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Senior Deputy Director of UNRWA Operations (Programmes), re-advertised

Gaza (Palestinian Territory)

Vacancy Announcement

Senior Deputy Director of UNRWA Operations, D-1 (Programmes)

Gaza (re-advertised)

Note: Applicants to vacancy number 17-FO-GA-15 need not re-apply.

Deadline for Applications

26 August 2017

(12 August 2017 for internal applicants)


2 years, with the possibility of further extension, subject to the availability of funds, satisfactory performance and continuing need.

Vacancy Announcement Number


UNRWA encourages applications from qualified women and welcomes applications from qualified candidates with disabilities.

UNRWA, the largest United Nations operation in the Middle East with over 30,000 staff working across five areas of operation, is looking for professionals like you.

Palestine refugees in Gaza

The Gaza Strip is home to a population of approximately 1.3 million Palestine refugees out of a population of around 1.9 million people. It has one of the highest population densities in the world. Recurrent conflict, restrictions on the movement of people and goods, political uncertainty, and dilapidated public infrastructure constitute the backdrop of a steadily declining socioeconomic situation. Gaza has been the subject of not only the occupation but also the blockade over the last ten years further reducing the possibilities for coping.  UNRWA is the international organization responsible for the Palestine refugees and delivers education, health and mental health care, relief and social services, livelihood, microcredit and emergency assistance. UNRWA’s responsibilities and role in Gaza are unique representing with over 12.500 staff in some 300 facilities involved in supporting all aspects of the life of the refugees.   

Do you want to make a lasting difference? 

If you are passionate about making a difference in all aspects of one of the most vulnerable communities in the world, in this role, you will be part of the leadership team, contribute to the Field’s programme development, strategic and operational plans and budgets, guide and direct specialist staff, respond to emerging needs, manage staff performance and ensure optimal use of resources. You will, in conjunction with senior colleagues, liaise with external interlocutors including UN agencies, government representatives, the refugee community and civil society.

The main responsibilities include:

•         Responsibility for the management of the largest standard Field programme cluster in the Agency (education, health, relief and social services including emergency preparedness and assistance,  community mental health, infrastructure and camp improvement,  microfinance and oversight for the operations support officer (OSO) programme and protection, planning, projects and partnerships, mainstreaming and security functions, and is the principal adviser to the Field Director on these functions; responsibility for Gaza specific programmes which were developed in response to the changing needs of the Field and to expand UNRWA’s capacity to respond, these programmes include Interactive Learning Programme, Summer Learning Programme and  Summer Fun Weeks; 

•         Contributing to the  development, preparation, coordination and monitoring of the Field Implementation Plan, Biennium Budget, Mid-Term Strategy for the programmes  in his/her Field, ensuring an integrated approach to the management of programmes and exercising decision-making authority over the largest share of the Agency’s human and financial resources and capital assets of the Field, in line with UNRWA regulatory framework and SPARE principles;

•         Providing support and advice to the Field Director in implementing the largest proportion of the Agency’s reform plan for comprehensive programme and management reform; leading the implementation of pertinent reform initiatives in his/her organizational cluster; coordinating the work of cross-functional teams to achieve field-wide outcomes and promotes integration of cross-cutting issues into the field programme  framework; in conjunction with HQ Directors, enables Gaza Field to act as ‘pathfinder’ or ‘early adopter’ in Agency-wide reforms;

•         Establishing an effective performance management framework for his/her direct reports and provides guidance, support, and mentoring as well as completing regular performance evaluation reports;

•         Liaising with government and local authorities to ensure their cooperation in facilitating the Agency’s operations; assisting the Field Director in managing and promoting inter-agency and donor relations;

•         Proactively coordinating with the Area Staff Union chairperson and Education, General Services and Manual Workers sector chairpersons, building structural relationships to resolve issues and disputes between staff, the staff union and field management;

•         As assigned, acting for the Field Director during his/her absence, with full responsibility for the Field operations, and reporting to the Commissioner-General, (USG) and/or Deputy Commissioner-General, (ASG);

•         Acting as the Field security focal point and liaising with the Agency’s Chief Security Adviser and the UN Department of Safety and Security in the Field; acting as the Area Security Coordinator as required.

Conditions of service 

UNRWA offers an attractive and competitive compensation package including annual salary starting for $96,865 net tax free, plus post adjustment of 55.9% (subject to change without notice). Other benefits, subject to eligibility, include:

  Dependency allowances

  Rental subsidy

  Education grant for children

  Home leave travel

  6 weeks (30 working days) annual leave

  Pension fund entitlements under the

    UN Joint Staff Pension Fund

  International health insurance; optional

    life insurance

  Disability protection

Additional benefits available to staff working in Gaza:

Hardship allowance

Non-family service allowance

R&R leave (currently every 8 weeks)

Family visit travel

Support for settling-in of staff

   members’ families in nearby locations*

* While Gaza is a non-family duty station, eligible staff members may set up a second household in a nearby location to have their family nearby. However, Gaza remains the official duty station with any travel outside the duty station being subject to management approval and in accordance to office practices to ensure international staff presence in Gaza at all times.

Additional information

The incumbent of this post may be required to travel throughout the Agency's area of operations in the Middle East.

To qualify for this position, you will need:


An advanced university degree (Masters or equivalent) from an accredited educational institution in political science, social science, public or business administration, or international relations; a first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of an advanced university degree;



At least fifteen years of progressively responsible professional experience, including at least eight years at international level managing large-scale, multi-sector programmes in a large governmental or international organization with a minimum of two year at international level outside your home country; Significant experience in managing large teams;


Excellent command of written and spoken English.

Desirable qualifications:

•         Knowledge of activities of UNRWA operations and services;

•         Knowledge of  Middle Eastern geo-political realities and its socio-cultural implications;

•         Experience with United Nations administration/financial policies and practices;

•         Working knowledge of Arabic.

You will also need to demonstrate the following competencies:

•         Professionalism

•         Leadership

•         Planning and Organizing

•         Managing performance

•         Vision

•         Communication

•         Technological Awareness

•         Client Orientation

For guidance on how to prepare for competency-based interviews:


How to apply

To start the application process, applicants are required to register at by creating a personal profile and completing UNRWA Personal History Form. Only applications received through will be considered. Due to the large number of applications received for UNRWA vacancies, only applicants short-listed for interview will be contacted. The United Nations does not charge fees at any stage of the recruitment process. The United Nations does not concern itself with information related to bank accounts.

General information

UNRWA staff are expected to uphold the highest standards of integrity, neutrality and impartiality at all times. This includes respect for and commitment to human rights, diversity, and non-violent means of dealing with all kinds of conflict. Only persons who fully and unconditionally commit to these values should consider applying for UNRWA jobs. UNRWA is a non-smoking work environment.

The retirement age for staff entering or re-entering service in the UN Common System after 1 January 1990 is 62 and 65 after 1 January 2014. For external applicants, only those who are expected to complete a term of appointment will normally be considered.

The Agency reserves the right not to make an appointment, to make an appointment at a lower grade, or to make an appointment with a modified job description.

Date of issue: 30 July 2017/LF

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.

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  • Organization: UNRWA - United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees
  • Location: Gaza (Palestinian Territory)
  • Grade: D-1, Director - Senior Executive level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Management, Administration and Finance
  • Closing Date: 2017-08-26

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