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 Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) 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, supporting and working within the framework of the humanitarian reform process. 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, GIS and remote-sensing. 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, which allows particularly IMPACT to benefit from ACTED’s operational support on its fields of intervention.
ACTED is a French humanitarian NGO, founded in 1993, which supports vulnerable populations, affected by humanitarian crises worldwide. ACTED provides continued support to vulnerable communities by ensuring the sustainability of post-crisis interventions and engaging long-term challenges facing our target populations, in order to break the poverty cycle, foster development and reduce vulnerability to disasters. Their interventions seek to cover the multiple aspects of humanitarian and development crises through a multidisciplinary approach which is both global and local, and adapted to each context. Their 3,300 staff is committed in to responding to emergencies worldwide, to supporting recovery and rehabilitation, towards sustainable development.
We are currently looking for a REACH Assessment Officer to support our REACH Syria team in Northeast Syria.
Supervisor: REACH Assessment Officer
Title: REACH Assessment Officer
Location: 50% Ein Issa, Syria / 50% Dohuk, Iraq
Contract duration: 6 months
Start date: ASAP
Into its ninth year of conflict, conditions in Syria remain highly volatile and marked by intense violence and limited humanitarian access. The scale, complexity, and severity of humanitarian needs in Syria extends the necessity for up to date, timely, and accurate information. Evidence-based planning and programming remains paramount to ensure that the response adequately meets the needs of the most vulnerable people and is tailored to different realities across communities and over time. However, informing operational and strategic planning remains highly challenging, as accessibility and security issues impede systematic data collection. A lack of predictable and consistent data undermines the ability of humanitarian actors to review their approach in light of the dynamic context. REACH has been conducting assessments on the humanitarian situation in Syria since 2013 and has over the years grown significantly both in size and in influence as an actor in the Syria response. REACH works in opposition controlled parts of Syria and coordinates closely with OCHA, nearly all clusters, key working groups (IM and technical) within the Syria coordination system, and various NGO fora in order to identify, address, and raise awareness of key information gaps, as well as to uphold the quality of data used to inform the response.
Through these engagements, REACH has identified that the following key challenges remain: (1) the lack of a needs tracking system that brings together and shares timely and regular information on changes in needs from a variety of sources; (2) the ability to conduct coordinated large scale data collection on a more regular basis – particularly critical in the highly volatile context, and during key humanitarian milestones such as the HNO; (3) the lack information from harder to reach areas with some of the most acute needs, such as Menbij and Afrin in northwest Syria and Deir-ez-Zor governorate (4) lack of ability to quickly mobilise data collection in areas experiencing sudden escalations in conflict, due to accessibility, operational and security constraints; (5) the lack of more granular and detailed information on needs and response capacity on specific newly accessible geographic areas, such as Menbij.
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:
- REACH Damage Atlas of Syrian Cities
- REACH Situation Overview: Area-Based Assessment of Ar-Raqqa City
- REACH: Southern Idleb and Northern Hama Rapid Needs Assessment, Factsheet – May 2019
- REACH: Humanitarian Situation Overview in Syria, March Northeast regional factsheet and Northwest regional factsheet
- Syria Market Monitoring Exercise NWS, April 2019: Report and Syria Market Monitoring Exercise NES, April 2019: Report
- REACH Syria: Northeast Syria Movement Monitoring – Baseline Factsheet (December 2018)
Under the supervision of the REACH Senior Assessment Officer, the REACH Assessment Officer is responsible for technical and operational oversight of the REACH Area-Based Assessment (ABA) projects based in northeast Syria. The Assessment Officer will use their strong knowledge of research methodologies to coordinate with other members of the northeast Syria team in order to strengthen each research cycle and to ensure that the resulting information products contribute constructively to the humanitarian response. This also includes identifying gaps in the technical skills of team members and putting in place strategies for professional development in order to address these gaps.
Additionally, the Assessment Officer will oversee one or more research cycles within the northeast Syria mission themselves. This includes preparation, logistics, supervision of data collection, partner coordination, follow-up, analysis, and output creation. The Assessment Officer will leverage their strong coordination, analytical, and writing skills to produce timely and relevant assessment products, in accordance with REACH standards and donor expectations, that are useful to humanitarian stakeholders. The Assessment Officer will also be responsible for related logistics, partner coordination, reporting and finance requirements, trainings and presentations, and will be required to provide input to the strategic development of REACH in the country and region, if relevant.
The position will be focused around the following key activities and products:
Area Based Assessment (ABA): Identification of primary needs of civilians and barriers to accessing services.
