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Senior Policy Officer

Geneva (Switzerland)

  • Organization: UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  • Location: Geneva (Switzerland)
  • Grade: P-4, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Legal - Broad
    • Political Affairs
  • 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.

Senior Policy Officer

Organizational Setting and Work Relationships

The role of the Senior Policy Officer is to coordinate the preparation of and to share guidance, positions, strategic advice, on relevant protection and solutions policies and their application and context specific interpretation within the region, building on comprehensive responses outlined in the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR). The incumbent may be based in the Division/Field/Regional Bureau. S/he will normally report to and be guided by the Deputy Director/Sr. Policy Adviser/Chief of Section and may supervise a small team of local and international staff.

The Senior Policy Officer will provide strategic advice and draft UNHCR positions on assigned protection and solutions issues and areas, coordinating closely within the office, as well as with other HQs Services, Regional Bureaux, field offices and operations.

The incumbent will also support and assist operations in the development and review of protection and solutions and other country specific strategies and ensure their alignment with regional/Bureau/corporate priorities.

The incumbent will have contact with a wide variety of internal and external audiences ranging from staff in the region, public-at-large, diplomats, scholars, civil society and staff from other UN and regional organizations with the overall objective of staying abreast of protection and solutions developments, drawing attention to the problem of human displacement. This will happen in the context of disseminating information, gathering support for UNHCR's activities and advocacy on asylum, displacement and statelessness issues in the region.

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.


- Support the coordination and preparation of guidance, positions and strategic advice, on relevant protection and solutions and regional partnerships policies and their application and context specific interpretation. Reflect Major global developments influencing UNHCR's work, such as the Global Compact on Refugees and UNHCR's support to applying comprehensive responses included therein.
- Develop, evaluate, and summarise information related to protection and solutions, political, legal, social and economic development perspectives in the region, ensuring overall harmonization and coherence of the Bureau¿s solution strategies, policies and operations, including in line with UNHCR's contribution to reinforce comprehensive responses at national and regional levels.
- Provide prompt, principled and accurate guidance and advice on the interpretation and application of international instruments relating to persons of concern, global protection positions and policies and, as required, on the development of situation/country-specific guidance, in coordination with other relevant UNHCR operations and entities.
- Contribute to the effective representation and engagement with strategy and policy development and evaluation processes on selected cross-cutting policy issues, both within UNHCR and, as appropriate, on the inter-agency level or with relevance to government-led comprehensive responses at national or regional levels in the area of responsibility (AoR).
- Participate in the preparation of UNHCR strategies, positions and public papers on assigned thematic and geographical areas, situations or issues.
- Contribute to fostering and maintaining new partnerships with UN, whole-of-government including local authorities as applicable, private sector, development partners, regional organizations and other actors geared towards achieving solutions in line with the GCR and application of comprehensive responses.
- Assist in the preparations for high level events, including regional meetings, ExCom, Standing Committee, NGO Consultations, Protection Dialogues and others, by contributing to the preparation, drafting, and editing of various protection and solutions positions and policy papers.
- Contribute to and coordinate the preparation of oral and written briefings and background notes, talking points, reports and other documents as required.
- In the regional bureaux, support and assist operations in the development and review of protection and solutions and other country specific strategies and ensure their alignment with regional/Bureau/corporate priorities. Assist the Bureau in the review of operations plans.
- Undertake Multi-Functional protection and solutions review missions to the field as required.
- Perform other related duties as required.

Minimum Qualifications

Years of Experience / Degree Level
For P4/NOD - 9 years relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or 8 years relevant experience with Graduate degree; or 7 years relevant experience with Doctorate degree.

Field(s) of Education
Public Policy; Public Administration; Law; International Relations; Political Science; Human Rights; or other relevant field.

Relevant Job Experience
Mandatory: Experience in policy analysis and development in international context. Experience in managing a variety of internal and external relationships in a cross-cultural professional environment. Experience in drafting and editing, in particular on protection and solutions strategies, advocacy strategies, or partnership building.
Desirable: Experience in coordination of UN interventions with other actors, in a refugee or humanitarian context. Solid experience in lobbying and advocacy with Government and other institutions. Strong experience in conducting research, fact sheets, global appeals, speeches and concept papers.

Functional Skills
PO-Policy Advocacy in UNHCR;
PO-Policy Development, Evaluation, Research, Publication;
MS-Drafting, Documentation, Data Presentation;

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
M005L3 - Leadership Level 3
M004L3 - Strategic Planning and Vision Level 3
M002L3 - Managing Performance Level 3
M003L3 - Judgement and Decision Making Level 3
X004L3 - Negotiation and Conflict Resolution Level 3
X001L3 - Analytical Thinking Level 3
X006L3 - Policy Development & Research 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.

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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