Project Coordinator (Sexual Exploitation and Abuse), Damascus, Syria

Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund

Country: Syria

City: Damascus, Syria

Office: UNICEF Damascus, Syria

Grade: P-4

Closing date: Tuesday, 23 February 2021

Project Coordinator (Sexual Exploitation and Abuse), P4, Damascus, Syria #115634 (Temporary Appointment)

Job no: 537834

Position type: Temporary Appointment

Location: Syrian Arab Rep Division/Equivalent: Amman(MENA)

School/Unit: Syria

Department/Office: Damascus, Syria

Categories: P-4

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential.

Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone.

And we never give up.

For every child, Protection

Sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) in humanitarian crises are global problems. They violate not only the physical integrity and security of the individual victims but also their dignity and self-worth. They are a consequence of unequal power relationships; a dynamic that is often exacerbated during humanitarian crises, which are often characterized by widespread and systematic violence, mass displacement, and the breakdown in traditional family structures and social, legal, governance and value systems. Women and children constitute the overwhelming majority of victims of SEA

The economic and social inequalities affecting women and children, in particular, put them at higher risk of exploitation by those in positions of power. Sexual exploitation and abuse, in humanitarian crises and elsewhere, reflect a variety of failures or omissions attributable to a range of responsible actors and institutions. They represent a failure to uphold basic rights to protection. In institutional terms, sexual exploitation and abuse by humanitarian staff represents a failure on the part of humanitarian agencies, whose stated role is to provide protection and care, deeply undermining the implicit public trust placed in humanitarian actors. The potential for SEA against women and children affected by conflict and crisis across the Middle East and North Africa region is extremely high and thus requires specialized, dedicated support to Country Offices.

The UN recognizes its role and responsibility, in fulfilling its mandate, to guard or protect vulnerable persons from sexual and other exploitation and abuse and to address such violations appropriately in its work. The UN aims at ensuring that its staff and implementing partners do not abuse their power and influence to exploit and harm others. Child safeguarding, including Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA), is an issue at the core of our business. As a humanitarian agency dedicated to child rights, we consider all cases of sexual exploitation and abuse extremely seriously and take all steps necessary to safeguard children within our operations. The UN has a zero-tolerance policy towards SEA.

The Syria inter-agency Network for the Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SIAN-PSEA) was revitalized in 2018. The Network operates under the auspices of the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator (RC/HC), who has the ultimate responsibility on interâagency PSEA, and the Chairpersonship of the UNICEF and UNHCR’s Representatives to ensure system-wide accountability, prevent and respond to SEA and protect vulnerable persons from such violations in the course of implementing UN programmes.

Find out how UNICEF programmes drives change for children and young people every day, in Syria by visiting this:

How can you make a difference?

The Project Coordinator will directly report to the UNICEF Representative - with direct engagement with the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator and her/his Office, as well as a dotted reporting line to the co-lead for PSEA (UNHCR Representative). The Project Coordinator will be responsible for PSEA related inter-agency coordination, capacity building, reporting, as well as tasks related to the UN and Partners‘ complaint mechanism.

The Project Coordinator will lead the development of he UN PSEA Action Plan, which focuses on scaling up and taking forward the UN’s prevention and response efforts to sexual exploitation and abuse, and coordinate its implementation. The plan should include comprehensive and robust PSEA prevention activities, measures to facilitate a rapid, effective response to alleged PSEA cases by agencies, (including reporting protocols, referral to investigation entities, and ensuring appropriate victim support). The incumbent will coordinate the PSEA Task-force under the leadership of the co-chairs, participating in other relevant inter-agency bodies and making contributions to inter-agency PSEA response and monitoring, liaising with UN senior management at national, regional and international levels on the same. The Project Coordinator should also maximize the collaboration amongst agencies so as to maximize effectiveness and efficiency gains in the implementation.

Additionally, in support of the UNHCR and UNICEF co-chairs of the PSEA In-Country Network, the Project Coordinator will also provide substantive support to ensure that PSEA is meaningfully addressed at UNCT and HCT meetings. The Project Coordinator will present regular reports to the RC/HC and the Co-Chairs, including quarterly reports to the UNCT and/or HCT.


Overall Coordination of the PSEA Inter-Country Network (ICN):

Coordinate the Network under the supervision of the Co-Chairs, represents the ICN in relevant coordination bodies and other fora, reports on Network activities to the RC/HC, Co-Chairs, UNCT and HCT, develops and oversees a mechanism for anonymized data/trend analysis;
Liaise with partners and national counterparts; and advising stakeholders on good practices to support effective PSEA implementation; Support the implementation of the Network’s joint activities and work plan, under the leadership of the co-chairs;
Work closely with key national stakeholders and UN organizations, supports the establishment of further inter-agency coordination mechanisms on PSEA where needed;
Act as a liaison and focal point for engagement with key national stakeholders on SEA prevention and response;
Regularly update and liaise with regional and global bodies to ensure awareness of global developments and good practices in PSEA, and up-to-date understanding of actions taken to prevent and respond to SEA in Syria.

