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

Associate Human Resources Officer

Kakuma (Kenya)

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.

Associate Human Resources Officer


Associate Human Resources Officer will function under direct supervision of the Senior Administrative or Human Resources Officer. Incumbent will manage HR related activities within the country/ operation, through direct supervision, coaching and guidance to locally recruited staff responsible for the personnel administration and other HR related matters.  He/she will assist the Senior Officer responsible for Administration/ Human Resources in the process of staffing and budget reviews, recruitment and appointment of staff, and in the performance management and staff welfare issues. Incumbent will have close working relationship with the staff-related services in UNHCR, such as the Personnel Administration & Payroll Section (PAPS), Talent Outreach & Acquisition Section (TOAS), Assignments & Promotion Section (APS), Performance Management Unit (PMU), Career Management Section (CMS), Staff Health & Welfare Service (SHWS) and Global Learning Centre (GLC). He/she will also maintain contact and close cooperation with other UN agencies in the country.


- UNHCR recruits, contracts and deploys staff and makes sufficient use of affiliate workforce in the country to meet its current and future operational needs, adhering to the principles of the UNHCR People Strategy.
- The workforce in the country is well-informed of and understands the organisation's human resources policies and practices.
- UNHCR's learning programmes and activities build the competencies of its workforce to meet the needs of the country operation.
- UNHCR provides a healthy, safe and respectful working environment for its workforce in the country.

- Participate in the preparation of the annual operations programme review submissions, and in the review of the training needs of the staff, making appropriate proposals to meet identified needs.
- Ensure that UNHCR¿s workforce in the country has a sound awareness of UN/UNHCR staff rules and regulations (including the Code of Conduct) and is aware of its rights and obligations as well as benefits and entitlements.
- Coordinate timely advertisement and the filling of General Service and National Officer vacancies. Participate in the work of the local Assignments Committee (AC). Provide guidance to managers in preparing their submissions for the AC. Ensure the recruitment, assignment and reassignment of local staff for the country operation, is performed in accordance with UN/UNHCR rules and procedures, and that proper consideration is given to applicants from all layers and communities of the local society.
- Supervise maintenance of the personnel records in the office, including MSRP entries into HR module, as well as of the attendance, overtime and leave records.  Provide support, guidance and training to all staff performing personnel administration and other HR related functions.
- Brief newly arrived international staff on related administrative formalities and ensure all arrangements are expedited in relation to their accreditations, and coordinate their onward travel to the field office, if applicable.
- Supervise administration of UNHCR medical insurance plan for locally recruited staff. Coordinate support to staff and dependants in case of medical evacuation.
- Coordinate HR related activities of the security evacuation plan, ensuring relocations/evacuations are managed and administered in line with the provisions of the UN Security Management System Policy.  Supervise maintenance of the daily tracking mechanism to ensure accurate information on staff and families in case of emergency.
- Bring to the attention of the Senior/Administrative Officer any matters related to the residential and office accommodation to ensure standards set through the organizational policies are adhered to.
- Maintain liaison with the support sections and divisions at headquarters, specifically with DHRM, on matters related to the recruitment and personnel administration support, medical and other issues of staff welfare and safety.
- Perform other related duties as required.

- Enforce compliance with the UN/UNHCR staff rules and regulations, as well as with the performance management system.
- Clear issuance and extension of contracts for locally recruited staff.
- Audit MSRP/HR entries made by local staff with access to MSRP/HR module.
- Clear payments related to personnel issues such as settlement of travel claims, overtime claims, hazard pay, MIP reimbursements, medical and security evacuations, shipment costs.
- Represent UNHCR in the working groups/task forces within the UN inter-agency mechanism on coordination of salary surveys, staff safety and welfare concerns.

- Undergraduate degree (equivalent of a BA/BS) in Human Resources Management/Administration, Law or similar disciplines plus minimum 3 years of previous relevant work experience in progressively responsible functions in an office that administer/manage a large number of staff, preferably within the UN. Graduate degree (equivalent of a Masters) plus 2 years or Doctorate degree (equivalent of a PhD) plus 1 year of previous relevant work experience may also be accepted.
- Good knowledge of UNHCR administrative procedures and processes and exposure to provision of support services in an international organization.
- Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English.

