Diaspora Mental Health Expert

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Job Description

Vacancy:  Mental Health Expert 

Terms of Reference (TOR)

I. General Information

Post/Title: Mental Health Expert

Date of Issue02.01.2024

Beneficiary institutionMinistry of Health Development, Somaliland

Duty StationDepartment of mental Health, Ministry of Health Development, Hargeisa.

Stream/BandStipend commensurate with degree and experience

Duration of Assignment12 months (with possible extension).  

Deadline for Applications 21.02.2024

II. Background Information

About MIDA FINNSOM Health Phase V Project.

The past decades have seen continued migration from various African countries, causing a “brain drain” that has debilitated various public sector systems across the continent. Through the IOM Migration for Development in Africa (MIDA) FINNSOM Health project, Somali diaspora professionals have supported institutional capacity building, service delivery, and policy development of health institutions across Somaliland since 2008.

The project is currently in its fifth phase (2022-2025), building on lessons learned from the previous phases, and continues its progress towards improving health outcomes in Somaliland, in close partnership with the Ministry of Health Development. Through the short-term deployment of diaspora health professionals, the objective is to transfer their skills and knowledge to the local staff in targeted institutions. Local professionals will remain an integral part of this project to contribute to sustainable outcomes in the health sector in Somaliland and to benefit from the knowledge and skills exchange with the diaspora professionals.

The new phase of the MIDA FINNSOM Health project aims to strengthen sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) for women and girls whilst providing mentoring and training opportunities for local health professionals. The project will give particular attention to gender mainstreaming strategies by promoting women´s participation as MIDA experts, their participation in trainings as local staff, and women´s and girls´ access to quality SRHR services as project beneficiaries. The project will target regional and district hospitals in Borama, Berbera, Buroa, Lasanod and Erigavo as well as some district-level health facilities in underserved areas of Zaylac, Badhan, Ainabo, Odwayne, Buhodle, Sheikh, Arabsiyo, Gabilay, Baligubadle and Salahley, under the leadership of the Ministry of Health and Development. The project will also continue to support Hargeisa Group Hospital. MIDA FINNSOM Health project is funded by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

About Somaliland Ministry of Health and Development

The Somaliland Ministry of Health Development (MOHD), headquartered in Hargeisa, comprises six main departments: (1) Administration & Finance; (2) Public Health; (3) Reproductive & Child Health; (4) Human Resource Development; (5) Planning & Policy; and (6) Health Facilities & Medical Services. (7) Mental Health Services.

III. Duties & Responsibilities.  

The Somaliland Ministry of Health Development, with support from IOM under the framework of the MIDA FINNSOM Health project phase V, seeks to strengthen the capacity of the Ministry of Health Development to provide to provide advice to the Minister and the Director General of the Ministry of Health Development (MOHD) on all issues relating to mental health and provide technical assistance to the department of mental health within the ministry the successful implementation of the ongoing program on mental health in alignment with national mental health policy and strategy to improve mental health outcomes and progress towards universal mental health coverage.

The Mental Health Expert will perform the following duties:

  1. Oversee the smooth implementation of the MOHD’s national action plans and frameworks on mental health ensuring that the implementation is in line with WHO policy and technical guidelines.
  2. Provide technical support to the Department of Mental Health, MOHD and other mental health partners in the implementation of the national mental health policy and strategy.
  3. Actively participate and contribute to coordination meetings between the department of mental health and other mental health partners.
  4. Identify gaps in the mental health policy and strategy and make recommendations for action to decision makers such as allocating more resources for marginalized groups such as mother and child mental health and displaced people in IDPs.
  5. Assess standards, quality of care and needs of services for people with mental health and psychosocial disabilities both in public and private sector informing policy and decision makers on the strengths and weaknesses of existing mental health and social care systems.
  6. Assist expansion of community-based mental health care services and integration of mental health services in the primary health care level as alternatives to institutionalized care.
  7. Support trainings on the WHO Mental Health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP) at the national and regional levels.
  8. Undertake regular supervision visits to the regions alone or in conjunction with department staff  to monitor and document the quality-of-care services, implementation of the mhGAP and pace of the integration of mental health services into the primary health care and informing policy and decision makers gaps, weaknesses and challenges in the system.
  9. Technical support to the department to conduct national mental health and substance use surveys and assessments in coordination and collaboration with relevant stakeholders where needed.
  10. Contribute to the development of policies, strategies and implementation plans for public awareness and education programs including the advancement of school mental health.
  11. Contribute to the development of national mental health act and its wide implementation to protect the rights of people with mental disabilities and ensuring parity of services with other health care system.
  12. Participate in updating and adapting relevant national guidelines, and tools related to the advancement of mental health care services in the country.
  13. Proactively participate in resource mobilization activities by developing project proposals, funds raising activities and timely implementation, monitoring, evaluation and donor reporting.
  14. Proactively contribute to the development of drug formulary and treatment guidelines of psychotropic medications as well as the advancement of the rational use of psychotropic drugs to enhance their efficacy and minimize their adverse effects such as diabetes, hypertension and overweight.
  15. Support the evaluation and periodic review of the implementation of policies, progress meeting milestones, and challenges.

