The Syria crisis is often described as the worst humanitarian catastrophe since the end of the Cold War. Today, some 13.6 million people in Syria - more than half of the country's population - are in need of humanitarian assistance with needs increasingly being exacerbated by economic decline. Of these, 6.8 million are refugees and asylum-seekers who have fled the country. 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 crisis a rapidly expanding portfolio, supported by more than 1000+ staff in Syria Country Program. IRC is undertaking programs in Syria and the neighboring countries of Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan in the fields of health, child protection, early childhood development, education, women’s protection and empowerment, non-food items and food distribution, cash assistance, water and sanitation, protection and rule of law, and livelihood 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.
The IRC plays a leading role in protection sector coordination through the Whole of Syria framework. The WoS Senior Protection Sector Co-Coordinator coordinates humanitarian protection action through the three active hub level clusters/working groups in Gaziantep, Turkey; Damascus, Syria;and Northeast Syria through the NGO Forum Working Groups. Close engagement with local actors through established coordination structures across the country helps bridge the gap between senior level UN/INGO decision making and the needs and priorities of actors implementing programs inside of Syria.
The Whole of Syria (WoS) Senior Protection Sector Co-Coordinator will work together within the Whole of Syria (WoS) Protection Sector Coordination Team (i.e. the WoS Protection Sector Coordinator appointed by UNHCR, the WoS Protection Sector IMO, the WoS Protection Sector support officer, and the WoS Coordinators for Mine Action, Gender-Based Violence, and Child Protection AoRs) to ensure a harmonized, coherent and complementary approach for the response to the needs of Syrian people delivered through the three protection cluster/working groups based in Damascus, Gaziantep, and Northeast Syria. S/he will act in accordance with principles laid out in by the Global Protection Cluster, the IASC guidance for Cluster Coordination and the Transformative Agenda protocols.
The Whole of Syria (WoS) Senior Protection Sector Co-Coordinator will report to the IRC Syria Country Director
The main role of the WoS Senior Protection Sector Co-Coordinator 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.
The Whole of Syria (WoS) Senior Protection Sector Co-Coordinator will perform the following duties:
• Coordinate with other WoS Sector/Cluster coordinators at the regional level and other regional stakeholders. To encourage and support NGO participation in the coordination of protection responses, and ensure ongoing contact with hub level stakeholders and existing coordination mechanisms, including international and national NGOs and the civil society, is done through the relevant protection coordinator at the hub level. Outreach to partners is done directly by the WoS team.
• Supervise (technically) and support the IRC hosted protection coordination roles such as the NES Protection Working Group Coordinator, NWS Protection Cluster Co-Lead, NES CP AoR Coordinator, and NES CAAFAG Coordinator, who report to the IRC Field Director in their respective hubs and the WoS Senior Protection Sector Co-Coordinator hosted by IRC.
• Provide administrative line manager support to the WoS Protection IMO hosted by IRC in his/her functions.
• Hold regular inter-hub coordination meetings with the leads/co-leads of the WoS Protection Sector and AoRs and/working group/clusters at the hub level every 4 weeks.
• Ensure that the protection cluster/working groups in the hubs respond in a harmonized, coherent and complementary manner to the protection needs of all Syrians across the country and independently from their location of residence or socio-cultural background.
• Assist in proactively coordinating cross-line and cross-border programming to ensure complementarity of assistance.
• Assist in leading the harmonization of protection information management tools and products of the three hubs.
• In coordination with the hubs, identify humanitarian protection needs of the target populations by planning and coordinating joint, WoS multi-sectorial assessments, and analyzing the information as needed and determined by the WoS Inter Sector Group (ISG).
• Assist in supporting the maintenance and cross-learning among sector/hubs of monitoring, response and reporting mechanisms on protection issues and trends analysis in order to inform programming and advocacy by the WoS protection sector.
• Assist in supporting the SSG and WoS-ISG in the design of evidence-based advocacy strategies on protection concerns.
• Collate from each hub and disseminate common plans of actions and other information related to the protection sector in regional sit-reps and/or regular Protection Bulletins and other information products.
• Represent the WoS Protection Sector at the WoS ISG , contribute to jointly identifying critical issues that require multi-sectoral responses, and plan the relevant synergistic interventions, including advocacy, with the other clusters concerned.
• Assist in leading joint WoS Protection Sector contingency planning for all hazards, in line with protection cluster standards for contingency planning.
• Assist in providing support and strategic direction to WoS protection sector in the development of the protection 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/working groups as required.
• Promote adherence to relevant technical standards, best practices, international human rights law and humanitarian law by all protection cluster/working group partners in the hubs taking into account the need for local adaption. Promote use of the Global Protection Cluster Guide to ensure the application of common approaches, tools and standards.
• Facilitate protection/gender/age/disability mainstreaming into humanitarian action undertaken by other Sectors and provide support to or request support from other Sectors as necessary.
