Emergency Response Specialist (DRSI)

Church World Service
Position Title:Emergency Response Specialist (DRSI Project)

Church World Service does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability or veteran status in employment or in the provision of services.
Primary Purpose:
The Emergency Response Specialist (ERS) is the critical operational component of the CWS DHA Domestic Disaster Program (DDP) in the field and with local, national and international partners. The DDP has an ERS dedicated to our Disaster Recovery Support Initiative (DRSI) project with specific focus on LTRGs; details for this position are provided below.
The ERS position includes the United States and Territories, and secondarily, will include international programs as needed. It functions as part of the CWS DHA Program and involves frequent collaboration with other DHA departments including Communications; Planning, Monitoring & Evaluation; Resource Mobilization; and Funds Development as well as the CWS Immigration and Refugee Program and DHA Global Programs.
The ERS position is critical to redeveloping a 2015-2017 pilot focused on immigrant and refugee communities in the United States into a sustainable program, including any lessons that can be informed from DRSI. It is also critical for more closely aligning CWS DHA domestic and global emergency response, and to strengthening CWS’ capacity in early response. This role requires an openness to learning and flexibility to seek out and test innovative approaches.
Essential Duties
LTRG Formation / Community Engagement and Support
  • Provide expertise, energy, direction, resources, and referrals for LTRG development utilizing resources such as the National VOAD Long Term Recovery Guide (and list of Disaster response organizations-VOAD and non-VOAD - and their programs).
  • Engage community leaders in meaningful dialogue and utilize existing networks to build consensus and increase collaboration for the formation and successful operation of an LTRG;
  • Provide technical assistance, sensitization and tools to LTRGs to effectively include most vulnerable populations including immigrant and refugee populations in a disaster;
  • Encourage, champion and mentor community leaders in Long Term Recovery Group development and effective LTRG process to leads to their abilities to:
  • Network with and encourage appropriate organizations and leaders (faith-based, non- profit, social service, and governmental) to join the development of a Long Term Recovery Group (LTRG).
  • Develop partnerships with a variety of stakeholders, including immigrant and refugee organizations and communities, VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters) members, Long-term Recovery Groups (LTRG), and public agencies
  • Understand the Federal and state assistance programs, funding opportunities (CDBG, hazard mitigation, etc.)
  • Support mobilization of resources as relevant including small grants, technical consultants, and communications expertise.
Material Assets
  • Support the CWS material assets (Kits and Blankets) mobilization when possible
Convenor Role with DHA Advisory Group
  • Take an active role within CWS as a learning organization as well as with key partners such as the DRSI Advisory Steering Team and the DHA Advisory Group. This includes:
a) Provide input on trends, innovations and opportunities for learning in disaster work including from desk research and outreach;
b) Identify innovative thinkers from the field, academia and local organizations on a variety of topics. Build relationships to support CWS in its convener role.
General Duties
  • Travel as required to disaster impacted communities. Travel may involve short notice and include trips of up to several weeks in the field, including possible deployment to CWS international programs, following a disaster.
  • Build trust and collaboration among organizations and leadership within the LTRG.
  • Work closely with and in support of DRSI project team members (construction management, case management) and other ERSs;
  • Demonstrate a mind-set and a skill-set that are aligned with the vision and mission of CWS DDP, and the DRSI project goals and objectives;
  • Respect and represent CWS and the related ecumenical partners while deployed.
  • Assist in setting up, maintaining and closing agreements with LRTGs, including maintaining accurate financial transaction records where relevant;
  • Prepare reports on regular basis as required;
  • Bachelor’s degree in a related field, Master’s Degree preferred. Studies related to immigration, migration and/or refugee studies valued.
Skills and Experience:
  • Three to five years experience in disaster or relief work.
  • Experience in capacity building, especially with local groups / organizations;
  • Experience working with refugee and/or immigrant populations an asset;
  • Ability to work with a minimum supervision, self-starter, readily adaptable to change, working at a disaster recovery location
  • Knowledge of domestic emergency response networks
  • Experience and commitment to developing and supporting partnerships
  • Experience using MEAL (monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning) tools
  • Excellent writing, oral communication, and analytical skills
  • Creative with ability to operationalize innovations
  • Organizational skills to manage multiple and diverse relationships and tasks
  • Computer literacy in word processing, spreadsheet and database applications
  • Strong teamwork, relational and facilitation skills
  • Good physical health and stamina and ability to spend expended periods of time in field
  • Ability to travel domestically at short notice
  • Authorization to work in the US required