Since 2013, Venezuela is enduring a socio-economic crisis triggered by the fall of oil prices, contested economic measures, and ambitious social policies that fueled insecurity and a decline in the previously richest economy in Latin America. The political and humanitarian crisis worsened in 2018, with UNHCR estimating that thousands of Venezuelans were leaving their country each day to reach and remain in various destinations in Colombia. According the 2020 Refugee and Migrant Response Plan (RMRP), Colombia remains the country most impacted and largest host of arrivals from Venezuela, with an estimated 1,630,903 Venezuelans in the country as of December 2019 (52% male and 48% female, with only 641,825 having legal status), and the return of approximately 500,000 Colombians. This influx has put considerable strain on the Colombian system, meaning that those arriving now are facing harsher conditions than those of the past, as well as those arriving being generally poorer than those who were able to travel earlier.
The 2019 Colombian Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO) stated that there are 1.9 million people in need in Colombia, consisting of 1,467,000 Venezuelan refugees or migrants and 403,000 Colombians. Of this, there is approximately 946,000 males (including 232,000 under 18 and 23,000 over 59 years old) and 925,000 females (including 227,000 under 18 and 24,000 over 59 years old). However, it is important to recognize that the data on Venezuelans is potentially underestimated, because it is believed that thousands are not registered due to crossing into the country informally, and it only reflects disaggregated data for people who have been assessed in need of humanitarian assistance in Colombia.
Beginning in early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic spread quickly and exponentially throughout the world, and entered Colombia in March 2020. The Colombian government has since taken continually increasing measures to contain the virus, including shutting down the border (including that with Venezuela), installing curfews and travel restrictions, and imposing social distancing rules on gatherings. The general situation and conditions has significant impact on Venezuelan migrants and vulnerable Colombians, drastically increasing vulnerability throughout the country.
PUI’s strategy/position in the country
In 2021, PUI will continue and expand the humanitarian projects in North Santander/Santander and Arauca covering health, MHPSS, and protection. In North Santander/Santander, PUI will continue to support Venezuelan migrant and refuges, particularly PWSN, on the dangerous migration route from the border, while in Arauca PUI will expand the clinics and new mobile clinics supporting primary healthcare and MHPSS.
PUI will also be seeking to expand its humanitarian program into new areas, with a new country wide strategy taking into consideration the current and impending challenges related to the COVID-19 crisis. A potential project in Tibú is a continuation of this strategy, focusing on population affected by the armed conflict in the area of Catatumbo, in Norte de Santander. It will be an opening of new base for PUI in Colombia, within health and mental health programming intended to be implemented, also in collaboration with partners focused on protection.
The Head of Mission is responsible for the smooth functioning and the development of the mission.
Safety & Security: S/he is responsible for the safety & security of the mission.
Programmes: S/he coordinates the teams and ensures that the programmes implemented on the mission are properly carried out.
S/he also monitors needs and suggests new operations and development tracks for the mission.
Human Resources: S/he ensures that the mission is adequately staffed and supervises the teams (defining objectives, follow-up).
Logistical, administrative and financial monitoring: S/he ensures that logistical and administrative practices in place respect PUI procedures and formats and are in compliance with donors’ rules and regulations.
Medical and technical monitoring: S/he ensures that medical and technical practices respect PUI’s procedures and formats and are in compliance with PUI’s operational framework and policy.
Representation: S/he represents the association in its relations with partners, donors, the media and different authorities.
Relations with Headquarters: S/he ensures that information is properly circulated between Headquarters and the field and ensures that due dates are respected.
ENSURING THE SAFETY & SECURITY OF GOODS AND PEOPLE
- S/he ensures the PUI’s safety & security management procedures and formats are in place throughout the mission.
- S/he ensures that safety & security plans for each base and the mission are up-to-date, known to and understood by everyone (expatriates and nationals).
- S/he ensures that material and personnel resources are sufficient to ensure the optimal safety of the teams, the material and the beneficiaries.
- S/he ensures that in case of a security incident, the information concerning the incident is communicated, without delay, to the Desk Officer and in accordance with the existing format.
- S/he ensures that safety & security information is properly collected, analysed and that alerts or important information is effectively communicated (to the Headquarters and the field).
ENSURING PROGRAMMES ARE PROPERLY CARRIED OUT AND SUGGESTING NEW OPERATIONS
- S/he ensures that programmes are properly carried out (targets, monitoring of indicators, respect of activity schedules, budgetary follow-up and contractual reports, etc).
- S/he alerts the Desk Officer and the Program Coordinator in cases where there is a delay associated with a programme and suggests changes which could be made (in terms of activities, operation area, budget, schedule by which the programme is carried out, etc).
- S/he establishes a formal coordination system on the field (inter-departmental meetings, reports, etc.) and ensures that this coordination system is implemented on each base.
- S/he suggests new operations and has them authorized by the Desk Officer before submitting them to donors. The documents associated with these new operations should be complete, should respect PUI’s internal procedure, should follow the Donor’s template and shall be sent to the Headquarters for validation. S/he makes sure that the aforementioned documents subscribe to PUI’s mandate and to its operation policy and are in accordance with the strategy of the mission.
- When new operations are outlined, S/he ensures that operational means are well defined in order to allow for the programme and its subsequent monitoring to be well carried out.
