Community, Accountability, and Referral Officer

Zahlé, Beqaa Governorate, Lebanon | Full-time

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About Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible. In disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, we partner to put bold solutions into action — helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within. Now, and for the future.

Mercy Corps has been present in the Middle East since the 1980s and currently works in Yemen, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Syria, and Iraq. Working in Lebanon since 1993, Mercy Corps is committed to generating positive opportunities for women, men, boys and girls from Lebanese, Syrian, and Palestinian communities, with a strong focus on engaging youth.  Mercy Corps exists to alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression by helping build secure, productive and just communities. Our programs focus on four sectors:  Economic Opportunities, Governance and Social Stability, Youth and Humanitarian interventions.

The Mercy Corps Lebanon team consists of over 180 staff working across six offices throughout Mount Lebanon, South Lebanon, Tripoli and the Bekaa Valley.

Program Summary

Under the ECHO-funded “Services and Assistance For Enabling Recovery (SAFER)” project, Mercy Corps will provide multi-purpose cash transfers to some of Lebanon’s most vulnerable households affected by the multiple crises in Lebanon, and that are not served by other cash actors to help them meet their basic needs. Building on analysis from our in-house Lebanon Crisis Analytics Team (LCAT) to identify targeted areas in Bekaa and Baalbek El-Hermel, Mercy Corps will employ vulnerability-based targeting to select households for assistance. To facilitate an exit strategy from cash assistance, Mercy Corps will also apply a referral mechanism with other key actors in targeted areas, particularly livelihoods programming for those eligible as well as social safety nets. (Result 1) In addition, Mercy Corps will pair the cash assistance and provide referrals with relevant analysis from LCAT to inform both the action and the broader humanitarian community (Result 2). Together this will achieve the principal objective of reducing economic suffering and protection risks.

General Position Summary

The Community Accountability and Referral Officer works closely with the program team to provide support to the management of the Community Accountability and Reporting Mechanism (CARM) in the program. Main responsibilities within the position include: 1) the overall process of the feedback mechanism, processing and escalating feedback based on the CARM Feedback grades, 2) mainstreaming reporting/feedback processes and mechanisms in the community, and, 3) for conducting referrals and disseminating up-to-date and accurate information on available services by sector and location.

Essential Job Responsibilities

Under the direct supervision of Mercy Corps Lebanon’s Accountability and Reporting Coordinator, and working closely with the SAFER program team, the Community Accountability and Referral Officer will be providing efficient and effective support to the program team, including:

Set up & Integration of CARM in the program

  • Set up the Community Accountability and Reporting Mechanism for the SAFER program.
  • Ensure program has at least 3 context-appropriate feedback channels
  • Ensure the program is accurately reflected in the CARM SOP
  • Ensure any gaps identified are reported to the country CARM focal point and PM
  • Complete program CARM checklist and CARM minimum standards
  • Work with programme teams to facilitate the production of programme FAQ sheets
  • Contribute to the review, reflection and learning process and document lessons learnt

Processing Feedback, and managing the program CARM Database:

  • Receive feedback and complaints through the hotline calls and Whatsapp messages, and the other feedback channels including email and suggestion boxes
  • Log all feedback to program CARM database
  • Grade feedback between Grades 1-6
  • Work with the program team to track and close all open CARM cases (Categories 1-4), ensure that all actions are recorded, no further follow-up is needed, and that all actions taken are communicated to identified informants and the feedback loop is closed for all cases
  • Prepare weekly feedback list for program team review for Grades 1-3
  • Prepare for Case Management Committee for Grade 4 cases
  • Escalate feedback Grade 5 (Fraud and Corruption) and 6 (Safeguarding) to HQ ethics team
  • Ensure confidentiality for all complaints and feedback received and protect identities at all times

Conducting referrals

  • Refer participants and community members to relevant service providers through the standardized referral system
  • Create an up to date service mapping of active actors in the programme areas in partnership with relevant teams, identify, map, and regularly update local support services available
  • Use Referrals Information Management System (RIMS) to refer participants for services not provided by MC programming

Sensitisation and building community awareness on CARM channels

  • Ensure information on feedback channels is visible in intervention communities
  • Sensitize community members on available feedback channels regularly via face to face sessions
  • Ensure that feedback channels are accessible to marginalized groups
  • Prepare and conduct CARM inductions for programme participants and/or partner teams

CARM Monitoring

  • Conduct monitoring field visits and phone surveys to collect useful and timely information to track the efficiency, effectiveness, and quality of CARM, and to close the feedback loop
  • Conduct community consultations and feedback sessions as part of learning and development, in collaboration with the Monitoring and Evaluation team when needed

Reporting

  • Conduct preliminary analysis of CARM monitoring data
  • Prepare monthly program CARM report
  • Document findings of CARM related focus group discussions
  • Report on the relevant accountability indicators

Other

In addition to the above, the Community Accountability and Referrals Officer may be asked to:

  • Support the Country CARM Focal Point with identifying and piloting new CARM initiatives
  • Ensure all activities are gender sensitive and follow Mercy Corps’ Gender Equity Policy
  • Apply Do No Harm standards to ensure activities do not have detrimental effects on vulnerable communities
  • Conduct himself/herself both professionally and personally in such a manner as to bring credit to Mercy Corps and to not jeopardize its humanitarian mission

Organizational Learning

As part of our commitment to organizational learning and in support of our understanding that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities they serve - we expect all team members to commit 5% of their time to learning activities that benefit Mercy Corps as well as themselves.

Supervisory Responsibility

None

Accountability

Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our project participants guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging participating communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.

Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and MC's policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.

Reports Directly to: Accountability and Reporting Coordinator

Works Directly with: Project Manager, Humanitarian Program Manager, PAQ Manager, Field Staff, Cash Coordinator, MEL Manager and programs.

Knowledge and Experience

  • BA in Development, Social Studies, Humanitarian Studies, or other related fields.
  • Experience with Non-Governmental Organizations in Accountability capacity is an asset.
  • Experience with implementing multi-purpose cash projects is an asset.
  • Experience in handling a feedback channel or referrals is an asset.
  • Experience working in target areas (Bekaa and Baalbek El-Hermel) is an asset.
  • Excellent communication skills and ability to relate to people with ease and confidence.
  • The ability to patiently listen to and effectively handle participant feedback and complaints.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Fluency in Arabic is essential as well as intermediate knowledge of English.
  • Good computer literacy.

Success Factors

The successful Community Accountability and Referrals Officer will be bright, energetic, hard-working, and eager to learn. S/he will take a deep personal interest in humanitarian and development assistance. S/he will be attentive to detail and able to carry out assigned tasks in a timely manner and according to a very high standard of quality. S/he will be creative and flexible, contributing to developing and encouraging new and innovative solutions, but at the same time will not have any difficulty in adhering to systems and procedures. S/he will strictly follow all protocols related to safety and security, and holds self-accountable for making decisions, managing resources efficiently, achieving and role modeling Mercy Corps’ values.