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Education Officer (Emergencies)


  • Organization: UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  • Location: Nairobi
  • Grade: Mid level - P-3, International Professional - Internationally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Education, Learning and Training
    • Emergency Aid and Response
  • Closing Date: Closed

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.

Education Officer (Emergencies)


The Education Officer (Emergencies) will support and strengthen operational capacity to country, regional and global education actors to carry out effective and harmonised education coordination, joint planning and response. The main areas of focus are to strengthen collaboration in emergencies globally, regionally and at country level as well as to build an evidence and learning base for improved joint planning and coordination at all levels that is disseminated and implemented. In this regard close collaboration is expected with the Global Education Cluster and the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE), as well as other entities working in the education sector. 

The New York Declaration of September 2016 and the ensuing development of the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) have established an agreed framework for a holistic approach to supporting and sustainably strengthening refugee hosting communities and service provision. Within this approach, UNHCR's refugee education strategy emphasizes the protection sensitive and safe access, quality and sustainability of education service provision and inclusion in national education within 3 months of displacement. Refugee inclusion within existing programmes and strengthened partnerships to support this to the benefit of both refugee and host community children is part of this direction, and education plays a prominent part in this approach. Displaced children have a much higher probability for missing out on schooling than many other groups, and provisions need to be made to support them to successfully re-enter an education system. Insufficient access to continuous education is a major protection concern in many regions and particularly at the onset of emergencies.

The Education Officer (Emergencies) will provide technical guidance, advice and operational support on refugee access to education in emergency situations and advocate on issues related to UNHCR's strategic directions and education programmes in emergencies. Support and capacity development will also be provided to staff so that they can support, through innovation or good practices, the amplification of, or new approaches, that lead to, inclusion of refugee students in national education at all levels in host country contexts in emergency responses. This includes equipping and supporting staff and partners in operations and at the regional levels to increase and improve education access for persons of concern. It entails ensuring close contact with country offices on the overall protection and solutions policy direction of UNHCR and integrating education within this, and on monitoring and assessing impact particularly in partnership with education partner agencies.

In exercising these responsibilities, the position supports the development of country- and context-specific strategic approaches to education in emergencies, within comprehensive protection and solutions strategies, to address particular situations arising in the field.

The Education Unit is situated in the Division of Resilience and Solution (DRS), in Copenhagen, Denmark. The Education Officer (Emergencies) will be based out of UNHCR's Regional Service Center in Nairobi, Kenya.


- Capacity of country, regional and global education actors to carry out effective and harmonized education coordination, joint planning and emergency response is built and strengthened.
- Protection and solutions oriented approaches to education programming are promoted and supported within UNHCR and partner programmes in response to emergencies.
- Protection within the school environment is actively promoted in collaboration with other relevant programmes.

- Support the development of framework for strengthened planning, response and coordination of education in emergency and crisis-affected contexts developed in close collaboration with key partners.
- Promote refugee access to education is integrated early into partner's regional and country level strategies with education actors including Government, UN agencies, and national and international partners.
- Collaborate with relevant partners to ensure that inclusion of refugees in national education services and systems within three months of displacement is supported including strengthening education services for refugee and host communities.
- Support participation of persons of concern in decisions and initiatives pertaining to their own education is assured through continuous assessment using participatory, rights and community based approaches. 
- Provide support to country operations to develop and implement an education strategy and plan in emergencies as part of a broader protection and solutions strategy that is fully consistent with child protection goals and takes into account the standards of the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE).
- Collaborate closely with key entities on education in emergencies and crises including the Global Education Cluster and the INEE regionally and at country level.
- Provide direct field support targeted, particularly in emergencies, at improving collaboration amongst humanitarian and development actors in delivering more aligned, coherent and sustainable education responses.
- Support inter-sectorial linkages between education and child protection, SGBV, WASH and health programming to provide emergency services that are protection centred and holistically responsive to children's needs.
- Promote country level/national education programming in emergencies that includes the needs of women and men, children, youth, persons with disabilities, marginalised groups such as LGBTI persons, ethnic and other minorities.
- Liaise with UNHCR and partner country offices and provide entry points for resource mapping and country based workshops with a view to strengthen response and coordination among partners on education in emergency and crisis-affected contexts.
- Support the production of a `living¿ on-line repository of resources for joint planning, coordination and response hosted and managed by INEE.
- Support the drafting of recommendations for improved mechanisms for joint planning, coordination and response to influence and incentivize strengthened collaboration in emergencies at all levels.
- Support the development, dissemination and implementation of recommendations for improved joint emergency planning and coordination with partners at all levels.
- Provide direct field support targeted at improving collaboration amongst humanitarian and development actors in delivering more aligned, coherent and sustainable education responses.
- Ensure education concerns are accounted for in on-going needs assessments and that adequate age and gender disaggregated data is available for education programme planning in emergencies. 
- Support country operations and partners on coherent planning for emergency responses and longer-term strategy in emergencies.
- Support joint mapping of education partner capacity and seek solutions to address key gaps.
- Deploy to emergencies when necessary to support the UNHCR operations in the initial phases of an emergency response.
- Support country level advocacy for inclusion of refugees in national education systems from the onset of an emergency and provide support for a coordinated approach to education for refugee and host communities in collaboration with relevant partners.
- Support partners and country operations on information management to for the collection and dissemination of relevant education information and good practices to enhance quality of and access to education in emergencies.
- Contribute expertise, knowledge to relevant networks and coordination groups and initiatives, with a view to advance quality of and access to education in emergencies, in keeping with UNHCR's authority and mandate for protection.
- Contribute to communications that generate external support for education rights and access for persons of concern in emergencies.
- Support collaboration and orientation of partners, including humanitarian and development actors, in line with capacity development for the inclusion of refugees in national education systems.
- Map and assess education capacity building and training needs among partners, particularly in the context of emergencies.
- Contribute to capacity building of UNHCR staff, local partners and civil society to coordinate and plan responses that provide quality education to persons of concern in times of emergencies.

