Protection Cluster Co-Coordinator- Re-Advertised At Danish Refugee Council

Location: Addis Ababa

Reports to: Country Director

Grade – G1

Start of Contract & Duration: Six months

Posting date: April 2021


The Danish Refugee Council (DRC), an international non-governmental organization (NGO), has been providing relief and development services in the Horn of Africa since 1997. DRC promotes and supports solutions to the problems faced by refugees, internally displaced people (IDPs), and migrants. The organization has offices across the region, and has been operational in Ethiopia since 2009. With funding from bilateral and multilateral donors, DRC is currently implementing a range of activities across Ethiopia including WASH and shelter provision, child and youth protection, gender-based violence response, awareness-raising of migration risks, protection monitoring of migration routes, and livelihoods support for returning migrants or those at-risk of migration.


In March 2007, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator activated the cluster system in Ethiopia as a means to support a more effective, coordinated, timely and accountable response to complex emergencies arising within the country. The national-level Protection Cluster was subsequently launched alongside other humanitarian sectors. However, to-date, the Protection Cluster’s UNHCR-hosted lead has not had the support of a co-lead. In response to increasingly complex humanitarian needs within Ethiopia, including significant numbers of conflict- and climate-induced displacement, the cluster, supported by OCHA and the broader humanitarian community, has elected to introduce the co-lead position – a position to be held by the Danish Refugee Council (DRC). The DRC Protection Cluster Co-Coordinator will work with UNHCR – as the lead agency responsible for the overall implementation of the cluster coordination role in accordance with IASC guidelines on cluster leadership and accountability – to: a) strengthen effective management of the cluster, b) improve the representation of NGOs and other key stakeholders, including civil society organizations and c) reinforce the accountability of the humanitarian response towards the cluster’s people of concern in order to enhance humanitarian protection programing and advocacy.


The Co-coordinator is responsible for performing the following Protection Cluster activities and delivering the following outputs alongside and in collaboration with the Coordinator and Lead Agency, and in coordination with relevant sub-groups. The Co-coordinator represents the Protection Cluster jointly with the Coordinator and ensures an NGO voice in humanitarian coordination. The Co-Coordinator does not replace a co-lead, but complements the lead and provides a representation of NGOs in this essential coordination body.

The Protection Cluster Co-coordinator will support the Protection Cluster Coordinator to carry out activities outlined in the Protection Clusters ToRs. Activities will be shared and divieded as agreed, with the ultimate responsibility remaining with the Protection Cluster Coordinator to report through UNHCR as the Protection Cluster ToRs.

Protection Cluster Meetings, Information Exchange and Representation

  • Co-facilitate meetings for the Protection Cluster alongside the Coordinator, ensuring agreement and follow-through of key decisions and action points.
  • Ensure that Protection Cluster partners are updated on protection needs and situation analysis, gaps, planning, funding processes, etc.
  • Ensure coordination and information exchange on protection issues with other clusters, UN and government counterparts, and strengthen links with recovery and development partners as appropriate.
  • Contribute to inter-cluster coordination and planning, including meeting participation in the Inter-Cluster Coordination Group on behalf of the Protection Cluster.
  • Represent the interests of the Protection Cluster in discussions with the Humanitarian Coordiator (HC)/Humanitarian Country Team (HCT), donors and other stakeholders on issues related to prioritization, resource mobilization and advocacy issues identified by the Protection Cluster members.
  • Conduct field missions to strengthen links between sub-national clusters and the Protection Cluster at the national level.
  • Enhance monitoring, tracking, documentation and information exchange on protection concerns between Protection Cluster members.
  • Provided support via internal and external advocacy at national level.

Strategic Planning and Reporting

  • In equal partnership with the Cluster Coordinator, facilitate and contribute to Protection Cluster needs assessment and analysis, reporting and development/review of strategic, contingency and response plans, ensuring that these are in line with and contribute to the Protection Cluster strategy.
  • Develop in equal partnership with the cluster coordinator and periodically review a common protection strategy and work plan that prioritises protection needs and gaps and identifies response, remedial and environment building activities.
  • Ensure effective implementation of the workplan in consultation with partners and sub-clusters or sub-national Protection Cluster.
  • Ensure adequate monitoring and reporting mechanisms are in place to review the progress and outcomes of Protection Cluster activities.
  • Ensure that cluster analysis and priorities are adequately reflected in humanitarian country strategies and plans, e.g. the Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) and Humanitarian needs overview (HNO).
  • Ensure strong cluster participation in the Ethiopian Humanitarian Fund (EHF) pooled funding process.

Capacity Building, Trainings and Promotion of Protection Mainstreaming

  • Ensure the integration of protection issues in sectoral needs assessment, analysis, planning, monitoring and response.
  • Ensure gender-sensitive programming and promote gender equality.
  • Support the development and dissemination of beneficiary selection and vulnerability criteria and guidance.
  • Support efforts to strengthen the capacity of the local authorities and civil society.
  • Together with the Cluster Coordinator, identify gaps in current cluster member capacities and opportunities for the roll-out of targeted capacity building activities. To that end, design, facilitate and/or deliver protection trainings, including tools and methodology for protection mainstreaming in emergency response and protection needs assessment, to Protection partners and across sectors, to ensure adherence to relevant standards and guidelines.

Protection Tools and Protection Information Analysis

  • Support the compilation of information and draft reports and briefs on protection concerns for sharing with partners, the HCT, donors and government counterparts as appropriate.
  • Identify key advocacy concerns and consolidate policy positions amongst protection partners; support the development and implementation of advocacy initiatives.

Resource Mobilization

  • Liaise with donors to mobilize resources for joint protection response and update donors on Protection cluster priorities and needs.
  • Engage with donors to fund humanitarian actors to carry out priority activities while encouraging sectoral group participants to mobilize resources for their activities through their usual channels.

Promote and Support Accountability to Affected Populations

  • Support timely and coordinated action by cluster participants to meet the protection needs of IDPs and affected populations in the country, according to humanitarian principles, including Do No Harm.
  • Based on assessed protection vulnerabilities, needs and gaps, develop or update agreed upon response strategies and action plans for the Cluster and ensure that these are adequately reflected in overall country strategies.
  • Ensure that Cluster participants are aware of relevant policy guidelines, technical standards and commitments under international humanitarian and human rights law.
  • Support Cluster partners in their development and implementation of mechanisms for increased accountability to affected populations.
  • Support and build the capacity of the Government to uphold its obligation and responsibilities to protect the rights of affected civilian population in adherence with international and national laws.
  • Secure commitments from humanitarian partners in responding to needs and filling gaps, ensuring an appropriate distribution of responsibilities within the protection cluster, with clearly defined focal points for specific issues where necessary.

Experience and Technical Competencies:

  • Excellent understanding of protection issues in emergency situations and detailed knowledge of humanitarian principles, guidelines and laws.
  • Excellent leadership, coordination, capacity building, planning and analytical skills.
  • Minimum of 5 years proven experience working on protection related issues in humanitarian environments, including provision of technical advice to field teams.
  • Previous experience in cluster/sector coordination in complex emergency context; Previous experience as cluster coordinator preferred.
  • Proven experience with IMS, emergency protection monitoring, documentation and analysis of protection data.
  • Excellent analytical and report writing skills.
  • Excellent representation and interpersonal skills and demonstrated ability to establish effective and working relationships with members of cluster, consortiums, or other groups with diverse members.
  • Preferred: experience in development of advocacy strategy and messaging.

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June 2023
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