Senior Assessment Officer – Area-Based Response Focal Point for Afghanistan

IMPACT Initiatives

BACKGROUND ON IMPACT AND REACH

IMPACT Initiatives is a humanitarian NGO, based in Geneva, Switzerland. The organisation manages several initiatives, including the REACH Initiative. The IMPACT team comprises specialists in data collection, management and analysis, GIS and remote-sensing. IMPACT was launched at the initiative of ACTED, an international NGO whose headquarter is based in Paris and is present in thirty countries. The two organizations have a strong complementarity formalized in a global partnership, which allows particularly IMPACT to benefit from ACTED’s operational support on its fields of intervention.

REACH was born in 2010 as a joint initiative of the two International NGOs (IMPACT Initiatives and ACTED) and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) Operational Satellite Applications Programme (UNOSAT). REACH’s purpose is to promote and facilitate the development of information products that enhance the humanitarian community’s decision making and planning capacity for emergency, reconstruction and development contexts, supporting and working within the framework of the humanitarian reform process. REACH facilitates information management for aid actors through three complementary services: (a) need and situation assessments facilitated by REACH teams; (b) situation analysis using satellite imagery; (c) provision of related database and (web)-mapping facilities and expertise.

ACTED is a French humanitarian NGO, founded in 1993, which supports vulnerable populations, affected by humanitarian crises worldwide. ACTED provides continued support to vulnerable communities by ensuring the sustainability of post- crisis interventions and engaging long-term challenges facing our target populations, in order to break the poverty cycle, foster development and reduce vulnerability to disasters. Their interventions seek to cover the multiple aspects of humanitarian and development crises through a multidisciplinary approach which is both global and local, and adapted to each context. Their 3,300 staff are committed to responding to emergencies worldwide, to supporting recovery and rehabilitation, towards sustainable development.

We are currently looking for a (Senior) Assessment Officer to support our Area-Based Response Project in Afghanistan.

Department: REACH

Position: (Senior) Assessment Officer

Duration: 12 months

Location: Herat, Afghanistan

Starting Date: 01 July

COUNTRY PROFILE

Forty years of war, recurrent natural disasters, chronic poverty, drought and the COVID-19 pandemic have devastated the people of Afghanistan. At the same time, the recent economic upheaval and ruptures in basic services, financial systems and civil service are transpiring and exacerbating an already dire humanitarian situation. Even prior to the events of 15 August, the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan was one of the worst in the world. By the mid-year mark, nearly half of the population – some 18.4 million people – were already in need of humanitarian and protection assistance in 2021; more than 22 million are projected to be in need in 2022.

In light of the political turmoil and economic crisis facing Afghanistan after the events of 2021, the humanitarian response is implementing an unprecedented scale-up in implementation to meet such critical and rapidly worsening need across the country. As such, the needs for evidenced-based humanitarian aid and information on populations in both accessible and inaccessible areas is paramount to an effective, accountable, and coordinated response.

IMPACT has been present in Afghanistan since 2016, providing a growing evidence base for humanitarian response planning through sectoral, multi-sectoral and area-based assessments as well as information management services across the entire country, with bases in all regions of Afghanistan. The mission is structured around three units, each with key objectives to support different aspects of the response. This includes (1) supporting strategic planning and prioritization through the Inter-Sectoral Research Unit (ISRU), (2) emphasizing localization agendas through area-based early recovery and development through the Resilience and Recovery Unit (RRRU), and (3) providing programmatic and operational support to key actors and partners in the aid response to ensure effective, appropriate, transparent, and accountable delivery of assistance to the people of Afghanistan through the Programming and Accountability Research Unit (PARU).

POSITION PROFILE

REACH Initiative Afghanistan is currently seeking a young professional with experience in research to lead the Area-Based Response (ABR) Project Portfolio in Afghanistan as an Assessment Officer, with seniority based on experience (S/AO). The position is based in Kabul, Afghanistan with travel to other areas and regions required.

Area-Based Response Consortium and REACH Assessments

A major pillar of the RRRU has been to assess and advocate for the needs of populations living in Informal Settlements (ISETs) across Afghanistan. These ISETs are predominantly located in and diffused through urban areas, and populated by displaced communities, often lacking access to secure land tenure, stable employment, and key services. In 2021, in coordination with ACTED and NRC, REACH Afghanistan launched its Area-Based Response (ABR) Consortium to respond to the critical needs of ISETs and their surrounding populations using an Urban Displacement Out of Camps (UDOC) approach. Within the consortium, REACH collects and analyses data that is used to inform this area-based approach, to respond to the emergency needs of Informal Settlement populations in four key cities (Herat, Mazar, Kunduz, and Jalalabad). This project will ensure that emergency services that are provided are in line with the informal settlement’s community needs and priorities, as well as strengthen local humanitarian coordination mechanisms in each of the four cities.

This position sits within REACH’s Resilience and Recovery Research Unit (RRRU). The ABR SAO will be responsible for overseeing all research streams within the project portfolio. This includes meeting contractual deliverables, including coordination of trainings with partners, and production of datasets, tabulated analysis, factsheets, situation overviews, and narrative reports.

The ideal candidate will be eager to work in a dynamic organization with opportunities to build upon existing data analysis and external coordination skills. Technical backstopping and support is provided by the Research Manager for the REACH RRRU, and REACH Afghanistan Data Specialist, and the IMPACT Geneva HQ team. Past experience in the aforementioned areas is not essential although highly desirable. At minimum, experience with the subject matter, familiarity with the development and/or humanitarian sector, quantitative analysis skills, and effective communication skills are required.

