the development/revision of assessment/programme strategies, reports, or new proposals;

RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Objective 1: Mission-wide technical oversight and technical support to Project Focal Points in research design and implementation**

The REACH Assessment Specialist (AS) is responsible for ensuring the technical accuracy of all REACH Syria Research Cycles and in supporting Project Focal points in designing the methodology, tools, ToRs, and data analysis plans, according to REACH requirements, values and processes.

This will specifically include strategic thinking at the assessment conceptualisation stage together with the rest of the SMT, GIS teams and Project Focal Points; supporting Project Focal Points at the design stage; follow-up and cleaning of large datasets; data analysis and output production. This will also include setting of feasible timelines and identifying resource needs.

  • Objective 2:Technical oversight and support to Project Focal Points in the creation of timely, accurate , and coherent research outputs

The REACH AS is responsible for supporting Project Focal Points in consolidating all analysis and conclusions from each assessment into REACH products such as factsheets, reports, and overview documents using standard formats. He/she will liaise with IMPACT HQ and Regional GIS/DB Specialists in order to represent data in interactive web map, static map format, story map, or dashboard as relevant.

He/she must ensure the writing of timely and accurate assessment reports and factsheets, ensuring the quality and accuracy of technical information provided as well as the confidentiality and protection of collected information, in line with the IMPACT data protection policy. He/she is responsible for ensuring that deliverables are submitted on time to partners and donors.

  • Objective 3: Review of REACH Research Cycles/projects to ensure quality and efficiency

The AS will review research cycles/projects together with Project Focal Points to identify areas of improvement with regards to timeliness, relevance, efficiency and quality, and to design and implement plans for addressing these.

  • Objective 4: Continuously build the technical expertise on the REACH Syria team

The AS will manage the development of capacity building plans and implement training and capacity building of REACH teams across the REACH Syria mission, to support in raising the technical knowledge and expertise on the mission, in order to strengthen the quality and efficiency of REACH assessments/research cycles. Trainings should cover a variety of skills and processes, to be defined based on needs within the team as well as the candidate’s skill-sets.

  • Objective 5: External Engagement

The REACH AO will represent REACH to key external actors, including stakeholders in the humanitarian coordination system, such as OCHA representatives, clusters, as well as technical working groups and various NGO fora and information management groups.

More generally, the REACH AO is expected to contribute to the creation of a positive image and overall credibility of the organisation, notably through the application of ACTED’s mandate, ethics, values and stand-point with regard to other actors. While representing ACTED/REACH, the AO will also adhere to the humanitarian principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality, and independence.

  • Objective 6: Staff management

The AS will line-manage the Northeast Syria Technical Focal Point, as well as up to 3 technical specialists on the REACH Syria team to ensure the streamlining of technical processes and the roll-out of capacity building plans.

REQUIREMENTS

  • Excellent academic qualifications, including a Master’s degree in relevant discipline;
  • 1 year of relevant working experience in a humanitarian setting;
  • Advanced technical skills with regards to quantitative and qualitative research design and implementation, including:
    • Good understanding of using various sampling frameworks (required);
    • Strong analytical skills, including ability to identify outliers and key trends, and to situate findings within a wider context (required);
    • Advanced Excel skills (required);
    • Ability to operate R (required);
    • Ability to operate Python, STATA, SPSS or related statistical programming (an asset);
    • Experience with data presentation software such as InDesign (required);
    • Experience with cleaning and analysing large data sets (required);
  • A sense of curiosity and a drive to work to improve information gaps in the humanitarian sector;
  • A self-starter with a strong existing ability to work independently;
  • Ability to operate in a cross-cultural and cross-country environment, requiring flexibility;
  • Fluency in English required, Arabic an asset;
  • Excellent communication and drafting skills for effective reporting, an asset;
  • Experience conducting temporal or spatial trends analysis, (required);
  • Familiarity with the aid system, and understanding of donor and governmental requirements, an asset;
  • Understanding of the global and country level cluster approach, an asset;
  • Prior knowledge of the Syrian context, an asset;
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills.

CONDITIONS

  • Salary defined by the IMPACT salary grid; educational level, expertise, hardship, security, and performance are considered for pay bonus
  • Additional monthly living allowance
  • Free food and lodging provided at the organisation’s guesthouse/or housing allowance (depending on contract length and country of assignment)
  • Transportation costs covered, including additional return ticket + luggage allowance
  • Provision of medical, life, and repatriation insurance + retirement package
How to apply:

Please apply on the following link:

https://www.impact-initiatives.org/work-with-us/vacancies/reach-assessme...