REACH Assessment Officer for Syria - Emergency Response
IMPACT Initiatives, Svalbard And Jan Mayen Islands
Background on Impact and REACH
REACH was born in 2010 as a joint initiative of two International NGOs and the United Nations Operational Satellite Applications Programme. 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. 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 and GIS. 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, enabling IMPACT to benefit from ACTED’s operational support on its fields of intervention.
We are currently looking for a REACH Assessment Officer to support our REACH team in Syria.
Position: REACH Assessment Officer
Contract duration: 6 months
Location: Amman, Jordan, with 30% travel to the field
Starting 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.
IMPACT is seeking an experienced candidate, who has previously designed and implemented quantitative assessments and managed large quantitative datasets, to support the Emergency Response portfolio. In this role, the Assessment Officer (AO) will be directly liaising with a range of implementing partners to facilitate an evidence-based response to emergency caseloads across all provinces of Syria. Tasks will include supporting the consolidation of datasets, review of indicators and analysis tools, coordination of data collection, data analysis, rapid output production, and maintenance of a web-based platform. Previous experience developing a web-based platform or conducting qualitative analysis would be considered an asset.
Under the supervision of the Country Coordinator in Syria and of IMPACT’s HQ in Geneva, the REACH Assessment Officer is responsible for the analysis of Emergency Response datasets as well as the management and implementation of REACH-specific assessments, including their preparation, implementation and follow-up. S/he is also responsible for related logistics, partner coordination, reporting, and finance requirements and will be required to provide input to the strategic development of REACH in country.
In his/her mission, the REACH Assessment Officer will be hosted by ACTED and will fall under the responsibility of ACTED’s Country Director and his/her delegates. S/he and will fully abide to ACTED’s Security, HR, Administration and Logistics rules and regulations.
The REACH Assessment Officer’s responsibilities include:
- In coordination with the Country Focal Point, designing and implementing REACH assessment strategy and research cycle on a national scale;
- For each assessment, draft ToRs, ensure that they are approved by management (including Geneva HQ), understood and used by assessment staff and stakeholders, and updated as required;
- In coordination with implementing partners and the Country Focal Point, ensure timely and accurate analysis of Emergency Response datasets;
- In coordination with implementing partners and the Country Focal Point, provide technical backstopping to the development of Emergency Response indicators and assessment tools;
- Update and manage a web-based platform tracking the Emergency Response;
- Ensure the writing of timely and accurate assessment outputs, which comply with REACH’s guidelines;
- Keep track of all project and program assessment and research schedules;
- Ensure regular reporting on assessment progress and participate in coordination meetings;
- Support the development/revision of assessment / program strategies, reports or new proposals;
- In coordination with the Country Focal Point, external representation of REACH with partners and the wider aid community through clusters and sectoral working groups;
- Other tasks falling within REACH’s functions as requested by supervisors.
1. REACH Assessment Management and Coordination
Objective 1.1: Management of assessments process
The REACH Assessment Officer is responsible for designing the methodology and tools associated with each assessment, according to REACH requirements and principles. He/she will manage the planning, implementation, and follow-up of all REACH and projects specific assessment activities conducted in country. In operations in which REACH is a project component of a wider ACTED intervention, the REACH Assessment Officer is required to contribute to the preparation and follow up of the Project Management Framework and ensure that activities are properly coordinated and implemented as per the Project Cycle Management. The REACH Assessment Officer shall manage logistics, financial, administration and HR processes directly related to REACH and liaise accordingly with the relevant ACTED counterpart. He/she is directly responsible for the implementation of proper ACTED FLAT procedures in all REACH interventions.
Objective 1.2: Implementation
The REACH Assessment Officer is responsible for contributing to the implementation of assessment projects, providing support to the development of assessment and database tools with the REACH team. This will specifically include, with the GIS/DB team, designing of data collection tools (household surveys, focus groups, and more) as well as the development, analysis and review of databases.
Objective 1.3: Coordination
The REACH Assessment Officer shall provide technical support to the relevant ACTED department in terms of the preparation of new project proposals, development of programme strategies, implementation of project activities, and any other required REACH input to ACTED projects for added-value.
The REACH Assessment Officer is responsible for the timely and accurate preparation of narrative and financial reports related to REACH activities in country through close liaison with the Project Development and Finance departments. The REACH Assessment Officer shall liaise with other REACH Officers in the region and throughout IMPACT Initiatives’ and ACTED’s networks to provide and receive support in the expansion of REACH globally.
2. REACH Reporting
The REACH Assessment Officer is responsible for consolidating all analyses and conclusions from each assessment into REACH products such as factsheets, reports and briefs using standard formats. He/she will liaise with Geneva and Regional GIS/DB Specialists in order to represent data in interactive web map or static map format, as relevant.
The REACH Assessment Officer 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. 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 organizations working in the areas.
He/she will also manage the drafting of narrative reports and contribute to the development of financial reports through regular budgetary follow-up. The REACH Assessment Officer will also store, organize and disseminate assessments, project documents and best practices among ACTED and IPs. He/she will coordinate timely and accurate reporting to IMPACT Headquarter.
3. Staff Management
The REACH Assessment Officer is responsible for day-to-day management of project and field staff both directly and remotely. He/she is expected to guide and direct REACH staff and prepare and follow up work plans with each staff member that directly reports to him/her. The REACH Assessment Officer will be required to take the lead in the recruitment of REACH assessment staff in coordination with the ACTED HR Officer. This will include the preparation of ToRs, observation of recruitment procedures by planning recruitment needs in advance, and undertake interviews.
4. External Engagement
Representation of ACTED/REACH in cluster and multi-sector meetings/ technical working groups in country and follow up on technical issues identified in cluster meetings in other parts of the country. This specifically will include liaising with external partners to identify potential for data sets to be integrated into existing databases and mapped to support the coordination of the broader humanitarian community.
The REACH Assessment Officer will further represent ACTED/REACH vis-a-vis current and potential donors and communicate relevant information to the ACTED Project Development Manager and Country Director. He/she will participate in inter-NGO meetings and those of UN agencies and any other relevant inter-governmental institutions at the national or provincial level.
The REACH Assessment Officer 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 degree in relevant discipline;
- Excellent quantitative analytical skills;
- At least 1.5 years of relevant working experience in humanitarian settings;
- Excellent communication and drafting skills for reporting and external coordination;
- Ability to operate in a cross-cultural environment requiring flexibility;
- Ability to operate in a complex and challenging security environment;
- Fluency in English required;
- Advanced skills in Excel as well as SPSS, R or related statistical programming;
- Ability to work independently.
- Experience developing or managing a web-based platform;
- Knowledge of qualitative analysis and related analytical software (e.g. NVivo);
- Salary defined by the IMPACT salary grid; educational level, expertise, hardship, security, and performance are considered for pay bonus
- Additional monthly living allowance provided in country by IMPACT’s partner ACTED
- 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