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Psychosocial Support Specialist Jobs in South Sudan

Terms of Reference for Psychosocial Support Programming
Background Armed conflicts pose a multitude of physical and psychosocial threats to children’s well-being. Therefore, a significant need in emergency settings is for rapid interventions that support the well-being of children and youth who normally constitutes more than half of the affected population. In the absence of such rapid intervention, the impact of armed conflict could have immediate and long term devastating consequences.
Psychosocial support has been a part of many partners’ programmes in South Sudan since the 1990s, especially by education and child protection actors. As in many countries, the long running conflict created social and psychological problems that many actors – international and national – continue to address. Professionals who have been working in South Sudan since the 1990s reported that there have been significant changes in scale and approach taken to psychosocial support in South Sudan, with an initial focus on trauma and trauma counselling gradually being replaced with a greater focus on building individuals, families and communities resilience to cope. Though Psychosocial requires multi-sectoral interventions, much of the previous interventions have not taken much of a Multi-sectoral approach and interventions have been fragmented with little linkages between the different sectors – Education, protection health and HIV/AIDs.
In February 2011, UNICEF Child Protection section organized three-day training on CFS/Psychosocial Support (PSS), which was followed by wider consultations with members of the Child protection Sub Cluster resulting into a plan to strengthen intervention in PSS and CFS in South Sudan. The outcome of this consultation amongst other things revealed that addressing Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MPHSS) issues in South Sudan was relevant at this time because: • Conflicts, displacement and the resulting difficult living conditions that people have experienced in South Sudan over the previous decades have enduring effects on peoples’ emotional wellbeing, their ability to function effectively in their communities and the social norms and dynamics • The complex combination of high returns, on-going tribal conflict and LRA attacks in the context of the process of independence and post conflict transition provides important opportunities and challenges for addressing psychosocial wellbeing and mental health. • On the one hand, the overall reduction in conflict, the returns and transition process provides opportunities to help people heal and begin to rebuild their lives and strengthen the social supports and positive shared values that form the basis of cohesive communities
• On the other hand, experience from other countries show that if emotional wounds and social tensions are not addressed in the reconstruction process and are not addressed as part of the overall humanitarian response, this can undermine individual’s abilities to live productive, fulfilling lives and lay the seeds for future conflict.
Main duties/responsibilities: 1. Strengthening Inter-agency and Inter-sectoral coordination: • Assist the Child Protection Sub Cluster to establish a coordination mechanism for MHPSS across the clusters – at minimum, child protection, education, GBV, health and nutrition; • Develop a PSS and CFS work plan and ensure that it is incorporated into sectoral (education, GBV, Health, nutrition and Protection) Clusters work plans; • Coordination of assessment on MHPSS across the clusters, integration of assessment on MHPSS into inter-cluster, cluster or cluster partners assessments and sharing of tools/results of this across the clusters; • Provide technical guidance to integrate mapping of health and psychosocial support services into cluster mapping initiatives and consolidation and sharing of MHPSS services across the clusters for the purposes of identifying gaps and overlaps; • Facilitate the establishment of agreement on basic criteria for referral among MHPSS services, and sharing of available services for the purposes of referral among partners; • Strengthen coordination of capacity building and training on psychosocial support among the clusters, and collaboration where appropriate on joint capacity building, and • Facilitate the development of common messages on MHPSS and sharing among cluster partners for adaption/dissemination and use; • Provide surge capacity to support the establishment of CFS and PSS activities in the event of an acute emergency;
  1. Community-based psychosocial support and CFS within child protection • Provide technical guidance and support on how to mobilize religious networks to address psychosocial support and protection of children in schools and communities; • Provide leadership in conducting community awareness-raising on key issues related to the care and protection of children in conflict affected areas; • Mobilize community actors, including members of both the protection Cluster and Child protection Sub Cluster to conduct CFS, including community-based psychosocial activities; • Provide advice on how to integrate PSS into broader child protection initiatives; Build capacity of child protection and education cluster members on CFS and PSS; and • Provide guidance to the development of the PSS component for the social reintegration of children rescued from abduction and those released from armed forces and groups.
  2. Integration of PSS into GBV services – ensure that services developed for GBV survivors be linked to PSS, especially inter-agency coordination and referrals.
  3. Strengthening community based mental health services
    • Work with the Health sector to identify agencies and structures to respond to children with mental health disorder in conflict affected areas. Ensure that an appropriate procedure for such referral exists; • Work with the Food and nutrition clusters to link community based PSS programme/CFS to food and nutrition interventions;
Deliverables: 1. Monthly progress reports 2. UNICEF South Sudan PSS/CFS inter- cluster coordination mechanism and coordination structures in areas of implementation 3. End of consultancy report Expected background and Experience 1. Advanced University Degree in Social Sciences, public health, community health, education, international relations, international law, human rights or related field. 2. Minimum of five years of significant experience in emergency contexts preferably as UN or NGO at middle management level. 3. Prior training and direct programming experience in PSS issues and CFS, including a good understanding of the IASC Guidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings, Guidelines for Child Friendly Spaces in Emergencies and the INEE Minimum Standards. 4. Experience in emergency and post emergency situations, knowledge of emergency response issues and policies 5. Fluency in English (spoken and written) 6. Good computer skills 7. Experience in building successful relationships with government counterparts, UN agencies and other relevant partners. 8. Ability to cope with hardship conditions 9. Ability to work in a multi-cultural environment Areas of concern: The incumbent is expected to perform the above functions under difficult working conditions, related to office accommodation, procedures, workload, mobility, and institutional and personal safety. There is limited access to health care and recreational facilities, and this is compounded by long working hours and potentially stressful conditions.
Skills and Philosophical Orientation • Belief in and commitment to gender equality. • Belief in and commitment to human rights. • Diplomacy and assertiveness; the ability to respectfully and carefully confront and discuss sensitive issues with a wide range of actors, groups, and individuals. • Sensitivity to and respect for a range of cultural beliefs.
How to apply: 
Please send your CV and UN P11 to

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