MHPSS Specialist (service contract)


See the tender here:


1.1.         Contracting Authority

INTERSOS is an international non-profit humanitarian aid organization founded in 1992. INTERSOS works to achieve a world of equality, justice, peace and solidarity, by assisting people to live in dignity and safety, alleviating suffering and meeting their needs. The mission of INTERSOS is to support people, families and communities in areas most affected by crisis around the world, providing crucial assistance to populations with heightened protection risks in life-threatening situations, in situations of famine and suffering resulting from extreme poverty, disasters, and conflict

1.2.         Country background

Since 2016 INTERSOS has been providing humanitarian aid for the people in need in Iraq.

1.3.         Current situation in the sector

INTERSOS Iraq in partnership with GIZ is implementing a one-year Community-Based Mental Health and Psycho-Social Support pilot project contributing to peaceful co-existence and local reintegration in Qayyarah, a sub-district of Mosul in Ninewa Governorate in Federal Iraq. The project relies on a strength-based, trauma-sensitive, and conflict-sensitive approach that puts the participants at the center of the intervention, targeting both families with perceived ISIL-affiliation, families who were victimized by ISIL, and host communities. Recognizing the interplay of psychological, social, cultural and environmental factors, and striving to create a supportive, inclusive, and enabling environment for all community members, the project pilot will implement activities at individual, group and community level in response to the multiple levels of stressors and promote psychosocial well-being at individual, group and community levels; strengthening individual coping mechanisms, facilitating in-group experience-sharing to strengthen coping skills and foster acceptance and mutual understanding.


The project implementation context has been highly affected by internal displacement, with ongoing returns and resettlement of families following the closure of IDP camps, some of which are affiliated with former armed groups. At the same time, the area faces challenges with access to basic services – including MHPSS support – and access to livelihood opportunities, which further exacerbates intra-community tensions.

INTERSOS has previously implemented protection interventions in Qayyarah and adjacent locations, including legal support and protection monitoring. The MHPSS project is implemented from the INTERSOS Mosul field base by a team consisting of a field manager, psychologists, PSS workers and Community-Outreach Volunteers, in coordination with GIZ, local stakeholders and other implementing partners operating in the area.


2.1.         Overall objective

The overall objective of the project of which this contract will be a part is as follows:

Support the INTERSOS Iraq Mission in defining, supervising and implementing community-based MHPSS components in the context of a GIZ project and INTERSOS broader protection programme

2.2.         Purpose

The purposes of this contract are as follows:

  • Specifically, the MHPSS specialist will develop technical tools and provide technical guidance and advice to the GIZ project team and other protection staffs to ensure that MHPSS interventions are delivered according to internal guidelines and in line with international standards and principles, in order to achieve the mission’s goals effectively, according to INTERSOS human resources vision and values.
  • The MHPSS international specialist will predominantly be dedicated to the needs of the GIZ project while rendering general support to the Iraq mission’s MHPSS interventions.


2.3.         Results to be achieved by the Contractor

Below is an outline of the key expected deliverables and an indicative timeframe. At least two in-country visits are expected, which will be discussed and planned between the consultant and the Mission team

Support development of specific assessment tools tailored to the context and MHPSS MEAL package May 2024

3 days

Lead development of tailored/adapted PSS/social cohesion curricula for GIZ project June 2024

7 days

Preparation and roll-out of training for GIZ team and other protection staff:

Trauma-informed care / trauma sensitivity

MHPSS MEAL package


PSS/social cohesion tools

Any other training based on identified needs

June 2024


14 days (in-country)


Technical support to midline review and project adjustment July 2024

5 days

Technical support to final evaluation and design of scale-up intervention based on lessons learned November 2024

7 days (in-country)

General technical backstopping to Iraq mission/project team On-going / ad hoc based on discussion

14 days



3.1.         General

3.1.1.      Description of the assignment

In partnership with GIZ, INTERSOS is implementing a pilot project focusing on deliver non-clinical and community-based MHPSS services in highly vulnerable communities in support of local reintegration. The project is implemented from December 2023 to December 2024. Using a participatory and conflict-sensitive approach, the project will incrementally roll out services at individual, group and community level; including individual counselling, structured PSS sessions at family and group level, psycho-education and dialogue sessions, as well as unstructured PSS and community-led social cohesion initiatives.

