After almost eight years of crisis, staggering levels of need persist for people throughout Syria. Millions of people have suffered enormous hardship, violence, mass displacement and an erosion of basic social infrastructure and community services. In 2019, it is estimated that 11.7 million people will require some form of humanitarian assistance.
In north-western Syria, over three million vulnerable civilians who need humanitarian assistance are living in volatile and insecure areas where there is a lack of rule of law, where armed conflict continues, proscribed organizations are present, and where there are high levels of criminality. The humanitarian operation in north-western Syria is remotely managed and mainly implemented by Syrian NGOs. These have progressively built their Organizational and operational capacities and are operating in partnership with INGOs and UN agencies.
In March 2019, the cross-border humanitarian hub in Gaziantep initiated the development of an “Accountability Framework for Humanitarian Action in North-west Syria” whose purpose/rationale is to ensure a common understanding of accountability, risk and due diligence and, to the extent possible, ensure common or coordinated action between donors, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and United Nations system members. A critical part of quality of aid delivery is to ensure that beneficiaries are receiving appropriate and timely assistance. One critical element of this is to address potential interference in the delivery of humanitarian assistance, as well as fraud and waste. All of which constitute existential threats to the operation, especially to concerns from donors about implementing programmes in adherence with counterterrorism legislation etc..
A consultant will be brought on board to undertake a risk assessment for the cross-border operation for Syria, as well as an analysis of existing risk mitigation, accountability and due diligence measures with a view to provide recommendations for a system-wide accountability framework. The principles of this framework enable a shared approach to set and reach an agreed common standard for the quality of humanitarian delivery. This will form the baseline for the Accountability Framework.
While the HLG and. donors acknowledge that the responsibility and accountability for organisational and individual behaviour lies with individual organisations, OCHA Turkey is committed to enable Inter-agency technical support to enable the roll-out of the Accountability Framework
Quality of delivery (due diligence, risk management and accountability) in the cross-border humanitarian response is a priority of the humanitarian community for the reasons mentioned above. Potential aid diversion or interference are threats to the operation that will be addressed through this initiative. In order to quickly enhance quality of delivery, a fully dedicated expert is needed to support the process. OCHA Turkey does not have the capacity to dedicate a staff member to such tasks and, therefore, has to rely on external experts who have experience in quality of delivery (including due diligence, risk management and accountability) in large-scale and complex emergencies. Similar to OCHA, no other UN office or agency has the capacity to deliver within the same requirements.
OCHA's role and key challenges
OCHA will host and support the Quality and Accountability expert in his/her duties and engagement with various stakeholders. No particular challenges are envisioned with the exception of the evolving humanitarian context in Syria and the remote nature of the response.
Time spent on duty travel
Approximately 10 to 15% travels Will be required.Travel Within country/region during the deployment period might be required. OCHA Turkey CO will cover the incurred travel cost related to travel costs (domestic/regional)
Main Tasks and Duties to be Executed
Under the supervision of the OCHA Head of Office and in liaison with the Deputy Regional Humanitarian Coordinator, the consultant will work closely with the ICCG, the HLG, the HF Advisory Board, the Access Working Group, the HF partners, cluster members, OCHA Turkey (IM Unit, UF Unit and FC Unit) and the donor community to enhance the risk management and the quality of delivery of the Turkey humanitarian cross-border hub in line with the Accountability Framework and Strategy. This will entail to workin an interagency support capacity to move forward the quality and accountability agenda through:
a) Developing an action plan (based on the recommendations made by the consultant previously hired by OCHA Turkey) for the way forward on due diligence, risk management and quality of delivery;
b) Advising the humanitarian community and partners on the implementation of the action plan;
c) Further developing and mainstreaming guidance and minimum standards on due diligence, risk management and accountability (at hub level and at organizational level);
d) Building capacities of NGOs staff directly involved in delivering the response on the ground through training and mentoring and development of best practice approach at institutional level (including human resource policies* monitoring and reporting systems, screening and vetting procedures and feedback/ complains mechanisms);
e) Documenting the process
f) Providing periodic activity reports to the OCHA Head of Office
g) Performing other duties as may be requested by the OCHA Head of Office.
Expected Outcome of the Deployment
The deployed personnel will develop and roll-out the action plan for the Accountability Framework for the cross-border operation, based on the study undertaken by the consultant on due diligence, risk management and quality of delivery. The elements will be:
- Promote a common understanding of accountability, risk and other elements of quality of delivery throughout the operation
- Establish minimum standards for risk management, due diligence etc.
- Dissemination of best practices
- Advocate with all partners, including donors, for adoption of these
- Training/sensitization/capacity building for partners
The overall outcome will be improved system-wide quality assurance Of humanitarian delivery, improved accountability, improved risk management and due diligence.
The deployed personnel will document this process so that OCHA staff can maintain the Framework post deployment.
Specific Required Skills
- Knowledge of a range of humanitarian assistance and emergency relief issues, including approaches and techniques to address risk management and accountability related problems.
- Analytical capacity and in particular the ability to analyze and articulate the humanitarian dimension of issues which require a coordinated UN response (e.g. inter-agency approach in complex emergencies)
- Strong team player, ability to work under pressure, on occasion in a highly stressful environment (e.g. civil strife, human misery)
- Minimum of 7 years of progressively responsible professional field and/or headquarters experience in humanitarian affairs of which at least 3 years should have been in the field of risk management and accountability.
- Experience and knowledge of the Syria humanitarian response is desirable
- Background in risk management and/or Accountability to Affected Populations is highly desirable.