Health Coordinator

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Damascus, Syria

Skill Required:, Project/ Programme Management
Preferred Experience: 
5 years
Closing Date for Applications: 
16th June, 2021

Job Description

Organizational Context

  • The IFRC is part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (Movement), together with its member National Societies and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The work of the IFRC is guided by the following fundamental principles: humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity, and universality. The IFRC is led by its Secretary General, and has its Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. The Headquarters are organized into three main Divisions: (i) National Society Development and Operations Coordination; (ii) Global Relations, Humanitarian Diplomacy and Digitalization; and (iii) Management Policy, Strategy and Corporate Services. The IFRC has five regional offices in Africa, Asia Pacific, Middle East and North Africa, Europe, and the Americas. The IFRC also has country cluster delegation and country delegations throughout the world. Together, the Geneva Headquarters and the field structure (regional, cluster and country) comprise the IFRC Secretariat. The Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) is the primary provider of humanitarian services in Syria and has a lead operational role within the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement, responding to the biggest humanitarian crisis in decades. Through its 14 branches, 65 active sub-branches and extensive volunteer network, SARC is present in most parts of the country and works according to the seven Fundamental Principles of the Red Cross and Red Crescent. SARC support is primarily focusing on relief, emergency and basic health, water and sanitation, psychosocial support, and livelihoods. IFRC works in an integrated manner with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent Society (SARC) and is located at SARC HQ in Damascus. The Syria conflict has had a devastating impact on the health system across the country and SARC has taken a leading role in providing emergency and primary health care services country-wide, including hard-to-reach areas. IFRC has partnered SARC in its health programming since 2008 and support to its health and care services is a major pillar of the IFRC’s Syria Complex Emergency Appeal. The SARC Health department developed its first strategic plan in 2018. SARC health programs: • CBHFA • First aid and ambulance service • Primary Health Care (PHC) clinics • Mental Health clinics • Physical rehabilitation program (PRP) • Mobile health units (MHU) • Emergency Health Points (EHP) • Psychosocial support PSS

Job Purpose

  • Reporting to the Program Manager and working closely with SARC’s Director of Health and specific health focal persons, the Health Coordinator is expected to support SARC Health department to ensure consistent quality in the delivery of the health activities in Syria, and smooth implementation of SARC’s newly developed health strategy and transformation efforts arising from the evolving operating context in Syria, while ensuring that the IFRC Appeal and forward-planning is aligned with SARC priorities. The Health Coordinator will be actively engaged in planning, coordinating and supporting Movement-wide efforts in support of SARC health programming.

Job Duties and Responsibilities

Strategic planning and programme management

  • Support SARC in further defining strategic directions in health programming, and support implementation of the Health department’s current strategic plan.
  • Support SARC in development of health strategies and timely responses to evolving health needs in the protracted crisis.
  • Manage the health and care component of the IFRC Appeal, ensuring alignment with SARC strategic and operational priorities and revising Appeal focus and scope accordingly.
  • Support SARC to identify health need gaps and support the implementation of enhanced community-based health interventions as feasible.
  • Carry out visits to programme sites as the situation allows providing technical input into quality service and upholding WHO, IASC and IFRC standards.
  • Using available resources, manage, analyse and strategically use health data received from SARC and improve health data through efficient implementation and monitoring plans and reliable indicators.
  • With SARC, ensure surveillance and epidemic control measures are well functioning and monitored.
  • In the absence of a designated delegate for WASH, the health coordinator will liaise, and support community hygiene actions taken within the WASH department of SARC.
  • Support SARC to strengthen the existing Health information system to generate and analyse reports for efficient implementation and monitoring
  • Identify and implement opportunities to strengthen and improve programme/project effectiveness and efficiency through technical and managerial input.
  • Manage the IFRC’s health budget, expenditure and procurement together with SARC and IFRC finance, logistics and Planning, Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting (PMER) colleagues.
  • Produce regular, timely and accurate reports, briefing notes, contextual analysis for Federation and donors.
  • Provide input and support in partner relations and resource mobilisation for health activities in close cooperation with the Syria team and the Resource Mobilisation functions in the IFRC Middle East and Northern Africa zone office.
  • Support SARC’s development of high-quality health proposals, either independently, or in partnership with Movement components
  • Develop clear monitoring information (qualitative and quantitative) to track progress and impact of subsequent programme activities; ensure regular monitoring of activities, identifying and addressing delays in implementation where necessary
  • In close cooperation with the PMER delegate and IFRC Community Engagement and Accountability technical resource persons, continue to support the establishment of a beneficiary accountability framework for SARC and Movement health activities, which includes monitoring and reporting systems, and support its subsequent implementation
  • Ensure that all activities are carried out in a participatory and inclusive manner that reflects community needs and cultural sensitivities, gender, age issues and the environment, and that activities take into consideration issues around any local risks and hazards
  • Remain highly aware of and sensitive to the highly fluid, complex and potentially hazardous security, access and general operating environment in Syria, and of the highly complex and pressurised environment within which SARC continues to operate on a day-to-day basis, and at all times observe and remain bound by the relevant security protocols, rules and regulations of the IFRC and the ICRC
  • Contribute to/draft funding concept notes and proposals as required
  • Report regularly to relevant IFRC and SARC staff as required e.g. on progress and narrative reporting
  • Carry out other tasks related to the SARC/IFRC operation in Syria that are assigned by the IFRC Syria Head of Country Office or SARC management as required.

