Head of Sub Office vacancy at UNHCR - NewBalancejobs

Head of Sub Office vacancy at UNHCR


United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) 

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) the UN Refugee Agency, is a global organization dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights and building a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people.

UNHCR stands for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and was created in 1950, during the aftermath of World War II. Its headquarters are in Geneva, Switzerland and it is a member of the United Nations Development Group.

In 1954, UNHCR won the Nobel Peace Prize for its groundbreaking work in Europe. But it was not long before it faced it’s next major emergency.

In 1956, during the Hungarian Revolution, 200,000 fled to neighboring Austria. Recognizing the Hungarians as ‘prima facie’ refugees, UNHCR led efforts to resettle them. This uprising and its aftermath shaped the way humanitarian organizations would deal with refugee crises in the future.

During the 1960s, the decolonization of Africa produced the first of that continent’s numerous refugee crises. It also helped uprooted people in Asia and Latin America over the following two decades. In 1981, UNHCR received a second Nobel Peace Prize for what had become worldwide assistance to refugees.

The start of the 21st century has seen UNHCR help with major refugee crises in Africa, the Middle East and Asia. It has also been asked to use its expertise to help many internally displaced by conflict and expanded its role in helping stateless people. In some parts of the world, such as Africa and Latin America, the 1951 Refugee Convention has been strengthened by additional regional legal instruments.

UNHCR now has more than 11,517 members of staff and work in a total of 128 countries and its budget, which in its first year was USD $300,000, grew to USD $6.54 billion in 2016.

Job Title: Head of Sub Office

Job ID: 21329
Location: Head of Sub Office
Salary Grade: P5
Hardship Level: E
Family Location Type: Non-Family

Procedures and Eligibility
Before submitting an application, UNHCR staff members intending to apply to this Job Opening are requested to consult the Recruitment and Assignments Policy (RAP, UNHCR / HCP / 2017 / 2 and the Recruitment and Assignments Administrative Instruction (RAAI), UNHCR / AI / 2017 / 7 OF 15 August 2017.

Organizational Setting and Work Relationships
Head of a UNHCR Sub Office (HoSO) is a senior managerial position within a given country operation. The incumbent carries the full delegated authority of the UNHCR Representative (or the country Manager) of the country, who will exercise entire supervisory managerial responsibility for the position. The position, on the other hand, provides all information on developments in relation to the protection (legal protection issues relating to the persons of concern to UNHCR), security (Physical security in relation to the UNCR staff and the persons of concern to UNHCR) and operational matters (programme and office management/administration) within the domain of its geographical area of responsibility to the UNHCR Representative (or the country manager) on a regular and timely manner. Subject to the specific legal or socio-economic or security developments in the Area of Responsibility (AOR), Representative will direct and guide the Head of the Sub Office to take the most appropriate course of action. Concerning overall physical security concerns, HoSO will liaise directly with the competent UN security coordinator while keeping the UNHCR Representative fully informed.

While the functional responsibility of a Head of a Sub Office will always remain the same despite its grade level, the other parameters (therefore the depth and breadth of the competencies) such as the size of the population of concern to UNHCR, their specific legal/security concerns, the volume of assistance, Number of operational / Implementing partners and the size of the Office (i.e. number of UNHCR staff and their grade levels) will determine the appropriate grade level. The operational autonomy also depends upon the same parameters/competencies.

As the most senior UNHCR staff member within the given geographical area, he/she is required to liaise with all the relevant senior government officials, security organs in the area, the Head of various Non-Governmental Organisations (both national and international based in the area), Civilian/tribal leaders/elders, local opinion-makers and the local media net-work to ensure his/her assigned responsibilities are effectively and efficiently discharged.

As the extended field representative of UNHCR at the front line of High Commissioner¿s operations, he/she remain as an effective advocate and assistant to the local authorities to ensure that the respective government authorities in the area implement their conventional responsibilities in favour of refugees and others of concern to UNHCR.

All UNHCR staff members are accountable to perform their duties as reflected in their job description. They do so within their delegated authorities, in line with the regulatory framework of UNHCR which includes the UN Charter, UN Staff Regulations and Rules, UNHCR Policies and Administrative Instructions as well as relevant accountability frameworks. In addition, staff members are required to discharge their responsibilities in a manner consistent with the core, functional, cross-functional and managerial competencies and UNHCR¿s core values of professionalism, integrity and respect for diversity.


