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Psychosocial Support Specialist (IPSA10)


  • Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: Juba
  • Grade: Mid level - IPSA-10, International Personnel Services Agreement
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Public Health and Health Service
    • Social Affairs
  • Closing Date: Closed
UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.
UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.

The Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS) signed in September 2018 brought hope of setting South Sudan on the path towards peace and development. However, communal violence, mainly triggered by access to resources and cattle rustling, continue and pose a risk to implementation of the peace agreement, healing, and reconciliation among communities of South Sudan.

The people of South Sudan have been enveloped in decades of fighting, resulting in deep and longstanding grievances; social fractures; marginalisation; injustice and exclusion. Inter- and intra-communal conflicts are prevalent and exploited by political dynamics. Further, trust between communities is low slowing down the implementation of the peace agreement at national and community level. Lack of basic rights, services and security coupled with weak institutions, minimal law

enforcement and checks and balances provide a fertile ground for relapse of violence. There is a deep culture of intolerance and revenge in some South Sudanese societies, which has been exacerbated by conflict, politicization of ethnicity and the general scarcity of justice, law and order services due to the absence of State authority at county, payam and boma levels. It is estimated that over 6.5 million people in South Sudan have been affected by trauma and 53% of people living in the United Nations 'Protection of Civilians' site in Malakal, Upper Nile, suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The African Union Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan noted in its final report that “trauma appears to be a key consequence of the conflict.”[1] To leave the trauma unaddressed is to invite a virulent repeat of cycles of violence, which has marked the painful history of South Sudan.

Conflict affects women and men differently and often the violations women and girls face are ignored or under reported masking the gravity of the crisis. Sexual violence specifically has been used as a weapon of war by all warring parties. Women have been violated, raped, humiliated and forced to relocate. Although sexual violence is not exclusive to conflict, the current crisis has aggravated the intensity of sexual and gender-based violence. The culture of shame, around rape, is so severe that many women fears reporting the crime could lead to further repercussions, such as being forced to marry their rapist. Conflict has also disrupted gender roles within families and communities and therefore conflict management and peacebuilding interventions must be continuously informed by these changing roles.

More than half (51 percent) of the South Sudanese population is below the age of 18, and 72 percent of South Sudanese are younger than 30 years of age. Decades of civil wars have contributed to the numerous challenges that youth face today: lack of job opportunities, high levels of illiteracy, poverty, inadequate life skills, drug addiction and indulgence in criminal activities.

The R-ARCSS provides for the formation of the Commission for Truth, Reconciliation and Healing CTRH) as a “critical part of the peacebuilding process in South Sudan, to spearhead efforts to address the legacy of conflict, promote peace, national reconciliation, and healing. This provides the impetus for UNDP to support communities address issues of trauma, to facilitate healing and reconciliation. It also supports efforts towards community based transitional justice with emphasis on   truth telling, reconciliation and community based restorative justice.

UNDP therefore seeks to recruit a Psychosocial Support Specialist who will works  in the Peace and Community Cohesion program, which support the central and state governments and authorities to; a) establish and enhance the capacity of peace infrastructures to manage conflicts peacefully; b) deepen social, cultural and economic cohesion among communities to foster healing, reconciliation and peaceful coexistence; c) empower citizens,  ( emphasis on women,  and youth and persons with disability )  to have a voice,  agency and participate in governance/decision making and peacebuilding processes; d) implement legal and policies on civilian disarmament, and reintegration of former combatant in to communities  e) promote conflict sensitive access, use and control of natural resources by pastoral and farming communities in targeted conflict clusters.

Duties and Responsibilities
Under the direct supervision of Programme Advisor and Manager, Peace and Community Cohesion Program, the Psychosocial Support Specialist will undertake the following tasks:

Technical support to Community based trauma awareness, reconciliation, and  justice:

  • Provide Mentorship, supervisions, and further trainings of the trained Trauma and Psychosocial Support ToT  and  customize trainings from the Community Training Manual on Trauma Healing and Psychosocial Support to the needs of the groups being trained;
  • Lead in selection and group formation of Community Volunteer Counsellors;
  • Liaise with and establish strong working relationships with other UN agencies and international organizations to promote a coordinated approach to the development and implementation of  trauma awareness, psychosocial support and reconciliation and activities;
  • Support community-based organizations and groups, state government, traditional authorities, and vulnerable groups to participate, engage in and benefit from trauma awareness, reconciliation and community-based justice processes and mechanisms;
  • Promote skills for mainstreaming gender, applying a human rights-based approach and support to vulnerable groups into reform priorities of and services provided by  trauma awareness, resilience  and community-based justice mechanisms;
  • Support community-based organizations and groups, state government, traditional authorities and vulnerable groups to participate, engage in and benefit from  trauma awareness,  resilience  and reconciliation and justice processes and mechanisms;
  • Ensure Age, Gender and Diversity (AGD) perspective is systematically applied, integrated and documented in all activities  especially in the provision of community-based psychosocial support;
  • Strengthen capacities for local peace infrastructure on trauma awareness and psychosocial support, reconciliation and justice process and mechanisms.