Capacity building and provision of technical support: Coordinate and provide technical support for the timely implementation of the UNCT PSEA Action Plan by agencies, including by developing and harmonizing training materials, providing training to UN and partners PSEA focal points, leading the production and dissemination of inter-agency technical guidance, tools and resources. Measures to be rolled out through the plan will include

Streamline / strengthening community engagement including through awareness raising activities and the establishment and roll out of community-based complaint mechanisms;
Support prevention and capacity building activities to raise awareness and capacity of UN staff and Implementing partners to ensure adherence to SEA codes of conduct;
Coordinate among members of the Inter-Country Network and support to conduct SEA related assessments, making full use of existing risk management tools (Misconduct Risk Management Tools; Sexual Exploitation and abuse Risk Management Toolkit) and ensure that risks of sexual exploitation and abuse, where present, are managed and mitigated

Support advocacy efforts for PSEA to be a priority throughout humanitarian and non-humanitarian programming and support actors across the response to embed SEA risk assessment and mitigation in project design, implementation, and monitoring.

Strengthen internal response mechanisms to have regular monitoring field systems, investigation and reporting procedures in place, and implement the Uniform Protocol on the provision of assistance to victims of sexual exploitation and abuse.

Mainstream the PSEA capacity strengthening across agencies and leverage specific strengths of agencies to improve prevention, awareness and reporting on PSEA across the board.

Advise on any PSEA-related issues that require immediate action and advocacy.

Reporting and Complaint Mechanism:

Reporting on ICN activities and anonymized complaint information to the RC/HC, Co-Chairs, UNCT and HCT.

Tags child rights codes of conduct displacement good practices human rights information management international law middle east north africa reporting procedures risk assessment risk management social sciences vulnerable populations

Working closely with key national stakeholders and UN organizations, support the establishment of an inter-agency mechanisms on PSEA complaints and response.

Support to establish an inter-agency community-based complaint mechanism (CBCM) by linking the Network members‘ complaint and feedback mechanisms (CFMs) through agreed Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) on inter-agency complaint referral, in line with the Global SOPs, linked also to broader efforts on Accountability to Affected Populations.

Jointly map existing SEA complaint and feedback mechanisms (CFMs) of partners and counterparts in Syria to identify where there are gaps in the affected population’s safe access to report SEA. Based on the mapping outcomes and informed by community preferences, establish new entry points to fill the gaps in reporting access, so that there are safe, accessible, and contextually appropriate channels for any member of the community to reporting sensitive allegations, including vulnerable populations.

Keep a confidential record of the SEA allegations in a secure database maintained by the PSEA Coordinator or other staff designated by senior leadership in the CBCM SOPs. This includes complaints made directly to the PSEA Coordinator, complaints referred through the complaint referral pathways, and complaints handled through members‘ internal reporting mechanisms.

Victim/Survivor assistance:

Liaise with the GBV sub-sector to ensure that GBV strategies, workplans and referral pathways fully include and respond to the specific needs of SEA survivors.

Ensure that mapping of critical services is regularly undertaken and ensure that all UN led programs are aware of how to refer survivors to critical survivor assistance in country.


Coordinate and foster harmonization of sensitization activities on SEA in communities- build capacity of UN staff in also conducting similar activities across programmatic response. Identify opportunities across UN programmes for community sensitization, risk assessment and capacity building on SEA.


Support and advise the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, the UNICEF and UNHCR Representatives on the reporting of SEA allegations through the internal Notification Alert; Ensure SEA reporting mechanism and protocols are clearly understood by all UN staff and Implementing partner. The incumbent may also receive complaints and reports about alleged SEA (from staff, partners, community members, other) based on agreed reporting lines, and in adherence to global reporting obligations. Once a complaint is received, ensure that all information pertaining to complaints and reporting is handled and referred strictly in line with agreed protocols and the established global and Syria specific SOPs in place, both within an agency and at an interagency level.

Information Management:

Develop and present options and recommendations to the UN RC/HC, the Co-Chairs, the UNCT and the HCT for the establishment of a system for collecting, analysing and sharing PSEA data, coordinate the establishment of the system once agreed.

Knowledge Generation & Planning:

Document best PSEA practices and lessons learnt in Syria, in order to better inform ongoing PSEA work.

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have...

Advanced university degree or equivalent in International Development, Human Rights, International Law, public health, the social sciences or other relevant field related to GBViE in emergency programming.

A minimum of 8 years of professional experience in coordinating and/or designing, implementation and management of protection, GBV and PSEA strategies and activities, preferably with the UN.

Inter-agency coordination experience

Experience working in humanitarian contexts.

Familiarity with the latest development in PSEA, inter-agency PSEA responses and humanitarian cluster systems is an asset.

Fluency in English is required. Fluency in Arabic is an asset

For every Child, you demonstrate...

UNICEF’s values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA) and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.

The UNICEF competencies required for this post are:

Leading and supervising (I)

Formulating strategies/concepts (II)

Analyzing (III)

Relating and networking (II)

Deciding and initiating action (II)

Applying Technical Expertise )

To view our competency framework, please visit here.

Click here to learn more about UNICEF’s values and competencies.

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.

UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.


The VA is open to all (internal and external candidates).

Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.

Contract Duration; 364 days Temporary Appointment

Advertised: Feb 10 2021 Syria Standard Time Application close: Feb 23 2021 Syria Standard Time