The MoHD Project Coordinator, the MoHD M&E Specialist, and IOM program officer will support this assignment through interaction with the qualified expatriate and beneficiary institution.

Skills and Qualifications

Besides the specific outputs mentioned in section III, MIDA FINNSOM Health project phase V is requiring the following deliverables to be submitted throughout the assignment. These are the standard requirements for all assignments under this project:

1.       Transfer of skills: The main responsibility of the qualified Somali expatriate—which he/she will be measured against—will be to ensure continuous and systematic transfer of knowledge and skills as related to the assignment. It will have to be agreed with the beneficiary institution which civil servants will have to benefit from this knowledge.

2.       Work plan: A work plan must be developed with the Supervisor during the first week of assignment to provide clear and time-bound activities to successfully implement the outputs of the assignment. This work plan will be shared with the MOHD, MIDA FINNSOM Coordinator. This work plan can be revised during the midterm review to reflect new developments or changes in strategy.

3.       Midterm Review: There will be a midterm review of the assignment between the incumbent and the beneficiary institution to discuss progress of the assignment and feedback on performance.

4.       Quarterly and Final Reports: Quarterly progress reports will be submitted by the incumbent to the Supervisor and to the MOHD, MIDA FINNSOM Coordinator. At the end of the assignment, the Participant must also provide a final report covering the duration of his/her assignment.

V: Qualifications  

Level of Education:

  • Medical doctor with full specialty in psychiatry (5 years training) from recognized institution.
  • PhD degree in related field.  

Years of work experience in what area(s):

  • At least 10 years of experience in working with patients with mental disorders.
  • At least 3 years’ experience in leadership role in mental health, mental health planning, and service delivery.

§  Published work in peer reviewed journals in the area of mental health or related disciplines.

§  Demonstrated good experience in policy and strategy development as well as operationalizing mental health program at the field level.

§  Hands-on experience in capacity building.

§  Demonstrated ability to work in a multi-disciplinary team environment, taking initiative and delivering quality inputs within the time-limits.

§  Experience of working with senior government officials at central and regional level.

Languages needed:

§  Fluent in English

§  Fluent in Somali

§  Arabic language will be an advantage.

General Skills / Other Requirements:

  • Experience in clinical teaching.
  • Good communication skills.
  • Ability to operate as part of a team, but also independently, depending on the situation.
  • Ability to use Microsoft Office programs (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) and web-based management systems.
  • Ability to find innovative solutions to complex problems.
  • Excellent patience.
  • Ability to identify innovative approaches to problems in a challenging environment.
  • Ability to transfer knowledge.

  VI: Monthly Stipend  

The monthly stipend amount will be determined by MIDA FINNSOM Health based on degree and years of relevant experience.

VII: Security and Insurance Modalities  

Health insurance—including evacuation due to medical emergency—will be provided by the project. However, experts will be requested to provide a recent medical certificate stating that they are physically fit and able to work in a hardship area in Africa.

Please note that IOM, according to the contract, will not be responsible for the security of the qualified Somali expatriates. The host beneficiary institution will be responsible for the security of the individual.

Before leaving the country of residence or upon arrival in Nairobi or in Somaliland, the qualified Somali expatriate will receive a pre-service briefing including security advice and cultural background.

How to apply

All applications must be sent to Email: midahargeisa@iom.int   With the following reference as a subject in your e-mail: APPLICATION – as mentioned in the vacancy announcement.

To be considered, applicants must provide a cover letter, CV, and the contact information (email and phone number) of two professional references by the closing date of this vacancy. Please save your documents in PDF format. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. The closing date of this application is 21.01.2024, at 12.00 PM EAT.

While this project is geared toward the Somali-Finnish diaspora, members of other Somali diaspora communities are also welcomed to apply. Women are highly encouraged to apply and participate in the MIDA FINNSOM Health Project, Phase V.