- S/he initiates, organizes and ensures that the mission strategy is prepared, in coordination with expatriate and local teams as well as with the Headquarters.
- S/he ensures that departmental action plans are effectively carried out and monitored and are on track to achieve the results defined within the framework of the mission programming.
SUPERVISING LOCAL AND INTERNATIONAL PERSONNEL TEAMS ON THE MISSION
- S/he supervises all local and international teams on the mission.
- S/he defines the mission organization chart and submits it for validation to the Desk Officer.
- S/he may be involved in the recruitment process of the members of his/her team. S/he is informed of every decision to end an employment contract.
- S/he defines the objectives of each expatriate at the beginning of the mission and checks them regularly during, and at the end of the mission.
- S/he ensures that each member of staff (local and international) is evaluated at least once during the mission by his/her direct superior.
- S/he briefs, or has someone else brief, each new member of staff, when they take on the job, on the context, the programmes and the strategies of the mission, as well as safety regulations, logistical and administrative procedures, financial management and human resources and the use of communication means.
- S/he participates in the training of expatriate or local staff (organizational, methodological and potentially technical support, organization of trainings, etc) and recommends internal or external training actions.
- S/he prepares, or has someone else prepare, the job descriptions of expatriates who need to be replaced or hired and communicates them in good time to the Headquarters (ideally at the time when a new project proposal is sent to the Headquarters or 3 months before the replacement of an expatriate).
- S/he is particularly sensitive to managing the team’s stress. S/he monitors and authorizes holidays and also mediates potential conflicts, seeking appropriate support in case of an incident.
- S/he ensures PUI’s Internal Regulations are respected.
- S/he protects PUI’s image in the country and thus makes sure the entirety of the staff behaves in a way which is in compliance with the values maintained by the organization and is respectful of the local culture.
ENSURING THE LOGISTICAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE MONITORING OF THE MISSION
- S/he gives his/her consent for local aid purchases and submits some purchase requests to the Desk Officer for approval (in accordance with internal and donors rules).
- S/he ensures that the PUI’s logistical procedures (or those of the donor if they are stricter) are in place and monitored, especially for supplies, stock, management of the car park, etc.
- S/he ensures that a procurement plan (which respects the PUI’s and the donor’s format and rules) is prepared for each project and that it is updated as purchases are made.
- S/he supervises infrastructure and the entirety of the equipment on the mission (vehicles, IT equipment, office equipment, radio- communication and telecommunication equipment) and ensures they are properly utilized.
- S/he ensures that the PUI’s administrative procedures (finance, HR, etc.) are in place and monitored.
- S/he is responsible for general cost optimization and ensures the financial supply of the mission (transfer requests, mission fees and payment of suppliers).
- S/he ensures that the mission’s accounting is sent to the Headquarters within the agreed timeframe.
- S/he ensures that the administration produces budget follow-ups for each project, that these follow-ups are made available and analyzed with the logistics department, program managers and technical managers.
- S/he informs the Headquarters of donors’ transfers which are received on the field.
- S/he ensures that PUI respects national law (right to work, taxes, etc).
- S/he ensures that PUI is registered in the country of operation.
ENSURING THE TECHNICAL AND MEDICAL MONITORING OF THE MISSION
- S/he ensures the respect of medical and technical practices, in conformity with the mandate and operation policy of the association by guaranteeing a permanent connection between the different medical coordinator/officers and technical coordinator/officers with their counterparts at the Headquarters.
- S/he ensures that the strategy of the mission and the programmes respects the medical and technical regulation of the association.
ENSURING THE REPRESENTATION OF PUI and SI
- S/he represents the association locally amongst donors, NGOs, International Organizations and local authorities and reports representation action to the Desk Officer in his/her periodical report, or ad-hoc when necessary.
- S/he participates in important coordination meetings and is an active attendee of these meetings.
- S/he is responsible for external communication in general and for contacts with the media.
- S/he may be called to travel within the region to meet PUI’s partners.
ENSURING THE SUPERVISION AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE MISSION
- S/he keeps his/herself informed of changes in the humanitarian and political context of the country and the region.
- S/he participates in the development of the mission by securing close contact with bilateral and multilateral donors, of whom S/he knows the policy (operation strategy, financing policy and modalities, in compliance with the Associative Project of the PUI).
- S/he communicates the Mission Strategy (in external version) to the donors so that they know PUI’s activities and positioning.
- S/he is responsible for the development of the mission. Thus, S/he ensures humanitarian supervision and launches new assessments in accordance with needs.
- S/he may be called for ad-hoc support in the region.
ENSURING RELATIONS WITH THE HEADQUARTERS
- S/he is the main link between the Headquarters and the mission.
- S/he sends internal and external reports to the Headquarters, respecting internal validation timeframes (sitrep, accident report) and external contractual due dates (project reports).
- S/he has security plans validated by the Desk Officier and consults him/her for any decision concerning security.
- S/he regularly takes stock of each expatriate team member and defines his/her needs in terms of positions to fill (timing, profile, personality, etc.) with the HR manager.
- S/he ensures information from the Headquarters is circulated on the field and vice versa (monthly and ad-hoc sitrep).
- S/he participates annually to the Missions’ Week at the Headquarters, where s/he makes improvements and development suggestions for PUI.
- S/he ensures the link between the mission’s medical coordinator and the medical department at the Headquarters