Regional Protection Coordinator

Deadline for application: 
23 Feb 2016
Country(s) that the job is based in: 
International Rescue Committee
Job type: 
Non-governmental Organisation (NGO)

Background/IRC Summary: Founded in 1933, the International Rescue Committee is a prominent international organization working in relief, rehabilitation, protection, post-conflict development, resettlement services and advocacy for those uprooted or affected by violent conflict and oppression.

While refugees and migrants have been entering Europe for years, due to a change in migration patterns since mid-2015, the number of people entering Europe, mainly via Greece but also through other border crossings has surged. According to the most recent UNHCR figures, there have been 866,484 arrivals by sea to Europe in 2015. Of these, the majority are considered refugees. From Greece, refugees and migrants continue onwards, moving through the Balkans to final destinations in Europe, with often varying movements due to border closures and restrictions. Currently, governments in the Balkans continue to allow border crossing of Syrian, Iraqis and Afghan nationals. Other nationals are stranded at borders leading to some concentrations of people with associated concerns over the risks associated with these restrictions.

The Emergency Protection program will ensure that crisis-affected populations have improved access to life-saving and humanitarian services, rights and entitlements. This will be achieved through an integrated approach to protection, which includes information sharing, awareness-raising on rights and entitlements, advocacy, specialized programing for the most vulnerable groups, including women and children case identification and case referral, as well as risk reduction actions to reduce protection issues for affected populations.

Job overview/summary: The IRC has established a Regional Office in Belgrade, Serbia and considers the deployment of an EmergencyRegional Protection Coordinator necessary due to the need to address urgent humanitarian and protection needs of ongoing arrivals of refugees and migrants to Europe through direct programming and/or by supporting partner-led coordinated responses in transit countries in Europe. TheRegional Protection Coordinator will be responsible for providing strategic direction to the IRC’s women’s protection and empowerment, child protection and protection/rule of law programming in Greece, Serbia and other transit countries of operation ensuring a coordinated and cohesive approach and participating, if and when necessary, in Rapid Response Mechanism missions. The Regional Protection Coordinator will oversee technical support, capacity building of national partners and local authorities to strengthen state protective systems, ongoing protection assessments and be responsible for the overall quality implementation of all aspects of an integrated protection response to ensure that it effectively meets the needs of women, girls, boys and other vulnerable groups. At the direction of the Regional Refugee Representative, and in close collaboration with the Regional Communications Officer and Regional Program Coordinator, and other IRC technical teams, theRegional Protection Coordinator will support the development of an advocacy strategy for EU assistance and durable solutions.

Who this position reports to: The Regional Protection Coordinator will report to the Regional Refugee Representative, and will have access to technical guidance from specialist in Protection/Rule of Law, Child Protection and Women’s Protection and Empowerment programming housed in a HQ-based Technical Unit.

Major Responsibilities

Program Quality

Provide strategic direction, leadership and overall technical and management assistance to integrated emergency protection programming which meets the needs of refugees and migrants, and specifically those of women, girls, boys and other vulnerable groups in areas of operation in Europe.
Coordinate reviews of national and European legal frameworks for asylum and migration, including policies and procedures impacting on unaccompanied and separated children, survivors of intimate partner, sexual violence, child marriage and other types of gender based violence, and statelessness.
Lead/conduct integrated protection assessments as appropriate. Liaise with authorities, national stakeholders, UN Agencies, and INGOs to continuously review emergency protection needs, priority areas and narrow down exact location for program implementation.
Lead and coordinate protection program design processes and plans, in consultation with the technical unit’s advisors, to ensure flexible and responsive emergency protection programs across transit countries which meets the specific needs of women, girls, boys and other vulnerable groups within the refugee/migrant population.
Work closely with country specific Protection Coordinators in Greece and Serbia to provide technical guidance and support on protection monitoring, information provision and risk reduction in the transit sites. This will include supporting the development and implementation of confidential and safe data collection, case identification and safe and confidential protection referral mechanisms in line with internationally recognized best practices, and supporting liaison with external actors to ensure that sites uphold internationally recognized best practices such as SPHERE standards, Child Protection Minimum Standards and the IASC GBV guidelines and that women, girls, boys and vulnerable groups receive appropriate continuation of care in transit countries.
Coordinate trainings and work with other sector specialists and Protection Coordinators to provide ongoing capacity building, mentoring and technical support to IRC partners and staff on specialized protection programming and protection mainstreaming. Support and build capacity of local authorities to support child protection response and systems building as appropriate, GBV prevention and response, asylum process, emergency response and contingency planning.

