Un Ponte per


Early Recovery, Livelihood and Ecology Coordinator

Position name: Early Recovery, Livelihood and Ecology Coordinator

Duration: 11 months with possibility of renewal

Starting from: March 2023

Duty Station: North-East Syria

Closing date of the vacancy: 15th January 2023 (applications on a rolling basis)

Context Presentation:

Un Ponte Per (UPP) is an Italian NGO established in 1991. It started its activities as “Un ponte per Baghdad”, in the aftermath of the first Gulf war, with the aim of organizing solidarity initiatives in support of the Iraqi civilian population. In subsequent years, UPP missions expanded to include Serbia and other Middle Eastern and Mediterranean countries. The NGO aims at preventing armed conflicts, protecting human rights and supporting local civil society, especially in the Middle East, by promoting the nexus between its humanitarian, peacebuilding and development programs.

Since 2015, UPP has been one of the leading INGOs in the North East Syria (NES) response. Providing humanitarian aid and capacity building of local actors in Health and Protection as well as environmental health, including waste management. In partnership with local partners, UPP has been able to develop a comprehensive system of health services delivered in 26 facilities, including mobile units, hospitals, primary health care centres, and an ambulance network. For further information please refer to our website: www.unponteper.it/en/


Entering year 10 of the Syria crisis, conflict continues to expose civilians to acute humanitarian needs in Livelihood, health, WASH, Shelter, NFI and protection. In North East Syria (NES) widespread displacement, destruction of basic services and increased exposure to protection risks is on-going. In response, UPP and its local partners are running since 2015 a humanitarian action focused on providing timely and quality essential assistance in different sectors, mainly focusing on health, protection and early recovery for the most vulnerable population affected by the conflict (camps and out of camps). UPP is currently one of the main health actors in NES with a portfolio of donors such as BHA, ECHO, CDCS, AMB, DGNEAR and others. Under the early recovery component, from 2019 UPP supports local authorities, and in particular municipalities, in the improvement of the services offered to the population, with a strong focus on solid waste management sector and a particular attention to ecology, environmental protection and sustainability (e.g. First INGO to promote the first waste recycling project in NES). Since 2021, the early recovery program includes also a livelihood intervention aimed at the restoration and creation of livelihood opportunities, through the support to micro and small businesses development and the promotion of women employment and cooperatives. The program includes the distribution of grants as well as the provision of tailored business support.

Key Duties and Responsibilities:

The Early Recovery, Livelihood and Ecology Coordinator will be the Head of the Early Recovery, Livelihood and WASH (ERLW) UPP department in NES, that includes both Livelihood and WASH activities. What brings these interventions under one sole department is the strong early recovery perspective that characterizes both, with the livelihood intervention aimed at the improvement of the economic conditions of the target population and the WASH initiatives mainly aimed at the support to Local Authorities – especially Municipalities – and partners in the improvement of the basic services offered to citizens – with special attention to Solid Waste Management and environment protection – with the general aim to build resilience and favor the passage from emergency situation to middle and long term development. The ERLE Coordinator will be in charge of the general supervision and management of the department as well as of its strategic development. He/she will be supported from a technical point of view by a WASH Specialist – who coordinates the WASH technical team – while he/she will be responsible of the direct management and technical support of the livelihood team.

Roles and responsibilities

  1. Projects/programs’ design and strategic development for ERL and WASH department (40%)
  • Lead the strategic development of the department, in term of definition of general strategy and theory of change, SWOT analysis, priorities, partners, main activities, etc.;
  • Lead the design, development and implementation of need assessments needed for project design (directly for the livelihood interventions, in coordination with WASH specialist for WASH interventions);
  • Concerning livelihood sector, develop market assessments and other actions needed to better understand the local economic context and identify promising opportunities;
  • Ensuring that partners and key stakeholders are involved in the needs assessment, in order to promote interventions based on community-based approach. In particular, ensuring the regular involvement of local authorities such as municipalities;
  • Lead the identification and design of new possible interventions in line with the Department strategy, and the writing of new project proposals and concept notes, in coordination with the relevant Desk Officer and PMs;
  • Lead the organizational learning of the department, organizing regularly moments of internal reflection (ex. lesson learnt workshops, technical workshops, etc.), systematizing the information collected, sharing it internally and externally and planning future work based on the knowledge developed;
  • In coordination with MEAL department and with the support of the WASH Specialist, collect data of the impact of UPP interventions and analyze the data, both for internal learning and to present data and achievements to potential donors;
  • To develop materials to advocate for funds with potential donors (presentations, advocacy papers, etc.);
  1. Overall coordination and management of the department (Technical activities’ planning, supervision and quality insurance (40%)

