Emergency Coordination for COVID-19 NES Forum
iMMAP , Syria
iMMAP is an international nongovernmental organisation that provides information management services to humanitarian and development organizations. Through information management, we help our partners target assistance to the world’s most vulnerable populations. Our core philosophy is that better data leads to better decisions and that better decisions lead to better outcomes. iMMAP’s critical support to information value chains helps to solve operational and strategic challenges of our partners in both emergency and development contexts by enabling evidence-based decision-making for better outcomes.
As of January 2021, Northeast Syria (i.e. areas of Hassakeh, Raqqa, Deir-ez-Zor and Aleppo governorate controlled by the Self-Administration (SA)) has recorded 8,252 cases of COVID-19, including at least 284 deaths. The actual number of cases is estimated to be much higher, due to a combination of low surveillance/ detection capacity and limited testing.
Since October there has been a significant increase in reported levels of transmission and associated COVID-19 deaths. There is an expectation that community transmission will persist into 2021, with possible second and third waves as recorded in other parts of the world. With no immediate end to the pandemic in sight, and cognizant of the inevitable challenges in ensuring equitable access to any viable vaccine, continued resources to support the emergency response to COVID-19 in Northeast Syria will remain critical throughout 2021. The NES Emergency Coordinator for COVID-19 will be an instrumental component in overseeing this response.
Purpose and Objective
The role of the NES Emergency Coordinator for COVID-19 was established in April 2019 to facilitate inter-agency and inter-sectoral coordination to COVID-19, working particularly closely with the NES Health Working Group Coordinator and NES Inter-Sector Working Group Coordinator. In collaboration with the NES Health WG Coordinator, the Emergency Coordinator for COVID-19 is responsible for leading/ facilitating inter-hub coordination with the UN (at Qamishli, Damascus, Whole of Syria and Regional levels) to ensure an effective and joined-up response to COVID-19. In addition, the Emergency Coordinator for COVID-19 facilitates coordination and engagement around COVID-19 with the Self-Administration, specifically through the Technical Committee for COVID-19 and the 7 local COVID Committees which have been established across NES, led by the respective Committees of Health (CoH).
In addition to supporting external representation and facilitating coordination with stakeholders through various platform, the NES Emergency Coordinator for COVID-19 is responsible for delivering reporting/ information outputs on COVID-19 in NES, developing and disseminating the monthly NES COVID-19 Situation Report, overseeing the implementation/ review of the NES COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan (including monitoring resourcing requirements) and leading on the implementation of key multi-sectoral technical work-streams under this plan. Specific functions are elaborated under the “roles and responsibilities’ section.
Description of Duties
Accountability and reporting lines:
The position of the NES Emergency Coordinator for COVID-19 will be hosted by iMMAP, with the person selected for this role to be based in Amuda. Ongoing regular travel to all areas of NES is expected to facilitate and support local coordination around COVID-19. As with sector working group coordinator roles, the Emergency Coordinator for COVID-19 position will be a standalone role with the host organization expected to monitor and assess performance.
Close coordination will be expected with the NES Health Working Group Coordinator, including through the co-chairmanship modality for the NES Forum COVID-19 Task Force. Complementary working arrangements should be established to facilitate this coordination, including through a clear division of functions between the Health WG and COVID-19 TF. The Emergency Coordinator for COVID-19 will also be a member of the NES Inter-Sector Working Group (ISWG) to support multi-sectoral engagement on COVID-19 and ensure that COVID-19 is mainstreamed as part of preparedness and response planning exercises.
The NES Emergency Coordinator for COVID-19 will line manage 1 national staff position; the “Deputy Emergency Coordinator for COVID-19”. The Deputy Emergency Coordinator will be expected to ‘double-hat’, serving as the main liaison between the Emergency Coordinator and the local authorities while also supporting key IM functions (including monitoring reporting on hospitalizations, overseeing information dashboards, tracking the RCCE response and tracking stocks of COVID related supplies).
Roles and Responsibilities.
