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OCHA-CMCO-P3-Mekele (Tigray region), Ethiopia

Mekele, Ethiopia
Position title: Civil-Military Coordination Officer
Location: Mekele (Tigray region), Ethiopia
Duration: 6 months
Level: P3
Language: English
 
Brief description of emergency outbreak/upsurge and the consequences for OCHA:
 
The tensions between the Federal Government of Ethiopia and Tigray Regional Government result from a long­standing dispute rooted in the transition under PM Abiy and the extension of his Government's mandate. The Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), the former Tigray ruling party, views this as unconstitutional and illegal. The climax of the bad blood was reached when Tigray went ahead and conducted their regional elections on 9 September in complete defiance of the Federal Government. The Federal Government has since labeled the elections' illegal' and the results' null and void.' On 6 October, the Ethiopian House of Federation (HoF) decided to cut ties with Tigray Regional State Council and higher executive organs. The Federal Government also announced that budget subsidies to Tigray regional government is discontinued. The TPLF considered this as a declaration of war and vowed to take appropriate measures.
 
On the night of 4 November, armed clashes between the Ethiopian Defense Force (EDF) and Tigray Regional Security Forces (TRSF) began at border locations between Amhara and Tigray regions. Although the Federal security forces have reportedly taken over several areas and cities, including the regional capital Mekelle, clashes are still ongoing in other locations. There are reports of Amhara Special Police fighting along with the ENDF. The Prime Minister declared the State of Emergency in Tigray that will initially last for six months. Ethiopia's parliament voted on 7 November to approve an interim government's formation to replace Tigray's regional Government. As of 16 December, nearly all regional and sub-regional Government offices in
Tigray remain closed, significantly affecting the provision of essential services to communities
 
Before the crises, the Tigray region hosts an estimated three (3) million people in need and highly vulnerable population to any shock. Interruption in the flow of resources or humanitarian assistance movement to the region generated a devastating impact on the population, including the three million vulnerable people.
 
OCHA Ethiopia currently supports the coordination of response to IDPs, drought, floods, conflict, the multi­sectoral COVID-19 response, and disease affected people in Ethiopia. As per the Mid-Year Review of the Ethiopian Humanitarian Response Plan for 2020, 19.2 people require humanitarian assistance in the country. With the deteriorating humanitarian situation, the presence of multiple armed forces in the Tigray region, and the need to scale up response capacity in the region, additional coordination, including CMCoord capacity, is needed. OCHA must maintain robust humanitarian coordination for the existing humanitarian caseload and increase its ability to support additional coordination needs generated by the escalating conflict between the Federal Government of Ethiopia and the Tigray Regional Government.

Brief surge need justification
 
OCHA's Northern Hub, located in Semara/Afar, has the day-to-day responsibility to support the Tigray region's humanitarian response. The hub is responsible for coordinating ongoing humanitarian operations and additional multi-sectoral COVID-19 coordination and reporting needs for three regional states, i.e., Tigray, Afar, and Amhara. With one International staff (P3) and three National Professional staff and an oversight role by the Field Coordination Unit, the Northern Hub is currently struggling to provide adequate backstopping and oversight to the Tigray region.
The Humanitarian Access unit, responsible for analyzing and reporting on access constraints for the whole country, has the overall responsibility to establish and maintain CMCoord with federal and regional authorities. However, with one P4 and one NOD staff, its capacity is well stretched to cover CMCoord needs in the Tigray region adequately.
 
This surge position will support OCHA in boosting response coordination, CMCoord and access, and reporting in the Tigray region.

OCHA's role and key challenges
 
OCHA coordinates the international humanitarian response to address Ethiopians' relief needs in partnership with national and regional authorities. The Northern Hub, where this position is located, is currently supporting field operations to address humanitarian needs in Tigray, Afar, and Amhara regions. The Tigray region's worsening humanitarian and access situation, and the presence of multiple armed forces have brought additional demands on the Northern Hub and the Humanitarian Access unit, stretching their capacities to coordinate the response.
 
Main partners and stakeholders in the field:
 
The Government of Ethiopia, the regional Government of Tigray, the armed forces, the Resident Coordinator/Humanitarian Coordinator, UN AFPs, L/INGOs, affected communities, and the donor community.
 
Approximate duty travel required: 

As a maximum, the post holder will spend up to 30% of her/his time traveling, mainly within the Tigray region. Related travel costs associated with this surge deployment will be covered by the office.

Visa requirements

SBP will be required to apply for a one-month visa before travelling to Ethiopia. OCHA Ethiopia will support the process through UNDP Protocol. The visa application process through UNDP Protocol takes 2-3 weeks. Once the SBP arrives in-country, a visa extension will be processed by the office. An attestation letter from Geneva, the MOU and the SBP contract is required to initiate the visa process with MOFA.
R&R Cycle:

Mekele is not an R & R-designated duty station at the moment

Overall security situation:

Security level: 2

SSAFE training required: No, not a requirement but is advisable

Living conditions: Mekelle (where the post is located) is the fifth-largest city in Ethiopia, after Addis Ababa, Dire Dawa, Adama, and Gondar.

