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  • Organization: UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  • Location: Geneva
  • Grade: P-3, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Documentation and Information Management
    • Information Technology and Computer Science
    • Design (digital, product, graphics or visual design)
  • Closing Date: 2018-12-16

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Archivist (Digital Preservation)

Geneva (Switzerland)

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.

Archivist (Digital Preservation)


Records are kept to facilitate the on-going work of the UNHCR mission, to provide a highly mobile staff with access to timely information, to facilitate the organization's response to review of UNHCR policy development.  UNHCR rapidly adopted information technology and has been introducing new information systems with staggering speed.

UNHCR Electronic Document and Records Management System (EDRMS) is the electronic recordkeeping system for all types of electronic records. This system is not, however, the only electronic system that holds records:  Intranet, Internet and social media are the preferred way to disseminate information internally and externally, Refugee Media (photo and video); MSRP (supply resources and resource management system), Focus (planning and reporting system), and Progres (Refugee registration system) are UNHCR core systems, while a myriad of other information systems are used across the organization to assist for specific activities. To manage all UNHCR electronic records through their life cycle represents a significant challenge to the Records and Archives Section, but the failure to meet this challenge would result in diminished accountability and a loss of organizational memory.

Under the general direction of the Chief of Section (Records and Archives), the incumbent is responsible for developing and implementing a strategy for appraisal and long term preservation and access of electronic archives.  The incumbent works in close collaboration with the other teams in the Records and Archives Section and with the Information Technology colleagues.

The incumbent supervises an associate archivist in charge of the Web Archives, support staff and consultants.

The incumbent participates in and covers the work of the other professional archivist when needed.



- UNHCR electronic records are preserved, protected, and made available in the appropriate format and systems to ensure their authenticity and reliability, integrity and availability during their complete life cycle.


- Develop and implement a strategy for appraisal and long-term preservation of electronic records and archives.
- Develop and implement a strategy for digitization of physical records with long term value.
- Prepare and implement specifications for the maintenance and development of  a digital preservation solution for UNHCR
- Manage a digital preservation system.
- Supervise the Web Archives Programme.
- Manage digital preservation related projects.
- Participate in the elaboration of UNHCR guidance materials.
- Apply retention schedules to UNHCR electronic records.
- Perform other related duties as required.

- Decide long term preservation policies for all type of electronic records.
- Select metadata schemas applicable to electronic records.
- Define requirements for electronic records management and archival systems.
- Implement and approve disposition of records.


- Undergraduate degree (equivalent of a BA/BS) in archival management; or in history or related discipline with additional training as provided by universities and/or professional archival associations  plus minimum 6 years of experience in progressively responsible functions in relation to Archives or record management. Of the 6 years, minimum of 3 years of experience should be in an international environment in the same functional area directly relevant to the current position. 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.
- A comprehensive knowledge of archival principles, functions, techniques, methods, and international standards, and of their application to electronic records and archives.
- A detailed knowledge of and experience with digital preservation.
- A sound experience in appraisal, disposition and preservation of electronic records.
- Familiarity with current digital preservation solutions.
- Excellent knowledge of English (written/oral/comprehension).


- Working knowledge of French is highly desirable; knowledge of other UN languages is an asset. 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
M002L3 - Managing Performance Level 3
M004L3 - Strategic Planning and Vision Level 3
M003L3 - Judgement and Decision Making Level 3
X001L3 - Analytical Thinking Level 3
X002L3 - Innovation and Creativity Level 3
X006L3 - Policy Development & Research Level 3
X003L3 - Technological 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

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.


The candidate manages the Digital Preservation program of UNHCR Records and Archives Section. The program is in charge of implementing and managing a Digital Preservation system cloud based. The incumbent of the position has to be an expert in digital preservation, has to have project management skills and managerial skills. The incumbent supervises the web archiving and provides technical support in cases of digital preservation. Digital Preservation is a fast evolving discipline and the incumbent is expected to be active in the community of experts. A Digital Preservation system in the cloud, Perpetua, has been selected and is in the implementation phase, web archives services are provided by an external company. Integrations between Digital Preservation system and the ISAD(G) catalogue and the Document and Records Management system will be implemented in 2019. The position is at headquarters in Geneva,  the deputy though is based in Copenhagen. Missions to Copenhagen are needed.  Mission to the Field are also envisaged. There are no security concerns in Geneva With a small team and limited resources the incumbent has to find ways to find practical solutions to select, ingest, preserve and made accessible UNHCR digital institutional memory

Please note that the closing date for vancancies in the Addendum 2 is Sunday 16 December 2018 (midnight Geneva time)

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
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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