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  • Organization: UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  • Location: Buenos Aires
  • Grade: P-4, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Operations and Administrations
  • Closing Date: 2019-02-28

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Dep Reg Rep (Operations)

Buenos Aires (Argentina)

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.

Deputy Regional Representative (Operations)


The Deputy Regional Representative (Operations) will function under direct supervision of the UNHCR Regional Representative at P5 level.  The incumbent will advise and assist the Regional Representative in the overall management of UNHCR¿s programme and administrative activities and issues of concern within the given region in an effective and efficient manner which supports the Organization¿s mandate.  The incumbent will also have direct working relationship/arrangement with the Head of UNHCR offices that fall within the domain of given Regional Office. He/she will also have a responsibility to monitor, coach, and guide and intervene with the staff within the given region.


- UNHCR's operations in the region are designed to meet the needs of all persons of concern.
- UNHCR's operations in the region have effective partners to meet the needs of all persons of concern.
- UNHCR's operations in the region are technically sound and thus better able to meet the needs of persons of concern.
- UNHCR premises for the regional office are managed in an efficient and cost effective manner.
- The regional office has adequate services and supplies to deliver its operations.
- UNHCR's system of financial management has integrity in the region.
- UNHCR recruits, contracts and deploys staff and makes use of affiliate workforce in the region to meet its current and future operational needs and in a manner that promotes career development and respects diversity
- UNHCR provides a healthy, safe and respectful working environment for its workforce in the region.
- UNHCR's system of financial management has integrity at the regional-level.

- Assist the Regional Representative in the overall management of UNHCR's programme and administrative activities and issues of concern within the region in an effective and efficient manner which supports the Organization's mandate.
- Promote, together with the Regional Representative, UNHCR's objectives and priorities through formal and informal contacts with relevant government ministries and departments, UN agencies, diplomatic missions, I/NGOs, media, and other interested parties to raise support for the work of UNHCR.
- Assist the Regional Representative in supervising the implementation of the country operation plans to ensure that activities are in accordance with UNHCR guidelines.
- Monitor the administration of  field offices in the country and at regional level.
- Ensure the effective and efficient management of financial and material resources within the rules and procedures of UNHCR.
- Manage personnel through regular performance appraisals, coaching, and assessments of staff training and development needs.
- Ensure that essential services for the general welfare of staff (i.e. living and working conditions, health, education, recreation, etc.) are in place.  This includes the establishment  of proper and efficient mechanisms to assist staff suffering from work-related pressure or post traumatic stress.
- Play an active role in the Security Management Team (SMT) in the relevant country and the inter-agency security and contingency planning process; ensure that appropriate security measures and evacuation plans are in place to protect UNHCR staff; and that security guidelines and procedures as outlined by the Designated Official and UNDSS are complied with.
- Report and provide recommendations/solutions to the Regional Representative on political, socio-economic and cultural developments that may affect the situation of the refugees in the country and in the region.
- Act as Officer-in-Charge in the absence of the Regional Representative as required.

- Set and enforce parameters, criteria and deadlines for the design, review and report of operations.
- Enforce regional compliance with UNHCR's workplace standards.
- In coordination with headquarters enforce regional compliance with UNHCR¿s financial rules.
- Enforce compliance with UNHCR's human resources policies (e.g. policies on gender, disabilities, diversity, ethics and HIV/AIDS).
- Allocate resources to meet minimum standards for staff working and living conditions in the region.
- Clear the submission of the country operations plan (including budgets, staffing levels and structures) as well as of funding submissions, appeals and report.
- Represent UNHCR in UN and other operations management fora.
- Enforce compliance with UNHCR's global strategies, protocols and guidelines.

- Graduate degree (equivalent of a Master's) in Business Administration, Economics, International Law, Political Science, International Relations or a related field.
- Job experience: at least 8 years of relevant work experience in progressively responsible functions; preferably within the UN.
- Excellent knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English.

- Solid UNHCR experience from both the Field and Headquarters.
- UNHCR specific learning/ training activities (i.e. Management Learning Programme, Protection Learning Programme).
- Proficiency in local language(s) in the given region.
- Knowledge of additional UN languages.

This is a Standard Job Description for all UNHCR Deputy Regional Representative (Operations) 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
M002L3 - Managing Performance Level 3
M006L3 - Managing Resources Level 3
M005L3 - Leadership Level 3
M003L3 - Judgement and Decision Making Level 3
M004L3 - Strategic Planning and Vision Level 3
X007L3 - Political Awareness Level 3
X001L3 - Analytical Thinking 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.