Providing Support to programme planning and implementation:

  • Provide substantial inputs to programme planning, implementation and monitoring, including drafting of relevant documents such as concept notes, talking points, meeting debriefs, minutes;
  • Develop detailed Annual Work Plans for the Trauma awareness and  Reconciliation, and provide inputs to develop the consolidated Peace and Community Cohesion Program Annual Work Plans and Reports;
  • Support development of ToRs for Small Grants, oversee the work of beneficiaries of Small Grants Facility, and ensure quality of outputs in keeping with grants applications;
  • Submit quarterly analytical reports and provide inputs into other reporting requirements to  M&E activities and provide quarterly reports on issues arising from the provision of community-based psychosocial support;
  • Trauma Awareness, Psychosocial Support, and Reconciliation to the Programme Manager on work done and further prospects as decided by the program;
  • Support the programme management to develop necessary documentation (concept notes, briefs, and fundraising notes) to operationalize and steer programmatic initiatives and activities.

Knowledge building and management focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Support the development of a policy framework on trauma, resilience and psychosocial support for conflict affected communities in South Sudan, from  a peacebuilding approach;
  • Develop tools and procedures to ensure the support, follow-up, and reporting from Community Volunteer Counsellors;
  • Collect monitoring data on a regular basis and issue updates on activities in the  trauma awareness, psychosocial support,  reconciliation and  justice area including changes in legislation and national or regional strategies or action plans;
  • Monitor and evaluate the impact of the delivered psychosocial support activities by the Community Volunteer Counsellors;
  • Monitor the key interventions of the Program  on Trauma awareness, psychosocial support, reconciliation justice particularly for vulnerable groups such as victims of past abuses, former combatants,  IDPs, children, the elderly, and survivors of SGBV;
  • Monitor and report on reconciliation  issues locally, and identify emerging trends using program mapping and other available data;
  • Promote cross-network initiatives and support collaboration of cross-regional programming priorities within knowledge networks and communities of practice.

Institutional Arrangement

Under the direct supervision of Programme Advisor and Manager, Peace and Community Cohesion Program, the Psychosocial Support Specialist who will works  in the Peace and Community Cohesion program, which support the central and state governments and authorities

Core Competencies
  • Achieve Results: LEVEL 3: Set and align challenging, achievable objectives for multiple projects, have lasting impact

  • Think Innovatively: LEVEL 3: Proactively mitigate potential risks, develop new ideas to solve complex problems

  • Learn Continuously: LEVEL 3: Create and act on opportunities to expand horizons, diversify experiences

  • Adapt with Agility: LEVEL 3: Proactively initiate and champion change, manage multiple competing demands

  • Act with Determination:  LEVEL 3: Think beyond immediate task/barriers and take action to achieve greater results

  • Engage and Partner: LEVEL 3: Political savvy, navigate complex landscape, champion inter-agency collaboration

  • Enable Diversity and Inclusion: LEVEL 3: Appreciate benefits of diverse workforce and champion inclusivity

Technical/ Cross-functional Competencies

Business Management: Communication: Ability to communicate in a clear, concise and unambiguous manner both through written and verbal communication; to tailor messages and choose communication methods depending on the audience.

Partnership management: Relationship management: Ability to engage with a wide range of public and private partners, build, sustain and/or strengthen working relations, trust and mutual understanding.

2030 Agenda: Engagement & Effectiveness: Effectiveness: Executive Board Engagement on results, evaluation, and others.

Business Management: Evaluation: Ability to make an independent judgement based on set criteria and benchmarks -Ability to anticipate client's upcoming needs and concerns.

2030 Agenda: Engagement & Effectiveness: Effectiveness: Performance analysis on programming.

2030 Agenda: Peace: Conflict Prevention, Peacebuilding and Responsive Institutions: Community engagement for prevention, response, and social cohesion

Required Skills and Experience
  • Master’s  degree  in  the  field  in Psychology, counselling psychology, Community psychology; sociology, Community Development, Conflict resolution and Reconciliation, International Relations, or Developmental psychology or other relevant Qualifications  adminstration or other relevant fields Or Bachelor's degree in a relevant field) in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience will be given due consideration in lieu of Master’s degree.
  • 5 years of experience with master’s degree working in the areas of community counselling, psychosocial support and 7 Years of experience for first University degree in lieu of a master’s degree;
  • Experience in working in post conflict setting, and with community structures for addressing trauma, reconciliation, community-based community justice and related;
  • Knowledge of peacebuilding and post conflict reconstruction;
  • Experience in working with conflict victims, former combatants, people with disability, socially excluded groups will be an asset;
  • Familiar with social political settings of Africa and South Sudan in particular, UN or NGOs experience important but not compulsory;
  • Experience in developing community-based training curricular and adult learning methodologies.
Language: Excellent writing and oral communication skills in English is required, Working knowledge of the local language including Arabic is an added advantage.
Applicant information about UNDP rosters
Note: UNDP reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement.  We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNDP at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.
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This vacancy is now closed.
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