Senior Advisor, Community Engagement and Accountability – Kenya

Organizational Context

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC or “the Federation”) is the World’s largest volunteer-based humanitarian network. The Federation is a membership organization established by and comprised of its member National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Along with National Societies and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the Federation is part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. The overall aim of the IFRC is” to inspire, encourage, facilitate, and promote at all times all forms of humanitarian activities by National Societies with a view to preventing and alleviating human suffering and thereby contributing to the maintenance and promotion of human dignity and peace in the world.” It works to meet the needs and improve the lives of vulnerable people before, during and after disasters, health emergencies and other crises.

The Federation is served by a Secretariat based in Geneva, with regional and country offices throughout the world. The Secretariat’s focus includes providing support to the IFRC governance mechanisms; setting norms and standards; providing guidance; ensuring consistency; coordination and accountability for performance; knowledge sharing; promoting collaboration within and respect for the RCRC Movement; and expanding engagement with partners. The Secretariat’s headquarters is organized in three main business groups: (i) Partnerships, including Movement and Membership; (ii) Programs and Operations; and (iii) Management. The Secretariat has five regional office, as follows: Americas (Panama City); Africa (Nairobi); Asia/Pacific (Kuala Lumpur); Europe (Budapest); Middle East and North Africa (Beirut).

In February 2020, IFRC Africa published a Strategy to Strengthen Community Engagement and Accountability in Africa. Developed with the support of CDA Collaborative Learning Projects (CDA), the strategy is the result of a year of consultations and research. The CEA Africa Strategy outlines the enablers that are helping to strengthen community engagement and accountability in Africa, as well as the barriers that may be preventing meaningful progress. It offers Movement partners working in Africa strategic actions and concrete steps to take over the next three years to address the key barriers to institutionalizing CEA.

Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) is also one of the key pillars in the response to COVID-19 and other health outbreaks including Ebola, cholera, polio, Marburg and Lassa Fever, and the IFRC Africa CEA team is playing a critical role supporting National Societies to reduce the spread of infection and build trust in these responses through technical support, training and resources. CEA approaches are being mainstreamed across all pillars of these responses to ensure our interventions are effective, accepted and meet the priority needs of communities.

Job Purpose

Lead and coordinate efforts to institutionalize and strengthen community engagement and accountability across the Africa Region within the IFRC and the 49 Red Cross and Red Crescent African National Societies, working in coordination with the ICRC, partner National Societies and external partners including WHO, UNICEF and Africa CDC. The post holder will lead the IFRC Africa CEA team, operating at regional and country cluster delegation level to roll out the IFRC CEA Africa Strategy and implement the strategic changes and system-wide shifts required to ensure a strong and systematic approach to accountability across Africa.

The post holder will technically lead and coordinate Risk Communication and Community Engagement efforts for health outbreaks across Africa, including setting the strategic direction of this key pillar, in partnership with Health teams. The CEA Senior Advisor will also co-chair the East and Southern Africa interagency RCCE technical working group alongside UNICEF, and will support the roll out of the RCCE component of Africa CDC’s flagship Saving Lives and Livelihoods programme which aims to vaccinate 70% of the African population.

Job Duties and Responsibilities

For humanitarian emergencies and health outbreaks in the region the post holder will:

  • Lead RCCE for health responses, including designing a strategic approach that helps prevent the spread of infection and builds community trust in the response, revising as needed to meet emerging needs and changes in the outbreak. This will involve working alongside, and under the overall leadership of, the health teams.
  • Ensure CEA is well integrated in the IFRC Africa Emergency Plan of Action and budget and supports the overall aim of the operation.
  • Lead the IFRC Africa CEA team to ensure National Societies receive the support they need to plan and implement high quality participatory and people-centred approaches and activities within their operations, including;
    • Establishing systematic community feedback mechanisms to understand community perceptions, questions, complaints, and suggestions and using this, as well as other sources of social science data, to guide the response and update health approaches.
    • Sharing timely, accurate information using social mobilization and trusted mass communication channels to help people adopt safe practices and reduce fear, stigma, and misinformation.
    • Working with communities to develop and support community-led solutions for tackling identified issues in the response or outbreak and ensuring that there are participatory approaches in place for community members to take a lead on decision making
  • Provide technical support to response pillar leads to integrate CEA into the design and delivery of their strategies and activities, ensuring communities are informed, can participate, and ask questions, including raising sensitive complaints.
  • Roll out online and face-to-face trainings to National Societies, IFRC and PNS staff, including building National Society capacity to collect and analyse community feedback and perceptions.
  • Provide the operation with key analysis on community perceptions and feedback to ensure decision-making and direction is guided by community needs.
  • Develop technical guidance and resources to help National Societies and partners operationalise key CEA approaches and activities, and address harmful rumours, misinformation or stigma as identified through the feedback and social science data
  • Capture and share best practices and support peer learning between National Societies through webinars and case studies.
  • Work with communications to enlist the support of national and local media to help address common rumours and misinformation through webinars and factsheets.
  • Co-chair the interagency RCCE working group for East and Southern Africa alongside UNICEF, including setting priority areas of focus, ensuring the wider response is informed by community feedback, and supporting other working groups on RCCE.
  • Provide technical leadership and management of the interagency RCCE Collective Service, a long-term partnership with UNICEF and WHO, including supporting strategic decision making, technical support for the team and leading on fundraising efforts.