Strong experience in the implementation of national and regional protection and comprehensive solutions strategies.

Solid experience in operational responses to increasing number of asylum seekers and refugees, including the provision of humanitarian assistance in both border areas and urban settings.

Experience in the operationalization of protection responses to newly arrived asylum seekers and refugees.

Operational experience in dealing with emergency situations (preparedness and response) and the identification of persons of concern to UNHCR within mixed movements.

Strong working experience in dealing with durable solutions, programme and administrative matters, focusing on operational responses.

Ability to work collaboratively with government counterparts and local authorities (Cities of Solidarity) to incorporate refugees in existing programs and/or formulate specific public policies to ensure that refugees fulfil their potential of local integration and self-reliance.

Ability to build alliances with civil society organisations and the private sector to support the economic, social and cultural integration of refugees. Good knowledge of the regional framework (Brazil Plan of Action and Regional VENSIT strategy) and regional bodies such as MERCOSUR and the South American Conference on Migrations and their interplay with refugee and statelessness protection.

Ability to engage with senior government officials and broad range of stakeholders including civil society, faith based institutions, the private sector, etc.

Strategic vision, leadership and team building.

Strong experience in the management of financial and human resources

Ability to come up with creative solutions to operational challenges.

Excellent communication and analytical skills.

Excellent command of the Spanish and English languages, both written and oral. RO Argentina covers 5 countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay. Out of these 5 countries, there is only a permanent UNHCR presence in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Santiago de Chile (National Office). However, the UNHCR presence in both countries will be strengthened taking into account the increasing arrival of Venezuelan refugees and migrants in the Southern Cone. While access to asylum remains open for Venezuelans in need of international protection, most Venezuelan nationals have benefited from other forms of protection in those countries under regional and national migratory and protection arrangements. In the case of Chile, more than 90,000 Venezuelans have been granted residence and other humanitarian visas. In Argentina, more than 130,000 Venezuelans have acceded to MERCOSUR visas and therefore, are protected under other legal stay arrangements. Uruguay has also granted MERCOSUR visas to more than 5,000 Venezuelan nationals. In sum, more than 225,000 Venezuelans living in the countries covered by RO Buenos Aires are been protected under other legal stay arrangements and are persons of concern to UNHCR. The number of Venezuelans who remain in the 5 countries covered by RO Buenos Aires and which remain with an irregular status is still unknown. While over the past years, those arriving in the region were doing so by air with highly educated profiles, more vulnerable and destitute persons are increasing arriving in the countries by land, without proper documentation, particularly affecting children and family reunification cases. All five countries differ from one another in political, socio-economic and cultural terms and also in the implementation of UNHCR¿s objectives and activities but they belong to the same regional bodies: OAS, MERCOSUR and the South American Conference on Migrations.

The main goal of RO Buenos Aires is to consolidate the Southern Cone as a regional protection space, with high international protection standards as a foundation for sustainable comprehensive, complementary, and innovative durable solutions for all POC as well as a regional advocacy leader on humanitarian issues. This involves refugees from all over the world, but particularly, Venezuelans in need of protection living in most of the countries of the Southern Cone. The new emphasis of RO Buenos Aires is the operational response to the increasing humanitarian needs of Venezuelans in need of protection. This involves ensuring access to the territory and to refugee status determination procedures/regularization processes as well as to the provision of humanitarian assistance and the access to health, education, housing and employment. The region counts with a strong legal and institutional framework for the protection of  persons of concern, but a new focus on operational response and the attainment of durable solutions is being pursued, particularly on local integration and self-reliance.

The region has progressively become a laboratory for the implementation of comprehensive durable solutions strategies where strategic alliances between public and private sectors and the active participation of civil society are encouraged.

