Struggling to cope with more than 10 years of conflict, displacement and climatic and health shocks that have left millions in need of humanitarian assistance, Yobe State now faces the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Nigeria on Feb. 27, 2020, the virus has spread to all corners of the country with more than 16,000 confirmed cases as of June 15, 2020. Northeast Nigeria saw its first confirmed case on April 18, 2020, and by early June 2020, more than 500 cases had been confirmed across the BAY states of Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe.
In response to the health and socio-economic threat posed by COVID-19, the Government of Nigeria (GON) has mobilized a “whole of government” response via a National COVID-19 Multi-Sectoral Pandemic Response Plan. While just 55 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in Yobe State as of June 23, 2020, the risk for extensive spread of the virus within the state is high due to the fragile humanitarian conditions, density and mobility of the population, and the limited capacity of the public health system to respond to a spike in critical health needs.
In response to the risk posed by COVID-19, Catholic Relief Services (CRS), in partnership with Nigerian NGO NIRA, will implement a nine-month emergency project designed to empower communities to protect themselves and reduce transmission of COVID-19, through a robust Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) approach, complemented by investments in water supply infrastructure in communities and at health facilities and the distribution of critical water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) NFIs necessary to engage in infection prevention and control (IPC).
- As a member of the emergency BHA / OFDA COVID-19 project team, the Community Liaison Officer (CLO) will serve as the focal point for community engagement and entry
- You will support project teams to establish and maintain relationships with community members and local leaders and monitor and report on all project activities in support of Catholic Relief Services’ (CRS) work serving the poor and vulnerable
- Your thorough and service-oriented approach will ensure that the project consistently applies best practices and constantly works towards improving the impact of its benefits to those we serve.
Roles and Key Responsibilities
- Support the coordination and implementation of all assigned community engagement activities as outlined in the detailed implementation plan in line with CRS program quality principles and standards, donor requirements, and good practices.
- Facilitate participatory community activities as needed to engage end-users in programming decisions;
- Facilitate the development of the project Risk Communication and Community Engagement plan and overall communication plan and its implementation, coordinating closely with accountability team members and project management;Monitor and report any challenges and/or gaps identified to inform adjustments to plans and implementation schedules. Assist partners in their efforts to reflect on project experiences related to community engagement.
- Coordinate communication and facilitate information sharing among the project team, local partners, and project beneficiaries at the community level.
- Liaise with various community stakeholders and mobilize them to ensure full involvement of community leaders, community representatives, and local government representatives in the overall implementation and improvement of project activities.
- Support the CRS and partner field teams to identify community entry points, potential conflict triggers related to program activities and devise mitigating measures where needed.
- Build capacity among CRS and partner staff in the area of community engagement and effective communication techniques for trust and relationship building.
- In coordination with the project team support capacity building events for community representatives.
- Compile data provided at the community level as per project requirements and contribute to the preparation of reports.
- Develop and maintained a community stakeholder directory to include but not limited to key contacts in the community, local community based organization groups, local government agencies and humanitarian workers.
Supervisory Responsibilities: None
Key Working Relationships:
- Internal: RCCE Officer, WASH Team Leader, WASH Officer, Program Manager, Head of Office for Yobe State, MEAL staff, Operations staff.
- External: Works collaboratively with partner counterparts per LGA, as well as other stakeholders including focal points from local partners, local leaders and representatives of other local stakeholder groups, government offices, health facilities, non-governmental organizations and other agencies in field locations
Education and Experience:
- High School Diploma required. Bachelor’s Degree preferred
- Minimum of three years experience working in project support and community engagement
- Experience required working with international NGOs in the area of emergency response
- Familiarity with health and WASH programming desirable.
- Demonstrated high-level interpersonal and communication skills.
- Experience in participatory action planning and community engagement.
- Ability to work effectively under pressure and to organize and prioritize a variety of initiatives.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSAs):
- Observation, active listening and analysis skills with ability to make sound judgment.
- Good relationship management skills and the ability to work closely with local partners, community members and government partners.
- General knowledge of local and state government practices
- Well-developed knowledge of local community cultures, leaders, customs and practices through prior involvement in the community. Additional experience may substitute for some education.
- Attention to details, accuracy and timeliness in executing assigned responsibilities
- Proactive, results-oriented and service-oriented.
- Experience using MS Windows and MS Office packages (Excel, Word, PowerPoint).
- Experience monitoring projects and collecting relevant data preferred.
- Experience implementing projects through local partners.
- English and Hausa required; Fulani, Kanuri and/or other local languages are a plus.
- Must be willing and able to travel up to 70% of the time to field locations in Gujba, Damaturu and Potiskum LGAs throughout the work-week.
Agency-wide Competencies (for all CRS Staff):
These are rooted in the mission, values, and guiding principles of CRS and used by each staff member to fulfill his or her responsibilities and achieve the desired results:
- Continuous Improvement & Innovation
- Builds Relationships
- Develops Talent
- Strategic Mindset
- Accountability & Stewardship.