Job Type






Emergency and Outbreak Response Coordinator Al Hasakah

International Rescue Committee

International Rescue Committee Al Hasakah Syria

3 weeks ago

Requisition ID: req41698

Job Title: Emergency and Outbreak Response Coordinator

Sector: Health

Employment Category: Regular

Employment Type: Full-Time

Open to Expatriates: No

Location: Al-Hassaka, Syria

Job Description

Background/IRC Summary:

The Syria crisis is often described as the worst humanitarian catastrophe since the end of the Cold War. Today, and according to Syria 2023 Humanitarian Need Overview (HNO), 15.3 million people in Syria - more than half of the country's population - of dire need humanitarian assistance with needs increasingly being exacerbated by economic decline. Of these, 6.8 million are refugees and asylum-seekers who have fled the country.

Recurring disease outbreaks and deteriorating socioeconomic status of communities, which has resulted in increased displacement, are among the driver needs that have contributed to an increase in people in need across Syria, and particularly in the Northeast (NES). Furthermore, water scarcity is a major issue in... NES, along with drought, inadequate water and sanitation infrastructure, and a lack of power supply. In addition to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and recurring infections, particularly in NES, such as leishmaniasis, meningitis (outbreak in NES between May and July 2022), and measles, Syria has declared cholera in September 2022.

This is no short-term humanitarian episode. 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. IRC is offering a robust humanitarian response to the Syria crisis a rapidly expanding portfolio, supported by more than 1000+ staff in Syria Country Program. IRC is undertaking programs in Syria and the neighboring countries of Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon, and Jordan in the fields of health, child protection, early childhood development, education, women’s protection and empowerment, non-food items and food distribution, cash assistance, water and sanitation, protection and rule of law, and livelihood programming. Our work in these challenging settings gives rise to some of the most pressing issues facing contemporary humanitarian action, including questions of access, security, funding, and coordination.

Job Overview/Summary:

The diseases outbreaks preparedness and response interventions are part of the Health Working Group's (HWG) efforts in the Northeast of Syria to ensure the provision of lifesaving and life-sustaining health services to those in need. Limited health system capacity, deteriorated socio-economic status, water crisis, other environmental pressures, and continued COVID-19 transmission are just a few of the competing factors that have resulted in increased needs in NES.

With the support of the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and the NES Forum, as well as all NES health partners and donors, the HWG has established effective coordination and implementation mechanism to respond to diseases outbreaks including COVID-19, cholera, leishmaniosis, meningitis, hepatitis and measles in the governorates of NES.

The Emergency and outbreak response coordinator r will lead, guide, and support the various emergency and diseases outbreaks response efforts in NES and will collaborate with all HWG partners, NES forum, stakeholders, and donors to design and plan all emergency and outbreaks related response and management activities in NES. The incumbent will also make sure to monitor the diseases epidemiological situation and ensure that necessary information and data are collected, tracked, and analyzed to inform and update the response plans in NES.

• The fundamental responsibility of the NES Emergency and Outbreak Response Coordinator is to monitor the diseases surveillance and related reports, alerts, and make sure the required emergency and outbreak Preparedness and Response Plans and made available based on the situation and context. These plans should identify priority response activities as guided by the relevant emergency and diseases outbreak guidelines including the diseases outbreak Preparedness and Response 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 and Outbreak Response Coordinator include the following (considering the overall key functions of the NES Health Working Group):

• Overseeing the implementation of the NES emergency and outbreaks PRPs and ensuring track progress in all response pillars.
• Facilitate any required emergency and outbreaks coordination groups or task forces in NES in close consultation with the NES HWG coordinator and suggest any necessary ad hoc technical working groups to support emergency and diseases outbreak response in NES.
• Call and facilitate the NES emergency and diseases outbreak Task Force meetings with the Health Working Group Coordinator (based on agreed timeline schedule or epidemiological trends), manage discussions among health partners and other key stakeholders on the required actions in NES.
• Document the relevant emergency and diseases outbreak WG/ TF meetings minutes and share them with members and track action points.
• Monitor and actively support the technical task forces covering case management, IPC, case investigation, and vaccine planning.
• Lead inter-hub coordination on emergency and diseases outbreaks in collaboration with the HWG Coordinator through regular meetings with stakeholders including the UN/WHO team whenever required as per the NES HWG guidance.
• Share the latest information emergency and diseases outbreaks, guidance, and clinical guidelines with health partners especially those related to case management.
• Make sure that capacity-building activities are included in the emergency and outbreaks PRP in NES based on the specific need assessment of required training for healthcare providers.
• With the support of the HWG coordinator, engage with the Whole of Syria coordination team to share related emergency and diseases updates in NES including current response efforts and challenges to explore solutions.
• Similarly, in close coordination and with the support of the HWG coordinator, the NES forum, engage with donors for the emergency and diseases/ outbreaks related matter and prepare necessary advocacy notes to support the response in NES.

