IQ 1 2


INTERSOS is an independent humanitarian organization that assists the victims of natural disasters, armed conflicts and exclusion. Its activities are based on the principles of solidarity, justice, human dignity, equality of rights and opportunities, respect for diversity and coexistence, paying special attention to the most vulnerable people.

Terms of reference

Job Title: MHPSS Specialist

Code: SR-29-2770

Duty station: Erbil, with frequent travel to Ninewa and Salah Al Din

Starting date: 13/03/2023

Contract duration: 6 months

Reporting to: Protection Coordinator

Supervision of: MHPSS Specialist (national staff) x 1

Dependents: Accompanied duty station

General context of the project

INTERSOS has been present in Iraq since 2003 and currently operates across Ninewa, Salah Al Din (SAD), Erbil, and Sulaymaniyah Governorates. INTERSOS thematic sectors of intervention are Protection, Education and Health. The INTERSOS coordination office is in Erbil with bases located in Tikrit, Mosul, Telafar and Sulaymaniyah and programming presence in other areas of Ninewa, SAD and the Kurdistan region. As of mid-2022, INTERSOS Iraq has 300 national staff, 18 expat staff and 200 volunteers.. By applying an integrated programmatic approach, INTERSOS provides lifesaving services and supports the creation of durable solutions for women, men, girls and boys in IDP, refugee and host communities in its areas of intervention.

In the Protection sector, INTERSOS is one of the main actors in Iraq, providing a comprehensive package of protection services spanning both in-camp and out-of-camp locations. The services include protection monitoring (flagging urgent protection concerns and trends to UNHCR and the protection cluster, including beneficiary profiling and direct referral to specialized services), MHPSS, case management (for GBV, Child Protection and PwSN), and legal assistance, counselling and court representation. Current health programming includes supporting the provision of free and integrated primary health care (PHC) and implementing a pilot project to strengthen non-communicable disease diagnosis and treatment in primary health clinics, and facilitating outreach health services through community health volunteers (CHVs). In Education, INTERSOS supports access to formal and non-formal education for Syrian refugees and Iraqi IDPs in camp and urban settings.

General purpose of the position

The MHPSS Specialist supports the Protection Coordinator in defining, supervising and implementing the MHPSS component of the protection programme at INTERSOS Iraq.

In close collaboration with the Protection Coordinator, the MHPSS Specialist will provide technical guidance and advice to protection staff, ensuring that specific MHPSS components of the programme are delivered according to internal guidelines and in line with international standards and principles.

In particular, the MHPSS Specialist will develop the capacity of a national staff MHPSS Specialist who will take over the role.

The MHPSS Specialist will be responsible for guaranteeing high quality and timely MHPSS interventions. S/He will i) Define the MHPSS strategy for the mission outlining the approaches and tools to be used, ii) train/re-train the MHPSS team, iii) mentor the team on a daily basis at field level, iv) develop and revise MHPSS interventions, v) draft and revise MHPSS SOPs, vi) design standard indicators and tools to monitor the quality and impact of MHPSS programming, and vii) develop and deliver a capacity building plan for MHPSS and other Protection staff, viii) ensure integration of MHPSS in all relevant Programme interventions (education and health as well as protection) with special emphasis on Case Management

Main responsibilities and tasks

Coordination and support:

