Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) Minimum Service Package Consultancy at UN High Commissioner for Refugees


UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is offering a home-based full-time Individual Consultancy within the Public Health Section in the Division of Resilience and Solutions (DRS), Geneva. UNHCR is a global organization dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights and building a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people. Every year, millions of men, women and children are forced to flee their homes to escape conflict and persecution. We are in over 125 countries, using our expertise to protect and care for millions.

Title: Consultant Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Minimum Services Package

Duty Station: Home-based with mission travels

Duration: 10 months

Contract Type: Individual Consultancy

Closing date: 11 September 2022

Start date: As Soon As Possible

Organizational context

Increased recognition of Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) needs in emergencies has led to a proliferation of MHPSS activities across sectors. Lack of guidance on prioritization of activities can lead to ill-coordinated, inequitable, and ineffective responses that fail to utilize potential synergies between different sectors.

In response, UNHCR collaborated with WHO, UNICEF and UNFPA to develop a Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Minimum Service Package (MHPSS MSP): a single multisectoral package of minimum activities, prioritizing activities with the greatest impact and promoting effective use of limited resources. The MSP will support humanitarian actors in designing and implementing a coordinated, predictable, and evidence-informed MHPSS response across sectors such as health, community-based protection, education, child protection, gender-based violence (GBV) and camp coordination & camp management (CCCM). It promotes close alignment of activities between UN agencies and humanitarian NGOs. Moreover, the MSP promotes the planning, rebuilding, and strengthening of sustainable government and civil society systems of care from the beginning of an emergency and can be used to attract further support for longer-term recovery, systems development, and peacebuilding.

A field test version of the MHPSS MSP was released in September 2021 (mhpssmsp.org), and subsequently feedback was collected to inform the finalization of the MSP planned for the end of 2022.

In a new phase of the project, UNICEF, WHO, UNHCR and UNFPA will jointly support humanitarian actors on the ground to scale up MSP implementation in humanitarian settings with high needs including in recent emergencies and in refugee settings. The new phase of the project has the following goals:

    • Provide remote technical support and organize knowledge sharing workshops for MHPSS Technical Working Groups and implementing agencies to facilitate MSP roll-out across different sectors. – Provide in-country technical support and mentorship to MHPSS Technical Working Groups and implementing agencies rolling out the MSP in four emergency contexts through field deployments by MHPSS MSP technical specialists. – Conduct dissemination events to share good practices and recommendations for MSP implementation with humanitarian actors across sectors to inform, improve and further scale up MSP implementation. – Conduct field-level research documenting experiences implementing the MSP in different sectors and contexts to identify good practices, barriers to implementation, and effective implementation strategies (e.g. through interviews, focus groups, and analysis of data from the MSP gap analysis tool). – Work with MHPSS Technical Working Groups in humanitarian settings to collect and analyse data on MSP coverage, implementation and barriers in at least five humanitarian emergencies (e.g. using the MSP Gap Analysis Tool). – Identify which operational tools are most critically needed to implement MSP activities safely and effectively based on MSP expert consultations and field testing. – Develop selected priority operational tools (e.g. templates for the dissemination of key MHPSS Messages, training curricula for staff implementing particular MSP activities).

UNHCR’s contribution will focus on:

  1. Supporting MSP introduction and implementation, with a primary focus on refugee settings;
  2. Developing operational tools with a primary focus on tools that are most relevant for refugee settings.
  3. Working with the global MSP team consisting of specialists of UNHCR, UNICEF, WHO and UNFPA to support the implementation of the MSP and development of associated tools, including supporting research on the use of the MSP through the collection and analysis of data on MSP coverage, implementation and barriers.

The project will be governed by the Partnergroup consisting of representatives of the four UN agencies and the thematic sub-group on the MSP which is part of the IASC Reference Group for MHPSS in Emergencies).

