Mental Health, Psychosocial Support and Protection Capacity Building Expert

March 27, 2024

Job Overview

  • Date Posted
    March 27, 2024
  • Location
  • Expiration date
    April 9, 2024
  • Experience
    6 Years
  • Gender
  • Qualification
    Bachelor Degree
  • Organization
    Action Against Hunger
  • Required Languages

Job Description



Mental Health, Psychosocial Support and Protection Capacity Building Expert (National Status)

Action Against Hunger is an equal opportunity employer

                                         Women are strongly encouraged to apply


Action Against Hunger (ACF) has been working in Sierra Leone since 1991. As part of its activities in the country, ACF is implementing an integrated multi-sectoral project entitled Multi-sectoral community-led approach to improve nutrition in Bonthe district, Sierra Leone (MCA-Nut) to support vulnerable populations in three chiefdoms in Bonthe District: Jong, Kpanda Kemoh, and Yawbeko. 

MCA-Nut is an Irish Aid funded project that is expected to run for three years, between August 2022 and July 2025. The project is currently in the 2nd year of implementation in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Sanitation and the Ministry of Social Welfare and the national partner Movement Towards Peace And Development Association (MOPADA). The principal objective of the project is to contribute to the reduction of under-nutrition in children under five years and to reduce the chronic malnutrition of adolescents and pregnant and lactating mothers in the target areas. 

ACF nutrition programming is designed to address the underlying causes of malnutrition, through nutrition specific and nutrition-sensitive interventions. This includes treatment and preventative actions in various sectors, including: food security and livelihoods, health and nutrition, mental health and psychosocial support and protection (MHPSS-P), and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH). A range of strategies are deployed across the project for integrated service delivery across these different sectors, as well as across advocacy work that is both mainstreamed across the project and integrated within specific activities.

With regards to MHPSS-P interventions, in the first year of implementation, ACF focused its activities in the United Brethren Church (UBC) Hospital in Mattru Jong, Bonthe and in 22 health facilities in Jong, Kpanda Kemoh, and Yawbeko chiefdoms. The health staff were trained to be able to identify signs of psychological distress and to provide psychosocial support following the Mental Health Gap Action Programme and to provide child care practices. In the In-Patient Facility of the UBC hospital, a baby friendly corner (BFC) was established to provide childcare practices including psychosocial care to children with severe acute malnutrition (SAM) and their caregivers. In the second year, the MHPSS-P intervention expanded to the communities where Community Health Workers (CHW) and leading mother from the Mother Support Groups (MSG) are trained on the identification and referral of people in psychological distress and/or at risk of protection.. In addition, community dialogues take place on a monthly basis with the key members of the community to discuss the main problems identified in the community and actions to be taken and followed up. At district level a MHPSS-P working group in coordination with the MoH and the Ministry of Gender has been established to coordinate all efforts among the existing actors. 

The community activities are led by MOPADA who work on social change and economic emancipation mainly towards women and children through community development and empowerment processes. MOPADA has mainly expertise in health and food security and livelihoods and is currently expanding their sectors of expertise to also provide MHPSS-P services.

Main Purpose
These Terms of Reference cover two objectives:

ACF is looking for a MHPSS Capacity Building Expert to 

  1. strengthen the capacity of the ACF team on child care practices and MHPSS-P to train and mentor health facilities staff ; and
  2. to train MOPADA to become an MHPSS-P expert.  

The MHPSS Capacity Building Expert will be in charge of implementing the two objectives mentioned above which mainly include preparing trainings and on the job trainings, supervising activities, revising and proposing additional tools or material for improvement of quality of activities and ensuring high quality data collection, monitoring and reporting.

Mission 1: To identify the needs of the ACF MHPSS-P team in Bonthe and elaborate a capacity building plan 

  • Identify the needs in MHPSS-P within the project and the team
  • Visit activities in the field, including meeting local and sectorial actors to evaluate the quality of the intervention and training gaps. 
  • Based on the evaluation, elaborate a needs assessment report and a capacity-building plan
Mission 2: Provide technical support in the implementation and follow-up of ACF MHPSS-P activities in Bonthe