INTERSOS is soliciting the services of a highly qualified MHPSS expert to support the development of staff training resources, technical tools and materials, and MEAL package, in line with project objectives and national and international MHPSS standards and guidelines.

3.1.2.      Geographical area to be covered

The GIZ-supported MHPSS project is implemented in Qayyarah, a sub-district of Mosul in Ninewa governorate, located approximately 1 hour drive from Mosul city. The MHPSS specialist will conduct part of the work remotely with two in-country visits, which will include field visits to Mosul and Qayyarah. The candidate must be able to obtain a visa for both Federal Iraq and Kurdistan Region of Iraq (visa costs should be included in the offer)

3.1.3.      Target groups

The MHPSS specialist will support the INTERSOS Iraq mission in developing and implementing community-based MHPSS interventions targeting highly vulnerable IDPs and returnees in areas affected by high levels of social tension. Target groups include both families with perceived ISIL affiliation and families who were victimised by ISIL. The specialist must therefore demonstrate an understanding of the MHPSS needs of such target groups to be able to develop tailored approaches while also being able to design and deliver trainings to the project team consisting of psychologists, PSS workers and community volunteers.

3.2.         Specific work

  • Technical Leadership
    • GIZ specific support:

Support MHPSS Field Manager on all technical MHPSS activities within a GIZ project

Develop a community-based MHPSS response in alignment with culture and context of targeted communities, including non-structured PSS and ensuring tailoring these to children and adults through engagement and participation of target groups.

Develop an MHPSS curriculum that is based on fostering social cohesion within targeted communities, ensuring conflict-sensitive and do-no-harm considerations are embedded in the approach

Adapt and roll out MHPSS curriculum within GIZ project and program staff, ensuring adequate capacity strengthening activities are conducted, and follow up/coaching throughout implementation

Develop specific M&E package that supports measuring wellbeing improvement within focused and community-based PSS activities within the project

Technical backstopping to the project team during implementation

Support to the technical design of the midline review and final evaluation of the project, supporting the team in analyzing findings and adjusting project approaches where required

Take lead in developing lesson-learned initiatives that guide timely learning and adjustments of the project and identify opportunities for replication and scale up.


  • General support:

Identify key mental health issues and contributing factors in the communities for both men and women, where we work using assessment tools and research; identify community practices, assets, and structures that are conducive to the promotion of good mental health and ensure that our programming builds on these assets

Work with the CP /GBV Specialist / Protection Coordinator in designing interventions that support PSS that are integrated within our CP /GBV response

Design key messages for awareness on MHPSS based on issues identified in the community and ensure teams are sensitized on it and able to deliver these messages in the community effectively


  • Coordination
    • GIZ specific support:

Develop and tailor standard MEAL tools and indicators to measure the impact, effectiveness and quality of MHPSS interventions for children, adults and people with disabilities in order to Increase and enhance MHPSS programme monitoring, evaluation, and impact determination.

In coordination with the Protection Coordinator deliver trainings and workshops to protection staff to build skills on identified MHPSS topics. Develop training materials according to national policies and international standards

Regularly analyse the status of MHPSS activities and inform the programme adaptation accordingly. Specific mid-year review and recommended action in consultation with the donor for strategic change outcome as informed by the context.

In coordination with the Protection Coordinator support in the development of a tailored harmonised structure for group PSS, emotional support groups, awareness-raising and community outreach/engagement components across the mission


  • General support:

Contribute to the design of the protection strategy of the mission and provide technical support and assistance for the implementation of the MHPSS activities through the proper tools and methodologies.

