Position: Psychologist –The Marla Ruzicka War Victims Fund (3 positions)
Location: Baghdad (2 positions) & Basra (1 position)
Reports To: Trauma Rehabilitation and Treatment Center Coordinator / Project Manager
Application Deadline: January 31, 2020
Starting Date: 01 March 2020
Project: The Marla Ruzicka War Victims Fund
About You: A motivated mid-career mental health professional looking to work alongside an inspiring, dynamic team of leading human rights workers. The candidate will have exceptional clinical service provision skills and embrace a collaborative, team approach to the work they do. This person has experience living and working in challenging operating environments and is eager to apply that experience working on innovative human rights projects that support survivors of torture, their families, as well as families of those who have been disappeared.
About Heartland Alliance International: Heartland Alliance International’s (HAI) mission is to secure the rights and well-being of marginalized people and communities. HAI envisions a world in which those whose rights have been violated are safe and empowered to actively engage in their communities and be at the forefront of social change. In Iraq, HAI provides holistic services focusing on mental health and psychosocial support, legal aid, violence prevention, and social cohesion to diverse vulnerable populations.
The Project: Heartland Alliance International (HAI), together with HI (Humanity and Inclusion, also known as Handicap International in Iraq) and War Child UK (WCUK) have formed a consortium to implement the Marla Ruzicka War Victims Fund. This two-year project comprehensively addresses the challenges civilian victims of conflict and their families and communities face to access the necessary resources to recover in safety and dignity and contribute to the rebuilding of a democratic, just, and inclusive Iraqi state. The project will focus on Baghdad and areas of Anbar and Basra that experienced extreme violence during the recent conflict and where there are significant unmet needs. Advocacy and systems-level work will also take place nationwide, and legal services will reach those in need of assistance with housing, land and property (HLP) issues in Baghdad and Anbar. Finally, the project establishes torture treatment centers in Basra and Baghdad as key civil society institution that enables direct service, medical-legal evaluation, and professional training in southern Iraq.
The program specifically envisages setting up two trauma rehabilitation and treatment centers in Baghdad and Basra which will include physiotherapy, psychiatric, psychological and psychosocial support and case management services, as well as legal assistance to women, men, boys and girls victims of war, including persons with disabilities, whose rights have been grossly violated as a result of the war. The centers will use a case management model and group sessions and will involve both center-based and outreach mobile services.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities: Under the direct line management of the Project Manager and the technical supervision of the MHPSS Coordinator and MHPSS Director, the Psychologist will implement center-based and mobile community-based Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) services for survivors of torture, their families, as well as families of those who disappeared. The psychologist will also liaise with other entities to ensure holistic service provision for participants. Overall responsibilities include but are not limited to the following.
- Perform proper and detailed MHPSS needs assessment of participants.
- Provide focused, direct individual and/or group MHPSS interventions, including to high-risk and high-need participants who have experienced torture and other forms of trauma.
- Aid development and provide technical support for facilitation of peer support groups among target participants.
- Liaise with other project team members, including mobile teams, and external agencies through referral pathways for holistic service provision.
- Conduct awareness sessions and mental health education and promotion activities.
- Mainstream protection in all activities.
- Assess and report on progress of participants and make corrective actions when necessary.
- Maintain participant case record and documentation of services and referrals provided to participants.
- Adhere to professional best practice clinical guidelines and procedures developed by the organization.
- Initiate requests for assistance or guidance from Supervisor/s to address issues affecting adherence to professional standards.
- Actively engage in and prepares for reflective clinical supervision
- Serve program participants without regard to ethnicity, gender, religion or income and abide by basic human rights principles while conducting activities associated with this position.
- Establish and maintain a confidential, professional therapeutic relationship with participants
- Encourage and contribute to a safe and collaborative working environment where self-care as well as care of colleagues is prioritized.
Communication and monitoring and evaluation
- Collaborate closely with Legal Program Officers, Special Case Manager, MHPSS Coordinator and partner organization staff to continuously assess status of the case against the case plan;
- Ensure accurate data reporting and collection;
- Support compilation and writing of daily, monthly and quarterly updates.
- Contribute to finalizing program monthly, quarterly, and annual project reports in English.
Other duties; this Job Description is flexible to respond to additional tasks or changes as identified by the direct line manager.
- University degree in Psychology, Social Work, or related mental health discipline.
- Previous experience with international or local NGOs.
- Experience providing direct MHPSS services to vulnerable individuals, including women, minorities and children.
- Experience providing MHPSS services to survivors of torture and/or war violence strongly preferred.
- Able to handle confidential and sensitive information.
- Excellent communication skills.
- Strong interpersonal and intercultural skills.
- A demonstrated commitment to high professional ethical standards and humanitarian values.
- A strong commitment to human rights and to international standards relating to human rights.
- Proven ability to calmly, professionally, and successfully manage multiple priorities.
- Knowledge and understanding of Monitoring and Evaluation concepts.
- Experience with Windows platform, including Word, PowerPoint, Excel, etc.
- Excellent negotiation and relationship management skills, with the ability to proactively problem solve and find solutions.
- Demonstrates initiative and is comfortable working in a group, as well as independently.
- Ability to reside in Baghdad or Basra and travel within the IKR and Iraq, and the region.
- Ability to provide clear direction and management for remote partners.
- Languages: Arabic mandatory (oral and written); English and other local dialect an advantage
Personal Competencies: Collaborative spirit and ability to work independently as well as in a team; commitment to knowledge sharing and teamwork; positive attitude and ability to see through challenges to find solutions; and strong interpersonal skills and an ability to clearly communicate, including complex concepts into layperson language.
Resilience: This project will address sensitive issues. Interested applicants should have a strong commitment to addressing the issues with cultural sensitivity, respect, and confidentiality. Candidates should be flexible, have a sense of humor and patience.
To Apply: Please send CV, to
Incomplete applications will not be considered. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. If you do not hear back from us within 2 weeks, please consider your application unsuccessful.
Heartland Alliance makes all hiring and employment decisions without regard to race, creed, color, age, gender, gender identity, marital or parental status, religion, ancestry, national origin, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, sexual identity, immigrant status, political affiliation or belief, ex-offender status (depending on the offense and position to be filled), unfavorable military discharge, membership in an organization whose primary purpose is the protection of civil rights or improvement of living conditions and human relations, or HIV infection, in accordance with the Organization's AIDS Policy Statement of September, 1987. Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodation should contact the Human Resources and Administration Office at (312) 660-1431.