Thinking of a Career in Emergency Management?
- BY Nicole Pelette
Are you passionate about community participation and accountability towards disaster-affected people using ground-up, creative two-way Communication and Community Engagement approaches? This is a superb opportunity to support the COVID-19 response and help facilitate more sustainable ways of working on community engagement and accountability response-wide in Sudan. To be successful you will already be based in Sudan, a skilled facilitator and with demonstrated experience of working independently.
Deadline for applications:
The Communicating with Disaster Affected Communities Network (CDAC) is seeking a consultant to support more systematic Community Engagement and Accountability in the Sudan COVID-19 response, employing interlinkages with the wider humanitarian response. At the end of the 6-months consultancy, through the facilitation of the Coordinator, a pathway to a longer-term collective Community Engagement and Accountability (CEA) approach will have been determined that has a broader focus on integrating the participation, feedback and perceptions of people into each phase of the humanitarian programme cycle, connected to the Inter-Sectoral Coordination Group (ISCG). See Annex 1 below for more background information.
Home-based: Khartoum. There will be no international travel associated with this consultancy.
Reports to: OCHA Sudan office (TBC) with international CEA Advisory technical support provided by the CDAC Secretariat
Engages with: The COVID-19 Working Group, CEA partners, clusters/sectors, ISCG, HCT, UNCT, UNOPS, donors, and national, regional and global stakeholders, including government partners. Collaborating closely with the Protection Cluster, PSEA Network and gender and inclusion focal points.
Supported by: The Coordinator will be supported by a CDAC Network International CEA Advisor who will guide remotely.
The first COVID-19 case in Sudan was confirmed on 13 March. As of 16 May 2020, there are 2,591 people confirmed to have COVID-19 Sudan, including 105 fatalities. COVID-19 has now spread to all of Sudan's 18 states. The majority of people with confirmed COVID-19 live in Khartoum State.
The Transitional Government declared a state of emergency in March 2020 to combat the virus, shutting schools and universities, suspending domestic and international flights and almost totally closing its borders. The lockdown was extended in May.
Wider humanitarian situation
In 2020, before the COVID-19 outbreak, about 9.3 million people across Sudan required humanitarian support and nearly 2 million people remain internally displaced. Parts of the country continue to face natural disasters including cyclical flooding, drought, and desertification. In addition, acute and chronic food insecurity continues to threaten people’s lives and livelihoods, and is mainly driven by prolonged conflict, environmental deterioration, natural disasters such as drought and floods and more recently the economic crisis.
In May 2020, FAO estimates that the combined adverse impacts of the Covid-19 are being witnessed in all four-core dimensions of food security: availability, access, utilization and stability. Desert locust continues to pose an unprecedented threat to food security and livelihoods in the region.[
Status of response-wide Communication, Community Engagement & Accountability
The Sudan 2020 Humanitarian Response Plan, has committed to focusing on the establishment of a collective accountability approach that has a broader focus on integrating the participation, feedback and perceptions of people into each phase of the programme cycle. And to support this approach, a working group is to be established as part of the Inter-Sectoral Coordination Group (ISCG). It is expected that the working group ‘will map and continue to monitor mechanisms and programming already in place; and champion effective practices and mechanisms for Accountability towards Affected Populations (AAP) that would work across the humanitarian system. Progress will also be monitored at the sector level and shared for inter-sector discussion. The overall goal is to ensure accountable overall implementation that is coordinated and informed by community participation and feedback systems and is monitored and adjusted as needed. This, in turn will allow for a more flexible humanitarian response that can course-correct’.
In 2019, the PSEA Network conducted a mapping to assess partners’ efforts against six core areas of policy, coordination, prevention, advocacy, complaints, and investigation while the 2020 HRP notes that UNOPS in Sudan is leading an inter-agency task force towards the establishment of a hotline system that would connect people to government social safety net services, the proposal for which is just being finalized. It is expected that humanitarians will closely engage with this task force to ensure such a system can align with humanitarian needs and feedback mechanisms.
In May 2020, the Humanitarian and UN Country Teams launched a COVID-19 Country Preparedness and Response Plan (CPRP) to support the Government of Sudan’s efforts in preparing and responding to the pandemic. The plan notes that ‘under the overall guidance of WHO, the UN and partners have set up a time-bound COVID-19 coordination mechanism - the Strategic Coordination Group - chaired by the RC/HC comprised of WHO, UNICEF, OCHA, WFP, UNDP, UNHCR and UNFPA. This strategic group is supported by the COVID-19 Working Group at operational and technical level’. It further outlines the working group’s supporting Pillar leads, as follows:
Country Level Coordination, Planning & Monitoring: WHO, OCHA
Risk Communication & Community Engagement: UNICEF, UNFPA, UNHCR, UNDP
Surveillance, Rapid Response Teams & Case Investigation: WHO, UNHCR, UNICEF
Points of Entry: WHO, IOM
National Laboratories: WHO
Infection Prevention & Control: UNICEF, WHO, UNFPA
Case Management: WHO, UNFPA, UNICEF
Operational Support & Logistics: WFP, UNICEF, UNDP
The CPRP further states that ‘at state level, WHO will take the lead in states where they have presence and in states with limited WHO presence, another partner organization will take the lead. National pillar focal points will work closely with the state focal points, providing the necessary technical guidance. In the states where there is an Area Humanitarian Country Team (A-HCT) or an established humanitarian coordination architecture, Covid-19 focal points will work under these mechanisms. The aim is to work through existing coordination mechanisms to the extent possible.’
Purpose of this consultancy
The CDAC Community Engagement and Accountability Coordinator, working closely in-country with OCHA and WHO and other UN and NGO agencies in-country on the COVID response, will employ a collective approach for more systematic CEA in the overall Sudan humanitarian response, setting a framework for a longer-term CEA coordination mechanism.
This consultancy is part of the H2H Global COVID-19 Humanitarian Support Package which is supporting global yet local efforts to fight the pandemic. The package is especially focused on countries and/or regions with weaker health systems.
Working with the International CEA Advisor: