UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Terms of Reference
The consultant will provide technical support to 1) implementation of the Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Minimum Service Package (MHPSS MSP) by facilitating interagency work and capacity building to UNHCR operations in refugee/IDP settings and to the development and testing of a comprehensive multi-sectoral MHPSS assessment toolkit.
The consultant will provide in-country support to at least three countries through missions (total time spent in-country: 7 months). The countries to support will be selected in a consultative process with Regional Bureaux in Africa and most likely be located in the East and Horn of Africa and Great Lakes Region.
General Background of Project or Assignment:
Increased recognition of MHPSS needs in emergencies has led to a proliferation of MHPSS activities across sectors. While these services meet critical needs, the lack of guidance on prioritization of activities can lead to ill-coordinated, inequitable, and ineffective responses that fail to utilize potential synergies between different sectors.
In response, UNHCR collaborated with WHO, UNICEF and UNFPA to develop a MHPSS MSP: a single multisectoral package of minimum MHPSS activities that integrates MHPSS across sectors. The MSP supports humanitarian actors in diverse settings to prioritize activities with the greatest impact and promoting an effective use of limited resources. Each MSP activity is accompanied by a list of actions needed for effective planning and implementation, and links to relevant guidelines and tools. mhpssmsp.org (mhpssmsp.org).
The MSP has been endorsed by the Interagency Standing Committee and its implementation is encouraged by UN member states such as the Netherlands, Germany, the USA as well as by the European Commission.
The four UN agencies have in earlier projects funded through WHO (2018-2021 via funding of the Netherlands) and ECHO (2021-2022) developed and field tested the MSP and have developed a range of operational tools. However, several gaps remain that a new multiagency project funded by the Government of the Netherlands through WHO aims to address in the period 2023-2027.
WHO will oversee grant administration on behalf of multiple partners involved in the project. The project will be implemented in collaboration with UNICEF, UNHCR and UNFPA. The MSP Partner Group (consisting of members representing WHO, UNICEF, UNHCR and UNFPA), oversees technical and collaborative aspects of the MSP project. In addition, the project staff will closely work with the IASC MHPSS Reference Group co-chairs and organizational members in all aspects of planning and implementation of the project.
The proposed UNHCR consultant is part of the UNHCR’s contribution in 2024 to the multi-agency action on the MSP.
The work of the consultant will contribute to two key results:
Result 1: Development and testing of a comprehensive multi-sectoral MHPSS assessment toolkit
In close collaboration with the other UN agencies the consultant will be involved in updating and expanding older MHPSS assessment toolkits (WHO & UNHCR, 2012 and IASC, 2013) into a new multi-sectoral toolkit. Existing tools will be updated and additional assessment tools will be incorporated from other sectors (e.g. education, child protection, general protection) and developed where needed. This will include dedicated MHPSS assessment tools as well as MHPSS components of multisectoral assessments. It will also include tools for analyzing gaps in the MHPSS response (e.g., updating the Who is Where, When, doing What (4Ws) tool in synergy with the MSP Gap Analysis Tool. The new assessment toolkit will help ensure that MHPSS needs and resources are assessed across sectors, that gaps are identified within a common conceptual framework, and that MHPSS is optimally included in humanitarian response planning.
Result 2: Provision of training and support to strengthen capacity in using the MHPSS MSP and associated operational tools among humanitarian actors
The multi-agency team will develop tailored MHPSS MSP training curricula for humanitarian actors, specifically targeting national/local organizations and government actors. The training will include various modules that can be used depending on the needs of the target audience. Each training course will be tailored to the capacity building needs of the organizations and participants. The training will be designed to be delivered in-person in the countries/locations where national/local actors are working, although it can also be delivered remotely if needed. Support and mentorship opportunities, beyond the training will also be made available. Training materials will be open source and can be used by other organizations such as INGOs with MHPSS expertise or by MHPSS TWGs to orient local/national partners.
Occupational Safety and Health Considerations
To view occupational safety and health considerations for specific duty stations, please visit this link: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel Specific Occupational Safety and Health Considerations to this assignment (if applicable):
The consultancy includes multiple brief field mission to at least two countries. These countries will be selected in consultation with the Regional Bureaus. The total lengths of the field missions will not exceed 7 months.
