SRH in Emergencies Specialist
CONTEXT AND JUSTIFICATION:
Afghanistan is confronting an unprecedented humanitarian crisis with a very real risk of systemic collapse and human catastrophe that threatens to cancel many of the development gains of the last 20 years. The situation in Afghanistan has deteriorated in recent months due to the conflict with the political power shift, COVID-19, and drought.
Following 40 years of war increasing hunger, economic decline, and rising poverty result in the people of Afghanistan faced intensified conflict, the withdrawal of international forces and then the takeover of the country by the Taliban in August. The chilling effect of international sanctions has had a profound impact on the health care system, including specialized services for women and girls. Women with more complex health needs, such as those who are pregnant, have reportedly been facing major access issues. Challenges cited include fear and insecurity, mobility restrictions (use of mahram), long distances to reach health services, lack of safe transportation for women, and lack of trained female staff.
Afghanistan has made significant improvements in maternal health over the past two decades, constantly recording a decreasing maternal mortality ratio (MMR). From a starting average of 1,450 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2000 to 638 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2019. In the current situation and in the absence of any support, the country risks losing all the gains of the past 20 years in the next two years. The situation is worsening during humanitarian crises due to disruption of services, unavailability of service providers, and essential supplies and equipment. It will increase the morbidity and mortality of the affected population, particularly among women and girls.
To address these challenges, the 2022 Afghanistan Humanitarian Response Plan is requiring USD 4,4Billion to help 22,1 million people. UNFPA as part of the Humanitarian Country Team is seeking USD 251million to respond to the reproductive health and protection needs of 9,3million people in humanitarian needs including women, women, girls and young people. The overall goal of UNFPA’s interventions in the humanitarian context in Afghanistan is to provide lifesaving reproductive health services; and prevent, mitigate and respond to gender-based violence cases among the affected population, including women, girls and young people.
This overall goal is in line with the outcome of the Transitional Engagement Framework [TEF] which aims that by the end of 2022, more people in Afghanistan will have benefitted from life-saving humanitarian assistance that enable them to live in safety and dignity.
Role Description: Under the overall supervision of the UNFPA CO Representative, and direct supervision of the Humanitarian Coordinator, the incumbent helps promote Sexual and Reproductive Health in humanitarian programming including preparedness and emergency responses. The incumbent facilitates the procurement and delivery of emergency medical supplies and equipment, working closely with the Supply Chain and Nexus Cluster, Reproductive Health Unit, GBV Unit, and A&Y Unit. The incumbent assists in establishing relevant partnerships with other humanitarian stakeholders, NGOs, donors and government counterparts, working closely with the Humanitarian Coordinator via supporting and co-leading the Reproductive Maternal Neonatal Child and Adolescent Health in Emergency [RMNCAH-iE] Working Group under the umbrella of the Health Cluster.
MAJOR DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
RH Programme Implementation:
Security Situation Summary in country and main threats: (i.e. armed conflict, terrorism, crime, social unrest, hazard)
he security situation remains volatile, though the number of security incidents has reduced significantly since the takeover of the country by Taliban in mid August, there are still a number of security incidents that have taken place throughout the country, including Kabul. The security level in the country remains HIGH and requires strict compliance with the sustained recommendations issued by UN Integrated Security Workforce (ISW).
The main incidents’ drivers are arrests and crime followed by armed clashes. Security incidents attributable to the Islamic State are on rise. The UN remains vulnerable to crime, intimidation, and threats. Crime rate remains high, mainly due to the ongoing humanitarian and economic crisis. The UN premises in Kabul and in the country have efficient physical security protection. UN Compounds in Kabul host the AFPOs Country Offices and accommodation for only International personnel. The indiscriminate use of IEDs carries a significant risk to UN road movement. The use of armored vehicles for transportation is mandatory for activities outside the UN premises.
All UN personnel on assignment/deployment for more than 3 months in Afghanistan must attend mandatory Safe and Secure Approach to Field Environment (SSAFE) Certification Training.
- Conduct assessment/s of SRH needs of the affected population.
- Support and track implementation of RH programmes – including Mobile Health Team, in line with the MISP (Minimum Initial Service Package) and the 2022 humanitarian Appeal in coordination with partners, including implementing partners
- Support CO to strengthen the implementation of the RH programme and to assess progress towards achievement with technical tools and approaches, and to accelerate the implementation of humanitarian interventions – including support in tracking the Minimum Preparedness Action.
- Oversee (in collaboration with the Logistics/Procurement officer) procurement of emergency RH supplies including RH kits, commodities, equipment and medical supplies; help to develop a distribution plan to meet the needs of implementing partners other identified NGOs for RH services, monitor distribution and ensure utilization reporting.
- Oversee (with the M&E officer) the monitoring of RH programme implementation.
- Assist in developing/adapting protocols for selected areas in programme coordination (referral for emergency obstetric care, midwifery, fistula repair, medical response to survivors of rape, counselling and family planning services, etc.).
- Actively engage in the RMNCAH-iE Working Group under the Health Cluster.
- Provide inputs for SitReps and other communication products, as required.
- Ensure an effective response that integrates SRH (including ASRH), GBV and data interventions, working with the UNFPA CO team.
Monitoring and Evaluation:
- Ensure SRH needs are addressed within the Health cluster (if cluster approach is activated in the emergency context) and relevant Situation Reports.
- Establish strong linkages between existing SRH and GBV programmes with regard to the health sector response for survivors of sexual violence.
- Provide substantial support and contribution to the proposal development and donor relationships in close coordination with the Humanitarian Response and Partnerships Officer.
- Track the implementation of SRH humanitarian activities and work closely with M&E Unit to ensure proper monitoring and documentation of the interventions.
- Work closely with the UN partners, national counterparts, operations team and logistician to plan and procure SRH commodities and supplies.
- Conduct monitoring visits, if possible, and ensure a systematic approach for tracking coverage of targeted population by UNFPA assistance in humanitarian settings.
- Prepare regular progress reports and document lessons learned and challenges and share with UNFPA regional offices, UNFPA Humanitarian Response Branch, SROs, and other units as may be necessary.
Qualifications and Skills required
- Build capacity of staff members and staff of implementing partners responding to emergency/humanitarian crisis, as needed.
- Advanced university degree in Medicine, Midwifery, Public Health, or relevant Social Sciences.
- 5 to 10 years of relevant experience in SRH program development and management, preferably in an emergency context, particularly implementing the MISP and maternal health surveillance [MPDSR].
- Field experience in complex emergencies, including humanitarian emergency response.
- Demonstrated leadership and management experience within a multinational and multicultural environment.
- Ability to develop and coordinate SRH programs that target affected communities.
- Proficiency in English and in other official languages or the UN required/desirable (insert specific CO language needs where necessary).