Syria Health Sector Working Group Coordinator

Relief International, Berat, Albania
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Job Summary

Job Description

Position: Syria Health Sector Working Group Coordinator

Location: Middle East (TBD)

Duration: 4.5 months, extendable (contingent to donor approval and funding)

Reports to: Deputy Country Director (line manager); however, this position is accountable to the health sector

About RI:

Relief International is a leading nonprofit organization working in roughly 20 countries to relieve poverty, ensure the well-being and advance dignity. We specialize in fragile settings, responding to natural disasters, humanitarian crises, and chronic poverty. Relief International combines humanitarian and development approaches to provide immediate services while laying the groundwork for long-term impact. Our signature approach — which we call the RI Way—emphasizes local participation, integration of services, strategic partnerships and a focus on civic skills. In this way, we empower communities to find, design and implement the solutions that work best for them.


The Syria crisis is often described as the worst humanitarian catastrophe since the end of the Cold War. Inside Syria, 6.6 million people are internally displaced and 13.5 million are in need of humanitarian assistance, with 4.7 million in hard-to-reach areas. There are 4 million Syrian refugees in neighboring countries. 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. Despite the efforts among a large number of International and local NGOs and UN Agencies that have been providing assistance, needs keep on increasing and coordination structures remain fragile. As a result, the humanitarian community has embarked since 2014 on a Whole of Syria Approach in order to improve the overall humanitarian response based on a more integrated and connected coordination structure.

Position Summary:

The Health Sector Working Group Coordinator will be responsible for coordinating health activities, interacting and engaging with Health actors, INGO, SNGO, UN actors, Donor representatives and forums. This position sits within the health coordination architecture and informed by the Global Health Cluster Guide.

Position Responsibilities and Duties:

Coordination and Representation

o Chair regular coordination meetings with the Health Working Group; building when possible on existing health sector coordination fora, including a diversity of locations.

o Actively identify new and existing actors to add to the working group, inclusive of those that may be registered in other hubs.

o Support the Information Management Officer (IMO) in collecting information; Work with health sector IMO team to provide consolidated feedback to health actors and other clusters, in line with data sharing and anonymization guidelines.

o Mobilize Health Cluster Partners to contribute to establishing and maintaining an appropriate Early Warning and Response System, and regularly report on health services delivered to the affected population and the situation.

o Ensure that humanitarian health needs are identified by planning and coordinating, joint, inter-cluster, rapid assessment as well as follow-on, more in-depth health sub-sector assessments as needed. All assessments should be captured in the assessment registry to ensure coordination and harmonized data collection techniques.

o Work with WHO and Health Working Group members to ensure that key health concerns are reflected and addressed, including coordinated efforts towards advocacy and awareness-raising.

o Work with the IMO and the team to a) ensure accurate and consistent reporting and mapping of health activities and b) provide analysis back to working group and other interagency fora. This exercise will assist in steer the strategic and operational planning.

o Represent the health response and raise health concerns and liaise with coordination Fora on local and technical level to ensure and facilitate contextual analysis, needs assessments and access to beneficiaries and sites/structures.

o Collaborate with other sectors, including, in particular, the WASH Working Group, the Protection Working Group, the Food Security and FSL Working Group and other working groups in coordination with the Health sector to ensure integration of health concerns and responsive programming.

o Identify gaps and areas of overlap in the health sector

o Coordinate regularly with IMO and health cluster coordinators, and engage in health initiatives.

o Identifying resources needs and track funding to support resource and funds tracking and coordinate with the coordinators to advocate with donors to ensure appropriate support for inter-agency health activities.

o Ensure health sector preparedness and contingency plans are updated on a regular basis to reflect changes in context and integration with other response hubs and made available to health sector partners.

o With support from IMO and the team, assist in developing/updating information management tools and products.

Capacity Building

o Arrange/conduct direct training in health for key national and local stakeholders as feasible, in line with agreed upon sectoral priorities in the work plan.

o Work with partners to promote understanding of and adherence to humanitarian and health principles and standards according to international standards.

o Ensuring consideration and inclusion of cross-cutting issues (Protection, Age, Gender, Disability, Disaster Risk Reduction and Environment) in the sector’s response; with particular attention to guidance contained in the 2019 Health Sector Protection Risk Analysis document.

Qualifications & requirements:

This position demands a dynamic individual with a demonstrated ability to achieve results in a demanding and fast-paced environment.


  • Post graduate degree in public health, medicine or related health field;
  • Minimum of five years proven experience working on health issues in humanitarian environments;

· Excellent understanding of health issues in emergency situations and detailed knowledge of humanitarian principles, guidelines and laws and the cluster system.

  • Excellent advocacy and representation skills including the development of strong interpersonal relationships to facilitate communication within the cluster and fostering positive coordination environment;
  • Excellent leadership, coordination, capacity building, planning and analytical skills;

· Excellent interpersonal, communication, public speaking, and strategic planning skills required;

· Strong English language skills (writing and speaking) required;

· Demonstrated ability to manage multiple priorities, deadlines, tasks efficiently;

· Excellent time management skills and resourcefulness with strong attention to detail;


· Arabic and/or Kurdish, both written and spoken;

· Previous operational experience of working within the cluster system, and managing/implementing humanitarian response programs in an emergency setting.

· Strong experience with information management as related to the health sector, including maintaining standards of impartiality and confidentiality with data of a sensitive nature.

· Able to work successfully under pressure and ability to make timely decisions.

· Ability to travel throughout the region.

· Experience in Syria and/or in the Middle East region.

RI Values:

We uphold the Humanitarian Principles: humanity, neutrality, impartiality, and operational independence. We affirmatively engage the most vulnerable communities. We value:

ü Inclusiveness

ü Transparency and Accountability

ü Agility and Innovation

ü Collaboration

ü Sustainability