Anticipatory Action Specialist – Kenya

Background/IRC Summary:

The International Rescue Committee (IRC), responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people survive, recover and gain control of their future. The IRC is working to improve the safety, health, education, economic well-being and power of people in crisis affected places. The IRC’s Technical Excellence (TE) department provides technical assistance to IRC’s country program staff and shares what we learn to influence policy and practice. The TE units support technical assistance through the following ways:

  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 Economic Recovery and Development Technical Unit (ERD TU) is responsible for supporting the development, implementation, and monitoring of client-centered programs such as, but not limited to, cash and voucher assistance (CVA), rural & agricultural livelihoods, and enterprise development and employment promotion. The TU’s technical assistance to this wide variety of programs ensures quality and use of evidence-based practices; promotes innovation, diversity, equity, and inclusion; and drives data-based management and decision making.

Specific Responsibilities:

The Anticipatory Action (AA) Specialist will provide support and technical leadership to the IRC on advancing Anticipatory Action partnerships, projects and research activities. The AA Specialist will work in close collaboration with the Airbel Impact Lab, Crisis Response Recovery & Development Unit, the Emergency Humanitarian Access Unit to drive a strategy to scale anticipatory action across the organization and conduct ongoing research and learning around effectiveness.

The AA Specialist specific responsibilities are as follows:

In select contexts, support in the scoping & development of AA Protocols

  • Analyze existing vulnerability and disaster risk information to identify climatic and other risks to the achievement of IRC outcomes.
  • Consolidate early warning information on the priority risks and support the selection of key indicators for primary climate risks.
  • Identify early warning triggers, i.e. the risk level thresholds beyond which financial resources should be rapidly allocated to prevent and mitigate the impact of a forecasted hazard
  • Formulate crisis timelines overlaying seasonality & impact information to identify timings for early warning and anticipatory action.
  • Define, with support of IRC program staff and emergency teams, the protocols and standard operating procedures for linking early warning to anticipatory action, including precise roles and responsibilities for risk monitoring and implementation.
  • Support the operational and timely implementation of AA at country level by conducting field missions, advising on appropriate actions and operational arrangements.
  • Lead efforts to embed AA into IRC country program Emergency Preparedness Plans.
  • Support the AA Impact Assessment including outcomes, cost efficiency & return on investment (ROI).

Lead collaboration efforts with key partners

  • Manage global partnerships with AA implementers & represent the IRC in AA fora such as the Anticipation Hub.
  • Support program & emergency teams to strengthen partnerships and inter-agency efforts on AA at a country level. This includes fostering collaboration on early warning (e.g. common triggers, joint alerts and appeals) as well as coordinated anticipatory action implementation on the ground.
  • Support efforts to engage donors and new partners on the AA agenda.
  • Externally represent and for advocate AA with local stakeholders

Lead Anticipatory Action capacity building and communication efforts

  • Support efforts to institutionalize AA internally with IRC leadership and externally with key humanitarian and development partners
  • Support capacity building activities at country level with IRC program and emergency staff as well as partners

Key Working Relationships:

Position Jointly Reports to: Deputy Director Cash & Markets, and Deputy Director Livelihoods

Position directly supervises: n/a

Other Internal and/or external contacts:


  • Regular communication and collaboration with other units and teams such as country programs, regional emergency coordinators, technical and research teams

Job Qualifications:


  • Advanced (Masters) degree or University (Bachelor) degree in Geophysical Hazards, Early Warning, Risk Analysis, Disaster Risk Management or closely related field;

Work Experience:

  • For advanced degree at least five (5) years of relevant work experience in the humanitarian sectors including work experience with national and international NGO’s, UN agencies and governments;
  • For university degree at least seven (7) years of relevant work experience in the humanitarian sector including work experience with national and international NGO’s, UN agencies and governments;
  • Previous experience in AA is required

Demonstrated Skills and Competencies:

  • Experience or familiarity with climate risk surveillance or monitoring systems, post-disaster needs recovery, risk and hazards mapping and / or profiling and market analysis.
  • Strong analytical skills, results interpretation, and communication for wide ranges of data and information users.
  • Knowledge of emergency basic needs programming and/or resiliency programming.
  • Experience on CVA and/or social assistance activities design, implementation and monitoring is highly preferred.
  • Experience working in fragile contexts will be an added advantage.
  • Outstanding capacity to understand the humanitarian system, operating context, and pull and coordinate the relevant technical resources from within and outside the IRC.
  • Knowledge of humanitarian principles and SPHERE standards.
  • Ability to adapt to an evolving and complex humanitarian context and within multidisciplinary and different cultural background teams.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with stakeholders at multiple levels.
  • Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written.
  • Coordination skills with strong individual planning capacity.
  • Demonstrated dedication to an anti-racist and Do No Harm approach, gender equality and inclusion.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills involving listening to, interacting with, and communicating clearly with people from diverse nationalities and backgrounds with a high degree of professionalism and pro-activity.
  • Capacity to work flexible hours, as appropriate to accommodate for different time zones
  • Solid organizational skills: proficiency in working productively under remote team and management structures
  • Proficiency with Windows-based software (MS Office, Teams) and cloud storage systems such as BOX

Language Skills: Fluency in English, while fluency in French, Arabic, or Spanish is a benefit.

Working Environment: Up to 70% travel may be required. This position will be based in London, Nairobi, Dakar

Standards for professional conduct and commitment to equality:

The IRC and IRC workers must adhere to the values and principles outlined in IRC Way – Standards for Professional Conduct. These are Integrity, Service, Equality, and Accountability. In accordance with these values, the IRC operates and enforces policies on Client Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Anti Workplace Harassment, Fiscal Integrity, and Anti-Retaliation.

IRC is an Equal Opportunity Employer. IRC considers all applicants on the basis of merit without regard to race, sex, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status or disability.

We offer benefits that help promote an empowering work environment, including parental leave, medical insurance, counseling services, gender-sensitive security protocols, and more.

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.

Language preference and/or interpretation to interview for the role can be made available upon request for the IRC’s working languages (Spanish, French, Arabic, English).

How to apply

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