    1. ERLW Department – general
  • Regularly define the needs of the department in term of budget and human resources and coordinate with PMs and finance department to plan the coverage of these needs;
  • Review and update regularly the structure of the department, including staff role and responsibilities, division of tasks, lines of communication and reporting;
  • Ensure the correct coordination within the department, and between the ERLW department and other UPP departments (logistic, finance, protection, MEAL), at central and regional level;
  • Ensure correct coordination with PMs in order to guarantee that projects’ work-plans and priorities are integrated in the technical team work-plan and projects’ results are met;
  • Supervise the overall implementation of ERLW department activities and ensure they are in line with department work-plan and expected results of both WASH and livelihood projects and activities;
  • Ensure that all technical activities are regularly reported, that a system for the correct archiving of relevant technical documents (training reports, meeting MoM, SoPs, etc.) is in place and regularly used, and that technical inputs are timely provided to PMs for donor’s reporting;
  • Participate to mission’s level management coordination meetings in order to ensure that the work of the department is integrated with the mission’s strategy and rest of UPP activities in the health and protection sectors, to promote synergies and ensure coordinated planning and implementation.
    1. WASH and Ecology
  • Directly manage and supervise the WASH specialist, ensuring periodical planning, supervision and revision of WASH work-plan;
  • Ensure that all WASH activities adopt as much as possible an early recovery and ecological approach, focused on the capacity building of local actors (local authorities and CSOs), on the improvement of services offered to the population and on the environmental protection;
  • Review the technical documents produced by the WASH Specialist, ensuring clarity, coherence and relevance to the local context and mission of the department;
  • Ensure, in coordination with MEAL department and the WASH Specialist, that all WASH activities are properly monitored and target indicators reached.
    1. Livelihood
  • Directly lead the implementation of the livelihood activities of the department, ensuring technical quality and timely implementation, with special focus on small business/women cooperative support and distribution of start-up/restoration grants;
  • Directly manage and coordinate the livelihood team, ensuring periodical planning, supervision and revision of the livelihood work-plan according to needs and priorities, and offering technical support when needed;
  • Lead the development of livelihood technical tools and documents, such as SoPs, selection criteria and tools, technical monitoring tools, etc.
  • Set up/update the procedures for the selection of beneficiaries and supervise selection processes;
  • Develop/update monitoring tools and ensure proper and effective monitoring of all activities from a technical point of view and according to projects’ indicators, in coordination with MEAL department;
  • Supervise and lead the livelihood team in order to ensure sound evaluation of business proposals and the development of effective business capacity building and mentoring plan;
  • Support and supervise the livelihood team in order to ensure they provide high technical quality trainings to beneficiaries;
  • Lead the design and implementation of market assessments according to the available resources (rapid market assessments, market system, value chain assessments, etc.).
  1. Technical capacity building of staff and partners (10%)
  • Lead the capacity building of livelihood staff, organizing a capacity building plan and implementing trainings and ToTs related to livelihood sector such as business development and management, market system development, market assessments, etc. based on the needs of the current and future projects;
  • Develop high quality livelihood training materials tailored on the needs of the staff as well as of the beneficiaries, including advanced business trainings and in-depth training on specific business aspects;
  • Ensure regular and continuous technical mentorship to UPP Livelihood team;
  • If relevant, coordinate and support the livelihood capacity building of local partners;
  • In coordination with the WASH Specialist, ensure that clear capacity building plan and activities are included in WASH work-plan, including:
  1. Capacity building of UPP staff;
  2. Capacity building of Kurdish Red Crescent (KRC) staff and other partners;
  3. Capacity building of local authorities and support to structures and policies’ development;
  • Promote the participation of the department’s team to external capacity building opportunities offered by WASH and Livelihood local and international partners;
  • Promote the participation of UPP staff and local partners’ staff to capacity building opportunities and exchanges organized in the framework of decentralized cooperation with European local authorities, including field visits in Europe when possible and relevant.
  1. External coordination (10%)
  • Periodically review and update the communication structure of the department with external partners and stakeholders both at central and local level, clearly defining roles and responsibilities, frequency and scope of the meetings, etc.
  • Together with the WASH Specialist, lead the general strategic coordination with KRC WASH department in order to consolidate, develop and orientate the current partnership in the WASH sector;
  • Together with the WASH Specialist, lead the general strategic coordination with key local actors and authorities involved in Early recovery, WASH and Environmental projects, and ensure the development, maintenance and strengthening of sounded partnerships;
  • Lead the assessment of potential new partnerships with local CSOs engaged in the early recovery and livelihood sector;
  • Actively participate to the Early Recovery and Livelihood Working Group and related sub-working groups, in order to ensure the coordination with other livelihood local and INGOs, avoid duplications, develop synergies, share lessons and approaches to maximize the impact in the framework of the Syrian humanitarian response.


