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Hd o Bur Strat Plan&Mgmt Serv


  • Organization: UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  • Location: Pretoria
  • Grade: Level not specified - Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
  • Closing Date:

Hardship Level

A (least hardship)

Family Type


Family Type


Residential location (if applicable)



Staff Member / Affiliate Type



Regular > Regular Assignment

Remote work accepted


Target Start Date


Job Posting End Date

December 15, 2022

Standard Job Description

Head of Bureau Strategic Planning and Management Service Organizational Setting and Work Relationships The Strategic Planning and Management pillar serves as the Regional Bureau's strategic engine, binding the other three pillars with common analysis and data, and ensuring overall coherence with UNHCR's global objectives and strategic directions. It is responsible for setting regional bureau-wide priorities, managing and directing all regional resources and assessing contextual changes in order to adjust the regional operational priorities appropriately. Reporting to the Bureau Director, the Head of Bureau Strategic Planning and Management Service will lead the Strategic Planning and Management functional pillar within the Regional Bureau, responsible for longer term strategic analysis, preparedness, planning, monitoring and regional coordination of existing and new partnerships, in line with UNHCR embracing new approaches informed by the Global Compact on Refugees and overall UN Reform. The incumbent is responsible for ensuring overall quality assurance and managerial support to operations, in line with the Bureau's 2nd line function within the Three Lines of Defence conceptual framework, adopted by the UN system. Within this context, s/he will ensure that Country Operations receive the required support and guidance needed to effectively and successfully implement their programmes, and that such support is aligned with UNHCR systems and process requirements. Based on the guidance received from the Senior Risk Management and Compliance Adviser, s/he will support the Country Offices in identifying, monitoring and addressing emerging issues and risks. The incumbent will have significant scope for innovation and leadership, when identifying and championing managerial improvements in organizational performance, strengthening of organizational coherence, safeguarding of financial sustainability, and the streamlining of management priorities. Supporting the development of regional and functional strategies and priorities in line with UNHCR corporate and regional objectives, through engagement with a wide array of stakeholders and regional actors, s/he will collaborate closely with other Pillars in the region and HQ-based Divisions and deliver strategic guidance of planning and management services to the Bureau and Country Operations through relevant technical teams. The incumbent supervises a team of senior staff in the Bureau and will also be responsible for providing support or guidance to host Governments whenever required on developing comprehensive plans under national leadership setting out policy priorities, institutional and operational arrangements, requirements for support from the international community, including investment, financing, material and technical assistance, that need to be aligned with UNHCR's priorities. The grade level of the positions with this role can be P5 or D1 depending on the Bureau structure. Positions at D1 normally report to Bureau Director at D2 grade level and positions at P5 to Bureau Deputy Director at D1 grade level. S/he will, further, cover the full spectrum of managerial oversight, manage performance and monitor the adherence of Country Operations to UNHCR's rules and regulations, monitoring, identifying and addressing any emerging issues and risks as appropriate. The incumbent also promotes a culture that is results-oriented, efficient and based on trust and pursues measures to ensure that inclusion, gender balance and diversity are taken into due consideration in staffing, resource allocation and representation at all levels throughout the region. As a key custodian of the organization's standards of conduct, s/he will proactively establish a working environment where all personnel feel safe, heard, equipped and empowered to speak up; demonstrate no tolerance for sexism, gender inequality, discrimination of any kind, abuse of power, harassment or sexual harassment; foster ongoing dialogue on those matters; take seriously all issues of inappropriate behaviour and actions reported, whether formally or informally; and seek guidance and support as necessary to ensure that appropriate follow-up is taken, working on the basis of zero tolerance for any form of misconduct. 