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  • Organization: UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  • Location: Kinshasa
  • Grade: P-3, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Human Resources
    • Medical Practitioners
  • Closing Date: 2019-06-25

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Staff Counsellor

Kinshasa (Congo Democratic)

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.

Staff Counsellor

Organizational Setting and Work Relationships

UNHCR runs its operations in 136 countries and 520 locations, carried on by over 16,500 staff members and members of the affiliate workforce. Given the nature of work, the psychological hazards range from workplace stress, exposure to traumatic situations and vicarious exposure to traumatic experiences of people of concern. All these can reflect at the individual, interpersonal and team levels and can affect the staff well-being as well as the efficiency of the operation.
The Staff Health and Wellbeing Service (SH&WS) and more specifically its Psychosocial Wellbeing Section (PWS), are entrusted with addressing these challenges. The Psychosocial Wellbeing team comprises the Staff Counsellors based in Geneva, Dakar, Kinshasa, Nairobi, Juba, Bangkok, Amman and Beirut. The team works together in designing staff welfare programmes under the leadership of the Chief, PWS.
The Staff Counsellor is a part of the current Regional Representation in Kinshasa and covers the UNHCR operations in DR Congo, Congo and Gabon. The clinical/technical supervision, concerning individual case management, content of expert interventions, adherence to quality standards and professional ethical standards, is provided by Chief, Psychosocial Wellbeing Section at the HQ. The administrative supervision (personnel: leave management, performance appraisal) and strategic input to the operational delivery (implementation of the planned interventions in the operation) provided by the Representative. The Staff Counsellor is expected to collaborate closely with the management team, human resources function as well as the field safety function with fully respect of professional boundaries and confidentiality of individual cases. The Staff Counsellor works closely with the existing Peer Advisors in the operations of coverage and collaborates with the Office of the Ombudsman and the Ethics Office.
The Staff Counsellor is a member of the UN Staff/Stress Counsellor Group and the incumbent adheres to its professional and ethical standards.

All UNHCR staff members are accountable to perform their duties as reflected in their job description. They do so within their delegated authorities, in line with the regulatory framework of UNHCR which includes the UN Charter, UN Staff Regulations and Rules, UNHCR Policies and Administrative Instructions as well as relevant accountability frameworks. In addition, staff members are required to discharge their responsibilities in a manner consistent with the core, functional, cross-functional and managerial competencies and UNHCR¿s core values of professionalism, integrity and respect for diversity.


- Undertake psychological risk assessment for the operations of coverage and design the appropriate response programme in close collaboration with the operations and under the supervision from the Chief, Psychosocial Wellbeing Section.  Such programmes should include but are not limited to individual or group counselling, trauma interventions, workshops/training, raising awareness and sensitization meetings, team building or other professional forms of support.
- Ensure access for staff and family members to individual counselling either internally (with Staff Counsellors in UNHCR) or externally (by providing referrals and information about the available resources and insurance coverage) for work related issues (stress, trauma, interpersonal conflicts, harassment, and job insecurity) and personal issues (family, marital, children or finance related problems).
- Provide timely response to critical incidents in the operations under the coverage in accordance with the UNHCR SOP on Support to staff affected by critical incidents. Organizing the psychological first aid (personally, through the Peer Advisors Network in the region or other UN Staff Counsellors available in the region), assessments, referrals and necessary follow-up is undertaken and coordinated with the psychosocial Wellbeing Section, Snr. Regional Medical Officer and relevant HR functions in the operation. Providing the guidance to the operational managers as required.
- Undertake regular travels to the operations under coverage.
- Implement the global UNHCR psychosocial wellbeing projects (psychological preparation for hardship assignment, end of assignment debriefing following hardship assignment, framework of support to high risk environments) and take an active part in developing the new initiatives. 
- Maintain regular contact with the counselling resources in the countries under the coverage including the members of the UN Staff/Stress Counsellors Group (UNSSCG) and other local/regional mental health professionals/ resources outside the UN system, e.g. NGOs, private mental health practitioners.
- Take part in the relevant interagency working groups aimed at advancement of psychosocial support to staff in the UN.
- Collaborate closely with the Office of the Ombudsman and the Ethics Office in relation to management, training and support to the UNHCR Peer Advisors Network. 
- Maintain records of individual cases in the confidential electronic case management system in accordance with the UN Confidentiality Guidelines for Staff/Stress Counsellors. Provide monthly statistics to the PWS, HQ. Ensure timely reporting on field missions, general staff wellbeing assessments and related recommendations to the Representative and the Heads of Offices and the Chief PWS. Provide input in global reports by the PWS as required
- Provide expert advice and guidance to the Representatives of the operations covered by the function and the Chief of the Psychosocial Wellbeing Section/ Staff Health and Wellbeing Service (SH&WS) at the HQ.
- Ensure the adherence to the professional standards of the UNSSCG (continuous education, registration and supervision) as well as the Code of Ethics for UN Staff Counsellors.
- Perform other related duties as required.

Minimum Qualifications

Years of Experience / Degree Level
For P3/NOC - 6 years relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or 5 years relevant experience with Graduate degree; or 4 years relevant experience with Doctorate degree

Field(s) of Education
Clinical Psychology
Social Work
Counselling or other relevant field.

(Field(s) of Education marked with an asterisk* are essential)

Certificates and/or Licenses
Registered mental health professional

(Certificates and Licenses marked with an asterisk* are essential)

Relevant Job Experience
University degree and valid registration, license, certification as a mental health professional (clinical psychology, counselling, psychiatry, clinical social work). Demonstrated clinical experience, including case management and counselling skills for a minimum of 4 years. Working experience on prevention and response to sexual harassment in the workplace. IT skills: ability to work with Microsoft Office.

Understanding of the humanitarian work environment.

Functional Skills

*MD-Patient case management skills
*MD-Drafting clinical notes
*MD-Suicide risk assessment
*MD-Application of trauma interventions in crises
*MD-Ability to deal with people in distress
MD-Organizational Psychology
TR-Training Design/Material Preparation
*MD-Provision of coaching peer advisors and consultation to managers
*MD-Treatment of vulnerable/traumatized individuals

(Functional Skills marked with an asterisk* are essential)

Language Requirements
For International Professional and Field Service jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English.
For National Professional jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English and local language.
For General Service jobs: Knowledge of English and/or UN working language of the duty station if not English.

This is a Standard Job Description for all UNHCR jobs with this job title and grade level. 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
M003L3 - Judgement and Decision Making Level 3
X001L3 - Analytical Thinking Level 3
X005L3 - Planning and Organizing Level 3
X009L3 - Change Capability and Adaptability 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 this addendum is Tuesday 25 June 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.

What does it mean?

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