Technical requirements

  • Bachelors in economics, business management, finance, development cooperation, international politics with a focus on local development and micro-enterprises support, or related fields. A master in the same topics will be an asset;
  • At least 5 years of experience in the design and implementation of livelihood, economic empowerment and Early Recovery projects;
  • Experience in support to micro and small businesses, women cooperatives and women economic empowerment;
  • Experience in the development of technical tools such as SoPs, beneficiaries’ selection criteria, business plans, evaluation templates, etc.;
  • Technical experience in designing and implementing trainings and possibly ToT on business development, marketing, finance literacy, etc. and in offering technical mentorship to small businesses;
  • Previous experience in the implementation of micro-grants schemes will be considered an asset.

Management and soft skills requirements

  • Previous experience in senior management position;
  • Strong organization and planning skills, and capacity to supervise wide range of activities and lead a large team;
  • Capacity to lead the strategic development of the department, including the identification and design of intervention and the preparation of clear and high quality project proposals;
  • Previous experience working with local partners and counterparts (local CSOs, NGOs and authorities), and capacity to lead and develop partnerships;
  • Previous experience in projects supporting local authorities in the improvement of the services offered to the population, with a strong capacity building component and early recovery lens;
  • Previous field experience and international exposure;
  • Capacity to understand local context and propose relevant and innovative solutions;
  • Business attitude and capacity to identify potentially successful businesses, as well as to identify gaps and weaknesses and to work to improve them;
  • Flexibility and adaptability, preparedness to work in a difficult environment with security constraints and challenging living conditions;
  • Stress management skills and ability to work under pressure;
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills;
  • Proactive attitude;
  • Detail-oriented;
  • Excellent oral and written English, with the capacity to develop clear, organized and relevant documents (CNs, project proposals, SoPs, reports, etc.);
  • Interest and general knowledge about environmental issues.

UPP requires criminal background check certificate (released max 3 months before the date of job offer) to confirm a job offer. We are aware that in some countries the release of criminal background certificate by the competent authorities might require several weeks. However, UPP runs selections to deploy staff in emergency programs and time-lapse between job offer and field deployment is often very short. Thus, we kindly ask all candidates to get prepared on time and be able to submit their certificate promptly in case of success in the selection.


  • Previous experience or knowledge of the WASH sector;
  • Previous experience on environmental and ecological projects, and in particular on interventions focused on supporting municipalities in improving solid waste management services. Experience on recycling project will be considered a strong asset;
  • Experience in leading Rapid Market Assessments and/or market System Assessments and/or Value Chain Assessments in developing countries, and in analyzing and systematize results and conclusions in order to steer projects’ strategies and activities;
  • Private sector or financial services experience is an added advantage;
  • Knowledge of the Middle East. Specific knowledge about Syria economic context is a strong asset;
  • Knowledge of main institutional donors’ guidelines and requirements;
  • Familiarity with emergency projects and related tools;
  • Knowledge of Arabic and/or Kurdish.


Un Ponte Per is an International NGO committed to diversity and inclusion within its teams, in line with the principle of non-discrimination. UPP encourages all candidates irrespective of gender, religion and ethnicity including persons with disabilities to apply and become part of the organization.

Ethical Conduct

UPP upholds all the minimum standards in terms of Ethical Conduct and strives to increase its standards over the minimum. Zero tolerance is reserved to Sexual Abuse and Exploitation and to Child Abuse, Violence, Harm, Injury and Negligence. By applying, any candidate assures that s/he has never breached any standard in terms of SEA and Child Safeguarding and that s/he will not in the future. For the protection of beneficiaries, communities and partners, UPP will conduct extensive reference check and vetting on shortlisted candidates, also over the contacts indicated by the candidate. Candidates are alerted that the required background check might compromise their privacy. Shortlisted candidates shall promptly provide an up-to-date criminal background check.

How to apply

Interested candidates are invited to submit a detailed CV (PDF format) with the authorization to use and process data on the base of the EU Regulation 2016/679 – GDPR and a brief cover letter (PDF format) that includes the contact information for three Professional References (relevant and recent) to: [email protected].

The CV need to contain also the following authorization: “I, the undersigned Name and Surname authorize Un Ponte Per to use my data for the vetting procedure.”

Please reference “ERLW Coordinator- Name Surname” in the subject line of your email application and name the files attached to your application as surname_name_CV, surname_name_CL, etc.

Be informed that UPP screens prospective colleagues through anti-terrorism/anti-money-laundering/anti-corruption/anti-fraud sanctions lists before job offer. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Closing date: 15 Jan 2023