RESPONSIBILITIES

Under the supervision of the (Deputy) Country Coordinator in Afghanistan, direct line-management of the RRRU Research Manager, and with direct coordination with IMPACT HQ as well as the donors and partners involved in the research cycle, the REACH SAO responsibilities include:

1. Research Cycle Implementation and Management

  • Oversight and implementation of all stages of the research cycle, including:
    • Research design: indicator drafting and review, assessment methodology and sampling strategy review, data collection tool development.
    • Planning and coordination of data collection activities, in close collaboration with the in-country operations team.
    • Oversight of data processing, including development of data cleaning and analysis plans, and conducting analysis, in close collaboration with the in-country data team.
    • Output production and development, and presentation of findings.
    • Conducting lessons learned workshops and compiling best practices for future assessments.
  • Regular communication and collaboration with IMPACT HQ Data and Reporting Units to ensure implementation of global standards, guidelines, and best practices, for Area-Based Assessment Approaches and of REACH and IMPACT more generally.
  • Ensuring that activities are planned and implemented in a structured and coherent manner, in line with project and program objectives, and assuring that deadlines are met.
  • Ensuring regular reporting on assessment progress and participating in internal coordination meetings.
  • Developing research TORs and tools, ensuring these are validated and approved by management and external partners, and making sure these are also understood and used by assessment staff and stakeholders, and updated as required.
  • Managing and coordinating data collection and processing whilst providing quality control to ensure data is clean and of acceptable standard.
  • Leading quantitative analyses with the support of the data unit, as well as providing technical input, guidance, and review of data analysis conducted by other team members.
  • Conducting and overseeing the writing of timely and accurate assessment reports and other outputs, which comply with HQ guidelines and meet global REACH standards.

2. Team, Project, and Grants Management

  • Managing national staff dedicated to the portfolio across assessment, data, and project/operations teams.
  • Participating in general project management including review of budgets, grants reporting, and project-related logistics.
  • Supporting the RM and Senior Management Team (SMT) with grants management, including donor reporting, proposal drafting, and project monitoring and evaluation.

3. External Engagement

  • Close coordination with all relevant external stakeholders within the humanitarian coordination structure, throughout the research cycle, and supporting the incorporation of findings into strategic planning, programmatic, and operational documents as relevant.
  • Representing REACH as part of the Area Based Response (ABR) Consortium with ACTED and NRC. This will include the presentation of key products produced by REACH to support the ABR Consortium, including factsheets, maps, and key findings notes.
  • Functioning as focal point for the newly established CCCM Working Group in Afghanistan – supporting the group and its partners to improve coordination of the response to ISETs in Afghanistan through attending meetings, presenting REACH products, and participating in discussions on CCCM Strategy in Afghanistan.
  • Providing technical and information management support to humanitarian stakeholders to inform strategic humanitarian planning and implementation.

4. Support to the Research Manager and SMT on Strategy Development and Implementation

  • Under the guidance of the (Deputy) Country Coordinator and Unit RM, contribute to the development of the RRR Unit’s strategy, engagement and involvement with various technical and coordination forums, particularly as relates to Area-Based programming.
  • Support the RM to work with key clusters and partner organizations and working groups to understand the various relevant information gaps within Afghanistan and identify how the ABR team can fill these gaps.
  • Coordinating with IMPACT HQ, and CCCM on global and in country approaches to improving area-based programming.

Other tasks falling within his/her functions as requested by supervisors

The REACH Assessment Officer will maintain the strictest confidentiality on all data collected and related processes. He/she will actively take measures to prevent the unauthorized sharing of any information and data belonging to IMPACT and its partners, or collected during his/her assignment with IMPACT.

In his/her mission, the REACH SAO will be hosted by ACTED and will fall under the responsibility of ACTED’s Country Director and his/her delegates. S/he and will fully abide to ACTED’s Security, HR, Administration and Logistics rules and regulations.

REQUIREMENTS

  • Excellent academic qualifications, including a Master’s degree in relevant discipline (international studies, development, humanitarian response, political science, monitoring and evaluation, etc);
  • At least 3 years of relevant working experience in humanitarian or development settings, such as program management, evaluation and assessments;
  • Knowledge of cash and markets programming in humanitarian contexts;
  • Excellent analytical skills;
  • Good experience with quantitative and qualitative research and tool design, data collection, and data analysis required;
  • Experience managing staff in a small team desirable, including remote management
  • Excellent communication and drafting skills for reporting and external coordination;
  • Strong coordination and organizational skills, including the ability to proactively problem solve;
  • Demonstrated ability to write analytical research reports including critical analysis of data;
  • Proven knowledge of the Microsoft Office Suite, to include Word, Excel, and PowerPoint;
  • Excellent ability to operate Adobe InDesign Software for output production;
  • Knowledge of statistical analysis software such as SPSS, STATA, and/or R;
  • Knowledge of qualitative assessments, methodologies, and analysis and related analytical software (e.g. NVivo) an asset;
  • Experience with GIS software is an asset.
  • Prior field experience required;
  • Written and spoken fluency in English required;
  • Ability to multitask with tight deadlines;
  • Ability to work independently and manage people remotely;
  • Ability to operate in a cross-cultural environment requiring flexibility;
  • Ability to operate in a complex and challenging security environment.

CONDITIONS

  • Salary defined by the IMPACT salary grid; educational level, expertise, hardship, security, and performance are considered for pay bonus.
  • Additional monthly living allowance.
  • Free lodging provided at the organisation’s guesthouse or housing allowance (depending on contract length and
  • country of assignment).
  • Transportation costs covered, including additional return ticket + luggage allowance.
  • Provision of medical, life, and repatriation insurance + retirement package.

How to apply

Please apply at the following link: Senior Assessment Officer – Area-Based Response Focal Point | Impact (impact-initiatives.org)