Occupational Safety and Health Considerations

To view occupational safety and health considerations for specific duty stations, please visit this link: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel

Specific Occupational Safety and Health Considerations to this assignment (if applicable):

Covid-19 restrictions

Duties and responsibilities

The consultant will support the implementation of the MSP in humanitarian settings, by building capacity and providing technical support, identifying good practices and implementation barriers, and developing needed operational tools. Given the mandate of UNHCR, two areas are important: 1) to ensure the applicability of the MSP, with a primary focus on refugee operations, 2) to ensure that the MSP contains implementation support tools to inform MHPSS implementation, with a primary focus on refugee settings.

The consultant will therefore:

  • Support the implementation of the MSP through remote and in-country technical support, with a primary focus on refugee settings. With support from the UNHCR Senior MHPSS Officer, the consultant will organize knowledge sharing workshops to facilitate MSP roll-out across different sectors and provide in-country technical support and mentorship;
  • Be deployed to provide implementation-support in at least two refugee operation and to identify good practices and implementation barriers in these contexts;
  • Develop selected priority specific operational tools, particularly in the field of protection; The outline of specific operational tools to be developed will be defined in the early stages of the consultancy.

The consultant will work closely with the MSP team (consisting of other consultants and staff from WHO, UNICEF and UNFPA).

Monitoring and Progress Controls:

  • Report (not for publication) around the remote support provided to county operations including webinars, online meetings and providing written guidance and support;
  • Report (not for publication) detailing the work during the in-country deployment, containing sections on: stakeholder engagement, dissemination and buy-in of the MSP, MHPSS gap analysis, implementation-support activities and achieved results in terms of MHPSS programming;
  • One implementation support tool, as agreed by the Partnership Group, to improve MHPSS implementation in refugee settings.

Specific milestones for the deliverables expected from the consultant will be agreed with the consultant once all information about supported countries and the specific tools to be developed have been agreed with the Partnergoup.

Essential minimum qualifications and professional experience required

Qualification and experience required:

Education

  • University degree (minimum master’s degree) in a relevant field such as psychiatry, psychology or clinical social work.
  • Good knowledge of Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Humanitarian Settings as demonstrated by successful completion of short courses in this field.

Work Experience

  • At least 8 years of relevant work experience for applicants with basic university degree, including at least 3 years of working experience with persons in humanitarian contexts in the field;
  • At least 7 years of relevant work experience for applicants with post-graduate university degree including at least 3 years of working experience with persons in humanitarian contexts in the field;
  • Very good understanding and previous experience in programming around mental health and psychosocial support in humanitarian and/or displacement settings is essential;
  • Experience in developing guidance and training materials;
  • Previous experience in working in conjunction with UNHCR and other actors in the field on MHPSS programming is desirable;

Key Competencies

  • Required: Organizational and planning skills, excellent writing/drafting skills, analytical thinking, monitoring skills, excellent English;
  • Desired: stakeholder management, negotiation, networking skills, knowledge of other UN languages such as Arabic, French or Spanish.
  • Conversant with MS Word, SharePoint, PowerPoint, Excel (data visualization skills an asset) and; can competently use platforms to hold online meetings

Location

The successful candidate will be working home-based with mission travels.

The consultancy includes multiple brief field mission to at least two countries. These countries will be selected in consultation with UNHCR’s Regional Bureaus. The total lengths of the field missions will not exceed 5.5 months. Mission countries and dates will be confirmed upon start of the assignment.

Conditions

The consultancy is planned to be home-based and full-time.

How to apply

Interested applicants should submit their letter of motivation and Personal History Form (PHF) to hqdrsvac@unhcr.org indicating DRS/2022/013; First Name/Last Name, Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) Minimum Service Package Consultancy in the subject of the email.

Personal History Forms are available at PHF Form  / Supplementary Sheet.

Applications without PHF Form will not be considered.

The UNHCR workforce consists of many diverse nationalities, cultures, languages and opinions. UNHCR seeks to sustain and strengthen this diversity to ensure equal opportunities as well as an inclusive working environment for its entire workforce. Applications are encouraged from all qualified candidates without distinction on grounds of race, colour, sex, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity.

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