E (most hardship)
Non Family with Residential Location
Non Family with Residential LocationDanger Pay
Residential location (if applicable)
Nairobi (CO), Kenya
Staff Member / Affiliate Type
Regular > Regular Assignment
December 15, 2022
Head of Field Office
Organizational Setting and Work Relationships
Head of a UNHCR Field Office (HoFO) is a senior managerial position within a given country operation. The incumbent carries the full delegated authority of the UNHCR Representative (or the country Manager or Head of Sub-Office) of the country, who will exercise entire supervisory managerial responsibility over the position. The position, on the other hand, provides all information on developments in relation to the protection (legal protection issues relating to the persons of concern to UNHCR), security (Physical security in relation to the UNCR staff and the persons of concern to UNHCR) and operational matters (programme and office management / administration) within the domain of its geographical area of responsibility to the UNHCR Representative (or the country manager) on a regular and timely manner. Subject to the specific legal or socio economic or security developments in the Area of Responsibility (AOR), Representative will direct and guide the Head of Field Office to take the most appropriate course of action. Concerning overall physical security concerns, HoFO will liaise directly with the competent UN security coordinator while keeping the UNHCR Representative fully informed.
While the functional responsibility of a Head of Field Office will always remain the same despite its grade level, the other parameters (therefore the depth and breadth of the competencies) such as the size of the population of concern to UNHCR, their specific legal/security concerns, volume of assistance, Number of operational / Implementing partners and the size of the Office (i.e. number of UNHCR staff and their grade levels) will determine the appropriate grade level. The operational autonomy also depends upon the same parameters/competencies.
As the most senior UNHCR staff member within the given geographical area, he/she is required to liaise with all the relevant senior government officials, security organs in the area, the Head of various Non-Governmental Organisations (both national and internationals based in the area), Civilian/tribal leaders/elders, local opinion makers and the local media net-work to ensure his/her assigned responsibilities are effectively and efficiently discharged.
As the extended field representative of UNHCR at the front line of High Commissioner¿s operations, he/she remain as the effective advocate and assistant to the local authorities to ensure that the respective government authorities in the area implement their conventional responsibilities in favour of refugees and others of concern to UNHCR.
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.
- Monitor and report on the implementation of refugee conventional responsibilities and international obligations of the local authorities Vis a Vis the population of concern to UNHCR within the given geographical area; based on local situations/developments make appropriate recommendation to the UNHCR Representative/HoSO.
- Advocate and promote UNHCR standards concerning the treatment of asylum seekers, refugees and returnees as well as IDPs, where applicable; Advocate, promote and encourage the concerned authorities and local opinion makers to uphold established UNHCR standards that have become the international norms.
- Ensure that the basic needs of the concerned population are properly assessed with the participation of the beneficiaries themselves, the host governments and/or the competent Implementing partners and/or UNHCR itself.
- Subject to the needs, ensure that the planning, formulation and budgeting of identified assistance projects are done as per UNHCR programme cycle; upon approval of assistance project, ensure the timely implementation and rigorous monitoring of identified assistance activities
- Ensure through the subordinate staff that all deadlines for monitoring and reporting of UNHCR operational activities (i.e. include assistance as well as Administrative) are met on a regular basis.
- Manage all UNHCR resources, both human, financial/material, at an optimum level for the wellbeing of the concerned population and the UNHCR staff.
- Ensure that all security measures of UNHCR office (and residential, where ever applicable) compounds are always up to date; any security breaches and/or potential security threat should be reported immediately to competent UN security coordinator in the country.
- Ensure that staff welfare, both in terms of working and living conditions, are maintained at a satisfactory level within the constraints in the operational area; this requires remaining current in health and medical facilities locally available and evacuation options available in a moment of medical urgency.
- Guide, coach and advocate the subordinate staff to maintain highest standards of conduct and behaviour thorough one¿s own practice and deeds.
- Prepare and submit regular reports, both verbally and written, to the UNHCR Representative/HoSO. In the event of substantial telephone conversation that leads to specific action or non-action, it should be recorded and share with the other party.