- Organise meetings with education and protection partners as part of the support provided to emergencies.
- Write or provide support for documents and reports that address education in emergencies issues.

- Undergraduate degree (equivalent of a Ba/BS) in Education, Social Work, Community Development or a related field plus minimum of 6 years of experience in humanitarian or development education programming, including minimum two years in emergencies. Graduate degree (equivalent of a Master's) plus 5 years or Doctorate degree (equivalent of PhD) plus 4 years of previous relevant work experience may also be accepted.
- Demonstrable technical expertise in education in emergencies and development, early recovery and post crisis transition, preferably as it relates to refugees.
- Developing country field experience in functions that are relevant to the position.
- Knowledge and experience in education  related sub-sectors in development or humanitarian context
- Experience supporting joint needs assessments, strategic response planning and funding appeals.
- Experience in coordination of sector working groups or Education Cluster and/or demonstrable ability to work with diverse groups of stakeholders and to develop consensus and partnerships.
- Excellent knowledge of English including strong and demonstrated communications/presentation skills in English.

- Understanding of UNHCR Education policy as it is expressed in the UNHCR Education Strategy an added advantage.
- Understanding of INEE Minimum Standards for education in emergencies would be added advantages.
- Training and coaching skills/facilitation of learning.
- Experience in the area of child protection.
- Demonstrated expertise in community engagement/ development, social work, social surveys/ assessment, or related areas
- Team building/development training.
- Proficiency in a second UN language, preferably French. 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
M003L3 - Judgement and Decision Making Level 3
X005L3 - Planning and Organizing Level 3
X007L3 - Political Awareness Level 3
X008L3 - Stakeholder Management Level 3

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.

For those people applying for High Risk Duty Stations, we strongly encourage them – before deciding to apply- to read the country specific security and welfare country profiles which can be found on the Intranet under Support Services - Duty of Care ( Ensuring staff are better informed is part of the increased attention UNHCR is paying to Duty of Care.


Staff after having applied to High Risk Duty Stations will have access to country specific information webinars with Field Safety Section (FSS) and Staff Welfare Section (SWS) colleagues and provided with a tool to test their psychological preparedness for serving in High Risk Duty Stations. Applicants who applied for a position in a High Risk country will receive, after the deadline for applications has expired, a joint invitation from the Staff Welfare Section (SWS) and the Field Safety Section (FSS) to participate in these webinars. During the Webinars, latest updates on security and well-being will be provided, and FSS and SWS will address questions raised by participants. Applicants are highly encouraged to benefit, when applicable, from all measures as they provide most up-to-date security and well-being information helpful to assess staff’s readiness to serve in a High Risk Duty Station. A Staff Welfare Officer will also be available, if and when required, to discuss with interested applicants the results of the psychological preparedness tool as well as readiness for assignment in High Risk Duty Stations.


Please note that the closing date for all vacancies in the September 2018 Compendium is Thursday 18 October  2018 (midnight Geneva time).

This vacancy is now closed.
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