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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Disability Program Officer, Women's Refugee Commission, New York, NY

Disability Program Officer

Posted on: November 19, 2014
Application deadline: January 4, 2015
Posted by: Women's Refugee Commission

The Women's Refugee Commission (WRC) is a research advocacy organization that seeks to improve the lives and protect the rights of women, children and youth displaced by conflict and crisis. We research their needs, identify solutions and advocate for programs and policies to strengthen their resilience and drive change in humanitarian practice. The Women's Refugee Commission is a nonprofit 501 (c) 3 organization.
In 2008, the WRC undertook a six-month research project to assess the situation of persons with disabilities in displacement settings. Using our field research in five countries—Ecuador, Jordan, Nepal, Thailand and Yemen—we issued a report, Disabilities among Refugees and Conflict-Affected Populations, and created a Resource Kit for Field Workers. To advance this work globally, we participated in a coalition of organizations that advocated for policy change within the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). In October 2010, UNHCR's governing body adopted an Executive Committee Conclusion on Refugees with Disabilities that mandates the agency's offices to promote access and inclusion for refugees with disabilities.
Since 2011, WRC has been partnering with UNHCR on the global rollout of its guidance on Working with Persons with Disabilities in Forced Displacement. We have provided technical support and training to UNHCR country offices, their implementing partners and disability organizations in eight countries – Uganda, India (New Delhi), Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Nepal, Thailand, Philippines (Mindanao) and Lebanon – including urban and camp refugee contexts, internal displacement, and large-scale crises, such as the Syrian refugee response. Findings and positive practices were documented in our report Disability Inclusion: Translating Policy into Practice in Humanitarian Action. Over the last two years, the WRC has expanded partnerships on disability inclusion to other humanitarian organizations, including the International Rescue Committee (IRC), and a number of disabled people's organizations (DPOs).
The Disability Program Officer, under the coordination of the Senior Disability Program Officer, will be responsible for ensuring that the organization's disability projects are fully implemented. These projects include four key areas of work:
  1. 1. Promoting change in practice at field levels through the provision of technical advice and training to UNHCR and other humanitarian partners, including identifying gaps and opportunities to strengthen disability inclusion in programs, piloting actions and monitoring effectiveness of these interventions.
  2. 2. Supporting DPOs to engage more in refugee issues at country, regional and global levels through awareness raising, training and the provision of sub-grants in selected contexts or projects.
  3. 3. Building the evidence base on disability inclusion in gender based violence (GBV) programming in humanitarian settings through piloting and evaluating strategies, and designing technical tools and resources for GBV practitioners, in partnership with the IRC Women's Protection and Empowerment team.
  4. 4. Promoting policy and practice change within the broader humanitarian community through the dissemination of findings and reports from field work, and targeted communication and advocacy campaigns with UN agencies, NGOs, donors and humanitarian practitioners.
  1. Design and implement field assessments and training packages on disability inclusion for field partners, and monitor the outcomes of field visits.
  2. Communicate and coordinate with field partners in the planning of field visits, and manage the logistics of related travel.
  3. Document findings of field visits, capturing progress, barriers and recommendations for advancing disability inclusion in a variety of programs and contexts.
  4. Grants management, including monitoring, reporting and financial oversight, as well as the preparation and monitoring of any sub-grants delivered in the projects.
  5. Represent the WRC's disability work at meetings and conferences, and contribute to advocacy and communications campaigns.
  6. Assist with continued fund-raising for the WRC's disability work, including proposal development.
  7. Collaborate and coordinate with other WRC staff to promote disability inclusion across other programs in the organization.
Position Reports to: Senior Disability Program Officer
Position directly supervises: Interns (as appropriate)
Indirect Reporting: Senior Director for Programs
Other Internal and/or external contacts:
Internal: WRC advocacy and communications teams, and other WRC staff in the sexual and reproductive health, livelihoods and adolescent girls programs.
External: Staff from the Women's Protection and Empowerment unit in the IRC; staff in UNHCR headquarters in Geneva, as well as selected country operations; other UN agencies and humanitarian actors.
  • Bachelor's Degree/Master's preferred in international affairs, international development, human rights, disability studies or a related field
Work Experience:
  • Minimum 4 years of field experience in humanitarian assistance – ideally working with persons with disabilities or promoting disability inclusion, or in protection fields
Demonstrated Skills and Competencies:
  • Demonstrated skills and experience in providing training, technical advice and / or conducting participatory evaluations
  • Knowledge and expertise in humanitarian programs targeting displaced populations (refugees, internally displaced persons, and/ returning populations) is desirable
  • Excellent organizational, writing and communication skills
  • Proven record as a team player, demonstrating flexibility and diplomacy
  • Good computer skills (MS Word, Excel, and email/internet software)
Language Skills:
  • Excellent written and spoken English; French or Arabic verbal language skills are also desirable
The Disability Program Officer will work full-time, based in New York (standard office work environment), but with extensive field travel (approximately 50% of time).
For more information on our work at the Women's Refugee Commission and our Disability Program please visit
WRC is an Equal Opportunity Employer. WRC 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.
Please send your resume along with a cover letter to

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