• Identify urgent training needs in relation to technical standards and protocols for the delivery of key protection services to ensure their adoption and uniform application by all Protection Cluster/Working Group partners in the hubs and coordinate the dissemination of key technical materials and the organization of workshops or in-service training.
• Ensure appropriate links among humanitarian actions and longer-term protection sector plans, incorporating specific risk reduction measures and durable solutions into longer term plans.
• Coordinate with the SIRF representative, NGO Co-Coordinators from other sectors at WoS level, NES NGO Forum, NWS NGO Forum, and SIRF PAWG to - strengthen NGO representation and participation within the Syria humanitarian response and coordination architecture; support wider advocacy done jointly by NGOs.
• Brief SIRF representatives on the SSG (Senior Strategic Group) prior to SSG meetings as needed together with the SIRF representative, on NGO specific concerns in relation to coordination and substantive issues for appropriate action at SSG level.
• At least 5-7 years of progressively responsible professional experience in similar role working on protection issues in humanitarian environments, including provision of technical advice to field teams;
• Previous experience working with NGOs in the development/humanitarian sector, with knowledge of donor rules and regulations;
• Excellent understanding of protection issues in emergency situations and detailed knowledge of humanitarian principles, guidelines and laws and the cluster system
• Experience leading, co-leading or participating in protection cluster/sector meetings, with Protection 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 protection 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;
• Excellent written and spoken English. Arabic is an asset;
• Experience in Syria and/or in the region is preferred;
• Extensive travel to Northeast Syria and Turkey (up to 50%), with wider regional travel as necessary.
Demonstrated Skills and Competencies:
• A commitment to IRC’s mission, vision, values and IRC Way – Professional Code of Conduct.
• Credible written, presentation and verbal communication skills; ability to convey information effectively and solid experience providing training and staff development.
• Validated sense of professional discretion, integrity, and ability to handle complex situations diplomatically and to effective resolution.
• Excellent management and interpersonal skills and a solid ability to promote harmonious/cohesive teamwork, in a cross-cultural context.
• Validated ability to plan long-term, organize priorities and work under administrative and programmatic pressures with detail orientation and professional patience.
• Highly collaborative and resourceful; ability to establish positive working relationships with senior level management and all other partners to maximize cooperation and productivity.
• Curiosity, a desire to continually learn and develop and a sense of humor is a must.
• Analytical ability in creating effective solutions to complex matters while adhering to labor laws and internal policies.
• English is required, while Arabic is desired.
• Travel: 50% to field sites in Syria and Turkey as well as attending regional and global workshops and meetings.
Key Working Relationships:
Position Reports to: Country Director
Position directly supervises: WoS Protection IMO hosted by IRC
Indirect Reporting (If applicable): N/A
Position Technically Supervises: IRC hosted coordinators within the protection sector - NES Protection Working Group Coordinator, NWS Protection Cluster Co-Lead, NES CP AoR Coordinator, NES CAAFAG Coordinator
Key Internal Contacts: Regional Protection TAs, Syria Policy Advocacy Coordinator, Regional Policy, Advocacy and Communications Director, WoS Health Sector Co-Coordinator, Field Directors in NES and Gaziantep.
Key External Contacts: WoS Protection Sector Coordinator (UNHCR); WoS Protection Sector Information Management Officer ; WoS GBV Coordinator, WoS Mine Action Coordinator, WoS CP Coordinator, WoS Protection Sector support officer, hub level Protection Cluster Coordinators, Co-Leads (UNHCR and co-lead agencies);; OCHA Regional Office for Syria Crisis and Hub Offices; other WoS Coordinators and Co-Coordinators from different sectors; Protection Partners in Syria; Donors representatives, SIRF representative, SIRF Policy Advocacy Working Group, NWS NGO Forum representative, NES NGO Forum.
Professional Standards: IRC staff must adhere to the values and principles outlined in IRC Way – Global Standards for Professional Conduct. These are Integrity, Service, Accountability and Equality. In accordance with these values, IRC operates and carries out policies on Beneficiary Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Anti-Workplace Harassment, Respect at Work Fiscal Integrity, and Anti-Retaliation.
Accountability to Clients: IRC staff must adhere to the commitment of contributing to the sustainability and development of its (CR) Client Responsiveness Mechanisms, preserving the culture of prioritizing the needs of our clients and affected communities by systematically listening to their perspectives and using their feedback to make programmatic decisions and give them greater influence over program design and delivery.
Gender Equality: 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.
Diversity and Inclusion: At IRC MENA, we are passionate about creating an inclusive workplace that promotes and values diversity. Organizations that are diverse in age, gender identity, race, sexual orientation, physical or mental ability, ethnicity, nationality, and perspective are validated to be better organizations. More importantly, creating a safe workspace environment where everyone, from any background, can do their best is the right thing to do. So, bring your whole self to work.