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Prog Officer

Tapachula (Mexico)

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.

Programme Officer


The incumbent receives guidance from the Senior Programme Officer, the Deputy Representative or the Representative. The incumbent may supervise some professional staff and supervises some support staff. S/he may receive indirect guidance from other sections and units relevant to the country programme(s). UNHCR Manual, programme objectives, Operations Plans, UN and UNHCR financial/budgetary rules and regulations will guide the work of the Programme Officer. S/he is also expected to stay abreast of the challenges posed to the region by the political context, the UN and humanitarian reform and institutional developments.

External contacts are predominantly with persons on subject matters of importance to Organization's programme (e.g. counterparts in other organizations or at working level in national Governments). 



- The needs of persons of concern in the country are assessed and analysed in a participatory manner and using an Age, Gender and Diversity (AGD) perspective to form a firm basis for planning.
- IP agreements are established in a timely manner, regularly monitored and reported on in compliance with established guidelines and procedures.
- The organizational fundraising actions are fully supported by maintaining regular contact with donor representatives and by submitting project funding submissions and appeals.

- Through a consultative process within the country and field visits, assist in the development of strategies, methodologies, contingency plans that respond to new and emerging operational challenges for the country.
- Ensure that global strategic priorities (GSP) and regional priorities as well as information on projected resource availability guide the planning parameters.
- Assist in developing the country operations plan in compliance with global strategic priorities and regional priorities as well as with annual programming/planning instructions.
- Assist in managing a consultative process to ensure a consistent application of UNHCR's policies/practices related to and where applicable to UN cooperation, integrated missions, "Delivering as One" initiative, Common Humanitarian Action Plans, UNDAF etc.
- Assist in the process to ensure a consistent application of the organization's criteria and policies for the selection of implementing and operational partners.
- Manage the development of a broad network of partners, good coordination practices and the development of partner capacities.
- Guide and train UNHCR as well as implementing partners (IP) staff in UNHCR standard procedures related to the Results Based Programme management.
- Undertake proper collection, use and monitoring of baselines, standards and indicators needed to measure and analyze UNHCR's performance, trends and target interventions.
- Undertake field visits to evaluate and improve the planning, programming, implementation and monitoring of assistance projects.
- Implement the establishment of sound monitoring processes, review final reports and on progress in order to advise on any corrective actions required or the need for additional resources to reach planned target levels.
- Apply UNHCR's corporate tools (e.g. Global Focus, Focus Client) to record data and assess the technical soundness of the operation and generate data for evidence-based decisions at the country-level.
- Assist in managing a transparent, consultative and responsible process for the approval of the country-level budgets and the allocation of resources.
- Assist in monitoring compliance to the organization's resource allocation framework, providing support and taking corrective action where required.
- Ensure compliance in issuance of audit certificates for Implementing Partners.
- Monitor the implementation of IP Risk Management techniques and tools.
- Perform other related duties as required.


- Provide inputs for the country operations plan (including budgets, staffing levels and structures) as well as prepare funding submissions, appeals and reports;
- Negotiate implementing partner agreements;
- Represent UNHCR in UN fora dealing with operations management and programmatic issues;
- Enforce compliance with UNHCR's global strategies, protocols and guidelines;

- Undergraduate degree (equivalent of a BA/BS) in Economics, Business Administration, Social Science or related field plus minimum 6 years of previous job experience relevant to the function. Graduate degree (equivalent of a Master's) plus 5 years or Doctorate degree (equivalent of a PhD) plus 4 years of previous relevant work experience may also be accepted.
- 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.

- Completion of the UNHCR Learning programmes or specific training relevant to functions of the position.
- Good knowledge of UNHCR financial rules, procedures and processes.
- Knowledge of UNHCR specific programmes (MSRP, Focus, etc.)
- Computer skills (in MS office).
- Knowledge of additional UN languages.