Ensure that vulnerable/at risk individuals/beneficiaries are promptly and safely identified and referred

In coordination with the national MHPSS specialist, conduct trends analysis on prevailing MHPSS concerns in the project locations for tailored intervention

Collaborate with Case management and psychologists to ensure proper collaboration in referral procedures.

Support the Protection Coordinator in delivering trainings and workshops to non-protection staffs to build skills and knowledge of, Mental Health, PFA and other topics relevant to all sectors

In coordination with the Protection Coordinator assess MHPSS needs and gaps of target populations within the project operation areas.

Support the Protection Coordinator to ensure that protection data are collected, archived, processed, analyzed and disseminated in ethical modalities guaranteeing confidentiality and the respect of internal data protection protocols. Maintain and update the MHPSS platforms for synchronization of data protection management, reporting and planning.


  • Networking and partnerships

In coordination with the Protection Coordinator ensure that main MHPSS concerns are brought to relevant stakeholders to advocate the respect of human rights and guarantee the minimum protection standards

Network with MHPSS leaders of other missions and other organizations to share best practices and resources


3.3.         Project management

3.3.1.      Responsible body

Reporting to:

Hierarchical: Protection Coordinator

Functional: Protection Coordinator


3.3.2.      Management structure

The MHPSS Specialist will work under the technical supervision of the INTERSOS Iraq Protection Coordinator, who will serve as the Specialist’s main focal point during the Contract. Work plans will be discussed with and approved by the Protection Coordinator. Technical resources developed under the contract will be reviewed and validated by the INTERSOS Iraq Protection Coordinator and INTERSOS regional protection referent. Interim and final reports will be approved by the INTERSOS Protection Coordinator and Country Programme Coordinator.


3.3.3.      Facilities to be provided by the Contracting Authority and/or other parties

  • Accommodation for in-country visits to be provided by the contracting authority
  • During in-country visits, office space will be provided by the contracting authority
  • During in-country visits, local transport will be provided by the Contracting authority



4.1.         Location

  • Iraq / Erbil – Operational Base
  • Iraq / Ninewa – Mosul / Qayyarah – field locations


4.2.         Start date & Period of implementation of tasks

The intended start date is March 2024 and the period of implementation of the contract will be 55 days over a period of 10 months from this date. Please see Articles 19.1 and 19.2 of the Special Conditions for the actual start date and period of implementation.


5.1.         Staff

Civil servants and other staff of the public administration of the country, or of international/regional organisations based in the country, shall only be approved to work as experts if well justified. The justification should be submitted with the tender and shall include information on the added value the expert will bring as well as proof that the expert is seconded or on personal leave.

5.1.1.      Key experts

Key experts are not required.


5.1.2.      Other experts, support staff & backstopping

The costs for backstopping and support staff, as needed, are considered to be included in the tenderer’s financial offer.

5.2.         Office accommodation

Office accommodation for each expert working on the contract is to be provided by the Contracting Authority   for all in-country visits.

Should the contractor require office accommodation outside of the working country (Iraq) the provision of such accommodation will be the responsibility of the contractor.


5.3.         Facilities to be provided by the Contractor

The Contractor shall ensure that experts are adequately supported and equipped. In particular it must ensure that there is sufficient administrative, secretarial and interpreting provision to enable experts to concentrate on their primary responsibilities. It must also transfer funds as necessary to support their work under the contract and to ensure that its employees are paid regularly and in a timely fashion.

The Contractor is expected to cover travel and logistics costs associated with the visits to Iraq including:

  • Flight costs,
  • Visa(s) (KRI and Federal Iraq) (if required)
  • Travel and / or health insurance
  • Relocation and / or Subsistence allowance.

5.4.         Equipment

No equipment is to be purchased on behalf of the Contracting Authority as part of this service contract or transferred to the Contracting Authority at the end of this contract.

