Child Safety and Protection Lead at The International Rescue Committee (IRC)

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive and rebuild their lives. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC offers lifesaving care and life-changing assistance to refugees forced to flee from war or disaster. At work today in over 40 countries and 22 U.S. cities, we restore safety, dignity and hope to millions who are uprooted and struggling to endure. The IRC leads the way from harm to home.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Child Safety and Protection Lead

Requisition ID: req17421

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Location: Abuja (FCT)
Employment Type: Full-Time
Sector: Protection and rule of law
Employment Category: Fixed Term
Open to Expatriates: No

Job Description

  • The International Rescue Committee’s mission is to help people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover, and gain control of their future. Founded over 80 years ago, the IRC is a leading humanitarian and development organization with a presence in more than 40 countries. Across contexts, the IRC is committed to delivering innovative, high-impact programs tailored to the needs of communities affected by the crisis.
  • The IRC began working in Nigeria in 2012, providing assistance to communities displaced by large-scale floods. In response to escalating armed conflict in 2014, the IRC launched an emergency response in Yola and has since scaled health and nutrition, education, protection, and WASH programming across Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe (BAY) states. As one of the largest multi-sector actors in the northeast, the IRC has strong linkages with civil society organizations (CSOs), state line ministries, and local stakeholders to ensure lasting gains for communities in need.

Scope of Work:

  • The IRC seeks a Child Safety and Protection Lead for an anticipated five-year, multi-million dollar USAID education activity in Nigeria. The project will equip out-of-school children and youth in northeast Nigeria with the foundational skills needed to progress to higher levels of education, training, and/or engagement in the workforce.
  • The Child Safety and Protection Lead will be responsible for designing and delivering effective programming around school safety, including child safeguarding and reporting, child protection, accountability, and referral pathways for child survivors of abuse, neglect, violence, and exploitation. The Child Safety and Protection lead will also be responsible for the development of content on social and emotional learning (SEL) so that children learn to effectively apply knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to understand and manage emotions; set and achieve positive goals; feel and show empathy for others; establish and maintain positive relationships; make responsible decisions, and ultimately improve child and youth safety outcomes so children successfully progress to higher levels of education. The Safety and Protection Lead position will be based in Maiduguri, Nigeria.
  • Recruitment is contingent upon the successful award of the project, and the selection of the final applicant is subject to USAID approval.


  • Lead the mainstreaming of child safeguarding policy and procedures into program activities to promote a culture of safety for children and youth learners; ensure children, caregivers, teachers, and affiliated education personnel are aware of the policy and relevant reporting procedures.
  • Build relationships to identify and enhance referral pathways to key protection agencies and relevant related service providers (e.g., WASH, shelter, legal, health, etc.) to ensure the OTL project facilitates safe and effective service delivery to children and young people in need of protection.
  • Facilitate strengthening safe child protection referral pathways and awareness by working with other partners and stakeholders to conduct training on safe identification and referral of children at risk, raising awareness, sharing information regularly on referral focal points, and coordinating with relevant service providers to update the referral service pathway
  • Develop a school safety risk assessment process with key education stakeholders, including children, caregivers, teachers, school directors, parent committees, religious and village leaders, and other relevant focal points.
  • Develop risk mitigation strategy sessions for children (especially adolescent girls) with other key stakeholders (including children, caregivers, teachers, and relevant community members) to map out intervention options; deliver related activities targeting perceptions and threats of safety in and around the learning environment, including those which contribute to caretakers’ decisions to not enroll or withdraw their children from school, particularly girls, and which reduce children’s exposure to harm.
  • Develop standard and implementable guidance on minimum school and non-formal learning centers’ safety standards and checklists (e.g., sufficient and separate toilet facilities, accessible ingress and egress routes, emergency procedures and plans, availability of fire extinguishers and water access, proper ventilation, sufficient lighting, identification of rally points, ramps for accessibility, etc.), and work with education authorities and community members to redress deficiencies through sustainable, economic, and inclusive solutions.
  • Support the design, adaptation, and roll-out of training on psychological first aid, structured psychosocial support for children at risk, IRC’s Kernels of Practice social-emotional learning training materials and activities, IRC’s Healing Classrooms materials and activities for teachers, education actors, and, as appropriate, caregivers.
  • Identify non-formal learning structures and strategies that comply with IRC’s community engagement approaches and learning environment minimum safety standards to address the increasing number of non-functioning classrooms, including those damaged by insurgency.
  • Conduct regular visits to project sites to ensure schools and non-formal learning centers’ safety, safeguarding, and protection minimum standards are understood, implemented, and supported by relevant community members, caregivers, and education actors.
  • Support schools to set up early warning systems through ongoing and active engagement with teachers, school directors, community leaders, religious leaders, parent committees, caregivers, and children.
  • Support the ongoing engagement and monitoring of early warning systems in schools to ensure plans are used, promoted, and updated in schools and other areas of learning on a systematic basis through an action and monitoring plan.
  • Work with protection and education actors to identify gaps and needs with respect to contingency plans for a family tracing and reunification (FTR) response and ensure this is linked to the early warning system plan; this includes having an emergency FTR process in place in the event of an emergency with teachers, caregivers, and children on board


  • Minimum seven years of relevant experience designing, implementing and managing large, complex projects that work to protect vulnerable children and youth
  • Minimum five years of project management experience; previous experience with USAID-funded programs preferred
  • Bachelor’s degree in social work, education, international development, or related field is required; a Master’s degree preferred
  • Experience in overseeing child protection projects including supporting the delivery of psychosocial activities, emergency response, child protection case management including family tracing and reunification, and setting up child safeguarding mechanisms.
  • Demonstrated success incorporating innovation and participatory, flexible, and gender-sensitive programming into implementation
  • The capacity to work well under pressure, and the ability to communicate appropriately and effectively cross‐culturally is critical
  • Significant previous experience working in conflict or crisis situations, preferably in West Africa and/or Nigeria
  • Availability to travel throughout the Northeast Nigeria region
  • The candidate must be fluent in English; fluency in another Nigerian language preferred.
  • Experience in developing and implementing organizational child safeguarding policies and procedures, including for NGO partners
  • Experience developing monitoring, evaluation, accountability, and learning processes for safeguarding, preferably within the education context
  • Demonstrated ability to liaise and build networks with government officials, community leaders, civil society representatives, and, preferably, education actors within the context of safety and protection promotion.

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How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply

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