- Any other responsibilities/functions deemed necessary or as delegated by the UNHCR Representative of the country in order to meet the level of the services in the organization.
- Represent UNHCR in inter-agency fora and with local authorities in the AOR.
- Enforce compliance with UNHCR¿s global protection, programme, finance, human resources and security policies and standards.
- Submit project proposals for assistance to refugees and other persons of concern to UNHCR Representation or Sub-Office in coordination with local authorities and NGOs.
- Perform other related duties as required.
Education & Professional Work Experience
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
or other relevant field.
(Field(s) of Education marked with an asterisk* are essential)
Certificates and/or Licenses
HCR Management Lrng Prg;
HCR Managing Operatns Lrng Prg;
(Certificates and Licenses marked with an asterisk* are essential)
Relevant Job Experience
In-depth knowledge in all aspects of UNHCR¿s Field level operation. Applied experience of protection principles, operational arrangements/standards in relation to protection, assistance, UNHCR office management and staff administration. Should be conversant in the current priorities in the organisation and existing mechanisms within the organisation to implement those priorities.
Working experience both in UNHCR HQ and/or a Regional Office and the Field
IT-Microsoft Office Productivity Software
UN-UNHCR's Mandate/Policy and Global Strategic Priorities
HR-Administration of Staff Contracts and Benefits
PR-Principles and Procedures, operational arrangements/assistance
(Functional Skills marked with an asterisk* are essential)
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
Required languages (expected Overall ability is at least B2 level):
Occupational Safety and Health Considerations:
To view occupational safety and health considerations for this duty station, please visit this link:
Nature of Position:
The South Sudan Operation continues to be a very complex and high-risk operation covering all four pillars of UNHCR. The Head of Office will be based in Torit which is accessed by UNHAS flight or road. Torit is approximately 217kms from Juba and has basic services and internet connectivity. Torit office covers project implementation for IDP in Eastern Equatoria State.
Ideally, the candidate should have:
- Knowledge of UNHCR policies and standards as relates to the population of concern (IDP operation mainly in AOR currently).
- Completion of UNHCR learning programmes or specific training relevant to functions of the position.
- Knowledge of UNHCR programme and Administration including HR at managerial level
- Ability to manage UNHCR resources both human, financial/material for wellbeing of persons of concern and UNHCR staff
- Knowledge of implementation of security measures (Areas Security Management Team member)
- Knowledge of English or other relevant UN or local languages.
- Strong managerial and leadership skills
- Strong skills in coordination;
- Strong motivation, commitment, hard-working, dynamism, persistence.
- Creativity and openness to innovation. Ability to come up with innovative and creative solutions to operational challenges;
- Strong tact, diplomacy and negotiation
- Experience managing large teams and ability to work in consultative manner with other stakeholders
- Ability to enforce compliance with UNHCRs global protection, programme, finance, human resources and security policy and standards
- An ability to create meaningful and collaborative relationships senior management, with other Heads of offices, Heads of units within the agency and senior staff from other UN agencies.
Torit is the capital of Eastern Equatorial State (EES), which borders Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia. The state experiences high number of cross border movements of both displaced/returnee population and other migrants; including those passing through to other states within South Sudan. The Security level for this area is Level IV. Criminality as any other part of the country is rampant in the region. This is heightened by activities of parties’ non-signatories to the Revitalized Peace agreement (2018), with sporadic clashes between armed forces are reported, mainly along Nimule- Juba corridors. Other incidences related to road banditry/ambushes, robberies along Torit-Kapoeta Road, in Budi and Lafon Counties. Refugee returnees have reported harassment by local authorities, armed forces, and GBV risks faced while on transit. General lack of livelihoods and economic opportunities has led to tension and occasionally attacks on humanitarian staff, especially South Sudanese from other states by youths and local communities in Torit. New trends indicated tensions between local communities in Magwii County and herders from other regions. The above-mentioned conditions impede humanitarian interventions in the area, which led to recent government clampdown on errant youths around Torit Town. The Eastern Equatorial region is one of the states with highest refugee returns (100,000 refugees) from neighboring countries out of the 500,000 South Sudanese returns (Since 2018), mainly to Magwii County (60,000). Majority of them are seeking to rebuild their lives through agriculture requiring step-up of resilience, and development support. while in Torit, life skills and livelihoods opportunities remain a dire need which has often led to tension and attack on humanitarian personnel. UNHCR in 2022 is stepping its footprint in the region to strengthen protection and solutions for return population and local communities in the region in support of government another humanitarian/peace and development efforts.