  • Ensure that the MHPSS strategy and approach is aligned with the Protection Strategy of the mission
  • Contribute to the design of the protection strategy of the mission and provide technical support and assistance to the implementation of the MHPSS components.
  • Design MHPSS interventions and activities that are AGD sensitive and ensure AGD and context appropriateness in addressing CP, GBV and other Protection issues.
  • Develop M & E tools to measure impact and effectiveness of MHPSS interventions for children, adults and people with disabilities and ensure piloting and standardization of these tools.
  • Work with the CP and GBV specialists to strengthen PSS in case management providing guidance on identifying issues, empathy, session structure and referral
  • Work with other members of the Protection, Health and Education teams to ensure proper collaboration in referral and support for Case Management and Health services
  • Provide leadership, guidance and monitoring to the Psychologists teams, establishing standard process and procedures for beneficiary support and developing standard tools for measuring progress, in close cooperation with the health team
  • Design and develop a MHPSS Toolkit with appropriate resources and guidelines for providing structured and unstructured MHPSS for children and adults
  • In coordination with the Protection Coordinator, provide support to contextualize and adapt internal and global guidelines, making sure these are rolled out and known by relevant staff.
  • Ensure cohesion and harmonization of MHPSS-related activities and services across the different implementation sites within the mission.
  • Support nationalization of the MHPSS Specialist position by designing and implementing a capacity-building plan for the MHPSS Specialist national staff member to assume the role; provide daily mentoring and gradually transfer responsibilities to the staff member.
  • In coordination with the Protection Coordinator, deliver training and workshops to protection and other sectoral staff to build their skills on MHPSS-related topics.
  • Support the Protection Coordinator to deliver training and workshops to non-protection staff to build their skills and knowledge of Staff Care, Mental Health, PFA and other topics relevant to all sectors.
  • Support the HR Coordinator, HoM and Protection Coordinator in developing and implementing a Staff Care System for all staff.
  • Assess MHPSS needs and gaps of target populations in current and prospective areas of operations, periodically update the protection situation analysis and inform the programme accordingly.
  • In line with the current Protection strategy of the mission and in coordination with the Community Engagement Specialist design and develop a community-based approach to MHPSS
  • In coordination with the Protection Coordinator, support in the development of a harmonised structure for group PSS, emotional support groups, awareness-raising and community outreach/engagement components across the mission.
  • Support the Protection Coordinator in ensuring that protection data is collected, stored, archived, processed, analysed and disseminated in ethical modalities, in line with internal data protection protocols.
  • Under the supervision of the Protection Coordinator, undertake regular field monitoring visits and provide support tools to monitor quality of programme implementation.
  • Provide technical support to the psychologists for individual cases affected by crisis, GBV survivors, child protection cases, etc.

Networking and Partnerships:

  • Maintain collaborative working relationships with relevant clusters and related working groups at national and/or field level.
  • Represent INTERSOS at MHPSS Task Force meetings.
  • Act as Focal Point for the Protection Cluster to the MHPSS Technical Working Group.
  • In coordination with the Protection Coordinator, ensure that main MHPSS concerns are brought to relevant stakeholders to advocate for the respect of human rights and minimum protection standards.
  • Network with MHPSS leaders of other missions and other organizations to share best practices and resources

Required profile and experience


  • BA in relevant fields (Social Science, Psychology, Social Work) is mandatory.
  • Masters Degree in a related field preferred.​

Professional Experience

Minimum 6 -7 years of relevant work experience in mental health, protection or related field with an INGO.​

Professional Requirements

  • Strong theoretical, technical and practical knowledge in MHPSS;
  • Demonstrated ability to work within a humanitarian and/or development context (experience with IDPs is an asset);
  • Experience and skills in community engagement and development of community-based programming is a distinct asset;
  • Demonstrated training and mentoring skills and experience;
  • Very good understanding of protection, human rights law and international humanitarian principles, with a focus on mental health and psychosocial support;
  • Experience developing and facilitating training programs and SOPs on MHPSS;
  • Computer literacy (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, INTERSOS MHPSS Platform is a plus);
  • Excellent analytical and reporting skills;
  • Experience in proposal writing is desired.


  • Fluency in English;
  • Arabic is preferred (written and spoken).

Personal Requirements

  • A high degree of flexibility and ability to work in stressful environments;
  • High confidentiality, respect and non-discriminatory attitude;
  • Diplomacy skills in networking with partners, authorities and donors;
  • Ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines;
  • Strong time management skills, resourcefulness and attention to detail;
  • Excellent interpersonal and cross-cultural communication skills and ability to work and integrate into a multicultural team.

How to apply

Interested candidates are invited to apply following the link below:

Please note that our application process is made of 3 quick steps: register (including your name, email, password, citizenship and Skype address), sign-up and apply by attaching your CV and motivation letter in PDF format. Through the platform, candidates will be able to track their applications’ history with INTERSOS.

Please also mention the name, position and contact details of at least two references, including the line manager during your last job. Family members are to be excluded.

Only short-listed candidates will be contacted for the first interview.

Closing date: 10 Mar 2023