Regional Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Officer at Jesuit Refugee Service
Position Title: Regional MHPSS Officer
Reports to: DRO, RO, JRS/USA
Starting date: January 2022
Contract duration: 1 year renewable
The Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) is an international non-governmental organisation with a mission to accompany, serve, and advocate for the rights of refugees and forcibly displaced people. The organisation was founded in November 1980 and has a presence in over 50 countries. JRS undertakes services at national and regional levels with the support and guidance of an international office in Rome. The style of JRS service is human and spiritual, working in situations of greatest need, seeking the long-term wellbeing of refugees and displaced persons, while not neglecting their immediate or urgent needs. JRS offers opportunities to a wide variety of staff, local and international, while maintaining a realistic and localised scheme of salary/stipend, insurance, etc.
With a regional office in Yaoundé, JRS West Africa (WAF) and Great Lakes (GL) was set up in 1995 in the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide and other widespread ethnic violence (in GL region) and in 2006 in WAF region in Chad (JRS biggest operation: 13 Camps and 181 305 people served).
Efforts in this region focus on education, protection, psychosocial support and livelihood. The education programs cover formal education (kindergarten, primary, secondary and post-secondary education), teacher training, and non-formal education, such as adult literacy and vocational training.
Psychosocial support is mainstreamed into education and livelihoods activities but also implemented through standalone MHPSS activities.
JRS’s MHPSS work prioritizes the provision of quality individual, family, and community-based services to reduce suffering and improve mental health and psychosocial well-being. JRS recognises that the most effective mental health and psychosocial supports are implemented through layered, complementary services capable of meeting a variety of complex experiences and needs.
Jesuit Refugee Service is seeking a Regional MHPSS Officer that will be responsible for supporting JRS MHPSS teams in terms of conception, supervision, and implementation of projects responding to the specific needs of forcibly displaced people in Chad, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Nigeria. The Regional MHPSS Officer will be based in Yaoundé, under the supervision of Regional Director and the supervision and support from the global MHPSS team based at JRS/USA. The position requires good communication skills, leadership, and the capacity to work with a team. Analytical thinking and the capacity to research innovative intervention methods, as well as creativity and flexibility are also expected.
· Serve as a technical resource to the Regional Director, Country Programme Officers and Country Psychosocial staff to evaluate and assess new MHPSS projects and the direction of existing projects.
· Lead contextualized training of MHPSS field staff (IASC MHPSS Guidelines, IASC M&E Framework, in person MHPSS technical skills-based trainings based on staff capacity needs assessments, etc.).
· Support MHPSS focal points who are engaged in meetings with local government officials and specialized institutions, and other relevant authorities and stakeholders (MHPSS service providers, communities, etc.) in order to represent the priorities of the organization, provide necessary technical expertise, and support local teams in implementation of projects.
· Stay up to date on MHPSS and humanitarian best practices and promote communication with other relevant partners and actors by attending coordination meetings
· Support regional and country offices in recruitment and hiring of MHPSS staff at project and country levels to ensure appropriate MHPSS service delivery, respecting do-no harm principle
· Under the supervision of the Regional Director, and in collaboration with the MHPSS Global Unit at JRS USA and the rest of the regional team, define the strategy and priority actions of the MHPSS programs and activities in the regions.
· Provide technical support to the annual review and planning of JRS projects taking into account regional and international strategies and guidelines, as well as international standards for MHPSS in emergencies.
· Lead and manage all MHPSS needs assessment activities within the region for new sites.
· Provide technical guidance and support to country and project MHPSS staff for ongoing evaluation and needs assessment at existing MHPSS projects.
· Develop technical inputs for all proposals with MHPSS outcomes and activities within the region.
· Propose innovative strategies and activities to address MHPSS needs in the region.
3. Supporting Project Implementation
· Define and coordinate actions that guarantee the implementation of global and regional strategic priorities in the region.
· Ensure that programs have the resources (materials, tools, knowledge) needed to effectively monitor and evaluate MHPSS services.
· Ensure that MHPSS considerations are integrated into other JRS Core Priorities resulting in improved cross-sectoral outcomes.
· Support JRS teams and reinforce their capacities in terms of MHPSS by:
o Drafting and preparing key documents in order to implement and harmonize key interventions and support interventions
o Planning and implementing training to reinforce the capacities of MHPSS teams.
o To coordinate with other actors in the MHPSS sector in the region:
§ To ensure the effective exchange of information, technical support, and advocacy regarding MHPSS in emergencies in the region among JRS and other key actors
§ To support the technical work of the teams in the field and coordinate their interaction with local authorities.
· Visit JRS MHPSS projects and monitor their implementation, reporting to regional and international staff on progress.
· Report on MHPSS indicators when considerations are integrated into programs of other sectors
· Write and submit monthly activity reports to the Senior MHPSS Specialist in the USA Office.
· Support the national offices in the consolidation of reports coming from the field.
· Propose and create tools to evaluate impact indicators and the quality of JRS MHPSS projects.
· Advanced degree in psychology, social work required. Additional degrees/certification in mental health in humanitarian settings a plus;
· Minimum of 5 years of relevant experience with 2 years of relevant field experience in humanitarian settings, within the context of mental health and psychosocial support programming;
· Experience in MHPSS program development, relationship management, capacity building, and monitoring and evaluation;
· Demonstrated ability to work in limited resources settings and adapt to dynamic and changing work environments;
· Strong interpersonal and cross-cultural communication skills
· Awareness and knowledge of other sectors including education, and protection a plus;
· Knowledge of and experience in applying the IASC MHPSS guidelines and best practices as part of work
· Mandatory: Fluency in French and English.
Core values and ethics
· Good understanding of and compatibility with the values of JRS;
· Ability to listen and excellent communication/inter-personal skills;
· Demonstrated ability and experience of working in a multi-cultural environment;
· Willingness and ability to travel to the regional and country offices, when appropriate;
· Compassion for refugees and displaced people, a motivation to serve, and (desirable) experience of working in the context of forced migration;
· Demonstrable experience of, and capacity for, working collaboratively as part of a team and putting in practice team building skills;
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
The contract is for 1 (one) year, renewable with an initial probationary period of three months. The JRS remuneration policy is aligned with the JRS ethos of offering effective and professional services and at the same time expressing solidarity with the people served. The salary is calculated with the use of a post-adjustment multiplier and takes into account years of relevant experience and the degree of responsibility of the role. Details will be discussed with short-listed candidates.
Please send your CV and a cover letter that indicates what skills and experience you have that meets the criteria and your availability. The CV (maximum 3 pages) should include contacts (phone and email) for three professional referees. Please note that only official email addresses for referees will be accept. Please send the application to:
with copy to
The closing date is November 19, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. Cameroon time.
PLEASE NOTE: due to urgent need to fill this vacant position, we will be reviewing the application as we receive. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted
Female candidates are highly encouraged to apply.