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Nigeria - Expert in Protection & Psychosocial Support

Maiduguri (Nigeria) | Abuja


Cooperazione Internazionale (COOPI) is an Italian humanitarian non-governmental organization founded in Milan in 1965. COOPI aims to help the world?s poorest to improve their access to healthcare, food, and financial security, and to overcome their special vulnerability to wars, civil conflicts and natural disasters. For 50 years of long-term support and constant presence in the field, COOPI has been engaged in breaking the cycle of poverty and responding to specific emergencies in numerous sectors, including Food Security, Humanitarian Aid, Health, Socio-Economical Services, Water and Sanitation, Human Rights, Education and Training, Migrations and Sustainable Energy.

With more than 3,900 humanitarian workers employed, and an average of 180 projects per year across 25 countries throughout Africa, Latin America and the Middle East, COOPI is the biggest Italian NGO. During its 50 years of activity, COOPI has successfully completed over 1,600 projects in 63 countries, involving 55.000 local operators and ensuring direct benefits to approximately 100 Million people.

COOPI in Nigeria

COOPI started its operations in North-East Nigeria in July 2014 to carry out a rapid evaluation of the most relevant constraints suffered by the Internally Displaced People (IDPs) displaced by the food crisis and the Boko Haram insurgency in the Lake Chad Basin.

COOPI?s aim is to support the most basic and pressing needs of communities affected by the conflict. COOPI is providing a multi-sectoral emergency response to the IDPs, returnees and host population focused on food security, nutrition, protection and education. COOPI main area of intervention is Yobe & Borno States.


North-East Nigeria faces immense humanitarian and protection challenges due to the Boko Haram insurgency and its associated impacts on population displacement and livelihoods.

The humanitarian situation is particularly alarming in host communities where social services are inadequate and even local population presents high level of physical, psychosocial and social vulnerability. Many displaced children are lacking the fundamental protection of a caregiver, whether parents, extended family members or care professionals and are exposed to heightened risk of sexual violence, physical abuse and exploitation, including labor and trafficking. Moreover, they have been subjected to grave violations with resulting psychosocial distress, including from abduction, exposure to sexual and gender-based violence, separation from or loss of family members, destruction of property, looting of food and livestock and forced displacement.

In marginalized host communities, such as those targeted by the proposed intervention, lack of basic education structures and safe spaces to play and socialize contribute to expose children to protection risks, undermining also their social and emotional well-being and their ability to develop positive coping strategies. Poverty is identified as another key contributing factor to children losing parental care and exposing them to neglect, sub-standard living conditions and psychological or emotional deprivation. In addition, malnutrition rates are at critical level, both among IDPs and host communities, and are associated with a significant increased risk of child mortality.

Given the severity of the situation, the intervention is proposed to ensure essential protection support and services to children at risk and survivors that include direct support to unaccompanied and separated children (support to the existing care arrangements and alternative care placements if not existing and where reunification is not immediately possible); recreational activities and psychosocial counselling in safe Child Centered Spaces, referral and liaison with specialized services (where required). In parallel, the intervention aims at activating social networks, mobilizing families and community members around protection mechanisms, including prevention measures and monitoring systems, through Community Protection Workers (CPW) that will be trained and regularly assisted by COOPI project team.

Purpose and objectives

The main objective of the consultancy will be to;

  • To provide technical backstopping to the protection team
  • Capacity building of the protection team in PSS, CP, resilience and Child Centered Spaces (CCSs)
  • Supervision and regular guidance in implementation, assuring quality ad adherence to SOPs and international standards.
  • Support the mapping of existing formal and informal resources for psycho-social support services for children and vulnerable families, especially existing community networks/associations/religious networks.
  • Development of tools to gauge the current psychosocial interventions and how they are responding to the needs of the beneficiaries; assess the tools and resources used on their cultural appropriateness.
  • Guidance on how to conduct art therapy sessions with adolescent girls and boys.
  • Identify good practices and culturally added values interventions that can be taken to scale for future psycho-social support programming.

Scope of the work

The scope of work will focus on the following:

  • Assess the nature and quality of information related to protection and psychosocial issues provided to the affected population; assess how culturally and locally sensitive these materials are.
  • Examine what factors are preventing families and communities from returning to normalcy and how community structures could be strengthened to build on the community resilience.
  • ?Find out how effective PSS activities are being utilized and promoted by project staff during the course of the project.
  • Discover to what extent the positive cultural practices, beliefs and religion are being promoted to enhance psycho-social recovery in the communities and how they can be scaled up; elaborate on resilience and protective factors.
  • Find out, what capacity exists in the government & civil society organisations to address psychosocial support, including specialized care for children with mental disorders? What are the community mechanisms/networks with grass root presence who could be a potential partner for COOPI?
  • Identify new areas of programming that need to be integrated into the current psychosocial intervention.

Expected deliverables and timelines

Report of end of mission including tools put in place.

Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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  • Organization: COOPI - Cooperazione Internazionale
  • Location: Maiduguri (Nigeria) | Abuja
  • Grade: Mid/Senior
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Women's Empowerment and Gender Mainstreaming
    • Monitoring and Evaluation
    • Public Health and Health Service
    • Protection Officer (Refugee)
  • Closing Date: 2018-04-16

What does it mean?

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