  • In collaboration with the MHPSS-P Head of Department, organize and facilitate training sessions on MHPSS-P and child care practices topics, according to identified needs and using ACF training package 
  • Participate in strengthening staff skills, in line with established capacity-building plan and according to needs. 
  • Regular hands-on training (side by side training) with ACF staff (and HF staff) on child care practices and MHPSS-P onsite (HFs and hospital) 
  • Organize regular technical supervision with ACF staff (and HF staff) 
  • Develop and/or update training manuals and materials on MHPSS-P and child care practices related topics 
  • Participate in the monitoring of project activities to ensure effective technical follow-up with the Health and Nutrition Program Manager and MHPSS-P Deputy Program Manager
  • In collaboration with Program Manager and Deputy Program Manager, carry out field visits to provide technical support and supervision to teams on MHPSS-P and child care practices related issues and prepare visit reports  
  • Identify recommendations and build an action points on MHPSS-P and child care practices related issues for the PM and DPM
  • Suggest adaptations of activities/approaches or mitigating measures to address challenges faced during the implementation 
  • Participate in program coordination meetings

Mission 3: To contribute to the Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning processes with regards to the MHPSS-P and child care practices

  • Contribute to the review and analysis of project reports (APR), make concrete recommendations and follow them up 
  • Contribute to the timely drafting of internal and external reports in collaboration with the MEAL department, Heads of Department and Program Manager
  • Contribute to the capitalization of the programme data and documentation of activities carried out
  • Contribute to the transmission of the technical knowledge acquired in his/her programme
  • Identify opportunities for learning and document case studies, lessons learnt and best or promising practices in MHPSS-P and child care practices and contribute to produce reports on capitalization of project’s experience, lessons learned, programme data and documentation of the innovations carried out 
  • Contribute to the implementation of the complaint mechanisms focusing on the transparency and ethics of projects in particular with assisted populations  
  • Provide technical support to internal and external evaluations, including supporting the implementation of evaluations (ex. baseline/endline) in collaboration with MEAL 
  • Ensure gender mainstreaming in data collection and analysis and contribute to the collection of gender-sensitive data (disaggregated by sex and age) 

Mission 4:  To train MOPADA to become an MHPSS-P expert 

  • To support ic collaboration with ACF in the definition of MOPADA’s MHPSS strategy its area of intervention and the sectoral strategy at the national and district level
  • Assess the  training needs among partner staff
  • To participate in the elaboration of a Plan of Action
  • To organize and facilitate training sessions on MHPSS-P according to identified needs
  • To strengthen staff skills, in line with established Plan of Action and according to needs. 
  • In collaboration with the Deputy Program Manager, carry out field visits to provide technical support and supervision to MOPADA teams on MHPSS-P related issues and prepare visit reports  
  • Identify and follow-up recommendations and action points on MHPSS-P and child care practices related issues 

Mission 5: Maintain strict confidentiality and respect of Action Against Hunger’s policies  

  • Ensure that beneficiary information is kept confidential and that protocols are in place for data under ACF’s responsibility 
  • Provide regular reminders of confidentiality procedures


  • Needs assessment report
  • ACF Capacity building plan
  • MHPSS-P and child care practices updated material 
  • Action Plan to support MOPADA
  • Technical report with recommendations to ACF and MOPADA
Education Diploma in Mental Health, minimum BSC degree and masters in Psychology preferred, BSC in Social Work or Social Science with training background in Early Childhood Development, Psychosocial Support, mhGAP, Gender-Based Violence
Experience – Minimum 4 years of experience on Early Childhood Development including working with children under 2 years old and caregivers

– Minimum 4 years of experience providing Mental health and/or psychosocial support

– Minimum 2 years of experience in providing MHPSS trainings, supervision and mentoring

Languages Fluent in English is essential and local language is an asset
Required Skills – Knowledge on infant and young child feeding and child care practices 

– Strong skills in capacity building and supervision

– Strong skills in writing and analysis

– Good listening and communication/facilitation skills

– Knowledge in project cycle management   

– Good command of Microsoft


Reporting Line  Line manager: Field Coordinator 

Functional manager: Mental Health, Psychosocial Support Head of Department 

Supervision  Hierarchical: n/a 

Function: Mental Health, Psychosocial Support and Protection Deputy Project Manager

Place of Assignment
Bonthe District, Sierra Leone
Duration of Assignment
4 Months



HOUSING AND TRANSPORT ALLOWANCE: 15% of basic salary each


 Send Motivation Letter, CV saved in your name – for example (Joe Blue CV) for your CV, and (Joe Blue Motivation Letter) for your motivation letter, with names of three (3) referees by EMAIL, under the Subject “Mental Health Psychosocial Support and Protection Capacity Building Expert” to

Deadline for the receipt of applications is Wednesday, 10th April, 2024.

Due to the urgency of this position, applications may be sorted on a rolling basis.

Only short-listed candidates will be contacted for a written test and oral interview.

Please state the position applied for on the subject line of your email.

Action Against Hunger is an equal opportunity employer. 

Women are strongly encouraged to apply