Nutrition Cluster Co-coordinator
Job Type: Contract: 12 months
Location: Nutrition Cluster Coordinator will be based in GOAL office in Antakya, Turkey with visits to Gaziantep and other hub locations if/as required.
Humanitarian needs in Syria continue to increase as the 5th year of the crisis continues, with 13.5 million in need of humanitarian assistance. An estimated 4.5 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in hard to reach and besieged areas. Until recently, there has been no sustained functional nutrition coordination mechanism to support emergency nutrition interventions for the cross border Syria response. Pre-conflict Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) rates were concerning, with a national average of 9.3%. Stunting was recorded as 23%. Pre-crisis micronutrient deficiencies were high- 29% of pregnant women presenting as anaemic. Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) practices were also poor prior to the crisis.
This poor nutrition situation continues in Syria with an estimated GAM rate of 7.2%, and stunting at 22.3% in children 6-59 months (2014). Micronutrients deficiencies remain widespread with a high prevalence of anemia above 30% in children and women of reproductive age. The following aggravating factors are also present: Sub-optimum IYCF particularly uncontrolled/untargeted infant formula distribution and lack of adequate /appropriate complementary food; Limited dietary diversity, high food insecurity, loss in livelihood; Disruption of access to quality water and optimal sanitation and a deteriorating health care system. These factors are likely to further undermine the already poor nutrition situation.
The formation of the Nutrition Working Group (NWG) in January 2015 with GOAL’s leadership has facilitated the initial stages of nutrition coordination. In March 2015, the NWG, along with the other Turkey-based Working Groups became a formal cluster with UNICEF as the CLA and GOAL as the co-lead. The Whole of Syria (WoS) coordination structure was also activated with ACF (Action Contre la Faim) being elected the WoS nutrition co-focal point together with UNICEF, based in Amman, Jordan.
The focus of the Turkey Nutrition Cluster is to scale up the on-going preventive and curative nutrition services such as IYCF promotion, screening of acute malnutrition and micronutrients supplementation. There is also a focus on integrating the above services within the on-going health, food security and WASH responses. There also continues to be limited quality and timely data available on current nutritional status so improvement of surveillance data and information sharing is essential to determine areas with high prevalence of acute malnutrition, improve referral mechanisms, and ensure a coordinated coherent response, through strengthened and engaged humanitarian actors.
The Nutrition Cluster Co-coordinator will liaise, advocate and coordinate with a wide range of actors, to facilitate a timely and effective nutrition response in Syria, ensuring that the capacity of both Syrian and international organizations is strengthened to respond to, and coordinate, emergency nutrition interventions that demonstrate results and impact achieved. Such interventions will focus on addressing any emerging situations of malnutrition as well as ensuring that strategies are in place to reduce the risk of malnutrition within FSL and other emergency response programmes.
1.Identification of key partners
- Carry out capacity mapping of all current and potential actors (international and national organisations and local health care structures) to determine coverage of nutrition programme activities, strengths and areas of required support particularly in the areas of IYCF and management of acute and chronic malnutrition as well as micronutrient deficiencies.
2.Maintenance of appropriate coordination mechanisms
- Chair the Nutrition Cluster meeting on a bi-weekly basis which is inclusive to all partners and provides operational, technical and strategic space to strengthen the nutrition sector response for Northern Syria.
- Convene regular nutrition cluster meetings with clear objectives as demonstrated in well-informed agenda, decisions and actions, documented through meeting minutes. Extraordinary meetings are convened whenever necessary. Encourage participation by stakeholders in preparing inputs into the agenda, taking minutes and information sharing.
- Act as a focal point and collect information through regular meetings with key partners including: (i)nutrition actors implementing Nutrition in Emergencies (NiE) activities (ii) potential future nutrition actors (iii) coordination bodies, technical support organisations, donors and other stakeholders including private sector food suppliers.
- Maintain and build on the now established strong linkages with the Health and Food Security and Livelihoods clusters and aim to extend this reach to other relevant clusters such as CCCM, WASH, education and protection. This will be achieved through nutrition representation in their meetings, bilateral meetings and active exchanges of minutes to ensure all key stakeholders are kept informed.