Overall Purpose and Scope of Assignment:
The consultant will support the implementation of the MSP in humanitarian settings, by building capacity and providing technical support, identifying good practices and implementation barriers, and developing or updating needed operational tools. Given the mandate of UNHCR, it is important to ensure that the MSP contains implementation support tools to inform MHPSS implementation, with a primary focus on refugee and IDP settings. The countries to support will be chosen early 2024 in consultation with the MSP project partners, the UNHCRs Regional Bureaux and country Technical Working Groups for MHPSS. The aim is to focus on countries in the East and Horn of Africa and Great Lakes (EHAGL) region. The consultant will be hosted by UNHCR country offices and have an inter-agency role, supporting the MHPSS response overall.
The consultant will therefore contribute to the overall results through the following activities:
Activities related to result 1: Development and testing of a comprehensive multi-sectoral MHPSS assessment toolkit
• Actively participate in multi-agency project groups, including a dedicated thematic working group within the MHPSS IASC RG.
• Organize consultations with different humanitarian actors across sectors.
• Contribute to the drafting of the new multi-sectoral MHPSS assessment toolkit.
• Field test the assessment toolkit in at least two humanitarian settings through in-country deployment (including identification of key needs, resources and gaps to inform the humanitarian response) and produce brief illustrative assessment reports.
Activities: related to result 2: Provision of training and support to strengthen capacity in using the MHPSS MSP and associated operational tools among humanitarian actors
• Contribute to developing MHPSS MSP training modules which include:
– general modules (e.g., overview of MHPSS in humanitarian settings, how MHPSS fits into the humanitarian response)
– modules covering different MHPSS MSP activities and associated tools (e.g. costing tool, gap analysis)
– modules to be tailored to the needs and context of specific audiences (e.g. local/national NGOs and government actors, different sectors and roles).
• Conduct training needs assessments among targeted trainee groups to develop training materials and tailor training topics and exercises.
• Deliver in-country support through field missions in at least two countries. Capacity building can be blended (online and in-person) and will include discussions of the specific context in each targeted setting, the work of existing organizations and explore how MSP activities can help strengthen and build on existing resources.
• Deliver tailored MHPSS MSP orientations to humanitarian actors across sectors.
• Provide continued follow up support and mentorship in MHPSS MSP use and implementation.
The consultant will work closely with the MSP team (consisting of other consultants and staff from WHO, UNICEF and UNFPA). No personal data from affected populations will be collected or shared with the other agencies.
− University degree (minimum bachelor’s degree) in a field that is directly related to MHPSS such as psychiatry, psychiatric nursing, psychology or clinical social work.
− Excellent knowledge of Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Humanitarian Settings as demonstrated by successful completion of specialized courses in this field.
− At least 8-9 years of relevant work experience in humanitarian MHPSS for applicants with basic university degree, including at least 3 years of field experience in multiple humanitarian contexts
− At least 7 years of relevant work experience in humanitarian MHPSS for applicants with post-graduate university degree including at least 3 years of field experience with persons in multiple humanitarian contexts;
− Good understanding and previous experience in programming around mental health and psychosocial support in humanitarian and/or displacement settings is essential;
− Familiarity with the Minimum Service Package for MHPSS is highly desirable with preferably having experience in using the MSP or facilitating workshops and seminars around the MSP;
− Experience in developing training materials and conducting capacity building workshops and in conducting MHPSS needs assessments;
− Previous experience in working in conjunction with UNHCR and other actors in the field on MHPSS programming is desirable;
− Previous experience in working in the East and Horn of Africa and Great Lakes (EHAGL) Region or other regions in Sub-Saharan Africa;
− Required: Organizational and planning skills, excellent writing/drafting skills, analytical thinking, monitoring skills, excellent English;
− Desired: stakeholder management, negotiation, networking skills, knowledge of other UN languages such as Arabic, French or Spanish;
− Conversant with MS Word, SharePoint, PowerPoint, Excel (data visualization skills an asset) and can competently use platforms to hold online meetings.
Type of contract: Individual Consultancy
Working arrangement: Full-time
Location: Home-based, with mission travels
Duration: 10 months, starting as soon as possible
How to apply
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