Living and Working Conditions:
South Sudan is classified as an E non-family High Risk duty station with a 6-week R&R cycle and is prone to malaria. Movement to and from locations require official vehicle transport; use of taxi is not allowed. There are very limited medical facilities in South Sudan, with facilities concentrated in Juba.
All international personnel reside in UNHCR provided accommodation equipped with furniture, cafeteria, housekeeping services and a gym or some sports equipment. In Juba, all basic foods are available in the market ranging from meat, dairy, fruit and vegetables. There are a few hotels with pools and restaurants where staff can visit. While in the field, food supply varies depending on the season. Taking photos is strongly discouraged in all locations, as may result in arrest by local security forces. Extreme caution is required while driving a UN vehicle due to bad local driving culture, lots of motorbikes and three-wheelers (boda-boda) and periodic attempts by local police to extort money from the driver for whatever violation claimed.
There are several airlines flying from most destinations to Juba via Dubai, Nairobi, Addis Ababa, Istanbul, Khartoum, Cairo or Entebbe. Travel to field offices in South Sudan are handled by UN humanitarian flights.
Staff can open USD bank accounts in South Sudan and only high US Dollar bills i.e. US$50 and US$100 are accepted for foreign currency exchange transactions. South Sudan bank notes exist in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 25, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 South Sudanese Pounds. Foreign exchange transactions can be done at any commercial bank in a safe and secure location. There are very few ATMs and credit card facilities in South Sudan to draw USD (max $500
The security situation in South Sudan though generally stable, remains fragile and fluid in complex and unpredictable environment and is characterized by low intensity and localized armed conflict in some areas, high levels of crime across the country, inter/intra communal conflict over a diverse range of issues including cattle raids, competition for resources and revenge attacks and regular civil unrest in refugee and IDP operations and host community. These challenges continue directly and indirectly impact on UNHCR operations. The signing of the Revitalized Agreement of the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan in September 2018 represented an important milestone for the country. The ceasefire is holding in many areas of the country except in some few locations where localized and low intensity armed conflict continues to impact on security situation. Many areas in the country are also affected by season flooding which has also displaced significant number of people.
The security level in South Sudan is assessed as substantial (security level 4) in all areas.
SRM measures in place:
UN curfew is in force across the country, timing differs from one SRM Area to another. UN curfew is from 19:00 to 05:00 in Juba.
International personnel must request and receive security clearance for official and non-official travel.
International personnel on mission must stay in either a UN facility or UN approved commercial lodging for staff members.
Safe and Secure Approaches in Field Environment (SSAFE) to be conducted in areas with HIGH Risk level and above.
All international and national personnel must be issued with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and VHF radios.
BA: Economics (Required), BA: International Relations (Required), BA: Law (Required), BA: Management (Required), BA: Personnel Administration (Required), BA: Political Science (Required)
HCR Management Learning Program - UNHCR, Programme Management (PM) 1 - UNHCR
Working with Persons of Concern: Internally Displaced Persons, Working with Persons of Concern: Returned IDPs
Accountability, Analytical thinking, Client & results orientation, Commitment to continuous learning, Communication, Empowering & building trust, Judgement & decision making, Leadership, Managing performance, Managing resource, Organizational awareness, Planning & organizing, Political awareness, Strategic planning & visions, Teamwork & collaboration
Bi-annual Compendium 2022 Part B – November 2022
This position doesn't require a functional clearance