International Rescue Committee (IRC)

Senior Technical Advisor (Emergency Health)

International Rescue Committee (IRC)

Job Description

The IRC’s Emergencies & Humanitarian Action Unit (EHAU) oversees IRC’s global emergency preparedness and response activities. The mission of the EHAU is to expand and improve IRC’s ability to help affected communities survive in acute emergencies and hard to reach contexts by investing in people, systems, and solutions to complex humanitarian challenges. The EHAU team achieves this mission through ongoing rigorous risk Analysis, investing in capacity strengthening of frontline humanitarians, partnership with local actors, offering collaborative support and technical assistance to teams working in emergencies and hard to reach places, and deploying and supporting world class emergency response staff as they help people affected by acute crisis situations.

Job Overview

The STA for Emergencies sits within the EHAU, which is responsible for ensuring overall quality and communication of emergency health work within the IRC. Emergency Health at the IRC takes a public health programming approach and includes primary (and some targeted secondary) health care, sexual & reproductive health, environmental health (including WASH), and nutrition. It also covers outbreak preparedness and response. IRC is also engaged in direct provision of services to beneficiaries where needed.

The STA for Emergency Health will support strategic resource development and thought leadership related to the IRC’s Emergency Health programming. S/he will lead projects that advance Emergency Health strategic priorities. S/he will also be called upon to coordinate teams of Emergency Health experts into large scale acute emergencies to assure the provision of immediate, scaled and quality Emergency Health Programs.

This position reports to the IRC’s Senior Director for Quality in Emergencies in EHAU, as well as into the Health Technical Unit, and works closely with Health Unit directors, senior technical advisors and technical advisors, and other IRC sector focal points engaged in emergency response.


1. Emergency preparedness (20%)

• Support the IRC Emergency and Humanitarian Action Unit to resource and provide capacity strengthening for members of IRC Country Programs/Regional emergency response capacity.

• Provide remote Technical Support to country programs/regions for preparedness/readiness/contingency planning, and as needed, deploy for strategic support, including on-site mentoring and technical assistance.

• Reinforce program quality through regular, (+/- remote) capacity strengthening and skills-deepening for members of the IRC Emergency Response Team (ERT), External Emergency Roster (EER), as well as Technical Unit Advisers (TAs), ensuring ability to operationalize the IRC’s emergency strategy and response package.

• Ensure that IRC program models and emergency strategies advance organizational commitments to gender equality outcomes.

• Collaborate with the IRC Emergency and Humanitarian Action Unit to maintain deployment capacity, both on the ERT, the EER, and Internal Emergency Roster (IER) and through partnerships with, but not limited to, universities and technical institutions.

• Lead design and development of integrated/joint program models and approaches in emergencies with other relevant STAs for Emergencies within the QiE multi-sector team.

• Manage and maintain current emergency response tools and update according to industry standards and best practices, while also supporting iterative and adaptive learning from ongoing responses.

• Orient all new EER/ERT to Emergency Health in emergencies.

2. Emergency response (40%)

• Ensure program quality, accountability and consistency in emergency & outbreak response programming by providing remote technical support for country program led responses and IER/EER/ERT during deployments.

• Directly supervise ERT/ EER coordinators, providing ongoing mentoring and technical strengthening both during deployments and when not deployed for ERT.

• As required, deploy to lead emergency health programming or outbreak response start-up in complex or large scale emergencies (30% of time and maximum 6 weeks for single deployment). This is inclusive of but not limited to responsibilities such as: o Rapid needs assessments, evaluation efforts, or other accountability support functions; o Short-term DDP or emergency leadership roles; o Technical Coordination and strategic leadership within a complex response; • Support the transition of technical assistance for new country program start-ups to TU Technical Advisors.

• Liaise closely with other appropriate technical advisors, provide support to IRC WatchList countries and countries where the IRC is starting up new emergency response programming.

3. Learning, advocacy and strategy (30%)

• Support the development of integrated programming for emergencies and other more innovative programming areas identified by respective technical units and ERT/EER.

• Support the measurement of impact and quality of IRC emergency and outbreak responses.

• Generate research, learning and evidence of operational models and approaches that are effective in acute emergencies within and across specific sectors.

• As needed, represent IRC in technical forums or networks within respective sectors globally.

• Provide response support, technical leadership and strategic direction to the Emergency Health team • Contribute to the annual QiE work plan and project prioritization in collaboration with the MEAL team and EHAU STAs that is driven by the EHAU SAP ambitions and Implementation Plan.

• Participate in the QiE Leadership Team to ensure cohesive decision making and learning • Lead cross collaboration and coordination between EHAU QiE and the Health Unit 4. Resource development and grant management (10%)

• Lead the development, review and submission of strategic proposals and concept notes around IRC’s innovative programming related to health in emergencies.

• Provide technical quality assurance for Crisis Response Fund in coordination with relevant TAs and EHAU Sections.

• Provide oversight of TU-led emergency response and preparedness grants (maximum 1 per year).


Work Experience: 8-10 years of experience in both emergency health including outbreak program implementation in low resource settings and at least 5 years in emergency (conflict, disaster/crisis and outbreak) settings. Field experience in emergency health and outbreak response strategy development, Program Design and implementation, working across sectors or disciplines, and in coordination/team leadership roles. Field experience in leading strategy and implementation for conflict and/or outbreak preparedness & response. Proven skills in development of operational guidelines and tools, delivery of training/on-the-job mentorship, and in program monitoring and evaluation. Proven experience in representation, advocacy, communications, and resource mobilization.

• Demonstrated expertise in humanitarian emergency health assessment, strategy development, program design, operational planning, proposal development, implementation, and in monitoring.

• Master’s degree, a related field such as public health or equivalent. Degree in health care required eg. Doctor, Nurse, Midwife. Additional experience may substitute for some education.

• Demonstrated expertise in bridging conceptual frameworks and operational guidance, ability to turn concepts and strategy into measurable action • Demonstrated ability to lead and supervise teams • Ability to provide technical assistance and transfer knowledge and skills, either through formal/informal training, on the job coaching and mentoring, adapting to needs and level • Extremely organized, with excellent skills in prioritization and multi-tasking. Proven project management experience.

• Outstanding capacity to understand country and emergency contexts • Demonstrated success in working with donors, partners, and media, at global and field level • Demonstrated abilities to build consensus among and facilitate decision making across multiple stakeholders.

• Strong interpersonal skills and ability to facilitate effective collaboration, communication and team work • Ability to work with multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary teams and proven ability to develop positive relationships with global, local and remote team members • Structured thinking, excellence in oral and written communication • Proven ability to deliver results under the pressure and tight deadlines Language Skills: Fluency in English required; French and/or Spanish desirable EHAU strives to build a diverse and inclusive team at all levels who as individuals, and as a group, embody our culture statement creating a working environment characterized by critical reflection, power sharing, debate, and objectivity for us to achieve our aspirations as a unit and deliver the best possible services to our clients.

The IRC and IRC workers must adhere to the values and principles outlined in IRC Way - Standards for Professional Conduct. These are Integrity, Service, Equality and Accountability. In accordance with these values, the IRC operates and enforces policies on Beneficiary Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Anti Workplace Harassment, Fiscal Integrity, and Anti-Retaliation Narrowing the Gender Gap: The International Rescue Committee is committed to narrowing the gender gap in leadership positions. We offer benefits that provide an enabling environment for women to participate in our workforce including flexible hours (when possible), maternity leave, transportation support, and gender-sensitive security protocols.

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