Project Manager MAS Colombia (MPHSS and IDPs)

Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights
  • Location
    Huila, Colombia
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Mar 01

Position description

Transform the lives of the most marginalized and vulnerable communities and be at the forefront of social changeBe a part of a dedicated team of human rights workers and make a lasting impact.

Organizational Background:

Heartland Alliance International (HAI) is the global arm of Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights, a family of organizations that has been leading anti-poverty and social justice work in Chicago for more than 125 years. HAI’s offices in nearly a dozen countries implement programs on a range of global human rights issues, as well as the Chicago-based Marjorie Kovler Center for the Treatment of Survivors of Torture, which serves individuals from more than 50 countries. HAI has significant expertise in the fields of trauma-informed mental health care and access to justice for survivors of rights abuses. It is also an industry leader in access to high-quality and stigma-free health care. Across all of its programs, HAI promotes progressive, innovative approaches to human rights protections and gender equality.

In Colombia, HAI provides innovative, collaborative, and community-based mental health services, including individual and group psychosocial therapy, to underserved populations most affected by armed conflict and violence in the Pacific region of Colombia. HAI’s culturally-competent and locally-adapted programs allow people to heal, become empowered to access justice and social services, and ultimately lead change in their own communities. HAI in Colombia includes direct survivors of the conflict who provide services to vulnerable populations, including Afro-Colombians and indigenous communities. HAI partners with community leaders, local organizations, and institutions to provide effective, evidence-based and culturally- adapted mental health services, and continuously strengthen these programs to better support people in need. As Colombia builds the foundation for an enduring peace, communities that have been historically marginalized and most affected by decades of violence need sustained support. HAI is committed to addressing crucial humanitarian needs and protecting human rights for the most vulnerable and underserved populations in the country. HAI will support the construction of an inclusive and sustainable peace through community engagement, strategic partnerships, and a focus on concrete results at the territorial and national levels.

About the Project: “Improving Health and Building Resilience: MAS ColombiaMejorando el Acceso a la Salud y fortaleciendo la resiliencia: MAS Colombia”, is a two year project (19 months remaining) to increase access to mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) and protection for internally displaced persons (IDPs) and conflict victims, including by strengthening support from government authorities, and enabling communities to effectively and collaboratively advocate for their rights. This innovative project builds on HAI’s extensive experience providing integrated services for IDPs including for women and girls, Afro-Colombians and other particularly vulnerable communities. The project will expand existing coordination efforts among government, civil society organizations and communities impacted by forced displacement and create identification and referral networks to respond to the needs of IDPs.


Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Project Management and Oversight:

  • Guide the implementation of the project components and the methods of follow-up, with a focus on technical aspects and quality assurance through close monitoring, supervision, and leadership.
  • Ensure implementation of the project components in accordance with the approved work plan to achieve project deliverables. Through strong planning, monitoring, and activity tracking, identify potential obstacles to programmatic success in a timely fashion, and implement corrective actions as needed. For this purpose, maintain an updated monthly calendar of project and other relevant commitments.
  • Manage project budget, through monthly meetings and close coordination with the Director of Finance and Administration, and other finance staff in Colombia and Chicago, to ensure efficient and constructive financial execution. Also, ensure timely and accurate expense reporting in close collaboration with finance and project staff.
  • Coordinate project communications and research processes with key Chicago-based and national staff, pursuing required approvals (eg. ERB for research processes or review of communications materials by Senior Communications Officer), programmatic coherence, and timely development and submission of products (eg. narrative reports, lessons learned, success stories, and beneficiary-related data). For external-facing project documentation, events, or other activities, ensure they are prepared according to donor standards, particularly branding requirements outside areas of partial exception.
  • Manage contractual and programmatic aspects of relations with communities and implementing partners, including the development of subcontracts and agreements, oversight of their fulfillment, and provision of ongoing support, as needed.
  • Support regular evaluation of project components in terms of feasibility, efficiency and effectiveness. With this aim, ensure appropriate data entry and handling of paper records, perform periodic quality control of the M&E system, and hold periodic meetings (at least once per quarter) with the Program Director and Chicago-based M&E staff to review overall project data.
  • Provide continuous and timely technical oversight and field monitoring of the project staff, notably to ensure quality control and adequate implementation of the planned tools and frameworks. This includes weekly meetings with each regional coordinator and other project staff, and alternating monthly trips to each field site (6 per city annually, some jointly with the Program Director and/or Country Director), and other methods for follow up.
  • Regularly inform the Program Director and Country Director as to project status, and current and emerging issues, including through weekly meetings to follow up on the Weekly Planning Tool.
  • Draft narrative reports and contribute to the development of financial reports through regular budgetary follow up, as part of Quarterly Project Reports to the Donor. In addition, synthetize project updates, including those reported by subcontractors, for timely integration in the Country Monthly Report to Chicago.
  • Support relevant program development processes with programmatic and technical inputs, as requested by the Program Director and/or Country Director.
  • In collaboration with the Director of Finance and Administration, oversee the recruitment of project staff, as well as personnel and documentation follow-up. This includes the conduct of annual performance reviews and periodic staff coaching for direct reports.
  • In collaboration with regional coordinators, coordinate project activities related to the annual summit, including (re)training, planning and team building, and participate proactively in Monthly Leadership Gatherings.
  • Represent the project and organization, and engage constructively with government and civil society actors, in order to provide technical and operational assistance, and advocate for improved attention in accordance with project objectives. Most notably, this outreach should seek the sustainability of community-based rehabilitation for ethnic minorities affected by torture and organized violence.