  • Monitor and report on the implementation of refugee conventional responsibilities and international obligations of the local authorities Vis a Vis the population of concern to UNHCR within the given geographical area; based on local situations/developments make appropriate recommendations to the UNHCR Representative.
  • Advocate and promote UNHCR standards concerning the treatment of asylum seekers, refugees, and returnees as well as IDPs, where applicable; Advocate, promote and encourage the concerned authorities and local opinion makers to uphold established UNHCR standards that have become the international norms.
  • Ensure that the basic needs of the concerned population are properly assessed with the participation of the beneficiaries themselves, the host governments and/or the competent Implementing partners and/or UNHCR itself.
  • Subject to the needs, ensure that the planning, formulation and budgeting of identified assistance projects are done as per UNHCR programme cycle; upon approval of assistance project, ensure the timely implementation and rigorous monitoring of identified assistance activities
  • Ensure through the subordinate staff that all deadlines for monitoring and reporting of UNHCR operational activities (i.e. include assistance as well as Administrative) are met on a regular basis.
  • Manage all UNHCR resources, both human, financial/material, at an optimum level for the wellbeing of the concerned population and the UNHCR staff.
  • Ensure that all security measures of UNHCR office (and residential, wherever applicable) compounds are always up to date; any security breaches and/or potential security threat should be reported immediately to competent UN security coordinator in the country.
  • Ensure that staff welfare, both in terms of working and living conditions, are maintained at a satisfactory level within the constraints in the operational area; this requires remaining current in health and medical facilities locally available and evacuation options available in a moment of medical urgency.
  • Guide, coach and advocate the subordinate staff to maintain highest standards of conduct and behaviour thorough one¿s own practice and deeds.
  • Prepare and submit regular reports, both verbally and written, to the UNHCR Representative. In the event of a substantial telephone conversation that leads to specific action or non-action, it should be recorded and share with the other party.
  • Represent UNHCR in inter-agency fora and with local authorities in the AOR.
  • Enforce compliance with UNHCR’s global protection, programme, finance, human resources and security policies and standards.
  • Submit project proposals for assistance to refugees and other persons of concern to UNHCR Representation in coordination with local authorities and NGOs.
  • Perform other related duties as required.

Education & Professional Work Experience
Years of Experience / Degree Level:

  • For P5 12 years relevant experience with Undergraduate Degree; or 11 years relevant experience with Graduate Degree; or 10 years relevant experience with Doctorate Degree.

Field(s) of Education

  • Human Resources Management;
  • Personnel Administration;
  • Law;
  • Political Science;
  • International Relations;
  • Economics;
  • Other relevant fields.

Certificates and / or Licenses:

  • HCR Management Long Prg;
  • HCR Managing Operations Long Prg;

Relevant Job Experience:

  • In-depth knowledge in all aspects of UNHCR’s Field level operation
  • Applied experience of protection principles, operational arrangements/standards in relation to protection, assistance, UNHCR office management, and staff administration
  • Should be conversant in the current priorities in the organization and existing mechanisms within the organization to implement those priorities.


  • Working experience both in UNHCR HQ and / or a Regional Office and the Field.

Functional Skills:

  • UN-UNHCR Operations, mandate, principles and policies;
  • IT-Computer Literacy;
  • IT-Microsoft Office Productivity Software;
  • MG-Office Management;
  • PR-Protection-related guidelines, standards and indicators;
  • HR-Staff Administration;

Language Requirements:

  • For International Professional and Field Service jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English.
  • For National Professional jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English and local language.
  • For General Service jobs: Knowledge of English and/or UN working language of the duty station if not English.

Position Competencies:

  • C001L4 Accountability – Level 4
  • C002L4 Teamwork & Collaboration – Level 4
  • C003L4 Communication – Level 4
  • C004L4 Commitment to Continuous Learning – Level 4
  • C005L4 Client & Result Orientation – Level 4
  • C006L4 Organizational Awareness – Level 4
  • M001L4 Empowering and Building Trust – Level 4
  • M002L4 Managing Performance – Level 4
  • M006L4 Managing Resources – Level 4
  • M005L4 Leadership – Level 4
  • M003L4 Judgement and Decision Making – Level 4
  • M004L4 Strategic Planning and Vision – Level 4
  • X005L4 Planning and Organizing – Level 4
  • X001L4 Analytical Thinking – Level 4
  • X007L4 Political Awareness – Level 4.

This is a Standard Job Description for all UNHCR jobs with this job title and grade level. The Operational Context may contain additional essential and/or desirable qualifications relating to the specific operation and/or position. Any such requirements are incorporated by reference in this Job Description and will be considered for the screening, shortlisting and selection of candidates.

Application Deadline
24th August, 2020 (midnight Geneva time).

Method of Application

Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply online

Additional Information

  • The UNHCR workforce consists of many diverse nationalities, cultures, languages and opinions. UNHCR seeks to sustain and strengthen this diversity to ensure equal opportunities as well as an inclusive working environment for its entire workforce
  • Applications are encouraged from all qualified candidates without distinction on grounds of race, colour, sex, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

Please Note: UNHCR does not charge a fee at any stage of its recruitment process (application, interview, meeting, traveling, processing, training or any other fees).

To apply for this job please visit public.msrp.unhcr.org.

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