Ensure staff and partner practice with clients adheres to best-practice principles particularly when working with girls and boys and with survivors.

Coordinate analysis of data emerging from the protection program across countries of operation and ensure that this analysis informs programming and advocacy, in accordance with best practice and ethical standards. Propose and discuss key strategic changes and areas of work with the Regional Refugee Representative based on information collected from protection monitoring.

Partnership for protection programming

In collaboration with Country Directors, the Partnership Coordinator and country specific Protection Coordinators, determine most appropriate protection model for implementation – direct programming and/or supporting partner-led responses. If required, support the identification and development of strategic partnerships in transit countries for protection programming, ensuring that technical criteria are met.
Provide strategic vision and leadership to IRC Partnerships with national organizations, working collaboratively with partners and ensuring their meaningful participation in developing regional strategic protection response.
Coordinate the overall implementation of IRC partnership projects and provide guidance to partners/field staff to assess progress towards goals and objectives and assist in finding solutions to identified challenges. Review activities with technical advisors in key programmatic areas (Child Protection, Protection/Rule of Law, and Women’s Protection and Empowerment) if required and when appropriate.

Grant monitoring and reporting

Support the identification of potential funding opportunities, liaising where appropriate with donors. Participate/lead in proposal development and writing.
Support the establishment of an effective monitoring and reporting system, with regular field monitoring and modifications as required.
Coordinate the development and maintenance of effective and efficient oversight, support, quality control and reporting systems and processes for protection programming.
Ensure quality IRC and donor reports as per schedules on grant activities, indicators and achievements are produced.
Determine resources required for protection program start-up.

External coordination, representation and advocacy

In coordination with the Regional Refugee Representative, Regional Communications Officer, Regional Program Coordinator, the IRC Advocacy and Policy Team and the Protection-related Technical Unit, contribute to the development of an advocacy strategy to ensure the needs of women, girls, boys and other vulnerable populations are taken into account in policies and procedures by the European Union, donor governments, UN and other stakeholders.
Identify and advocate on key protection concerns and share patterns and trends in regional and national protection coordination forums.
Develop and maintain effective and productive working relationships with key stakeholders – including INGOs, UN agencies, intergovernmental organizations, coordination structures and national and local authorities – representing IRC’s position and long-term strategy.

Staff Supervision & Development

Provide technical supervision and support to Protection Coordinators in Greece and Serbia.
Maintain open and professional relations with Europe-response IRC protection staff providing oversight and guidance to enable staff to successfully perform in their positions.


Other duties as assigned by the supervisor to enable and develop IRC Regional Protection Programming


Advanced university degree in International Relations, Human Rights, Law, International Development, Social work and/or other relevant field;

Minimum of 7 years of international experience implementing protection-related programming in complex environments.
Prior experience working in emergency settings and/or insecure environments.
Prior experience in managing child protection and /or women’s protection and empowerment projects.

Knowledge of EU polices on migration/asylum, including on treatment of unaccompanied minors/separated children and survivors.

Experience in coordinating the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of emergency projects across multiple countries. Strong strategic planning and proposal writing skills

Demonstrated experience in providing technical oversight to protection programs implemented by partner organizations, and experience of remote management of programs.

Experience in developing and implementing monitoring and evaluation tools

Experience analyzing data on the protection environment, and using this analysis to inform programming and advocacy.

Successful track-record in presenting complex issues to various stakeholders effectively.

Strong leadership, staff management and capacity building skills

Excellent written and oral communication skills, cultural sensitivity, flexibility, ability to improvise, excellent relationship-building, effective in representation and liaison with external actors, team player and comfortable in a multi-cultural environment

Ability to work under pressure and to handle sensitive situations diplomatically

Willingness and ability to travel across Europe

Fluency in English required. Knowledge of Arabic/Farsi/Greek/Serbian a plus

A sense of humor

Working Environment:

This position will be based out of the Regional Office currently in Belgrade, Serbia. This position will require frequent travel throughout the region. The post is unaccompanied and housing will be provided by IRC for this position.




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