Health Cluster Co-Lead

Closing date

For years, Afghanistan has struggled with a declining economy and dwindling security. Violent conflict continues to disrupt the lives of millions who increasingly must fend for themselves, while the COVID-19 pandemic, and drought and other climate-related disasters, also exacerbate needs for Afghans. Even before the latest escalation in violence, half the population required humanitarian assistance. Forty years of war, chronic poverty, climate change-driven natural disasters, and now COVID-19 are a deadly combination for people in Afghanistan. Fifty percent of those in need in Afghanistan are women and girls. Currently, the IRC implements education, economic recovery and development, child protection programs, Environmental Health, community health, Cash programming, Protection Rule of Law and works to respond to and prevent gender-based violence (GBV) in Pakitya, Logar, Helmand, Nangarhar, Laghman, Khost, Badghis, Herat and Kabul.

Job Overview/Summary:

The Afghanistan Health Cluster's mission is to provide leadership to humanitarian health response in order to prevent and reduce crisis‐related morbidity and mortality; ensure gaps are filled through effective coordination, and support for the mobilization of resources. Health Cluster members shall work to enhance the accountability, predictability and effectiveness of quality humanitarian health actions in Afghanistan.

The Health Sector Co-Lead will work in partnership with a counterpart from WHO as the Health Co-lead to provide leadership and facilitate the processes that will ensure a well-coordinated, strategic, adequate, coherent, and effective response in Afghanistan. The co-lead will also be responsible for ensuring that the NGO membership is contributing to and sharing cluster responsibilities and will play a lead role in developing active engagement and technical capacity of members of the health cluster.

The main role of the Health Cluster Co-Lead falls within the six core cluster functions:

1) Effective service delivery;

2) Inform strategic decision making;

3) Plan and develop strategy;

4) Monitor and Evaluate Performance ;

5) Develop Contingency Plan/Preparedness and;

6) Advocacy

• Co-chair regular coordination meetings for the health cluster. Actively identify and make contact with new and existing actors to add to the health cluster.

• Work with WHO and Health Working Group members to ensure that key health concerns are reflected and addressed.

• Ensure health sector/cluster responds in a harmonized, coherent and complimentary manner to the health needs of all Afghans across the country and independently from their location of residence or socio-cultural background.

• Support the working group’s data collection efforts, helping partners to submit accurate and consistent data; provide analysis back to the working group and other interagency.

• Assist in leading the harmonization of health information management tools amongst the cluster members.

• In coordination with the cluster members, identify humanitarian health needs of the target populations by planning and coordinating joint, multi-sectorial assessments.,

• Represent the Afghanistan health cluster at national and regional level, contribute to jointly identifying critical issues that require multi-sectoral responses, and plan the relevant synergistic interventions with the other clusters concerned.

• Assist in leading joint Afghanistan Health Sector contingency planning for all hazards, in line with health cluster standards for contingency planning.

• Assist in providing support and strategic direction to Afghanistan health cluster/sector in the development of the health sector components of HNO (Humanitarian Needs Overview), PMR (Periodic Monitoring Report), FTS (Financial Tracking Service), HRP (Humanitarian Response Plan), and other interagency planning and funding documents that are part of the IASC Humanitarian Program Cycle.

• Provide surge coordination support to hub level cluster/sectors as required.

• Promote adherence to standards and best practices by all health cluster/sector working group partners in the cluster considering the need for local adaption. Promote use of the Global Health Cluster Guide to ensure the application of common approaches, tools and standards.

• Ensure appropriate links among humanitarian actions and longer-term health sector plans, incorporating specific risk reduction measures.

Capacity Building

• Identify urgent training needs in relation to technical standards and protocols for the delivery of key health services to ensure their adoption and uniform application by all Health Sector/Cluster partners in the cluster and coordinate the dissemination of key technical materials and the organization of workshops or in-service training.

• Arrange/conduct direct training in health for key national and local stakeholders as feasible, in line with agreed upon sectoral priorities in the work plan; in the case that direct access is not possible, arrange for alternative, hybrid or mixed learning approaches to capacity building

• Work with partners to promote understanding of and adherence to humanitarian and health principles and standards according to international standards

Job Requirements

• Post graduate degree in public health, medicine or related health field

• Minimum of 5 years proven experience working on health issues in humanitarian environments, including provision of technical advice to field teams;

• Excellent understanding of health issues in emergency situations and detailed knowledge of humanitarian principles, guidelines and laws and the cluster system

• Experience leading, co-leading or participating in health cluster/sector meetings, with Health Cluster Coordinator training preferred;

• Strong facilitation skills and experience of developing facilitation skills in others;

• English spoken and written fluency, including report writing skills.

• Demonstrable experience in advocacy and high-level negotiation skills.

• Strong experience with information management as related to the health sector, including maintaining standards of impartiality and confidentiality with data of a sensitive nature

• Excellent leadership, coordination, capacity building, planning and analytical skills;

• Excellent representation skills including the development of strong interpersonal relationships to facilitate communication within the cluster.

• Able to work successfully under pressure and ability to make timely decisions.

• Previous experience of working within the cluster system preferred; this position includes travel throughout the region.

Work Environment

The position will be based in Kabul with travels to provinces and shared housing will be provided.

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

How to apply