By continuing to browse this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Read our privacy policy

Head of Service (Strategic Oversight)

Geneva (Switzerland)

Before submitting an application, UNHCR staff members intending to apply to this Job Opening are requested to consult the IOM-FOM issued for this Compendium / Fast Track exercise, as well as the  Revised Policy and Procedures on Assignments (UNHCR/HCP/2015/2 refers). Head of Service (Strategic Oversight)


The Head of Strategic Oversight Service reports to and supports the Inspector General by providing oversight response, oversight coherence and oversight capacity to the Organization. 
The Terms of Reference for the Service managed by the incumbent are to:
- Strengthen the organization-wide response to oversight findings, in particular: Conduct meta-analysis of oversight findings to identify root causes of recurring systemic issues that present high risks to the Organization; Provide recommendations on significant oversight matters requiring management action or intervention to the High Commissioner/SET; and, at the request of the IG, manage and conduct ad-hoc inspections in response to specific management challenges. 
- Facilitate the coherence of oversight functions, in particular: Comprehensively map oversight activities, and inform the Inspector General of unnecessary duplications in activities or significant gaps in high risk areas; Coordinate all matters relating to Joint Inspection Unit (JIU) for the Organization, including planning and organizing the reviews, consolidating replies and formulating UNHCR¿s responses to the JIU and CEB on JIU matters; Perform Secretariat functions for the IAOC; Provide administrative support, in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding, to the OIOS UNHCR Audit Service.
- Manage and strengthen the IGO¿s oversight capacity and profile:  Develop administrative policies and procedures and related training and communication material for the IGO, at the request of the Inspector General; Provide advice to the Inspector General on oversight matters in general, as required and as may arise in the conduct of the Service¿s duties; Represent the IGO in relevant internal and external task forces/meetings on oversight matters in the areas of the Service's responsibility or on behalf of the Inspector General; Review and provide input on key agreements such as data sharing; Manage the IGO¿s communication strategy.

The work requires extensive coordination with the staff in the IGO and other oversight entities, both internal and external.
The incumbent liaises and coordinates activities of the Service with support of Divisions, Regional Bureaux and Representatives and interacts, within the Position's area of responsibility, with UNHCR's interlocutors in other oversight bodies, governments, NGOs, UN and non-UN agencies as well as independent experts.

The Head Strategic Oversight Service demonstrates a full understanding of the technical and functional requirements of the position, and has a very unique profile with extensive expertise, skills and knowledge in:
- Audit and/or forensic accounting and/or risk management and/or performing evaluations and management reviews.
- Research, synthesis and analysis of large quantities of data to identify systematic root causes, and to formulate implications and recommendations/options to address the core issues.
- Drafting professional reports.
- Staff management in a diverse and multi-disciplinary environment.
- Project management, systems design and implementation.
- Identification of key performance indicators and the development of tools such as dashboards and data visualization.
- UN field operations and emergencies.



- Staff of the Service have the qualifications, skills and support required to achieve the objectives established for the    Service. 
- The Inspector General receives quality reports, presentations and other documents on oversight matters that fall within the areas of responsibility of the Service and that meet the IGO¿s reporting obligations to internal and external stakeholders.
- Management receives timely and accurate information on results of oversight activities, especially on systemic recurring activities or emerging risks that pose a threat to the Organization¿s ability to deliver its mandate.
- The Organization has the tools and procedures to manage and monitor its oversight reporting and compliance obligations.
- Ad-hoc Inspections of a high professional standard are conducted, reported upon, and compliance is monitored.
- UNHCR staff are appropriately informed of the authorities, responsibilities, accountabilities of the IGO and other oversight mechanisms in the Organization and of the results of oversight activities.
- The relationship with the UN Joint Inspection Unit (JIU) is properly managed through timely coordination of inputs to JIU reviews and periodic reporting on compliance with relevant JIU recommendations.
- The IAOC meetings are well organized and quality reports and presentations produced to stakeholders.
- Internal Audit Division of OIOS receives the necessary support in accordance with UNHCR¿s MOU with OIOS.
- The Inspector General is informed of significant gaps or duplications in planned oversight activities, or where planned activities do not address the Organization's critical areas of risk. 


- Manage all aspects of the Strategic Oversight - staffing and performance management; participate in the preparation of the IGO's operational and strategic plans and budgets, including the budget and staffing requirements for the Internal Audit Division of OIOS.
- Provide advice to the Inspector General on oversight matters in the conduct of the Service's duties.
- Represent the IGO in relevant internal and external task forces/meetings on oversight matters in the areas of the Service's responsibility.
- Provide administrative support to the Internal Audit Division of OIOS in accordance with the terms of the MOU for the provision of internal audit services to UNHCR, and inform the Inspector General of related administrative matters or issues requiring attention.
- In collaboration with other departments/services, prepare, review and provide input to oversight information sharing agreements and Terms of Reference for arrangements with UN Agencies and other partners.
- Review and provide feedback to draft agreements with oversight clauses;
- Manage the work of Strategic Oversight so as to achieve the objectives of the Service, including:
- Prepare or review and provide input to IGO reports to external stakeholders (including reports and presentations to UN bodies, interagency meetings on oversight, and meetings of ExCom and the Standing Committee).
- Conduct research and in-depth analysis of oversight findings and recommendations, and, in coordination with other oversight functions, identify lessons learnt and root cause(s) of recurring systemic issues that present high risks to the Organization, and prepare summary reports, with recommendations, on significant oversight matters requiring management action or intervention.
- Work closely with internal and external oversight entities, develop and implement a system and procedures to collect oversight data and efficiently track and report trends and cross-cutting matters presenting a high risk to the Organization;
- Manage and conduct Ad-hoc Inspections, including: developing terms of reference that take into consideration UNHCR¿s mandate and accountability to affected populations, objectives and parameters, and ensuring they are in conformity with established policy and standards; obtaining and assigning resources with appropriate expertise (including contracts with external experts as required); leading the action; and ensuring that staff/experts are deployed and the work completed in a timely manner, that the results are clearly formulated and communicated in a timely manner, and that compliance is monitored and reported upon. Provide advice to, and participate in work of, Investigation  Service as required.
- Manage the IGO's communication strategy, including internet and extranet communications.
- Provide Secretariat services to the IAOC (Independent Audit and Oversight Committee) and coordinate all JIU-related activities for the Organization.
- With assistance from the Global Learning Centre, develop and disseminate training and communication material in areas of Strategic Oversight responsibility.
- Provide support, as necessary, in the development of the internal audit work plan of OIOS for UNHCR; and assist in identifying and obtaining the services of internal and external experts to participate in internal audit engagements of OIOS when required.
- Collect information on planned oversight activities, and inform the Inspector General of unnecessary duplications in activities or significant gaps in high risk areas.
- Develop administrative policies and procedures and related training and communication materials for the IGO.
- Promote best practise in oversight matters that are within his/her area of responsibility.