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. Duties - Stay abreast of the challenges posed to the region by political context, UN and Humanitarian Reform and institutional developments in the area of forced displacement and humanitarian operations. - Support the development of regional functional strategies and priorities in line with UNHCR corporate and regional priorities. - Be accountable for quality assurance of programmes and programmatic compliance in the region working in close coordination with the Risk and Compliance, Controller and Project Control functions. - Collaborate and coordinate with protection, solutions, development, policy and other functions within the Bureau and in Country Operations on relevant aspects of planning and programming for the region. - Guide, coordinate and provide support to Chiefs of Sections and Functional Managers, ensuring cohesion and complementarity within and among their respective portfolios. - Ensure coordination and consistency in implementation of policies and core activities held in the region, including in the functional areas of Strategic Planning, Human Resources, Finance and Programming. - Oversee the Human Resources issues in the Bureau and in Country Offices. - Coordinate the elaboration of Country and Regional Operations plans and lead its review to strategically position the Organization to deliver commitments to operationalize the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) seeking a clear articulation of resources requirements to effectively implement a field-oriented response to UNHCR¿s people of concern; - Collaborate with the Senior Risk Management and Compliance Adviser to ensure that issues of non-compliance and/or emerging financial and other risks in Country Operations and Bureau identified are in a timely and efficient manner. - Ensure the adequate support of all strategic planning stakeholders to emergencies in the region. - Lead UNHCR's horizon scanning to identify emerging and cross-cutting issues and trends in the region and examine their implications for UNHCR¿s strategies and programmes. - May act as Officer-in-Charge in the absence of the Deputy Director. - 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 Political Science; Social Science; International Relations; Law; Business Administration; Human Resources Management or other relevant field. (Field(s) of Education marked with an asterisk* are essential) Certificates and/or Licenses Programme management; Protection Learning Programme; Operations Management Learning Programme (Certificates and Licenses marked with an asterisk* are essential) Relevant Job Experience Essential Minimum 8 years of experience in international capacity. Senior positions in a large governmental or international agency. Extensive knowledge of UNHCR operations and services. A high level of skill in management of broad programmes, political decision making and negotiating, as well as demonstrated tolerance to frequently changing and highly charged situations. Demonstrated leadership qualities, integrity, tact, diplomacy, and good management and communication skills. Ability to manage for results: translate strategic aims into achievable plans. Desirable Solid UNHCR experience from both the Field (including Hardship Duty stations) and Headquarters. Completion of UNHCR learning programmes, such as Programme Management Learning Programme, Protection Learning Programme, Operations Management Learning Programme, and Senior Management Learning Programme. Knowledge of geo-political realities and their socio-cultural implications. Functional Skills MG-Change Management PG-Results-Based Management PG-Resource planning MG-UN/UNHCR Management Practices/Standards and Processes BU-Budgeting SP-Environmental Assessment/Planning/Monitoring/Evaluation of integrated projects/programs (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. All UNHCR workforce members must individually and collectively, contribute towards a working environment where each person feels safe, and empowered to perform their duties. This includes by demonstrating no tolerance for sexual exploitation and abuse, harassment including sexual harassment, sexism, gender inequality, discrimination and abuse of power. As individuals and as managers, all must be proactive in preventing and responding to inappropriate conduct, support ongoing dialogue on these matters and speaking up and seeking guidance and support from relevant UNHCR resources when these issues arise. 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.