6.       REPORTS

6.1.         Reporting requirements

The Contractor will submit the following reports in English:

  • Inception Report to be produced no later than 2 weeks from the start of implementation. In the report the Contractor shall describe e.g. initial findings, further details on proposed methodologies/approaches for the assignment, progress in collecting information and compiling resources any difficulties encountered or expected in addition to the work programme and staff travel. The Contractor should proceed with his/her work unless the Contracting Authority sends comments on the inception report.
  • Mid-term Progress Report to be produced no later than 2 weeks after the mid-term review. The report shall serve as A) a progress report for the Contractor, addressing achievements of planned milestones / deliverables, as challenges encountered and expected and proposed mitigation measures, as well as B) a mid-term review report, detailing the methodology used for the review, key findings, lessons learned and recommendation for the ongoing project implementation.
  • Draft final report shall be submitted no later than one month before the end of the period of implementation of tasks.
  • Final report with the same specifications as the draft final report, incorporating any comments received from the parties on the draft report. The deadline for sending the final report is 20 days after receipt of comments on the draft final report. The report shall contain a sufficiently detailed description of the achievements relating to the assignment, as well as findings, lessons learned, and observations on the pilot project implementation including recommendations to support an informed decision on a scaling up of the project approach. The detailed analyses underpinning the recommendations can be presented in annexes to the main report. The final report must be provided along with the corresponding invoice.

To summarise, in addition to any documents, reports and output specified above, the Contractor shall provide the following reports:

Name of report Content Time of submission
Inception Report Analysis of existing situation and work plan for the project No later than 2 weeks after the start of implementation
Mid-term Progress Report Short description of progress (technical and financial) of the assignment, including problems encountered; planned work for the remaining Contract period accompanied by an invoice.

With the progress report, the Consultant will submit the mid-term review report addressing the findings and lessons learned from the mid-term review, highlighting recommended project adjustments and strategies to be adopted during the remaining implementation period.

No later than 2 weeks after the mid-term review.
Draft Final Report Description of achievements including problems encountered and recommendations.

The report will be accompanied by  the final technical report evaluating the impact and design of the pilot project, highlighting recommendations for adaptation and scaling up of the approach developed and implemented through the pilot phase.

No later than 1 month before the end of the implementation period.
Final Report Short description of achievements including problems encountered and recommendations; final invoice and financial report. Within 20 working days of receiving comments on the draft final report from the Project Manager identified in the contract.


6.2.         Submission and approval of reports

The reports referred to above must be submitted to the Protection Coordinator identified in the contract. The reports must be written in English. The Protection Coordinator is responsible for approving the reports.


7.1.         Definition of indicators


Support development of specific assessment tools tailored to the context and MHPSS MEAL package Assessment tools developed, piloted and validated.

Staff trained on assessment tools.

Lead development of tailored/adapted PSS/social cohesion curricula for GIZ project Curriculum developed and validated. Scope of curriculum to be jointly defined with INTERSOS during inception phase.
Preparation and roll-out of training for GIZ team and other protection staff:

●      Trauma-informed care / trauma sensitivity

●      MHPSS MEAL package

●      CB-MHPSS

●      PSS/social cohesion tools

●      Any other training based on identified needs

Trainings conducted for staff with pre/post tests showing at least 75% knowledge gain.

Training reports submitted.

Technical support to midline review and project adjustment Comprehensive and participatory mid-term review designed and conducted with project team and stakeholders.

Mid-term review report submitted and approved.

Technical support to final evaluation and design of scale-up intervention based on lessons learned TBD in consultation with INTERSOS Iraq Protection Coordinator during the inception phase of the project. May include ad hoc support based on the needs of the Mission during the Contract period.
General technical backstopping to Iraq mission/project team TBD in consultation with INTERSOS Protection Coordinator during the inception phase.


7.2.         Special requirements



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