Reconciliation and Social Cohesion Officer at the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS)

The Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) is an international non-governmental organisation with a mission to accompany, serve, and advocate for the rights of refugees and forcibly displaced people. The organisation was founded in November 1980 and has a presence in over 50 countries. JRS undertakes services at national and regional levels with the support and guidance of an international office in Rome. The style of JRS service is human and spiritual, working in situations of greatest need, seeking the long-term wellbeing of refugees and displaced persons, while not neglecting their immediate or urgent needs. JRS offers opportunities to a wide variety of staff, local and international, while maintaining a realistic and localised scheme of salary/stipend, insurance, etc.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Reconciliation and Social Cohesion Officer

Location: Abuja

Job Summary

  • The JRS Reconciliation and Social Cohesion officer is responsible for coordinating and implementing reconciliation projects.
  • The RSC officer works in constant collaboration and consultation with other members of the JRS Country/Project Office, JRS International Reconciliation Team and under the supervision of the Head of Programs.
  • The overall vision of JRS projects is to “recreate right relationships” and to strengthen the capacity of JRS teams, refugees and host communities to facilitate reconciliation processes to this end.
  • Another key aim of this approach is to enhance the conflict sensitivity of all of JRS’ presence and programming and to explore how to integrate reconciliation in all that JRS is and does.
  • The JRS approach to reconciliation is faith-based, which means drawing on the faith of refugees and host communities – as appropriate – to advance the vision of reconciled relationships.To do this, the Officer will be guided by the vision and principles of the JRS International Reconciliation Program and of the JRS mission overall.
  • The Officer will adapt the JRS reconciliation principles and training methodology to context, by drawing on her/his own knowledge and experience, by appreciating and learning from local practices for conflict resolution, and by consulting local resource persons sourced together with the country and/or project directors and international reconciliation team.

Key Responsibilities of the Position

Responsibilities at the Project Level
Planning:

  • Coordinate and help to conduct assessments to identify dividers and connectors, risks and opportunities facing refugees and host community, especially those groups reached by JRS.
  • Based on the findings of the assessment, to give extensive input to identify community stakeholders (target groups) for the design of a reconciliation project and to prepare an action plan, working in close collaboration with the country office and project staff and international reconciliation team.
  • Network with others, especially umbrella agencies, NGOs working on peacebuilding, and other stakeholders to complement one another’s work and avoid overlap. Prepare periodic project implementation reports (quarterly, bi-annually, and annually) and share them with the above-mentioned colleagues.
  • Liaise with the country programs officer and international reconciliation team to collect data for monitoring and evaluation in line with the JRS MEAL system and the principles-focused approach of the International Reconciliation Program.

Working with colleagues in JRS:

  • Build the knowledge, skills, and attitudes for reconciliation of the local JRS team.
  • Together with colleagues who cover other programmatic areas (e.g., education or MHPSS), develop a plan for each one to systematically integrate conflict-sensitivity and reconciliation components in all their activities, with emphasis on creating safe and shared spaces;
  • Build and lead a reconciliation team comprised of incentive workers drawn from the identified refugee groups and from the host community.
  • Regularly share information about the progress and challenges of the reconciliation work and invite observations and suggestions from others.
  • Form part of the JRS international reconciliation network and take part in meetings to build capacity and share experiences and lessons learned.

Working with the refugee and host communities:

  • Contact selected community stakeholders (target groups) and build a relationship of trust with them.
  • Strengthen their capacity to mitigate and resolve communal conflicts and proactively promote reconciliation by organizing regular training, either conducting workshops personally or sourcing resource persons.
  • Accompany and support/mobilize the stakeholders to take steps to proactively prevent and/or address conflicts that arise, and to promote reconciliation through education and awareness. This might entail helping to establish platforms for shared action and facilitating regular meetings and planning;
  • Organize awareness-raising activities that invite members of divided groups (e.g., refugees among themselves or refugee and host communities) to come together in friendship, setting a timetable of events that celebrate the diversity of nations, cultures, and religions.
  • Facilitate reconciliation processes between divided groups, including opportunities for encounter, dialogue, storytelling, and shared activities, to build trust, understanding, and appreciation of shared humanity; restore hope; and heal wounds.
  • Together with other members of the JRS team, keep exploring the possibility of further interventions that bring together members of divided groups.

Required Profile
Qualification:

  • Minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree or its equivalent in Reconciliation, Peacebuilding, Conflict Resolution, or related discipline. A Master’s Degree in any related field will be an added advantage.

Experience and Skills:

  • Experience (at least 3 years) working in project management in the humanitarian field.
  • Proven experience in working with people and teams from resource-constrained and conflict-affected environments.
  • Experience of and commitment to working with marginalized communities and groups
  • Excellent knowledge and fluency in English
  • Strong knowledge and skills related to reconciliation.
  • Ability to convince others of the need for reconciliation.
  • Ability to translate the rhetoric of reconciliation into practice.
  • Ability to translate accountability into practice by creating opportunities and safe spaces to share feedback.
  • Excellent communication/interpersonal skills
  • Strong facilitation, training, and team-building skills
  • Strong organization and coordination skills
  • Strong skills in conflict assessment and analysis, including the ability to gather and analyze information in creative and participatory ways, the ability to understand and use conflict analysis tools, and to accurately record conversations and discussions, both content and outcomes
  • Solid knowledge of project-cycle management as well as skills in project design, with the ability to identify links between programming and conflict, and to develop theories of change.
  • Strong skills in monitoring and evaluation
  • Strong knowledge of, or willingness to learn principles-focused approach to program design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.
  • Strong skills in report and proposal writing.
  • Familiarity with the Do No Harm (DNH), SPHERE, and other key standards and how they interact with conflict sensitivity and with the reconciliation principles.
  • Experience with virtual learning environments and/or the aptitude to learn to use a new LMS.
  • Ability to work proficiently with Microsoft Office

Qualities:

  • Adhere to JRS values and abide by the code of conduct and other policies.
  • Commitment to JRS mission, vision and values; ability to convey with enthusiasm JRS’ role in accompanying and serving forcibly displaced people and to advocate for their right to protection and a life in dignity.
  • High integrity, honesty, and confidentiality; ability to deal tactfully and discreetly with people, situations and information.
  • Acceptance of diversity and inclusion as a core value.
  • Respect for the role played by faith in the lives of communities and individuals served, and for the faith-based identity of JRS.
  • Ability and experience to work in a multi-cultural environment, with strong cultural and inter-religious sensitivity and understanding.
  • Sensitivity to circumstances, situations, and people.
  • People-centered, encouraging equitable participation and inclusivity.
  • Awareness that programming could inadvertently contribute to conflict.
  • Critical self-awareness of how identity affects perception and of one’s own biases.
  • Humility and open-mindedness, as regards the diversity of views, the need for change, ability to embrace complexity
  • Flexibility in work hours as needed, including some evenings and weekends.

Application Closing Date
23rd April, 2023 (Before the Close of Bussines)

How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should send their Cover Letter and CV to: vacancies.nigeriahr@jrs.net usinf the Job Title as the subject of the email.

Note: Applications sent after the deadline shall not be considered.

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Peter Hezekiah Lawson (Sir Pee). The CEO of onlineproject.com.ng. A reputable researcher, Web Developer, ICT Instructor and a publisher of many research works in Education.