Risk Communication and Community Engagement
• Support RCCE sub-TF to develop and update strategic framework that includes RCCE activities that are compatible with NES population context, culture, and effective risk communication messages.
• Coordinate Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) work-streams in NES and lead the dedicated RCCE sub-Task Force.
• Ensure mapping of infectious diseases related RCCE interventions in NES.
• Suggest and encourage conducting of KAP assessments among the population in NES (camps- non-camp-based) to regularly inform updating the RCCE plans and interventions, especially those around barriers to adherence to preventative measures, reporting symptoms and attitudes of the community toward seeking diseases and outbreaks treatment at the hospital and dedicated health facilities such as cholera treatment centers, COVID treatment centers.
• Engage with external stakeholders, including media outlets and local NGOs, to support mass communication initiatives.

External Representation/ work with stakeholders
• Lead technical engagement with the AANES on diseases outbreaks through weekly meetings with the SA Health Committee (as chair/ secretariat of the Technical Committee).
• Support area-based coordination through the existing relevant local diseases outbreaks Committees established across NES governorates.
• Support overall functionality and strengthen linkages with the central Technical Committee.
• Develop common approaches and advocate for coherence on the key issue related to the infectious diseases / communicable diseases response under the various pillars of the response.
• Provide updates to donors and other key stakeholders on the recent updates on communicable diseases situation in NES and preparedness status through HWG.

Strategic and Operational Planning
• Develop and update the NES infectious diseases/ outbreaks Preparedness and Response Plan (PRP), leading multi-sector planning processes.
• Monitor the implementation of the NES PRP through the development of a monitoring framework and support the 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 that may hamper readiness.
• Convene relevant technical discussions at the 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 infections/ outbreaks response is effectively integrated into the HRP and mainstreamed throughout the humanitarian response in NES.
• Conduct assessment for the newly established treatment facilities for given infectious diseases/ outbreaks, particularly the emergency departments and ICUs to assess the functionality, equipment, and staffing and identify gaps based on WHO guidelines.
• Conduct quality assessment, supportive supervision, and capacity building of diseases outbreaks testing facilities staff in NES.
• Work with health partners to ensure a steady flow of basic supplies for all the communicable diseases including testing facilities in NES.
• Explore collaboration opportunities to identify the role of the health working group partners in outbreaks vaccination efforts/plans and provide support whenever needed.
• Support XB health partners in NES to strengthen the cold chain in the healthcare facilities in NES including conduct cold chain assessment, develop plan for improvement and advocate for support with GAVI and donors.

Reporting and Analysis
• Draft and disseminate monthly NES Forum Situation Reports on emergency and diseases outbreaks providing key situational updates and outlining preparedness status. This could be incorporated in the NES HWG monthly bulletin.
• Work with the I=information management officer, to oversee information sharing related to diseases outbreaks including any existing / established dashboard.
• Track - partners’ response to the outbreaks in NES, specifically for activities not already reported under specific sector 4Ws.
• Support additional external analysis as required.
• Monitor the lab supplies in NES and make sure adequate preparedness and timely out-of-stock alerts to avoid any gaps in supplies.


• The applicant should have an advanced University degree in Medicine, Epidemiology, Health, or a related technical fields.
• Has In-depth knowledge and extensive experience in public health and epidemiology and familiar of the public health situation in NES and particularly the communicable diseases response efforts.
• Preferably has worked in NES health sector humanitarian response activities/programs

• At least 5 years of experience in humanitarian coordination and three years of professional experience in epidemiology, surveillance and public health coordination.
• Previous experience in an emergency or conflict-afflicted setting is significantly required.

