Founded in 1933, 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. Our vision at the IRC is to be a leader in the humanitarian field by implementing high-impact, efficient programs for people affected by crisis and by using our learning and experience to craft and shape policy and practice. To achieve that vision, our Technical Excellence (TE) department provides technical support to our country staff that implement programs and shares what we learn to build and improve outcomes for our clients and to effect change in policies and influence practice in the wider humanitarian community.
IRC is one of the first humanitarian organisations to bring together specific expertise involved in violence prevention and response (VPR) in conflict affected settings to ensure collaborative and still specialized support to survivors and those at risk of violence. The Violence Prevention and Response Technical Unit (VPRU), houses expertise in the field of protection and rule of law, child protection, and women’s protection and empowerment. The VPRU provides dynamic, innovative support to IRC’s field offices and provides technical assistance, ensures innovation, promotes standard processes, and helps to improve data collection and analysis for protection programming within the organization. IRC presently implements VPR programs in over 26 countries, to support social and political environments that foster freedom from violence, discrimination, and exclusion for marginalized populations in contexts of crisis.
In times of crisis, access to justice by affected populations – whether to informal or formal justice systems – is often deprioritized. During crisis, particularly for those characterized with rights violations, there are often perceptions by humanitarian actors that the existing systems may not be of interest or even harmful to victims of violence, and can reinforce discrimination, inequality and practices of violence. And yet still, even in these situations, women, girls, boys, men, person with disabilities and LGBTQIA+ continue to seek justice through these structures. Because humanitarian actors are either unwilling or lacking capacity and understanding about how to navigate the justice mechanisms, humanitarian action tends to exclude access to justice or at best include it in a very limited way. Good practice shows that supporting effective implementation of Access to Justice (A2J) programming requires better analysis to advance links between formal and informal justice actors, while supporting those actors to be more rights protective.
In response, the IRC is launching a new initiative entitled, ‘Strengthening capacity to deliver access to justice programmes for crisis affected populations’ which aims to support access to justice analysis in formal and informal systems with linkages to operational action in prevention and response to protection risks in crisis contexts. This initiative will deliver improved protection to crisis affected people through strengthening legal protection programming and ensuring that tools are available for A2J programming in humanitarian response that are grounded in high quality needs analysis.
The project will take the global conceptual framework of A2J work and develop operational crisis response A2J tools reinforcing community driven approaches for A2J programming.The project aims to achieve two major results:
- Result 1: Strengthened capacity to understand justice systems in times of crises.
- Result 2: Adapted paralegal approach to humanitarian crises.
The project will be piloted in 3 countries from East Africa, West Africa and Middle East & North Africa (MENA) regions – with specific countries still to be determined.
Job Overview / Summary:
The Access to Justice Specialist will lead the IRC’s new Access to Justice initiative – funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) – from April 2023 – March 2025, responsible for the implementation of all key objectives and deliverables of this initiative including technical, programmatic, financial and administrative responsibilities.
The Access to Justice Specialist will be based within the Violence Prevention and Response Unit (VPRU)’s Strategy and Learning Team which focuses on the development and testing of innovative programme models and approaches; development of programming tools, guidance, curriculum and other resources; the generation of evidence through research and learning; and evidence-based advocacy to influence policy and practice in the field of violence prevention and response.
Project Management, Oversight and Coordination:
- Manage the access to justice project, providing oversight of all programmatic, financial and administrative activities and deliverables.
- Establish a core project team and initiate mechanisms for regular collaboration and coordination across VPRU.
- Actively work with relevant IRC country and headquarters staff to identify project pilot countries.
- Oversee piloting in all three pilot country locations, ensuring effective implementation and coordination.
Learning and Impact:
- Establish two project advisory groups and ensure ongoing coordination between the advisory groups and all core project team members.
- Develop and manage a Community of Practice (CoP) and support stakeholders within this space to contribute to and support key project resources and learnings.
- Package and disseminate the growing evidence base, learning, and good practices on relevant internal (Kaya Connect, IRC.org; RescueNet) and external platforms (GPC Website).
- Ensure dissemination, through the CoP and the project’s Advisory Groups of key project resources and learnings.
- Document evidence and learning from pilot locations.
- Ensure the production of quality knowledge management products (including but not limited to case studies, resource package and training materials) of the project.
- Document and share learning internally to support better access to justice in crisis program design – linking to EHAU Protection in Emergency conversations, coordinating regularly with the Violence Prevention and Response in Emergencies (VPRiE) Specialist.
Dissemination and External Representation:
- Lead IRC’s external representation for the project, including ensuring continued coordination and collaboration with external stakeholders within the relevant global humanitarian architecture and also representative organisations and local and national partners.
- Participate in external working groups, inter-agency task forces and academic conferences that focus on access to justice to improve practice, shape policies and build new and innovative approaches.
- Present IRC research findings from pilots across contexts and relevant external conferences and events.
- Track and update a workplan and spending plan for successful implementation of the Project, in coordination with the Senior Technical Advisor – Technical Innovations, STA Protection and Rule of Law, and nominated Grant Management lead.
- Contribute to programmatic donor reports, communications, and participate in meetings/calls as needed to keep the donor apprised of program progress.
Key Working Relationships
- Position reports to: Senior Technical Advisor – Technical Innovations, Strategy and Learning Team, Violence Prevention and Response Unit (VPRU)
- Position directly supervises: N/A
- Regular internal (IRC) contact with: Fellow members of the Strategy and Learning Team including the STA for Technical Innovations, STA for Protection and Rule of Law (PRoL) as well as PRoL, WPE, CP Technical Advisors for focal countries; IRC country program staff in selected pilot countries; Nominated MEL Advisor; EHAU Violence Prevention and Response in Emergencies (VPRiE) team.
- Regular external contact with: Key access to justice external stakeholders as well as engagement with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).
Skills and Experience:
- A minimum of 5 years professional experience (of which 3 years should be practical experience) in implementing and/or leading Protection & Rule of Law or Access to Justice programs is required, preferably within a humanitarian, international development setting.
- Experience working with formal and informal justice systems e.g., courts, legal aid, prosecutors, police, paralegals, and traditional justice leaders.
- Experience in elaborating strategic documents and conducting research.
- Experience in stakeholder coordination, activity design and delivery, training, and facilitation Experience:
- Expertise in program design, monitoring and evaluation, with the ability to turn concepts and strategy into measurable action.
- Strong verbal and written communication skills.
- Education: Master’s/post-graduate degree in Law or related field (international law, human rights law, judicial reform, security sector reform, international development, public policy, international relations or equivalent combination of education and experience required.
- Language: For this position, fluent oral and written English is essential. Ability to work in French or Arabic is highly desirable due to operating context of East Africa & West Africa.
- Some international travel (including to insecure environments) as needed up to 25%. When deployed, will stay in IRC approved accommodation which may include shared guesthouses.
- If home based: This role can be based remotely, with candidates working remotely full or part time (i.e., telecommuting). Applicants must have a home or alternate workspace they can effectively complete their work during regularly scheduled work hours. Home-work location must be in state and/or country where IRC is a registered employer.
- This position is required to have a flexible work-day hours to accommodate varying time zones to complete required tasks and coordination functions.
- The IRC and IRC workers must adhere to the values and principles outlined in IRC Way – Standards for Professional Conduct. These are Integrity, Equality, Service, and Accountability. In accordance with these values, the IRC operates and enforces policies on Beneficiary Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Anti Workplace Harassment, Fiscal Integrity, and Anti-Retaliation.
- We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our organization. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status. We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us to request accommodation.
This project is made possible with the generous support of the Swedish International Development Agency
How to apply