The IRC Emergency Unit leads IRC's global emergency preparedness and response activities. Our mission is to help meet the immediate survival needs and reduce suffering in conflict or disaster affected populations during the acute phase of an emergency.
The IRC operates in some of the most challenging places in the world, where the risks for safeguarding violations are their highest. We understand safeguarding violations as sexual exploitation and abuse of individuals, most often women, by humanitarian personnel and response actors; abuse and exploitation of children by humanitarian personnel and response actors; sexual harassment or violence against humanitarian personnel. Recognizing these risks, the IRC is actively working at the global and field levels to mitigate, prevent and strengthen response to safeguarding violations.
The Ministry of Health (MoH) of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) declared an outbreak of Ebola in North Kivu Province, Eastern DRC, on 1 August 2018.
The province of North Kivu is among the most populated in DRC with 8,000,000 inhabitants, and has been marked by chronic and intense insecurity, which has resulted in intermittent disruption of key response activities. The overall humanitarian situation in DRC, and especially in North Kivu has significantly deteriorated since mid-2017, with approximately 1 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
The Ebola outbreak in North Kivu is still expanding. The outbreak has reached more than 1000 cases cases, becoming the second largest in history, only second to the 2014-16 West Africa outbreak.
The IRC is supporting the containment of the EVD outbreak in the North Kivu region of DRC. The IRC’s primary focus is to support existing MoH health facilities to ensure the safe continuity of services. Within this effort, the IRC is also ensuring critical child protection and women’s protection actions both linked to health facilities and within communities. The IRC is currently supporting 48 facilities in Beni, Mutwanga, Butembo, Katwa, Vuhovi, Musienne and Goma.
Experience in West Africa and in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) highlight the importance of preventing and responding to abuse, exploitation, and violence that are exacerbated during disease outbreak and response. The government and humanitarian community in DRC have taken important steps toward the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA). The IRC and other actors are seeking to strengthen these efforts, recognizing the need for the establishment of safe, confidential reporting mechanisms for people who experience abuse; accountability and zero tolerance for perpetrators of SEA; equal access to all humanitarian goods and services for women and children; and the establishment of safe, confidential, accountable support services when they experience sexual harassment, exploitation and abuse.
As the PSEA/Senior Safeguarding Advisor at the IRC you will support humanitarian response leadership in North Kivu, DRC, to assess and strengthen community-based reporting and response mechanisms; and to ensure wide understanding of PSEA and reporting mechanisms within communities, and across humanitarian and response personnel engaged in the ongoing Ebola response.
•Develop context-appropriate tools for community assessments regarding safeguarding capacity, and existing reporting mechanisms
•With MoH and PSEA Taskforce members, undertake community assessments regarding safeguarding capacity, and existing reporting mechanisms
•Lead inter-agency process to establish and roll-out basic standards for organizational actions to prevent and respond to safeguarding violations
•Work with the IRC Child Protection and Women’s Protection and Empowerment teams to continue developing materials to build capacity of Ebola responders to prevent and respond to safeguarding violations; this includes awareness raising about the importance of safeguarding and ways beneficiaries can access reporting mechanisms and support
•With MoH and PSEA Taskforce members, routinely monitor community engagement, understanding, and concerns regarding existing reporting mechanisms, with adjustments as necessary
•Produce reports and analysis of progress and suitability of existing safeguarding measures in the Ebola response, for both internal and external audiences
•Support the IRC country team to continue rollout and understanding of IRC policies and prevention measures related to safeguarding, including uptake of recommendations put forward through the PSEA Taskforce
•Coordinate internally with the IRC Child Protection and Women’s Protection and Empowerment teams to ensure that inter-agency safeguarding efforts are informed and reinforced by specialized work with service providers; women, children and their communities
•Follow the IRC Code of Conduct and policies, particularly related to Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse and Child Safeguarding
Key Working Relationships:
Externally Position Reports to: TBD
Internally Position Reports to: Field Director, Ebola Response
Technical Support: Director of Safeguarding; VPRU Deputy Director for Emergencies
Other key relationships: IRC Child Protection Coordinator, IRC Women’s Protection & Empowerment Coordinator