Psychosocial Specialist at Search for Common Ground (SFCG)

Search for Common Ground (SFCG) is an international non-profit organization that promotes peaceful resolution of conflict. With headquarters in Washington, DC and a European office in Brussels, Belgium, SFCG’s mission is to transform how individuals, organizations, and governments deal with conflict – away from adversarial approaches and toward cooperative solutions. SFCG seeks to help conflicting parties understand their differences and act on their commonalities. With a total of approximately 600 staff worldwide, SFCG implements projects from 55 offices in 34 countries, including in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and the United States.

The organization is an exciting and rewarding place to work, with a dedicated and enthusiastic staff that is committed to its mission and values. You will be joining a highly motivated staff with a good team spirit and there will be opportunities to grow in the role.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Psychosocial Specialist

Location: Maiduguri, Borno

We are searching for

  • Search for Common Ground (Search) Nigeria seeks to recruit a Psychosocial Specialist. The Psychosocial Specialist  will be responsible for ensuring the delivery of high quality psychosocial services (e.g. oversee staff capacity building in psychosocial trauma and provide psychosocial group facilitation) to target beneficiaries whom Search works with. This role will ensure that Search’s psychosocial programming is delivered effectively maintaining Do No Harm and Common Ground Approach principles and operating within best practice standards and, will work closely with the Search National Peace Advisor/ Trauma Expert, and partner organizations doing psychosocial work when relevant to ensure all psychosocial services are operating consistently across the country. The Psychosocial Specialist reports to the National Peace Advisor, and will work closely with the Senior Training Coordinator and in close coordination with all project leads in mapping and coordinating relevant trainings and activities needing the Psychosocial Specialist’s involvement. The Psychosocial Specialist will also support and debrief staff on psychosocial recommendations from noted issues that arise during his/her work, identify and address professional development needs.
  • This role also has key responsibilities in improving Search’s reach to key beneficiaries impacted by violent conflict by networking with key external medical, psychosocial and education stakeholders to ensure that Search is referring out via the existing referral networks when relevant. In addition, you will be a confident communicator, able to engage young people, staff, community leaders, and the general public about our work.
  • The Psychosocial Specialist will be based in the Maiduguri office, however, travel and outreach days in different locations will be required. This role will also be required to attend a small number of overnight programs throughout the year.

About the Project

  • The Lake Chad Inclusive Economic and Social Recovery (RESILAC) is a 4-year project developed by Action Against Hunger (AAH) in consortium with CARE and Groupe URD.
  • The project aims to contribute to the economic recovery and to the strengthening of the resilience and the social cohesion of the territories of the Lake Chad basin most impacted by the Lake Chad crisis and the climate change.
  • The project targets four regions (i) Cameroon, the Far North, (ii) Niger, Diffa region, (iii) Chad, Lake region and (iv) Nigeria, Borno State. Search for Common Ground (Search) is an implementing partner to AAH in Nigeria to implement the project’s pillar #1 focused on strengthening human capital, social cohesion and collective and sustainable management of natural resources in selected LGAs in Borno state.

Your contribution
The roles and responsibilities include:
Psychosocial Specialist:

  • Support and or lead all implementation of psychosocial activities including Strategies for Trauma Awareness & Resilience (STAR) training to target beneficiaries along with providing basic level emotional regulation exercises to release trauma stress patterns;
  • Support and or lead  implementation of all Search trauma training activities for each office across the country, either in–person, other Search staff or through hired training consultants;
  • Design each training to be culturally identifiable to the context; Search’s programs, and for the participants attending the training;
  • Ensure that Search’s psychosocial support models are delivered effectively, and psychosocial staff are operating within best practice standards;
  • Ensure the team’s provision of high quality support to beneficiaries is inline with Search’s Common Ground Approach and Search Nigeria Psychosocial Models, including adherence to Psychosocial Assessment;
  • Provide psychoeducation to staff members and case managers;
  • Attend Psychosocial Review Meetings and provide support to staff involved in delivering psychosocial support/ case managing;
  • Ensure that case managers are making referrals for psychosocial critical incidents, such as child safety concerns, risk of suicide or self-harm to Search identified clinical actors and;
  • Write a monthly summary report highlighting trainings, lessons learned, and challenges, and recommendations including success highlights, feedback from participants, and recommendations for the next stages of Search’s program (sent to line supervisor).
  • Attend coordination meetings with other INGOs/ NGOs, sector working groups to help link Search with other organizations doing similar work.


  • Trainers will use a participatory training approach, using a mix of lectures, of experiential approaches with practice, and participatory plenary discussions. It is expected that participants will try, test and put in practice the theory from the lectures and;
  • For each session, the trainer will provide handout or a manual, summarizing the key concepts from the session. The written text will serve as a reference for participants to take home and;
  • Work closely with the Design, Monitoring, and Evaluation department to develop pre/post tests for the trauma trainings.

Commitment to Best Practices:

  • Comply with all child protection and safety legislation;
  • Follow Search’s Psychosocial, Do No Harm, and Common Ground Approach Models;
  • Commitment to ongoing professionalism, Search’s code of conduct and values;
  • Contribute to recording data, reporting and evaluation requirements of the organization;
  • As required, contribute to the training and support of psychosocial programming and;
  • Work with the National Peace Advisor, and the Director of Psychosocial Support at Search’s local partner organization to identify and participate in appropriate professional development opportunities.


  • A strong background with a degree in  Psychosocial Peacebuilding, Psychology, Psychiatry, Social Work or relevant fields;

Required Experience:

  • Five years work experience in psychology or related field
  • Have facilitated/ co-facilitated psychosocial support trainings to key stakeholders that include: children associated with armed forces, internally displaced persons (IDPs), security, local and community leaders with excellent command of trainees in relevant fields for a minimum of three years;
  • Experience in capacity building of staff and or case managers in mental health and psychosocial support;

Other Relevant Requirements:

  • Competency in referring cases that need admission to expert care;.
  • In-depth knowledge of the North East of Nigeria context with its local languages, culture and history of violent conflict and sound knowledge of the Middle Belt and the Niger Delta;
  • Basic understanding of trauma and how to help participants manage the effects of trauma that often arise during workshops due to their personal experience of societal violence;
  • Fluent in English, Hausa, and Kanuri and;
  • Good sense of humour and team spirit

Added Advantage:
Fluency in local language

Application Closing Date
28th March, 2019.

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