As part of the implementation of the programme of cities of solidarity, there is a long practice of working together with local governments (municipalities) and implementing social programmes to benefit refugees and migrants alike. Regional meetings between various cities of solidarity have been held to foster the exchange of good practices and lessons learnt. As part of the implementation of the Global Compact on Refugees and its responsibility sharing arrangements, the Southern Cone has also the potential to support UNHCR¿s regional and global agenda through the implementation of resettlement programmes and humanitarian admission schemes benefiting refugees from the region and from other humanitarian crises (i.e. Middle East, Central America).
The Southern Cone region has a strong potential in offering solutions for refugees in major crises especially in a moment when options to find protection and solutions are shrinking elsewhere. The region has a tradition of welcoming and integrating migrants and refugees, which augurs well for solid resettlement policies for refugees. UNHCR is helping governments establish national structures to institutionalize previous and current resettlement experiences conducted so far on an ad hoc basis. UNHCR is currently supporting the governments of Argentina, Chile and Uruguay to strengthen their existing resettlement and community-based sponsorship programmes under the cooperation framework of the Emerging Resettlement Countries Joint Support Mechanism (ERCM). The ERCM was created in November 2016 following the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants in New York in order to provide technical and financial support to emerging resettlement countries interested in establishing or strengthening a resettlement or humanitarian admissions programme. The ERCM is managed jointly by UNHCR and IOM, with the technical and financial support of governments, private sponsors, donors and international organizations.

UNHCR is also supporting Argentina through the Global Refugee Sponsorship Initiative, a multi-stakeholder coalition that aims to build worldwide refugee resettlement capacity through community sponsorship. This initiative aims to support public servants, civil society organizations and communities around the world design their own community sponsorship models for refugees, learning from Canada¿s experience. The region has assumed a leadership role in the implementation of the Brazil Plan of Action (BPA) through the development of quality asylum systems (QAI), the promotion of high protection standards and the implementation of protection sensitive migration policies (MERCOSUR). Building up on regional migratory agreements, it is expected that protection safeguards will be included to both facilitate the implementation of labour mobility schemes and foster free movement arrangements for refugees within the region. At present, the regional residency agreement enables nationals from MERCOSUR countries to regularize their tenure in another participating country, even those in need of international protection. This regional framework has enabled thousands of Venezuelan nationals in need of international protection to regularize their tenure mainly in Argentina, Chile and Uruguay. Following the recent accession of Chile to the statelessness conventions, all countries in the Southern Cone are parties to these instruments and are currently discussing draft legislation, including the setting up of stateless determination procedures. As part of the commitments of the BPA, it is also expected that the Southern Cone becomes one of the first regions to end statelessness in the world. As part of regional cooperation, the countries of the Southern Cone has a strong integration system known as MERCOSUR. This allows the implementation of common policies and frameworks as well as the harmonization of norms and standards. Besides, the Specialized Migratory Forum and the Meeting of the High Authorities on Human Rights, MERCOSUR has established an annual meeting of the Presidents of the National Refugee Commissions.  UNHCR participates in these regional coordination mechanisms for refugees through RO Buenos Aires, which remains the focal point for all MERCOSUR activities.

The countries of the Southern Cone also form part of the South American Conference on Migrations. RO Buenos Aires attends these meetings to ensure the inclusion of protection safeguards among migration control measures. The countries of Southern Cone have a solid and well-known Academic and research network which further contributes to the advancement of human rights and international refugee law. New partners, particularly in border areas, need to be identified in order to scale up the operational response to the increasing number of Venezuelans in need of protection.

In terms of fund raising, there are important opportunities (mainly in Argentina and Chile) to expand resource mobilisation with, both national governments and the private sector. A national Foundation for UNHCR has been created in Argentina.

UNHCR works very closely with governments, local authorities, civil society, UN System, the Academia and private sector.

RO Buenos Aires works in close coordination with BO Brazil and UNHCR Peru in the implementation of a regional protection and solutions strategy for the whole Southern Cone, including advocacy efforts before MERCOSUR. Buenos Aires is a modern city with emphasis placed on commercial, economic, cultural and industrial activities.

The country has a temperate climate with an average winter temperature of 5ºC (July/August), and an average summer temperature of 30ºC (Jan/Feb).

The sanitary facilities are trustworthy and the country has international standard potable water that can be drunk from any faucet with total confidence.

Possibility of renting private accommodation.

Frequent missions to the countries covered by the RO. This is a category A family duty station.

The Security Level for Argentina is LOW. Crime can be found in the capital city and other large cities in the country. These crimes include street robberies, electronic fraud, house break-ins, office burglaries and petty thefts. Spanish is an essential language.

The incumbent will be in charge of the operational response to the increasing number of Venezuelans in need of international protection. The incumbent will directly supervise the Durable Solutions, Programme and Administration Units of RO Buenos Aires.

Please note that the closing date for vacancies in the Addendum 4 is Thursday 28 February 2019 (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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