As outlined above, the fundamental responsibility of the NES Emergency Coordinator for COVID-19 is to ensure the effective implementation of the NES COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan. This plan identifies priority response activities in accordance with the 8 preparedness pillars identified by the WHO: i) Coordination; ii) Risk Communication and Community Engagement; iii) Surveillance, Rapid Response Teams and Case Investigation; iv) Points of Entry; v) Laboratory Testing; vi) Infection Prevention and Control; vii) Case Management; viii) Operational Support and Logistics
Under these pillars, the core responsibilities of the NES Emergency Coordinator for COVID-19 include the following:
1. Inter-agency Coordination
· Oversee NES COVID-19 coordination structures, namely the COVID-19 Task Force relevant sub-Task Forces and other ad hoc technical working groups
· Co-Chair the NES COVID-19 Task Force meetings with the Health Working Group Coordinator (on weekly to monthly basis depending on transmission status), convening discussions among health partner and other key stakeholder on the epidemiological situation in NES and overseeing the implementation of the NES PRP.
· Monitor and actively support of technical task forces covering case management, IPC, case investigation and vaccine planning.
· Lead inter-hub coordination on COVID-19 in collaboration with the HWG Coordinator through weekly meetings with UN/WHO colleagues in Qamishli and Damascus
2. Risk Communication and Community Engagement
· Coordinate Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) work-streams in NES, including through leadership of the dedicated RCCE sub-Task Force.
· Oversee operational coordination of COVID-19 related RCCE interventions in NES, including through response mapping.
· Collaborate with assessment NGOs to gather information around Knowledge, Information and Practices (KAP) related to COVID-19 to inform RCCE interventions and guide analysis around barriers to adherence to preventative measures, reporting symptoms and going to hospital.
· Engage with external stakeholders, including media outlets and local NGOs, to support mass communication initiatives.
3. External Representation
· Lead technical engagement with the SA on COVID-19, through weekly meetings with the SA Health Committee (as chair/ secretariat of the Technical Committee).
· Support area-based coordination through the 7 local COVID Committees established across NES. Support overall functionality and strengthen linkages with the central Technical Committee.
· Develop common approaches and advocate for coherence on key issue related to the COVID-19 response under the various pillars of the response
· Provide updates to donors and other key stakeholders on the COVID-19 situation in NES and preparedness status
4. Strategic and Operational Planning
· Develop and update the NES COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan (PRP), leading multi-sector planning processes.
· Monitor the implementation of the NES PRP through development of a monitoring framework and support establishment of a reporting mechanism.
· Oversee NES NGO response capacity, particularly as it relates to Case Management (pillar 7), Surveillance (pillar 3), Points of Entry (pillar 4) and Laboratory Testing (pillar 5).
· Address access issues/ supply blockages which may hamper readiness.
· Convene relevant technical discussions at inter-agency/ inter-sector level as relevant (e.g. on testing strategies, IPC in health facilities, RCCE campaigns, camp strategies , vaccine distribution and delivery etc).
· Work closely with the NES Inter-Sector Working Group and NES Health Working Group to ensure COVID-19 is effectively integrated in the HRP and mainstreamed throughout the humanitarian response in NES.
5. Reporting and Analysis
· Draft and disseminate monthly NES Forum Situation Reports on COVID-19, providing key situational updates and outlining preparedness status.
· Oversee development and maintenance of interactive online COVID-19 epidemiological and response dashboard.
· Track COVID-response, specifically for activities not already reported under specific sector 4Ws.
· Support additional external analysis as required.
Experience: At least 5 years experience in humanitarian coordination
Skills and Competencies:
· Strong coordination skills;
· Experience of working in remote environments.
· Experience working in a team, involving people of different nationalities and/or cultures.
· Strong skills in data analysis and preferably in relation to health
· Proficiency in Windows, MS Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook)
· Excellent writing skills
· Competencies: Cognitive capacity, Teamwork, Action management, Innovation, Partnering, Client orientation, Advisory skills
Advanced University degree in International Studies or related field.
· English (fluent) – essential
· Arabic – desired