Mental Health Technical Advisor

Job Type

Full Time


Details: Up to $1 per year



Start Date:


Application Deadline:



New York
New York
United States


Requisition ID: req1575

Job Title: Mental Health Technical Advisor

Sector: Health

Employment Category: Regular

Employment Type: Full-Time

Location: USA-New York, NY - HQ

Job Description

Background/IRC Summary:

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) responds to the world's worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive and rebuild their lives. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC offers lifesaving care and life-changing assistance to refugees forced to flee from war or disaster. At work today in over 40 countries and 22 U.S. cities, we restore safety, dignity and hope to millions who are uprooted and struggling to endure. The IRC leads the way from harm to home.

The IRC's vision is to lead the humanitarian field by implementing high-impact, cost-effective programs for people affected by crisis and by using our learning and experience to shape policy and practice. To achieve that vision, the IRC's Program Quality Unit (PQU) provides technical assistance to IRC's country program staff and shares what we learn to influence policy and practice.

The Program Quality Unit has three central objectives that we work towards:

1) Guide program design to achieve outcomes by incorporating the best available evidence

2) Build technical capacity of country program staff to implement, measure and continuously improve programs

3) Influence the IRC, peer agencies and donors to use proven interventions and generate new evidence to achieve change in peoples' lives

The Program Quality Unit is comprised of seven technical Units, all of which have deep expertise in their respective sectors: Education, Economic Wellbeing, Gender Equality, Governance, Health, Violence Prevention and Response, and Research Evaluation and Learning (REL).

The health technical unit is organized in four sectors; primary health, reproductive health, environmental health and nutrition. The structure emphasizes a clear division of roles between technical assistance core and important functions versus other specialized support/thought leadership functions in order to best meet the needs of country programs and regions. The health technical unit supports programming in 6 regions and 27 countries.

Specific Responsibilities:

The Mental Health Technical Advisor (TA) will work as a regular and will spend at least 80% of their time delivering technical assistance in-person and remotely to country program colleagues, and coordinating mental health support within the health unit and in collaboration with other units as the violence prevention and response unit, education and research and learning. This is a primarily field facing position with the central responsibility focused on program quality. The remaining 20% of their time is spent on influence, advocacy, research, internal initiatives, at the discretion of their supervisors. The Technical Advisors' specific responsibilities are as follows:

Engaging in business development and program design:

  • Support country program staff to design programs and projects, ensuring that they are
    • Aligned with the IRC's 2020 strategy, which includes supporting country program staff with contextualizing outcomes and the theories of change, and selecting interventions based on the best available evidence and the local context;
    • Support selection of indicators for country programs
    • Review technical quality of proposals, including review of technical mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) strategies, interventions and activities and ensuring alignment to IRC's outcomes
  • Input into go / no go decisions on proposals
  • When necessary, write technical narratives of proposals
  • Provide input on budgets required for project delivery
  • Engage with donors and do outreach in support of country programs

Building technical capacity of country program staff to ensure ongoing program quality and innovation:

  • Conduct technical MHPSS training and ongoing technical coaching for country program staff, including on IRC outcomes, theories of change, evidence and indicators
  • Share cross-context learning with country program staff across the region
  • Support senior country program staff recruitment and onboarding

Project delivery support:

  • Work with country program colleagues and the Primary Health technical advisors to help analyze data to inform course correction as-needed
  • Review and share program-specific tools/resources/curricula and work with technical unit specialists to contextualize and adapt global and country-specific material
  • Help define approach to teaming/partnering with other organizations

Management and Coordination:

  • Coordinate and plan with country coordinators and primary health care technical advisors the technical assistance country programs receive.
  • Provide necessary management support to any direct report.


  • Represent the Health Technical Unit and the IRC in academic fora, donor meetings, inter-agency working groups, and various global/regional fora as assigned by the supervisor.
  • Participate in and advise on strategic initiatives, and participate in joint initiatives with other IRC technical units as agreed upon by the supervisor (e.g., outcomes and evidence, measurement, context adaptability, best use of resources, emergency preparedness, client voice and choice and research and development).

Key Working Relationships:

Position Reports to: Senior Technical Advisor for Primary Health Care located in New York

Position directly supervises: This position could potentially supervise mental health staff or interns.

Other Internal and/or external contacts:Internal: Regular communication with education, violence prevention and response, health, economic recovery & development, governance, research, evaluation and learning, and gender equality technical unit teams. Close relationships with regional and country program teams. Interacts with IRC internal departments, including business development, external relations and advocacy departments, to keep them informed of program activities.

External: Serve as IRC program representative in outside regional meetings and global meetings and academic forums with donors, other non-governmental organizations, inter-agency groups and foundations.

Job Qualifications:

Education: Psychologist/Psychiatrist with Masters of Public Health.

Work Experience: A minimum of 5 years of international field experience, of which at least 3 in managerial/coordination positions with Non-Governmental Organizations in humanitarian or post-conflict settings. Experience in technical tools and materials development and monitoring and evaluation is highly desired. Experience in strategy development and working across sectors or disciplines is highly desired.

Demonstrated Skills and Competencies: Demonstrated expertise in working with donors, project design, proposal development, and monitoring and evaluation, with the ability to turn concepts and strategy into measurable action. Able to work with remote, multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary teams. Strong interpersonal verbal and written communication skills and ability to facilitate collaboration. Outstanding capacity to understand the country context, portfolio, and overall programmatic needs, and pull and coordinate the relevant technical assistance from within and outside the health unit. Ability to transfer technical knowledge and skills. Demonstrated commitment to renewing and maintaining currency with best practices.

Language Skills: Fluency in English required; proficiency in French and Arabic is desired/an advantage.

Working Environment: Up to 30% travel may be required. This position will be based in New York.

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

Master's degree

How To Apply