This is a Standard Job Description for all UNHCR Programme 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. C001L3 - Accountability Level 3
C002L3 - Teamwork & Collaboration Level 3
C003L3 - Communication Level 3
C004L3 - Commitment to Continuous Learning Level 3
C005L3 - Client & Result Orientation Level 3
C006L3 - Organizational Awareness Level 3
M001L3 - Empowering and Building Trust Level 3
M006L3 - Managing Resources Level 3
M003L3 - Judgement and Decision Making Level 3
M002L3 - Managing Performance Level 3
X001L3 - Analytical Thinking Level 3
X007L3 - Political Awareness Level 3
X008L3 - Stakeholder Management Level 3 <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
======================================================================================================== ¿ Experience in supporting a comprehensive multi-year and multi-partner protection and solutions strategy, including design of specific responses and result-oriented approach.
¿ Managing and integrating protection and solutions priorities throughout the operations management cycle, placing people of concern at the centre of the programme process and strengthening participation, communication and feedback.
¿ Full command of UNHCR Manual, programme objectives, Operations Plans, UN and UNHCR financial/budgetary rules and regulations as well as Results Based Management.
¿ Consensus teambuilding and cultural sensitivity needed as the team is diverse.
¿ Ability to work in multi-functional teams for improved programming.
¿ Ability to work in partnership and coordinate with a diversity of actors to advance operational objectives.
¿ Excellent communication, diplomatic and analytical skills ¿ both oral and written ¿ a knowledge of the politics and operations in the Latin-American context in general and in the Mexican context in particular. Ability to deal with adverse situations in the cultural context of Mexico.
¿ Experience in using MSRP
¿ Excellent command of Spanish and English, written and spoken is essential The current drivers of forced displacement in North of Central America (NCA) persist in 2018. Central Americans continue to cross Mexico¿s southern border in significant numbers to seek protection. Due to a lack of information, detention policies, the limited number of locations with COMAR presence as well as inadequate reception arrangements, many people with international protection needs attempt to make the dangerous journey north to the United States without making an asylum claim in Mexico. As progress has been achieved in building the asylum system and in improving reception arrangements, as well as in the provision of local integration opportunities, the number of claimants in Mexico has increased, as has the number of people who successfully integrate.

The number of asylum claims in the first half of 2018 was 9,790 and well over 1000% higher than in 2013. According to COMAR¿s data, of the total 14,596 asylum applicants in 2017, 59.3% were from the NCA (Honduras 29.7%, El Salvador 25.4%, Guatemala 4.6%). UNHCR estimates that the increase in claims would have been significantly higher but the material damage to COMAR¿s Mexico City headquarters due to the September earthquake and the difficulties faced by COMAR to fully resume its operations had an impact in the processing of claims. Today there is a backlog of 53% of claimants. In 2017, a total of 2,853 were recognized as refugees or received complementary protection, a decrease of seven per cent compared to 2016. For 2018, unofficial data from COMAR for the first half of the year confirm an increase of almost 50% over the number of claimants in the first half of 2017. However, claims from the North of Central America were up over 80%, an increase of more than twice what UNHCR projected.  This increase is putting additional pressure on an already weak asylum system and assistance providers. The impact of the increasing number of claimants is most acutely felt in towns and cities close to the border with Guatemala. Authorities in southern Mexico report that public services are stretched by these arrivals and that this is feeding xenophobia.

UNHCR estimates that violence against PoC is underreported, and generally goes unpunished. An increasing number of PoC have required relocation due to security risks in the southern states, especially transgender women. Comprehensive protection services to PoC such as legal assistance, referrals in a dignified and confidential manner, prevention and response to SGBV, child protection, and psychosocial support, medical and psychiatric services are lacking in many locations. Although UNHCR has funded positions to provide legal and psychosocial support and is working closely with partners such as DIF, COMAR and UNICEF, this does not cover the overall needs. Mexico offers a favourable legal framework for the inclusion of refugees in public services and their local integration, both in socio-economic and legal terms. Refugees are issued a permanent residence card and a social security number and a population registration number (CURP), which permits access to public services. Refugees have access to the national education and health system and enjoy the right to work. Applications for naturalisation can be made by people from Latin America after two years of permanent residence. The procedure takes six months, is affordable and has simplified criteria applicable to refugees. A dynamic economy in central and northern states such as Coahuila, Jalisco, and Baja California complements this favourable legal framework. Chambers of commerce report thousands of vacancies in these States and are willing to cooperate with UNHCR and with partners in order to organize the relocation of refugees and facilitate job placement. While the legal framework and current economic conditions create the potential for successful local integration, careful planning, coordination and case support is essential. As a result, UNHCR is reinforcing efforts for local integration, offering vocational training and job placement programs in cooperation with the private sector. ¿ Tapachula is a small border city with adequate public services. Facilities such as supermarkets, cinemas, restaurants are available.
¿ Possibility of renting private accommodation.
¿ Adequate health facilities available locally.
¿ Although Tapachula is a family duty station, education is only in the local language and basic; ¿ Good security awareness needed as duty station has frequent security and safety threats.
¿ Considerable level of general criminality.
¿ Although there is no official curfew in place, staff are advised to limit movement after dark. ¿ Previous experience in Latin America is highly desirable.

Please note that the closing date for all vacancies in this Flash Vacancy is Tuesday 25 September 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.

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  • Organization: UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  • Location: Tapachula (Mexico)
  • Grade: P-3, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Project and Programme Management
  • Closing Date: 2018-09-25

What does it mean?

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