Medical facilities: Medical facilities at Government referral hospital (Aider) and other private owned hospitals are available. Although at this time, including the referral hospital Ayder and other private and government hospitals are runout of medication and human resources (due to insecurity).


Main tasks and duties to be executed:
 
Within delegated authority, the HAO will be responsible for the following duties:
•         Strategy Development: Conduct an assessment and analysis of the civil-military environment in Tigray region to formulate and implement a regional UN-CMCoord strategy and action plan. The plan should be fully integrated with the OCHA Ethiopia Office's activities and may be revised based on evaluation of its implementation and effects.
•         Development of Guidance: Assist, advise and facilitate the development of region-specific guidance on civil- military relations, based on the current "IASC Reference Paper on Civil-Military Relationship in Complex Emergencies", "Guidelines on The Use of Military and Civil Defense Assets in Disaster Relief (Oslo Guidelines)", "Guidelines on the Use of MCDA to Support UN Humanitarian Activities in Complex Emergencies", the "Use of Military or Armed Escorts for Humanitarian Convoys", the "Ethiopia CMCoord Guidance'’, endorsed by the Ethiopia Humanitarian Country Team (EHCT) on 13 March 2019 and "the Guiding Principles for Humanitarian Operations in Tigray, and border areas of Afar and Amhara regions", endorsed by the EHCT on 26 November 2020, the Ethiopia Humanitarian Country Team Position Paper on "Humanitarian Access and Armed Escorts in Tigray" (DRAFT), and any applicable UN resolutions and other relevant instruments.
•         Dissemination of Guidelines: Ensure that applicable civil-military coordination guidelines including region- specific ones are adequately disseminated and understood by all actors including armed forces, and local actors, as appropriate, and advise on potential consequences if the guidelines are compromised.
•         Liaison with Humanitarian Organizations: Establish and maintain a contact network with other UN Agencies including Tigray-based personnel and NGO focal points responsible for civil-military coordination in the AOR.
•         Support Humanitarian Coordination: Support the Humanitarian Coordination structure in the AOR by advising on an appropriate mechanism to interface with armed forces' representatives. As directed by line management, establish a regional Civil-Military Working Group with relevant civil-military stakeholders to raise civil- military coordination issues. Report policy and strategic issues to the HCT through the Head of North-Hub office and the Humanitarian Access unit head. Participate in workgroups, meetings, and consultations with other UN agencies and humanitarian partners; organize meetings with Heads of Agencies in the AOR on UN- CMCoord matters.

•        Liaison with Armed Forces: Facilitate the establishment and maintenance of communication with the different military forces present in the AOR and set mechanisms to resolve operational issues. Advise and educate the armed forces in the 
•         AOR on the structures and dynamics of coordination with and within the international humanitarian community and the practicalities of implementation. Monitor the military presence in the AOR.
•         Training: Identify UN-CMCoord training needs of humanitarian actors and military forces in the AOR and recommend/design a training strategy and materials to support identified needs. Arrange and conduct such training events as agreed with the OCHA's head of North-Hub, and the Humanitarian Access unit head.
•         Reporting: Monitor, analyse and report on the implementation of humanitarian civil-military coordination activities including challenges in the interaction between the humanitarian and military communities. Provide periodic situation reports to OCHA Ethiopia Office on ongoing civil-military activities and the overall civil- military situation in the AOR. Upon concurrence with the OCHA Head of Office and/or UN-CMCoord Team Leader, these reports should be disseminated to the UNCT, HCT, ICCG, and UNOCHA/CMCS as appropriate. Reports may also be disseminated to other agencies if relevant and appropriate.

 
6.      Expected outcome of the deployment:
 
■    An assessment and analysis of the civil-military environment in the Tigray region is completed.
■    Region-specific guidance on civil-military relations is formulated and disseminated.
■    Contact network with other Tigray-based UN Agencies and humanitarian partners is established on issues related to CMCoord.
■    Communication with the military, police, and other armed forces in the AOR is established to facilitate humanitarian activities.
■    Mechanisms to resolve operational issues to ensure the mutual exchange of information regarding ongoing relevant activities are established and maintained.
■    Advise to the armed forces in the AOR on the structures and dynamics of coordination within the international humanitarian community and the practicalities of implementation, is provided.
■    Implementation of humanitarian civil-military coordination activities and humanitarian access are reported.
■    Training needs of humanitarian actors and military forces in the AOR re CMCoord is mapped.
■    Records of meetings, conferences, and consultations with other agencies and partners are shared.
■    Information sharing between OCHA country office and OCHA northern hub is strengthened.
 
Specific required skills:
  • Advanced university degree (Master's degree or equivalent) in political science, social science, public administration, international studies, economics, engineering, earth sciences or a related field. A first-level university degree in combination with qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
  • A minimum of five (5) years of progressively responsible experience in humanitarian affairs, emergency preparedness, crisis/emergency relief management, military, or other related areas, including two (2) years of field experience in emergencies, is required. Previous experience in a related way in civil-military coordination, or experience in the military forces, dealing with major humanitarian operations is desirable.
  • Experience in working with humanitarian organizations in operations or preparedness, with a good working knowledge of the other, is desirable. Experience in the UN common system is desirable. Experience in the region is desirable.

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