***For National Officer positions, very good knowledge of local language and local institutions is essential.

- Knowledge of UN/UNHCR field operational realities, especially in hardship duty stations.
- Field experience with UNHCR and/or with other humanitarian organizations is an asset.
- High IT affinity and working experience of PeopleSoft/MSRP HR module, as well as with MSRP Financials and Focus.
-       Knowledge of additional UN languages.

This is a Standard Job Description for all UNHCR Associate HR Officer positions. 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. C001L2 - Accountability Level 2
C002L2 - Teamwork & Collaboration Level 2
C003L2 - Communication Level 2
C004L2 - Commitment to Continuous Learning Level 2
C005L2 - Client & Result Orientation Level 2
C006L2 - Organizational Awareness Level 2
M001L2 - Empowering and Building Trust Level 2
M006L2 - Managing Resources Level 2
M003L2 - Judgement and Decision Making Level 2
M002L2 - Managing Performance Level 2
X001L2 - Analytical Thinking Level 2
X005L2 - Planning and Organizing Level 2
X009L2 - Change Capability and Adaptability Level 2 <p>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.</p>
See below for this postion's Operational Context

For those people applying for High Risk Duty Stations, we strongly encourage colleagues to read the country specific security and welfare profiles which can be found on the Intranet under Support Services - Duty of Care ( These profiles have been specifically designed to answer some of the key questions (on security conditions, medical provisions, staff welfare, living and working conditions) potential applicants might have before deciding to apply. Ensuring staff are better informed is part of the increased attention UNHCR is paying to Duty of Care. This project is still in the pilot phase, and as such some of the information leaflets are being produced as we speak and might not be available yet. They will be soon, so keep checking. 

The Associate HR Officer should be conversant with the HR policies, rules and procedures in order to be able to provide advice and support to the colleagues at SO Kakuma and liaise with Branch Office Nairobi HR for functional guidance not only in country specific HR procedures but also medical support to staff which is an integral part of the HR support in this duty station.
S/he must have prior similar experience and have in-depth technical knowledge on HR/personnel administration matters as well as familiarity with MSRP HR module. The incumbent is expected to be an excellent team player, possess a good level of maturity to be able to resolve numerous and complex issues with regards to the administration of staff entitlements and benefits ¿ particularly timely renewals of employment contracts and absence management.

The ideal candidate must be familiar with all the provisions of the PPAL, and have sound practical experience in the recruitment of national staff, specifically guiding managers through the selection processes and preparation of documentation required by the Assignment Committee.

The successful incumbent will report to the Admin/Finance Officer and will supervise general service HR staff in Sub Office Kakuma.
S/he will be required to closely coordinate learning activities at SO Kakuma in the capacity of Learning Coordinator. The incumbent is also expected to guide staff on UNHCR¿s learning programmes and activities to build the competencies of the workforce in SO Kakuma. Of equal importance will be the steps to promote healthy, safe and respectful working environment and strengthen national staff capacity. UNHCR Sub-Office Kakuma covers two main areas of operation: Kakuma refugee camp and Kalobeyei integrated settlement.
Kakuma refugee camp is located in the North-western region of Kenya, about 720.4 Km from Nairobi. The camp was established in 1992 following the arrival of the ¿Lost Boys of Sudan¿. During that year, large groups of Ethiopian refugees fled their country following the fall of the Ethiopian government. Somalia had also experienced high insecurity and civil strife causing people to flee.
The 16Km2 camp is located on the outskirts of Kakuma town, which is the headquarters for Turkana West Sub-County of Turkana County. The camp is divided into 4 sub-camps namely Kakuma 1,2,3 and 4 and has a population of over 147,000 refugees and asylum seekers.

Kakuma camp and Kalobeyei Integrated Settlement had a total population of over 186,000 registered refugees and asylum-seekers at the end of February 2018. With an influx of new arrivals in 2014, Kakuma surpassed its capacity by nearly 60,000 individuals, leading to congestion in various sections. Following negotiations between UNHCR, the National Government, the County Government of Turkana and the host community, 15 Km2 land for a new settlement was identified in Kalobeyei, 25 km from Kakuma town. In Kalobeyei settlement, refugees and the host communities share resources and available services. Currently, there are over 38,000 refugees and asylum seekers hosted at Kalobeyei settlement.

