MHPSS Delegate – Syria

Danish Red Cross

Danish Red Cross (DRC) has been present in Syria since 2006 and our primary partnership is with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC). SARC bears a primary role in supporting the most vulnerable people affected by conflict, across the frontlines and in hard-to-reach areas. Danish Red Cross is supporting SARC in becoming an effective and efficient organisation in the delivery of healthcare, mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS), and relief services to the Syrian population and in becoming a strong humanitarian, civil society actor in a post- conflict setting.

In Syria DRC’s primary partnership is with SARC, with which it has worked since 2006. SARC is the leading local humanitarian organisation delivering assistance and services to the population, not only for the Movement but also for the UN and international NGOs, since it was mandated by the Government to coordinate and channel all non-governmental aid in the crisis.

DRC also supports the Palestine Red Crescent Society branch in Syria (PRCS-S) aiming at more coherent and efficient organisations of support for the Palestine Refugee population, through programmes identified and planned in close collaboration with both National Societies.

The main donor for DRC in Syria is the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), which supports the programme through its four-year Strategic Partnership (SP) and annual recurring MoFA Special Grants. In addition, DRC leads the ECHO consortium in Syria comprising the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the German Red Cross (GRC) and SARC, currently implementing the ‘Emergency Health, Psychosocial, and Operation Support in Syria (ECHO 11)’ project, with interventions in emergency health, MHPSS, logistics and humanitarian response capacity building. DRC has also initiated the implementation of a humanitarian programme funded by the NOVO Nordisk Foundation which started in January 2021 with a duration of 3 years. The programme is jointly implemented in partnership between the DRC, the Danish Red Cross Youth (DRCY), SARC and PRCS-S. The programme aims at improving the well-being and skills for a sustainable economic income and further education for displaced, returned and host community children and youth in Deir ez Zor, Aleppo, Rural Damascus and Homs.

Finally, DRC is supporting SARC’s and PRCS-S’s response to the recent February 2023 earthquakes which resulted in injuries, loss of lives and livelihoods in the governorates of Aleppo, Hama, Latakia, Idleb and Tartous. MHPSS is a key component of the DRC response strategy, and the DRC is leading the coordination of the Red Cross Red Crescent MHPSS earthquake response in Syria.

The MHPSS delegate reports directly to the DRC Country Manager (CM) who retains responsibility for the management of DRC’s project portfolio in Syria, and of the other DRC delegates based in Damascus. The MHPSS delegate has a technical reporting line to the DRC MHPSS lead and will receive technical support from DRC MHPSS global advisors as needed/relevant.

The main responsibilities include:

  • Oversee all technical MHPSS and Protection, Gender and Inclusion (PGI) aspects of SARC and PRCS-S programmes in close coordination with the DRC Country Manager, relevant delegates, SARC and PRCS-S departments. This includes support on assessment, response and mainstreaming of MHPSS knowledge, attitudes and practice across their departments including the current earthquake response.
  • Support and advise SARC and PRCS-S programme teams and departments implementing programmes with MHPSS and PGI components, including current earthquake response, and the teams providing technical support/supervision to ensure quality of MHPSS and PGI programme interventions.
  • Provide strategic guidance on MHPSS in DRCs operation in Syria, and support overall DRC programme development and fundraising as a contribution to our wider response to the Syria Crisis.
  • Jointly with SARC participate in relevant Red Cross Red Crescent (RCRC) Movement and inter-agency coordination beyond the Movement, such as the MHPSS Technical Working Group (WG) and Child Protection Working Group (CPWG) in Syria.
  • Advise, assist, and communicate as appropriate with other Partner National Societies (PNS), ICRC or NGOs working with interventions related to the MHPSS.
  • Support the coordination and cooperation of Movement Partners engaged in MHPSS in Syria (incl. SARC and PRCS-S) in close coordination with the DRC CM.
  • Support the DRC Syria CM in relations with the HNS, other PNS, in DRC’s contribution to wider Movement and interagency cooperation in Syria.
  • Support the DRC Syria CM in relations with external MHPSS and Protection actors working in Syria.

Required Experience and Qualifications

Experience (Essential)

  • Minimum 5 years relevant experience in implementing MHPSS projects and providing MHPSS trainings, supervision and development of training materials and manuals.
  • Proven experience in MHPSS in the field, preferably in low income or countries experiencing protracted crisis.
  • Understanding of and experience in the capacity building of local partners working in difficult contexts, particularly in MHPSS programmes.
  • Trained on low intensity scalable psychological interventions and experience with implementing interventions.

Technical Skills (Essential)

  • Excellent English speaking and writing skills. Arabic an asset.
  • Technical knowledge of best practices in MHPSS scalable interventions and MHPSS programmes in humanitarian and/or special development settings.
  • A relevant academic degree in psychology or psychiatry, or related social science.
  • Full proficiency in Microsoft Office and as self-supporting with computers as possible.
  • A valid international driving licence.

Personal Qualities

  • Confidence in situations of stress, including insecurity-related, and able to handle a heavy but varied workload for a long period.
  • Willingness and ability to live and work under restricted conditions in Damascus.
  • Results-orientated but at the same time innovative and flexible, always able to retain focus on beneficiary or client needs.
  • Understanding that process and ownership are key to achieving results in culturally and politically sensitive environments.
  • Self-reliance, initiative and maturity, enabling the delegate to represent DRC at different fora, independently when necessary.
  • Excellent diplomacy, communication, coordination, negotiation, networking and facilitation skills, and able to work collaboratively.

Other desirable factors

  • Work experience of the Middle East development / humanitarian contexts.
  • Experience of working within the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement.
  • The ability to travel within the region, as well as to Europe when required.

Employment conditions

  • The starting date is 1 May 2023. The contract period is 1 year with possibility of extension.
  • Damascus is currently a non-family duty station with a paid 7-day Rest & Recuperation break permitted after every 8 weeks in-country. Regular travel to programme areas within Syria is obligatory to the extent that the security situation permits.
  • Salary and benefits are in accordance with the DRC Terms and Conditions for Delegates on Long Term Missions.

For further information please read the job description or contact country manager Ravia Harribans: [email protected]

How to apply

Apply at our web page.


Deadline: 17 Mar 2023