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  • Organization: UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  • Location: Geneva
  • Grade: P-4, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • External Relations, Partnerships and Resource mobilization
    • Legal - Broad
  • Closing Date: 2019-02-28

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Snr Partnerships Off (Policy)

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.

Senior Partnerships Officer (Policy)


In line with the High Commissioner's Strategic Priorities, the Partnership and Coordination Service's key functions  are to:

Support the field on relationships with NGOs, advocacy partners, and UN humanitarian partners through on-going engagement, information sharing, and guidance;
Ensure UNHCR approaches partnerships in a strategic, coherent, operationally focused, and consolidated manner;
Ensure UNHCR exercises effective field leadership and coordination in line with agreed principles and frameworks; and
Work with partners to positively influence broader humanitarian (policy) debates and discussions -- including in inter-agency bodies -- by building on field experiences.

The Senior Partnerships Officer (Policy) works under the supervision of the Head of Service to support the Partnership and Coordination Service (PCS) team and UNHCR as a whole in terms of seeking partnership opportunities, developing relationships and building policies related to partnerships. 

The incumbent will ensure coherence and linkages (a) amongst the PCS sections (sport, inter-agency and coordination, NGOs and civil society); and within UNHCR (field, HQs, NYO). 

The incumbent will keep abreast of global developments, and analyse and distil information into relevant briefs, positions and policies for UNHCR senior management. 

Information gathering, liaison with partners, analysis and policy development are key functions of this post. 

Direct supervision and guidance is provided by the Head of Service whose functions also span managing relations with all  UNHCR¿s partners as well as providing advice and guidance to the senior management on strategic priorities within the inter agency landscape and representing UNHCR at various fora. Advice and operational support may also be provided by the Director of External Relations and by other senior staff in Divisions at Headquarters.  The incumbent will also refer to policies, standards, rules and regulations which are in force within UNHCR.


- Partnership approaches are developed and endorsed by senior management, via the Head of Service.
- Bilateral partnership meetings are planned, organized and followed up on. 
- Efficient liaison amongst UNHCR and partners is maintained.
- Information and analysis on partnerships is developed and disseminated.

- Assist the Head of Service in coordinating UNHCR's corporate positions on key humanitarian inter-agency issues, in close coordination with relevant Divisions and Bureaux.  Work on formulating and communicating a coherent policy ensuring UNHCR's effective response on inter agency matters.
- Keep abreast of developments in the partnership sphere: leadership; policies; trends; finances; media coverage.  Compile and analyse information gathered into information that will help UNHCR senior management engage productively with said partners.
- Assist the Head of Service in analysing and developing policies related to inter-agency bodies (CEB, IASC).
- In support of the Head of Service, establish, maintain and promote relations with a range of bilateral and multilateral partners.
- Scan a variety of sources (mainstream media, organization press releases and websites, social media, governing body minutes, etc.) in order to provide latest information to decision-makers at UNHCR. 
- In collaboration with relevant team members, plan, organize and follow up on key bilateral partnership meetings. 
- Assist to furthering understanding within UNHCR on inter- agency issues and priorities and advising staff on policy developments and reform initiatives within the humanitarian sphere. This includes updating key staff on the developments within the RCM framework as well as promoting and stimulating UNHCR's implementation of key reforms within the humanitarian and development architecture.
- In close collaboration with relevant Divisions/NYO, lead a mapping initiative that will assist UNHCR in assessing the relative importance of different processes, and an optimum division of labour.
- Participate in selected policy and operational discussions and processes to ensure that the inter-agency perspective is understood and taken into account internally.
- Provide support to colleagues on humanitarian coordination issues, through field missions and contacts with bureau colleagues.
- Look at the inter relationship between the RCM and other coordination models and provide practical solutions to issues that may arise at the field level, while feeding these issues into internal decision making processes within UNHCR, particular in the context of the Global Compact on Refugees
- Serve as PCS focal point to the Global Refugee Forum.
- Promote within UNHCR's Bureaux and Functional Divisions coordinated approaches to decision making framework in regards to new and emerging inter agency maters.
- Prepare documentation for inter-agency meetings, including briefing files containing background documentation, UNHCR position papers and talking points;
- Undertake joint Bureaux/Functional Division missions to the Field to strengthen and support the implementation of the RCM.
- Participate in inter agency missions as required.
- Perform other related duties as required.

- Take decisions on partnership policies and relationships.
- Facilitate networking and development of bilateral relationships with other organizations and actors.
- Represent the views and policies of UNHCR externally and in documents.
- Participate in discussions on partnerships, inter-agency processes; facilitate discussions on best ways forward; and ensure consistent messaging on partnerships. 