The ABA will provide actionable information on various aspects of towns, cities and residents. This will be done by identifying primary needs of civilians living in/returning to urban areas and triangulating this with service delivery, identifying primary residual barriers faced by civilians to accessing services, and verifying pre-conflict/current service catchment areas. The successful candidate will be responsible for the entire research cycle including work planning, research and tool design, data collection, production, and dissemination, as part of team.
Gap analysis and area-level action plan: Compiling humanitarian needs from the ABA and other relevant sources, and comparing these with the humanitarian response, in an effort to highlight gaps and inform better coordination of future responses.
Following the conclusion of each ABA, REACH will tie in findings from the ABA and other relevant and existing sources of information about humanitarian needs in the targeted urban area, with information about humanitarian response activities. This information wll be shared with management and operational actors involved in the target urban area response. Workshops will be held with stakeholders to support in building a common understanding of the response progress, operational challenges, sources of information, and help inform a better overview and contextualization of gaps in the urban response. A summary output will be produced by REACH which will serve as a tool for fundraising and advocacy purposes, and inform improved coordination of the response in relevant urban areas.
· Objective 1: Assessment Design and Implementation
The REACH Assessment Officer (AO) is responsible for designing the methodology, tools, and data analysis plan associated with each research cycle they are responsible for, according to REACH requirements and principles. He/she will manage the planning, implementation, and follow-up of all project-specific assessment activities conducted in northeast Syria. He/She will ensure that assessments are implemented in a structured and coherent manner in line with project and strategic objectives;
Additionally, the REACH AO is responsible for overseeing the methodology, tool creation, data analysis and cleaning for the other research cycles based in northeast Syria. This includes reviewing outputs, contributing to REACH’s strategic aims, and identifying opportunities to provide information management support to the humanitarian response.
· Objective 2: Reporting and M&E
The REACH AO shall provide technical support in terms of the preparation of new project proposals, development of programme strategies, implementation of project activities, and any other required inputs.
The REACH AO is responsible for following the designated timeline of reports to be submitted to project partners and donors. 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 will ensure that assessment reports contribute to aid coordination and planning and add to the general base of field knowledge in the country for all organisations working in the areas.
The REACH AO will also store, organize and disseminate assessments, project documents and best practices among the humanitarian community. He/she will coordinate timely and accurate reporting and track the usage and feedback of various thematic and sector assessment products.
· Objective 3: Creation of timely, accurate, and coherent research outputs
The REACH AO is responsible for consolidating all analyses and conclusions from each assessment into REACH products such as factsheets, reports, and overview documents using standard formats. He/she is responsible for ensuring that deliverables are submitted on time to partners and donors.
· Objective 4: Staff Management
The REACH AO is responsible for day-to-day management of project and field staff both directly and remotely across northeast Syria. He/she is expected to guide and direct REACH staff and prepare and follow up work plans with each staff member. The REACH AO will ensure that all field teams are comprehensively briefed on the objective, expected outputs and that the overall implementation strategy of any given activity is clearly understood. He/she will ensure that project/field staff are given training and complete all the necessary documentation in line with program requirements set by REACH.
· Objective 5: External Engagement
The REACH AO will represent REACH in sectors meetings, technical working groups in country when relevant, and communicate relevant information to the NES Head of Programmes and Senior Assessment Officer. He/she will participate in relevant humanitarian coordination, inter-NGOs, sectors/working group meetings upon request from management.
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 IMPACT’s mandate, ethics, values and stand-point with regard to other actors. While representing REACH, the AO will also adhere to the humanitarian principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality, and independence.
CONFIDENTIALITY AND DATA PROTECTION
The AO will maintain the strictest confidentiality on all data collected and related processes. He/she will actively take measures to prevent the unauthorized sharing of any information and data belonging to IMPACT and its partners, or collected during his/her assignment with IMPACT.
- Excellent academic qualifications, including a Master’s degree in relevant discipline; or an equivalent combination of relevant training and experience in humanitarian related activities
- 1 year of relevant working experience in a humanitarian setting;
- Excellent communication and drafting skills for effective reporting;
- Excellent analytical skills – ability to situate findings within a wider context;
- Experience conducting temporal or spatial trends analysis, an asset;
- Experience managing multi-person teams and multiple projects;
- Ability to operate in a cross-cultural and cross-country environment, requiring flexibility;
- Familiarity with the aid system, and understanding of donor and governmental requirements;
- Understanding of the global and country level cluster approach, an asset;
- Prior knowledge of the Syrian context, an asset;
- Fluency in English required; intermediate or advanced knowledge of Arabic desirable
- Ability to operate Microsoft Word and Excel;
- Ability to operate STATA, SPSS, R or related statistical programming, an asset;
- Ability to operate Adobe InDesign, an asset;
- A self-starter with a strong existing ability to work independently;
- Experience with research methods, an asset;
- Strong interpersonal and communication skills.
- 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
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