- Have access to all persons, records, reports, and assets under the ownership or control of UNHCR required to perform his/her work.
- Make decisions on the content of IGO's reports and presentations to the High Commissioner/SET on lessons learnt and root causes to address UNHCR¿s systemic and recurring high risks or emerging trends.
- Make decisions on the development and implementation of the tools and procedures to manage oversight data.
- Make decisions on all aspects of Ad-hoc Inspections and related compliance matters.
- Represent IGO in relevant internal and external task forces/meetings within areas of the Service¿s responsibility.
- Represent the Inspector General as required in UN meetings dealing with oversight matters.
- Make final decision on UNHCR¿s submissions to the UN JIU;.
- Make decisions relating to administrative duties required of the secretary of IAOC.
- Take the necessary administrative actions required to support OIOS Internal Audit Division in accordance with the MOU. 
- Inform the Inspector General of significant gaps or duplications in oversight activities.
- Decide on administrative policies and procedures pertinent to areas of the Service¿s responsibility.


- Advanced University degree in Public Policy, Business Administration, or related field, with accreditation as Certified Management Accountant or Certified Public Accountant/Chartered Accountant or Certified Internal Auditor or a professional with Certification in Risk Assurance or Certified Information Systems Auditor or Certified Fraud Examiner. 
- Minimum fifteen years of previous job experience in the audit and risk management field, with particular emphasis on review of risk management systems and processes, internal controls, and governance structures and mechanisms, and conduct of performance audits, forensic reviews, and/or due diligence reviews.
- Proven skills, knowledge and experience in applying best practices in auditing and risk management.
- Excellent judgement with proven ability to deal with complex interrelated issues and strong analytical and problem solving skills to develop solutions that address root causes.
- Contract management experience, including ability to formulate agreement terms, Service Level Agreements and to manage the performance of consultants and experts.
- Familiarity with developing and extracting information from IT systems.
- Excellent communicator with strong interpersonal skills.
- Proven ability to manage teams of diverse experts, with strong management skills in collaboration, team building, and with ability to deliver quality results on time. 
- Exposure to and experience in UN or non-UN field operations and emergencies in various geographical locations.
- Demonstrate high level of integrity, objectivity, impartiality and fairness.
- Fluency in English, including excellent drafting skills and capacity to communicate complex matters to a wide non-expert audience as well as to experts involved in the area of responsibility.


- Good working knowledge of French or another UN language.
- Working experience in an oversight function within the UN.
- Good working knowledge of UNHCR¿s mandate, field operations, organizational structure, and policies. 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
X004L4 - Negotiation and Conflict Resolution Level 4
X001L4 - Analytical Thinking Level 4
X005L4 - Planning and Organizing Level 4 The IGO is restructuring and redefining its terms of reference and activities. 

The incumbent will head a new Service in the IGO that will play a key role in enhancing organisational accountability. The incumbent will therefore have strategic vision and demonstrate a solid understanding of the role of oversight and its relationship with the Organisation. 
Job descriptions of the positions in the Service are new or are under revision and the positions will be advertised in a phased manner.  The incumbent will therefore also be responsible for the filling of positions over the coming months. 
These factors present a particularly challenging environment, requiring a very high degree of emotional intelligence and interpersonal and staff management skills.  Additionally, given the roles and responsibilities of the new Service, the incumbent must also demonstrate the ability to review voluminous amounts of oversight information from various sources, perform analysis and formulate the operational and management problems raised by the analysis, identify the root causes of the problems, and propose practical and feasible solutions.

This is a newly-created position in a new Service, Strategic Oversight, Inspector General's Office.
The line manager that the position reports to is the Inspector General. Family Duty Station.  Duty travel will be required including to non-family duty stations. No particular security considerations.


Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

What does it mean?

Click "SAVE JOB" to save this job description for later.

Sign up for free to be able to save this job for later.

  • Organization: UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  • Location: Geneva (Switzerland)
  • Grade: D-1, Director - Senior Executive level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Accounting (Audit, Controlling)
    • Management, Administration and Finance
  • Closing Date: 2017-08-11

What does it mean?

Click "SAVE JOB" to save this job description for later.

Sign up for free to be able to save this job for later.

Similar Jobs

Ethics & Compliance Officer

UNOPS - United Nations Office for Project Services
D-1, Director - Internationally recruited position
Copenhagen (Denmark)