The post holder will also lead and coordinate efforts to institutionalize and strengthen CEA across Africa by driving the implementation of the five strategic changes outlined in the CEA Strategy. These changes and their action steps include:

1. Strengthen understanding of and capacity to implement CEA approaches across the Movement in Africa:

    • Build understanding of CEA and advocate for its importance amongst senior leadership in IFRC and National Societies. – Roll out CEA trainings at all levels to build the capacity of staff in IFRC, National Societies and partner National Societies to mainstream and implement CEA and ensure CEA is integrated into other sectors’ trainings. – Guide African National Societies to institutionalize CEA and integrate it in operations and programmes through the development of policies, strategies and tools. – Strengthen accountability within IFRC emergency operations across Africa by ensuring CEA is mainstreamed in all operations and developing clear, simple and achievable minimum actions and sector-specific tools for CEA in emergency response operations. – Lead the training, mentoring, and maintenance of a pool of CEA surge personnel available for deployment to support emergency operations and formulate terms of references (TOR) for such missions in coordination with surge colleagues. – Work closely with regional technical and thematic leads to ensure effective integration of CEA in IFRC approaches and programmes. – Roll out the Movement-wide Minimum Commitments and Actions to CEA in Africa. – Improve coordination and communication among Movement members who are supporting CEA efforts by leading the CEA Africa Movement working group.

2. Integrate CEA into IFRC and National Society ways of working so it becomes a standard approach for all staff and volunteers.

3. Systematically collect and share evidence about the impact of CEA on programme quality with decision-makers at all levels to enhance understanding of CEA.

4. Increase organizational support and resourcing to institutionalize and implement community engagement and accountability.

5. Help promote a culture of accountability internally among Movement members and externally with communities and partners.

6. Project management

  • Manage the CEA Africa budget, including careful oversight of donor pledges.
  • Line and technical management of theIFRC CEA Africa staff at regional and country cluster delegation level, including chairing regular team meetings and one-on-one support sessions.
  • Develop and roll out the CEA Africa Strategy for 2024-27
  • Ensure high quality and timely monitoring and reporting of CEA Africa work, including donor, regional and global reports.
  • Represent the IFRC in external meetings and events, building the reputation of IFRC as a lead actor in CEA.
  • Build strong internal and external relationships with key partners, including National Societies, ICRC, partner National Societies, UN agencies, Africa CDC, academic partners and other NGOs.
  • Support global efforts to strengthen CEA within the Movement, for example by supporting trainings, development of new materials and attending conferences.


  • An advanced university degree (masters) in Communication or Social/Behavioural Sciences i.e. Sociology, Anthropology, Psychology or Health Education or relevant experience is required.


  • Seven years’ experience working in community engagement and accountability for a humanitarian or development organisation. Required
  • Experience of developing CEA strategies and plans for a large organization, including ensuring the integration of CEA approaches into broader organizational strategies and other sectors’ operational plans. Required
  • Solid experience of designing and implementing CEA approaches, including community feedback mechanisms, tools for communicating with communities (radio, social media, social mobilization) and participatory planning processes. Required
  • Proven experience in planning and implementing targeted and appropriate behaviour change communication strategies. Required
  • Experience integrating CEA into emergency response operations, including hands-on experience through emergency deployments to humanitarian disasters or complex crises. Required
  • Experience of coaching and developing staff and volunteers to build long-term capacity and create ownership, including developing, planning, and delivering training courses. Required
  • Proven experience of successfully advocating for the inclusion of CEA within programmes, operations and organizational policies, processes and tools with staff at different levels, including senior leadership and technical teams. Required
  • Coordination experience, with the capacity to build and manage effective partnerships with internal and external actors. Required
  • Experience of managing and leading a team to achieve shared goals, providing support, and mentoring as needed. Required
  • Project management experience, including developing plans, budget management, monitoring, reporting, and fundraising. Required
  • Experience of working within Africa. Preferred
  • Experience working with Red Cross/Red Crescent National Societies. Preferred

Knowledge and Skills

  • Advanced analytical skills, able to identify areas in need of improvement and design interventions to address gaps and challenges. Required
  • Strong advocacy and negotiation skills, able to convince colleagues at all levels on the importance of integrating CEA within ways of working. Required
  • Strong leadership and coordination skills, able to motivate and guide others towards common goals including people across multiple countries and cultures, both in person and remotely. Required
  • Good understanding of monitoring and research approaches, able to identify examples of good practice and how to roll these out to others. Required
  • Highly motivated proactive self-starter, able to set and achieve goals using own initiative. Required
  • Excellent interpersonal, networking and written/verbal communication skills. Required
  • Strong presentation, facilitation, and training skills. Required
  • Ability to multi-task and work under stressful conditions to meet deadlines. Required
  • Good knowledge of Red Cross Red Crescent planning and disaster management cycle, including planning and response procedures. Preferred
  • Good knowledge of gender and diversity issues. Preferred
  • Good understanding of National Society development issues and challenges. Preferred
  • Willing to travel (up to 30% of the time). Required
  • Fluently spoken and written English. Required
  • Good command of French. Preferred

How to apply

All interested candidates should apply in the IFRC Website, link below

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