- Graduate Degree (equivalent of a Master's) in International Relations, Political Science, Public Administration, relevant Social Sciences or related fields plus minimum 8 years of relevant  job experience with international organizations, in particular UN agencies. Undergraduate degree (equivalent of a BA/BS) plus 9 years or Doctorate degree (equivalent of a PhD) plus 7 years of previous relevant work experience may also be accepted.
- Extensive knowledge in relation to United Nations, its various agencies, their operational structures, their policies and programmes as well as solid experience, engagement with  various multilateral humanitarian agencies/organisations working closely with UNHCR.
- Familiarity with the UN reform process.
- Articulate, effective communicator with strong inter-personal and negotiation skills.
- Field experience, including in emergencies.
- Excellent knowledge of English (written/oral/comprehension).

- Familiarity with other humanitarian or development entities. 
- Familiarity with the IASC and other inter-agency fora.
- Astute political, geopolitical acumen.
- Background in policy formulation. 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
M004L3 - Strategic Planning and Vision Level 3
X001L3 - Analytical Thinking Level 3
X002L3 - Innovation and Creativity Level 3
X005L3 - Planning and Organizing 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.


- previous experience working with a range of United Nations or other partner organisations
- recent operational / field experience, with partnership dimensions, including in hardship postings
- skills in strategic thinking and broad organisational awareness
- familiarity with United Nations structures, and UN reform
- excellent outreach and networking skills
- strong media, including social media, skills and knowledge
- creative and innovative mindset
- demonstrated English drafting skills
- experience in organising complex public events In line with the High Commissioner¿s strategic directions (2017-2021) and the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) endorsed by the General Assembly in December 2018, the Office has striven to deepen and broaden its strategic partnerships. The Partnership Coordination Service (PCS) establishes, supports and maintains partnerships across the range of UNHCR's activities. It ensures internal coherence and external focus in dealings with a range of partners.

PCS works with a broad range of actors, including: inter-agency (Inter-Agency Standing Committee and Chief Executives Board); UN organizations; NGOs; NGO consortia (ICVA, InterAction, SCHR); refugee-led organizations; sports organizations; civil society bodies; and the Red Cross Movement. 
In addition to formal activities, the position also maintains an informal network of contacts at a variety of levels within counterpart organisations. The Partnership and Coordination Service plays an important role in promoting strategic partnerships with NGOs, in reaching out and engaging NGOs and civil society organizations in Headquarters locations, and in facilitating the dialogue with the field on operational challenges and coordination.

Throughout this engagement and in alignment with globally agreed principles and frameworks, including SDG17 which emphasizes the importance of strengthened partnership and cooperation to achieve the sustainable development goals, UNHCR plays a catalytic role, supporting national leadership and bringing other actors to support the response in support of refugees, IDPs and stateless . Moreover, the plans underway for regionalization, in line with broader UN reforms, are expected to further advance more strategic partnerships. The High Commissioner's commitment to partnerships means that partners expect consistent effort, support and monitoring by the Partnership and Coordination Service to bring about positive change and increased collaboration with all actors for the benefit of persons of concern, both in the field and at HQ level.

Up to date information on trends, policies, leadership changes is essential if UNHCR is to maximize its leverage in the inter-agency context, and PCS is a main provider of such information. 

UNHCR's efforts to make major institutional shifts need to be accompanied by a new and strategic approach to partnership, outreach to new partners, and a solid knowledge management function developed for operational and advocacy partnerships.

Internally, partnerships are managed by many different parts of UNHCR and the effort to bring coherence and collect information on partners and partnerships must respect and support the substantive leads taken by these different units.  PCS plays a key role in bringing the different parts of UNHCR together on partnership issues. Living in Geneva is fairly easy though accommodation can be difficult to find and the city is generally viewed as expensive.

There is a very high demand for accommodation in Geneva and rental prices are high and several rules and procedures are required. Some staff members choose to reside in France, where prices are lower but all procedures to live in France are to be followed by the staff member itself.

A Permit Ci is required for access to the Swiss labor market by spouses and children of staff members of international organizations in Switzerland, but this type of permit is only provided to those residing in the country.

Although Geneva offers numerous structures for the provision of childcare, the demand is very high and one may have to wait several months (sometimes one year) before actually obtaining a place in a creche or jardins d'enfants. If you are living in France, you can find information about childcare system at your townhall (Mairie) or you can contact the Staff Welfare Section.

Parents with physically or mentally challenged children or any other colleagues with specific requests are advised to contact the Staff Welfare Section. In Geneva a certain number of public and private organizations/associations offer catering and care for children with special educational needs.

UNHCR staff members residing in Switzerland can enroll their children either in private schools or in public schools in Geneva or in the Canton de Vaud. If you wish to enroll your children in one of the private schools that exists in Geneva, Vaud or neighboring France you should contact them directly as soon as you know that your next posting will be in Geneva. Given the large international community living in Geneva the demand is high, places are limited and the cost is elevated.

Health care in Switzerland is of excellent quality but expensive. There are no limitations in terms of health assistance. Linkage to operations and field impact is challenging, and the incumbent must establish the best approach he/she can to networking with Bureaux and various operations in order to gather information, understand partnership needs and challenges, and feed back effectively.

The incumbent must also have excellent information gathering and dissemination skills; PCS is a trusted source of intelligent and actionable inter-agency information.

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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