Work experience must include the following:
• Strategic planning
• Capacity in coordination, facilitate discussions and management within diverse partners, stakeholders, and community groups within the NES- like context
• Ability to proactively monitor, alert and timely response to various communicable diseases outbreaks in fragile health system contexts including epidemiology, surveillance reports and products
• Ability to develop response plans and ensure monitoring and evaluation
• In order to be considered, the applicant needs to demonstrate meaningful engagement in working toward improving the health and wellbeing of the NES community

Demonstrated Skills and Competencies:
• A commitment to IRC’s mission, vision, values, and IRC Way – Professional Code of Conduct.
• Credible written, presentation, and verbal communication skills; ability to convey information effectively and solid experience providing training and staff development
• Validated sense of professional discretion, integrity, and ability to handle complex situations diplomatically and to effective resolution.
• Excellent management and interpersonal skills and a solid ability to promote harmonious/cohesive teamwork, in a cross-cultural context.
• Validated ability to plan long-term, organize priorities and work under administrative and programmatic pressures with detail orientation and professional patience.
• Highly collaborative and resourceful; ability to establish positive working relationships with senior-level management and all other partners to maximize cooperation and productivity.
• Curiosity, a desire to continually learn and develop and a sense of humor is a must.
• Analytical ability in creating effective solutions to complex matters while adhering to labor laws and internal policies.
• Strong coordination skills.
• Experience in 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, communication, Teamwork, Action management, Innovation, Partnering, Client orientation, Advisory skills

• Fluent in English is essential, Arabic and Kurdish are also essential
• Travel: 30% to field sites in NES as well as attending regional and global workshops and meetings.

• Updated/ initiate the emergency and communicable diseases relevant preparedness and response plans. COVID-19 PRP
• Monthly emergency and diseases / outbreaks situation updates: Dashboard, SitRep or bulletin and other required information products.
• Field visits and monitoring reports
• Whenever conducted, assessment reports
• Meeting minutes for the various emergency and diseases outbreaks related task forces and other sub-working groups.
• Advocacy notes/ messages to donor and other stakeholders on diseases outbreaks in NES and response

Key Working Relationships:
• Position Reports to NES Health Working Group Coordinator
Position directly supervises: Deputy emergency and diseases outbreaks officer/ coordinator – if required and IMO
• Indirect Reporting (If applicable): None
Key Internal Contacts: Whole of Syria health sector co-coordinator and Health Coordinator, NES
• Key External Contacts: Health Working Group and committee of health, other sectors working groups.

Applicant wiil be received till 18 May 2023

Professional Standards: IRC staff must adhere to the values and principles outlined in IRC Way – Global Standards for Professional Conduct. These are Integrity, Service, Accountability, and Equality. In accordance with these values, IRC operates and carries out policies on Beneficiary Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Anti-Workplace Harassment, Respect at Work Fiscal Integrity, and Anti-Retaliation.

Returning National Candidates: We strongly encourage national or returning national candidates to apply for this position. If you are a citizen of the country in which this position is based and are currently located outside of your home country and possess over two years of international work experience, the Middle East Region has introduced an attractive remuneration package. The package includes competitive compensation, return flight to post, shipping allowance, temporary housing, and a relocation allowance. Certain restrictions may apply. IRC strives to attract, motivate, and retain qualified national staff in our programs.

Accountability to Clients: IRC staff must adhere to the commitment of contributing to the sustainability and development of its (CR) Client Responsiveness Mechanisms, preserving the culture of prioritizing the needs of our clients and affected communities by systematically listening to their perspectives and using their feedback to make programmatic decisions and give them greater influence over program design and delivery.

Gender Equality: IRC is committed to narrowing the gender gap in leadership positions. We offer benefits that provide an enabling environment for women to participate in our workforce including parental leave, gender-sensitive security protocols, and other supportive benefits and allowances.

Diversity and Inclusion: at IRC MENA, we are passionate about creating an inclusive workplace that promotes and values diversity. Organizations that are diverse in age, gender identity, race, sexual orientation, physical or mental ability, ethnicity, nationality, and perspective are validated to be better organizations. More importantly, creating a safe workspace environment where everyone, from any background, can do their best is the right thing to do. So, bring your whole self to work.

IRC is committed to creating a diverse, inclusive, respectful, and safe work environment where all persons are treated fairly, with dignity and respect. In keeping with our core values of Integrity, Service, Accountability, and Equality, IRC strives to maintain a work environment built on mutual respect in which all individuals treat each other professionally, and are free of bias, prejudice, and harassment. IRC expressly prohibits and will not tolerate discrimination, harassment, retaliation, or bullying of IRC Persons in any work setting. All IRC staff, wherever they are located, are accountable for creating an environment free of discrimination, harassment, bullying, and retaliation
Al Hasakah Syria

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