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Head of Service (Strategic Oversight)

Geneva (Switzerland)

  • Organization: UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  • Location: Geneva (Switzerland)
  • Grade: D-1, Director - Internationally recruited position - Senior Executive level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Managerial positions
    • Internal audit, Investigation and Inspection
  • Closing Date: 2020-10-29

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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.

Head of Strategic Oversight Service

Organizational Setting and Work Relationships

The Head of Strategic Oversight Service reports to and supports the Inspector General by providing oversight response, oversight coherence and oversight capacity to the Organization. 
The incumbent strengthens the organization-wide response to oversight findings, facilitates the coherence of oversight functions and manages and strengthens the IGO¿s oversight capacity and profile.

The work requires extensive coordination with the staff in the IGO and other oversight entities, both internal and external.
The incumbent liaises and coordinates activities of the Service with support of Divisions, Regional Bureaux and Representatives and interacts, within the area of responsibility, with UNHCR's interlocutors in other oversight bodies, governments, NGOs, UN and non-UN agencies as well as independent experts.
The Head Strategic Oversight Service demonstrates a full understanding of the technical and functional requirements of the position.

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.


- Conduct meta-analysis of oversight findings to identify lessons learnt and root causes of recurring systemic issues that present high risks to the Organization and prepare summary reports, with recommendations, on significant oversight matters requiring management action or intervention.
- Work closely with internal and external oversight entities, develop and implement a system and procedures to collect oversight data and efficiently track and report trends and cross-cutting matters presenting a high risk to the Organization.
- Provide recommendations on significant oversight matters requiring management action or intervention to the High Commissioner/SET and, at the request of the supervisor, manage and conduct ad-hoc inspections in response to specific management challenges.
- Develop terms of reference that take into consideration UNHCR¿s mandate and accountability to affected populations, objectives and parameters, and ensure they are in conformity with established policy and standards.
- Comprehensively map oversight activities and inform the supervisor of unnecessary duplications in activities or significant gaps in high risk areas.
- Coordinate all matters relating to Joint Inspection Unit (JIU) for the Organization and perform Secretariat functions for the IAOC. Provide administrative support, in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding, to the OIOS UNHCR Audit Service.
- Develop administrative policies and procedures and related training and communication material for the IGO, at the request of the supervisor. Advise the supervisor on oversight matters in general, as required and as may arise in the conduct of the Service¿s duties.
- Prepare or review and provide input to IGO reports to external stakeholders (including reports and presentations to UN bodies, interagency meetings on oversight, and meetings of ExCom and the Standing Committee).
- Represent the IGO in relevant internal and external task forces/meetings on oversight matters in the areas of responsibility or on behalf of the supervisor.
- Manage the IGO¿s communication strategy.
- Manage all aspects of the Strategic Oversight - staffing and performance management; participate in the preparation of the IGO's operational and strategic plans and budgets, including the budget and staffing requirements for the Internal Audit Division of OIOS.
- Provide support, as necessary, in the development of the internal audit work plan of OIOS for UNHCR; and assist in identifying and obtaining the services of internal and external colleagues to participate in internal audit engagements of OIOS when required.
- In collaboration with key stakeholders, prepare, review and provide input to oversight information sharing agreements and Terms of Reference for arrangements with UN Agencies and other partners.
- Review and provide feedback to draft agreements with oversight clauses.
- Promote best practise in oversight matters within the area of responsibility.
- Perform other related duties as required.

Minimum Qualifications

Years of Experience / Degree Level
For D1 - 17 years relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or 16 years relevant experience with Graduate degree; or 15 years relevant experience with Doctorate degree

Field(s) of Education
Public Policy, Business Administration ; or other relevant field.
(Field(s) of Education marked with an asterisk* are essential)

Certificates and/or Licenses
Institute of Mgmt Accountants;
Certified Public Accountant;
Chartered Accountant (CA);
Internal Auditor;
Certified Info Systems Auditor;
Risk Management;
Certified Fraud Examiner
(Certificates and Licenses marked with an asterisk* are essential)

Relevant Job Experience

Minimum fifteen years of previous job experience in the audit and risk management field, with particular emphasis on review of risk management systems and processes, internal controls, and governance structures and mechanisms, and conduct of performance audits, forensic reviews, and/or due diligence reviews. Proven skills, knowledge and experience in applying best practices in auditing and risk management. Excellent judgement with proven ability to deal with complex interrelated issues and strong analytical and problem-solving skills to develop solutions that address root causes. Experience in research, synthesis and analysis of large quantities of data to identify systematic root causes, and to formulate implications and recommendations/options to address the core issues. Contract management experience, including ability to formulate agreement terms, Service Level Agreements and to manage the performance of consultants and experts. Familiarity with developing and extracting information from IT systems. Project management, systems design and implementation. Identification of key performance indicators and the development of tools such as dashboards and data visualization. Excellent communicator with strong interpersonal skills. Proven ability to manage diverse teams, with strong management skills in collaboration, team building, and with ability to deliver quality results on time. Exposure to and experience in UN or non-UN field operations and emergencies in various geographical locations. Demonstrate high level of integrity, objectivity, impartiality and fairness.

Working experience in an oversight function within the UN. Good working knowledge of UNHCR¿s mandate, field operations, organizational structure, and policies

Functional Skills
FI-International Auditing Standards;
LE-Forensic Audit and/or Fraud Examination;
RM-Risk Management;
CO-Cross-cultural communication;
MG-People Management
(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. C001L4 - Accountability Level 4
C002L4 - Teamwork & Collaboration Level 4
C003L4 - Communication Level 4
C004L4 - Commitment to Continuous Learning Level 4
C005L4 - Client & Result Orientation Level 4
C006L4 - Organizational Awareness Level 4
M001L4 - Empowering and Building Trust Level 4
M002L4 - Managing Performance Level 4
M006L4 - Managing Resources Level 4
M005L4 - Leadership Level 4
M003L4 - Judgement and Decision Making Level 4
M004L4 - Strategic Planning and Vision Level 4
X004L4 - Negotiation and Conflict Resolution Level 4
X001L4 - Analytical Thinking Level 4
X005L4 - Planning and Organizing Level 4

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.

Please note that UNHCR does not charge a fee at any stage of its recruitment process (application, interview, meeting, travelling, processing, training or any other fees).

Please note that the closing date for vacancies in this addendum is Thursday 29 October 2020 (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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