Coordination, cooperation and collaboration

  • Build and maintain knowledge, understanding and effective relationships with partners in Syria and work on consistently strengthening relationships.
  • Jointly with SARC, ensure effective relationships with external organisations
  • Support SARC to develop strategic partnership within and outside the Movement and participate in and work with relevant emergency health networks and coordination mechanisms, as well as strengthening an effective and coordinated health response.
  • Represent the IFRC as needed in technical and leadership discussions, to advocate for the role, impact and needs of SARC in health programming.
  • Support SARC to establish a Movement Health Working Group, which will facilitate Movement coordination mechanism/s that keeps all parties up to date on policy and programming developments, including mapping of Movement/external actors partnership with SARC in health.

Staff health

  • Provide health briefings, medical advice/care and medevac for Federation staff and delegates, in collaboration with the IFRC Head of Country Office (or acting). Act as focal health/medical person for Federation staff and delegates.

Duties applicable to all staff

  • Actively work towards the achievement of the Federation Secretariat’s goals
  • Abide by and work in accordance with the Red Cross and Red Crescent principles
  • Perform any other work-related duties and responsibilities that may be assigned by the line manager
  • Education
  • Degree level in health or social services - Required
  • Master’s Degree in public health, epidemiology or other relevant public health subject - Required
  • IFRC Training Course on disaster response, such as ERU, FACT, RDRT, or other relevant course such as HELP - Required


  • Not less than 5 years of progressive experience in the management of health systems and health programmes - Required
  • Experience in training, mentoring and/or leading staff, and capacity building - Required
  • Experience in strategic planning and implementation in health programming - Required
  • Experience of working in public health in emergencies/armed conflict situations - Preferred
  • Experience in preparing and monitoring project plans, writing reports and developing project proposals - Required
  • Experience working within different components of the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement - Preferred

Knowledge, skills and languages

All Required:

  • Knowledge of good practices in participatory methods, program planning and design, monitoring and evaluation, learning, and accountability
  • Proven organizational and planning skills
  • Excellent analytic and computer skills (MS Word, MS Excel, MS PowerPoint)
  • Skilled in training, mentoring and coaching individuals and groups as appropriate
  • Capable of influencing and obtaining cooperation of individuals not under supervisory control, as a member of multinational team, and managing remote relationships to achieve results
  • Highly motivated self-starter able to lead a process, engage others and create ownership
  • Flexible and willing to deal with ambiguity, changes and challenges
  • Able to priorities work, multi-task and meet deadlines
  • Willing to travel and operate in a demanding working environment


  • Fluently spoken and written English - Required
  • Good command of Arabic - Preferred


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