Sub-office Kakuma continues to receive new arrival refugees from South Sudan and other countries. In 2017 alone, 23,288 new arrivals were received. Since the beginning of January 2018, 2,461 (70% from South Sudan) newly arrived refugees and asylum seekers have been received by UNHCR.

Apart from UNHCR¿s main role of protecting the refugees and asylum seekers, other services provided by UN agency for refugees and other humanitarian agencies include: food, water, shelter, sanitation, education, healthcare, and protection and livelihood programs. Core protection activities include registration, refugee status determination (RSD), durable solutions, and delivery of legal and physical protection. All international staff reside on UNHCR compound which is 5 minutes¿ drive from the Kakuma airstrip. The compound houses both offices and residences. Residential rooms have bathrooms and are equipped with basic necessities such as bed, wardrobe, TV, AC, refrigerators and gas stove (in most houses). Staff provide his/her own linen (bedsheets, towels, etc) and toiletries. The rooms are cleaned daily from Monday to Friday by cleaning company employed by UNHCR. Laundry is done separately at extra cost. There is a cafeteria and bar run by a private company, where three meals are provided daily for a fee. There is a gym within the compound and a basketball court at the outer perimeter of the compound.
Kakuma town has shops selling toiletries such as soap, lotion, toothpaste, food items such as rice, unga flour, beans, bread, sugar, coffee or vegetables such as tomato, potato, capsicum, onion, garlic and meat produce such as poultry, beef and goat meat. There are several churches and several mosques in the town. Equity Bank is the only bank available in the area. The ATM machine accepts some credit and debit cards, dispensing local currency - Kenyan Shillings.

Turkana County is generally characterized by high temperatures (average 35 degrees Celsius/95 Fahrenheit) and is relatively humid. January, February and March are the hottest months, with temperatures reaching a maximum of 38 Celcius / 100.4 Fahrenheit. Some essentials during these periods are a hat/cap, sunglasses and light (sweat absorbing) clothes. November-December is the short rainy season. Long rains start in mid-March and end in June. Movement to the camp/settlement and neighbouring towns becomes limited when the numerous seasonal rivers get flooded. The risk of malaria is high. Some of the hazards in the Kakuma operation includes dust storms, heat exhaustion, flooding, the presence of different insects, snakes, scorpions and high risk of malaria. Although there are no specific forecasted rains, sudden severe showers cannot be ruled out. The showers usually results in large muddy areas and overflowing of seasonal rivers. It should also be noted that overflowing seasonal rivers in Kakuma area can result from rains in highlands on the North Eastern Uganda border.

There are no medical facilities with high standards. Kakuma Mission Hospital at Kakuma town is the first point of call during medical emergency situations. There are also few medical clinics and chemist shops in Kakuma town with very basic facilities. Referrals and evacuations are primarily to Nairobi. Kakuma Sub Office is a Security Level 3 (moderate). The overall security situation in the Kakuma operation area has been calm and stable over the past few months. While UNHCR operations in Kakuma camp and Kalobeyei settlement have not been directly affected by insecurity, humanitarian operations and program delivery modalities are constantly reviewed and the security posture is adjusted in order to mitigate the risks.

Movement in and out of the UNHCR Compound of UN personnel, partners and visitors is restricted from 22:00Hrs to 05:00Hrs.  In Kakuma Camp and Kalobeyei, staff are expected to return from refugee camps and integrated settlement to the UNHCR compound by 18:00 hours.

The security of the UNHCR compound is provided by UN Security and Safety Service (UNDSS), also a private guard company as well as the Kenya Police Service. Staff are expected to always cooperate with the security personnel and keep ID badge/visitors pass visible at all times while in the compound. Remote location, lack of entertainment and changes to social life the factors to be also considered prior to applying.

Please note that the closing date for all vacancies in the Add.4 to March 2018 Compendium is Wednesday 5 Septembe 2018 (midnight Geneva time).

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: Kakuma (Kenya)
  • Grade: P-2, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Junior level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Human Resources
  • Closing Date: 2018-09-05

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.