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Mental Health & Psychosocial Support Technical Advisor

Burwood East

*Preferred location: Australia. Other locations to be determined by home country of successful candidate in a jurisdiction (US state or country) where WVI is registered to operate.


Lead World Vision (WV) in promoting understanding of mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) issues, principles, policy and practice.

Develop and strengthen MHPSS capacity in WV and partner organizations through training, development and dissemination of resources, and mentoring of field based staff.

Act as focal point in WVI to GC DM and Sustainable Health, Child Protection, donors, UN Agencies including WHO, UNICEF, UNHCR, the coordination bodies for MHPSS, academic and research institutions, and MHPSS organizations etc. to position WVI as a credible actor and partner.

Provide field based MHPSS technical project management, advice and capacity through deployment during humanitarian emergencies and protracted crisis in addition to reviewing proposals that have MHPSS in close collaboration with Regional and National GAM units.

Contribute to improving global MHPSS policy, practice and resources through quality analysis, dialogue and documentation and dissemination of field-based research /practice.


Emergency Response:

Provide sector leadership and management of timely and appropriate MHPSS and related activities. This will include the following:

  • Oversee the inclusion of MHPSS issues in assessments to identify a robust MHPSS response, as a standalone program and/or integrated into Children in emergencies/protection, Health, Nutrition or Livelihoods programs.

  • Lead the design and implementation of MHPSS programs and ensure monitoring of frameworks are understood and effective in meeting MHPSS needs of affected populations.

  • Strategically engage with Donors and other partners in an Emergency Response to ensure that WV is positioned as a viable partner for MHPSS programs.

  • Manage MHPSS programs including associated project staff and promote technical excellence in the application of minimum standards including core humanitarian standards, Sphere, IASC guidelines and ensure cross cutting themes are incorporated into design.

  • Engage Program Officers and other Sector leads (Child Protection, Livelihoods, WASH, etc) ensure that MHPSS is integrated in all programming in emergencies.

  • Lead discussions on ERF and HRP process to strengthen financial portfolio supporting MHPSS in early stages of emergency.

  • Manage and guide the budgeting processes for MHPSS during the design and program implementation in close coordination with the finance Manager.

  • Develop key messaging in emergencies for media and operational teams as related to MHPSS and ensure that this are adequately disseminated.

  • Lead in recruitment process for MHPSS qualified local and expatriate staff to implement MHPSS or integrated programmes.

  • As a member of the Response Operations team, participate in all Operations meetings and update the response leadership on issues and key actions related to MHPSS at operations meetings and with advocacy and communication issues.

  • Represent WV at key coordination forums such as within the Response Clusters or working groups and/or national, local government and civil society planning meetings; Ensure that WV work and plans are well articulated and included in all reports including 4Ws.

  • Document and share lessons learned, best practice and experiences from deployment back to partnership and externally when relevant to influence policy and future programming.

Capacity Building and Talent Pool Management:

  • Ensure MHPSS competencies are identified and transferred across the organisation and develop capacity building options to ensure skill transfer, capacity building and the implementation of evidence-based MHPSS interventions/programs.

  • Develop Capacity Building curriculum on MHPSS/PFA and facilitate training opportunities for relevant staff and/or interagency partners with a special focus on RDMTs.

  • Working with Sustainable Health, and child protection and participation groups to find linkages within the health project models to include appropriate MHPSS interventions and skills.

  • Working with other sector staff across WV partnership to raise the issue of MHPSS, and the importance of PFA skills for all staff and community leaders. This includes, health, nutrition, protection, child protection, education, livelihoods and economic development.

  • Develop Guidance notes and training materials as appropriate for National Office (NO), Regional Office (RO) and Global Centre (GC).

Strategy Development and Evidence base:

  • Lead the processes of conducting technical analysis development and implementation of research for best practiced MHPSS designs and applications to WVI humanitarian projects.

  • Through collaborating with health, children in emergencies and conflict focused sector specialists to identify successful evidence based MHPSS programs for adaption in context appropriate programs in partnership with global, regional and local health agencies.

  • Through the production of high quality reviews, analyses and reports and/or secondary research about the application of MHPSS initiatives and practices in programming.

  • Through development of systems and reporting mechanisms for surveillance, field investigations, real time evaluation and post project evaluations to test the effectiveness and impact of MHPSS initiatives and practices.

Networking and Partnerships:

  • Represent the organization effectively in key forums (Global and regional working groups, UN and academic forum and other MHPSS related organizations) and build and maintain these networks.

  • Oversee inputs to the WV partnership for MHPSS within the HEA. Child Wellbeing and Rights and Health CoPs and the appointed MHPSS IG coordinator. Encourage active participation in CoP meetings and represent DM MHPSS issues.

  • Participation in Global Forums to disseminate this information e.g. international and regional conferences, CoP meetings.

  • Being WVI representative on interagency coordination bodies on MPHSS.

  • Development of partnerships with organizations and agencies to fund and implement MHPSS or integrated programs.


  • Post graduate qualification in relevant discipline (e.g. psychology, clinical social work, psychiatry, psychiatric nursing etc.)

  • Demonstrated knowledge of MHPSS principles and practice in low-resource settings.

  • Demonstrated knowledge about how MHPSS principles and practice can be applied ethically and appropriately in humanitarian and cross-cultural contexts.

  • Demonstrated knowledge of the UN humanitarian reform and cluster system, institution of the UN system and policies and guidelines related to humanitarian affairs.

  • Demonstrated knowledge of current humanitarian discourse and research in the area of MHPSS, including sound knowledge and understanding of how to use and implement the IASC MHPSS Guidelines for MHPSS in emergency settings (IASC, 2008).

  • Strong understanding of context and conflict issues in Complex humanitarian emergencies.

  • Demonstrated experience in developing and facilitating training across different cultures and language contexts.

  • Demonstrated ability to lead rigorous research design, implementation, data analysis and reporting, including knowledge of quantitative (statistical) and qualitative research methodologies/analyses.

  • 10 years’ experience in leadership in the humanitarian sector, and involvement in assessment, design, monitoring, evaluation, and project management.

  • Proven track record in project design and implementation.

  • Proven track record of field-based research design, implementation, analysis and report write-up.

  • Preference for publication history in mental health (or related) peer review journals.

  • Demonstrated ability to participate in technical dialogues with relevant stakeholders, including government officials and global MHPSS networks, including psychiatric and psychology professionals.

  • Strong computer literacy.

  • Acceptability to be registered with national practicing body for profession (psychologist, Social Worker, nursing etc).

  • Effective in written and verbal communication in English.

  • Knowledge of French, Arabic or other UN language an advantage.

Preferred Skills, Knowledge and Experience:

  • Training qualification.

  • Experience in developing advocacy strategies.

  • Ability to use statistical packages for research and data analysis.

  • Ability to value various mental health intervention approaches and willingness to comply with international ethical and practice guidance’s.

  • Experience in managing diverse teams.

  • Ability to manage multiple grants.

Work Environment/Travel:

  • The position requires ability and willingness to travel domestically and internationally up to 40% of the time.

  • Ability to work in difficult and hostile environments.

  • Have completed hostile environment or security training.