- Liaise with wider humanitarian coordination architecture such as the Inter Cluster Coordination Group, NGO Forum, and Humanitarian Coordination Meetings and Whole of Syria coordination structure to build and maintain linkages.
- With the Information Management Officer (IMO), improve nutrition surveillance by collating routine programme data, coordinate mapping of nutrition sector response through collation of 4W reports, in coordination with Whole of Syria and OCHA’s mapping protocols. Analyse coverage and gaps in the nutrition sector and ensure there is no duplication, which will further inform resource mobilization amongst agencies.
- Write situation updates for all stakeholders on NiE (with a focus on IYCF-E) to be included in Syria regional updates and general situation reports.
- With the IMO, continue to compile information on BMS donations, distribution sources and channels and estimated number of children beneficiaries and document any violations of the International Code of Marketing of BMS.
4.Training and capacity building
- Ensure all nutrition partners have a good understanding of the cluster coordination approach.
- Provide technical input to partners to ensure the optimal nutritional content of General Food Distribution Baskets for the Northern Syria response.
- Promote and support training of humanitarian personnel and capacity building of humanitarian partners and those involved in breast milk substitute (BMS) distribution, based on the mapping and understanding of available capacity (esp. IYCF-E and WHO treatment protocols).
- For nutrition issues that need immediate attention the cluster coordinator should create and coordinate technical working groups that will take the lead addressing the response e.g. IYCF-E and IM/assessments.
- With the IMO and appropriate technical working groups lead the development of standardised nutrition tools, guidelines, protocols, training and IEC materials, targeted to the response for Northern Syria particularly IYCF-E materials.
- Explore opportunities to engage with the private sector who are the key suppliers of food items for this emergency response to ensure that there is a supply of appropriate and fortified foodstuffs available to NGOs.
5.Planning and Strategy Development
- Develop and roll out a standardized assessment and monitoring approach for nutrition assessments to ensure timely reliable data in standardized way for decision making and for prioritization and comparability reasons.
- Between nutrition cluster members develop joint consensus, vision and strategy for priority programming, vulnerability criteria and targeting.
- Develop and update cluster strategy and contingency planning and preparedness for new/ predicted emergencies, and ensure this is adequately reflected in the overall humanitarian country strategies and response plans.
- Contribute to the development of national nutrition policies and guidelines appropriate to the Syrian context particularly on IYCF-E.
- Scale up the implementation of the prevention and management of acute malnutrition, ensuring increased coverage of IYCF-E, CMAM and micronutrient programmes.
- Share nutrition briefings with donors and monthly situation analysis with the humanitarian community.
- Identify core nutrition advocacy concerns, including resource requirements, and contribute key messages to the broader advocacy initiatives of the Humanitarian Liaison Group.
- Ensure nutrition integration in other sector programming, largely with Health, Food Security and Livelihoods clusters.
- Develop donor contacts and represent the interests of the nutrition sector in discussions with donors on the prioritization of needs and resource mobilization, with a particular emphasis on the importance of appropriate IYCF-E. Advocate to donors to fund nutrition partners to carry out priority nutrition activities.
- Advocate at multiple levels to ensure all actors are familiar with the Operational Guidance on IYCF-E (embeds International Code of Marketing of BMS) and Sphere standards on IYCF-E. Widely disseminate the Joint Statement on IYCF-E in Northern Syria response and the Operational Guidance on IYCF-E.
Any other responsibilities assigned to the Nutrition Working Group.
- Nutritionist with a Masters in Nutrition, Public Health or similar.
- Five years + experience in humanitarian nutrition response at international and national level.
- Previous experience of cluster participation (and leadership) at international and national level.
- Strong understanding of nutrition sector and cluster approach.
- Strong interpersonal, management, coordination and advocacy skills.
- Strong presentation and analytical skills.
- Strong planning and organizational skills.
- Ability to meet deadlines and work independently.
- Fluent in English and some Arabic also an advantage.
- Organization: GOAL
- Location: Ankara (Turkey)
- Grade: Mid/Senior - Internationally recruited position - Mid/Senior level
- Public Health and Health Service
- Project and Programme Management
- Closing Date: 2015-12-27