Desired Candidate Profile

As part of the senior management and Regional Bureau’s strategic engine, the incumbent must demonstrate leadership qualities along with broad and proven ability of management of programmes and operations, political decision-making and negotiation skills.

The position calls for pro-activeness and accountability in anticipating and managing situations while demonstrating tolerance to frequently changing and highly charged situations. S/he will be responsible for creating effective networks, relationships, and synergies within the Bureau to ensure cross pillar communication and to guide senior managers in all countries in the extended region as well as a large number of regionally based UN agencies, Inter-government and non-governmental organizations, embassies and other academic institutions.

The incumbent must be able to communicate clearly and effectively and have the ability to establish an enabling and collaborative working environment of the largest pillar within the Bureau which is accountable for and provide oversight for the programme coordination, financial management, operations support and human resources management of the Bureau and the countries within the region. Knowledge of, familiarity with the Africa operations and its range of challenges and issues from the political and the humanitarian perspectives is beneficial. An excellent knowledge of financial and budget analysis to support the regional strategic analysis is also desirable.

Good English writing and communication skills is required. Working knowledge of French is highly desirable.

Required languages (expected Overall ability is at least B2 level):


Desired languages


Operational context

Occupational Safety and Health Considerations:

To view occupational safety and health considerations for this duty station, please visit this link:

Nature of Position:

Regional Bureau for Southern Africa oversees 16 countries through the following country offices: Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Republic of Congo (ROC), Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa MCO, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The RBSA countries are composed of 1 large emergency operation (DRC), which corresponds to 50% of the RBSA budget and 3 medium size operations (Mozambique, SAMCO, ROC) and 4 small size operations (Angola, Malawi, ROC, Zambia and Zimbabwe).

The region is impacted by on-going conflict in the DRC, insurgency in Mozambique, the CAR situation, and various natural disasters such as cyclones, tropical storms, flooding, food insecurity and drought, all of which have created displaced persons in need of protection and assistance, internally (DRC, Mozambique) and in neighboring countries (Angola, DRC, Malawi, ROC, SAMCO countries, Zambia and Zimbabwe).

Elections are a source of tension in most of the countries in the region with some risk of displacement due to the violence it can generate. The region is guided by the Bureau’s Strategic Direction and Priorities captured in the 2023-2024 multi-year plan. This is also complemented by the MYMP Protection and Solution Strategy (2020-2024) and the External Engagement Strategy (2020-2021). In response to the increasing pressure on the asylum space with significant backlogs in RSD, UNHCR is heightening efforts to find comprehensive solutions that includes cessation, local integration, resettlement and voluntary repatriation.

Living and Working Conditions:

Pretoria is a city located in the northern part of Gauteng Province in South Africa. It is one of the country's two capital cities serving as the executive (administrative) and de facto national capital. The other is Cape Town, the legislative capital. The Central Business District (CBD) of Pretoria has been the traditional centre of government and commerce, although today many corporate offices, small businesses, shops, and government departments are situated in the sprawling suburbs of the city rather than the CBD or in Johannesburg. The city has a population of approximately 1,985,997 as well as large number of foreign nationals.

Pretoria has over the years had very diverse cultural influences and this is reflected in the architectural styles that can be found in the city. The main languages spoken in Pretoria are Pedi, Afrikaans, Tswana, Tsonga, Zulu and English. Ndebele and Sotho are also widely spoken. The living class in Pretoria can be classified as middle to high income earners. The living conditions in South Africa are generally very good.  Housing and basic commodities are readily available.  The country has an abundance of health providers of all sectors.  The country's infrastructure and communication facilities are of international standard and are amongst the best in the African continent. However, in the last couple of years, the electricity generation has been facing challenges and there are scheduled power cuts on a regular basis.

Depending on schooling needs some staff opt to live in Johannesburg (approx. 40 min one way from Pretoria). Crime continues to be of concern and has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and power cuts.  Burglaries (house break-ins) and carjacking are common and those involved are often armed.  ATM fraud is also rampant as well as financial related cyber-crime. Even though the position is based in Pretoria, the incumbent is expected to travel on missions to remote locations in the field, where the quality of life and working conditions would be challenged alongside with security concerns.

Additional Qualifications




HCR Protection Learning Program - UNHCR, Programme Management (PM) 1 - UNHCR, Programme Management - Other

Work Experience


Accountability, Analytical thinking, Client & results orientation, Commitment to continuous learning, Communication, Empowering & building trust, Judgement & decision making, Leadership, Managing performance, Managing resource, Organizational awareness, Political awareness, Stakeholder management, Strategic planning & visions, Teamwork & collaboration

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Bi-annual Compendium 2022 Part A – November 2022

Functional clearance

This position doesn't require a functional clearance
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