  • Support the implementation of capacity building training relevant to the MHPSS program activities and provide technical supervision for program staff.
  • Provide technical advice to local partner on their program-related psychosocial activities.
  • Actively coordinate with other local and international agencies and organizations engaged in MHPSS, GBV, and other relevant areas to reduce gaps and redundancies. For this purpose, participate in Local Coordination Teams (ELC, for its Spanish acronym) and other relevant coordination platforms (eg. Inter-Institutional Humanitarian Committee, Transitional Justice Committees, technical working groups).
  • Assist the Clinical Director, the Chicago-based Mental Health Advisor, and technical consultants in relation to MHPSS program design, trainings, materials, and other deliverables, as required for technical quality control.



  • To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or competency required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Education and/or Experience: 

  • Master’s degree or higher in mental health, social work, or counseling. Master’s degrees in humanitarian action, public health, or related fields may be accepted, if coupled with substantive work experience in relation to mental health and psychosocial services.

Technical Skills: 

  • Master’s degree or higher in clinical social work, counseling or clinical psychology with a minimum of 3 years post-licensure experience, or 6 years of significant work experience as replacement
  • At least two years of experience implementing MHPSS programming in development and/or humanitarian settings
  • Demonstrated ability to train staff and implementing partners on MHPSS
  • Experience with project design, development and management
  • Experience working on protection issues including gender based violence (GBV) in emergencies preferred

Other Competencies:

  • Time Management – Ability to prioritize tasks, manage time and complete projects in a fast-paced, changing environment with minimal supervision
  • Quality Management – Looks for ways to improve and promote quality; Demonstrates accuracy and thoroughness
  • Analytical - Synthesizes complex or diverse information; Collects and researches data.
  • Written Communication - Writes clearly and informatively; Edits work for spelling and grammar; Varies writing style to meet needs; Presents numerical data effectively
  • Adaptability - Adapts to changes in the work environment; Manages competing demands; Changes approach or method to best fit the situation; Able to deal with frequent change, delays, or unexpected events
  • Cultural Sensitivity – Respects cultural environment in which person is working and does not act in a manner that is outwardly offensive to the local community

Language Skills: 

  • Excellent oral and written English language communication skills required
  • Advanced proficiency in oral and written Spanish required

Computer Skills: 

  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer, Outlook/Exchange, Windows operating systems
  • High proficiency in Excel, SPSS, or another statistical analysis software
  • Other software routinely used by Heartland Alliance

Physical Demands: The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to talk or hear.
  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to sit; use hands to handle or feel and reach with hands and arms.
  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is occasionally required to stand; walk; climb or balance and stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl.
  • The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 10 pounds.

Work Environment: The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.
  • The employee may be required to remain on Organization premises during breaks and/or meal periods and may be required to stay on Organization premises until their replacement arrives.
  • The employee is required to travel regularly to often insecure and limited-resource environments.

Application instructions

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