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Programme Officer


  • Organization: UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  • Location: Mexico
  • Grade: Level not specified - Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Project and Programme Management
  • 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

Programme Officer Organizational Setting and Work Relationships The Programme Officer may be based in HQ, field/regional bureau, typically reporting to and be guided by the Senior Program officer and may supervise a small team of local and international staff. He/she may refer to UNHCR¿s Programme Manual (Chapter IV), UNHCR's corporate and regional strategic priorities, operation plans and other relevant institutional rules and regulations for further guidance. The Programme Officer will provide programmatic guidance and support with regard to the implementation of protection and solutions strategies within available resources. S/he will coordinate with the other sections/units to ensure harmonized programmatic approaches at all levels and throughout the UNHCR Operations Management Cycle. S/he will work in line with the overall UNHCR directions which crucially require working with partners, including with persons of concern, governmental institutions and the private sector, ensuring that programme management is approached as per UNHCR¿s Strategic Directions, Global Strategic Priorities (GSPs), Global Compact for Refugees (GCR), corporate positions on SDGs. The incumbent is expected to work in line with the multi-functional team (MFT) approach as defined within the Program Manual, ensuring the participation of relevant stakeholders in all phases of the Program Management Cycle. 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 - Support in assessing and analysing the needs of persons of concern in a participatory manner, using an Age, Gender and Diversity (AGD) perspective as basis for planning. - Provide support on programmatic aspects of developing multi-year protection and solutions strategies and annual plans with corresponding priorities taking into account corporate priorities. - Support Results Based Management and programme capacity in light of evolving requirements, programming approaches and gaps. - Support the planning process in compliance with planning parameters outlined in the Programme Manual and the planning instructions. - Review and analyse plans, mid-year and year-end reports of UNHCR office(s), ensuring quality assurance and compliance with established policies, guidelines, procedures and standards. - Support in the provision of overall direction to broaden partnerships with key stakeholders in order to maximize the protection and solutions response for persons of concern. - Provide support to ensure a consistent application of the framework for implementing with partners, including the effective implementation of the policy on selection and retention of partners, management of partnership agreements, risk-based project performance monitoring, and risk-based project audits, among others. - Contribute to ensure consistent and coherent monitoring approaches, tools and systems in line with global standards and polices. - Actively contribute to UNHCRs programming of community of practice and continuously contributing to improvements of programming tools and processes. - Identify potential gaps and problems and in cooperation with other relevant sections recommend appropriate solutions to ensure the efficient implementation of programme activities. - Oversee a timely and effective follow-up of internal and external audits observations and recommendations that relate to programmatic issues. - Perform other related duties as required. Minimum Qualifications Education & Professional Work Experience 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 Economics Business Administration Social Sciences or other relevant field. Essential Demonstrated experience in programme management including familiarization with the OMC and sound knowledge Results Based-Management. Demonstrated experience in field operations, sound knowledge on the centrality of protection in programming, Joint Needs Assessments and the principles of targeting. Desirable Demonstrated experience in coordination within an inter-agency context and other actors, in a refugee or humanitarian context. Sound experience in program management training and capacity building activities. Functional Skills PG-Programme Management (programme cycles and reporting standards) PG-Results-Based Management PG-UNHCR's Programmes (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

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




Desired languages


Operational context

Occupational Safety and Health Considerations:


Nature of Position:

The current drivers of forced displacement in North of Central America (NCA) remain in place and have increased steadily since 2012. Additionally, people from other nationalities are increasingly seeking asylum in Mexico. As a result, in 2021, the Mexican Refugee Office, COMAR, registered more than 131,000 asylum-seekers. In Mexico, UNHCR is supporting the Government and other actors to build a stronger asylum system that allows refugees to fully exercise their human rights, from the moment of entry into Mexico, until a durable solution is found. There are promising options for local integration and tangible results have been achieved in this respect.

The OPS budget in Mexico represents 75% of the total OL budget, and around 80% is implemented through direct implementation while 20% is implemented through partners. Main components covered by direct implementation are CBI, support provided to COMAR, peaceful coexistence projects, support to shelters, COVID-19 response, and the relocation program for local integration.

The advertised post is based in Tuxtla Gutierrez, the Sub Office for UNHCR’s operations in Southern Mexico. It should be noted that 80 % of all asylum applications in Mexico are presented in Southern Mexico, so this is an important part of the country operation. The Program Officer is supervised directly by the Head of Sub Office and will provide technical supervision for the program colleagues based in the different field offices and field units to ensure the timely delivery of protection services to the people we serve.

Experience in team management and donor reporting and visibility would be an asset.

Living and Working Conditions:

Tuxtla Gutierrez is the capital and the largest city in the state of Chiapas. It has good infrastructure and generally adequate public services. The climate is tropical, and temperatures vary from 21°C to 33°C. The rainy season starts in May and lasts until the end of September. Facilities such as supermarkets and restaurants are widely available. It is possible to rent private accommodation, and there is a variety of furnished and unfurnished apartments available for rent. The selected residence is subject to approval by the UN security, before signing any rental contract with the landlord. Preference should be given to the options where security features are already available (security infrastructure and private guards).

Adequate health facilities and hospitals are available locally. Tuxtla is a family duty station, and there are many schools teaching in Spanish and some that provide classes in English and Spanish, including an IB school.

Currency and exchange: Mexican Peso. Dollars, Euros and traveler's checks can be exchanged at currency exchange offices.

Internet is available almost everywhere, but a contract is needed to install internet at home.

Transportation: it is recommended to use authorized taxis, so called “taxis de sitio”. Uber has recently started operating in Tuxtla.

Tuxtla belongs to Security Risk Management area 06, South East, with the current General Threat Level 2, LOW. There are no known direct threats to UNHCR, yet the UNHCR personnel may be affected by crime, including homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and highway robbery. Crime is at a Moderate level, common crime can affect any socio-economic level. In Chiapas state, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (Ejercito Zapatista de Liberación Nacional, EZLN), a revolutionary leftist political and militant group, is present, but is not active currently. The state of Chiapas has the highest levels of poverty in Mexico – 76.4% of people live in poverty, most of the poor people are of indigenous origin.

Civil Unrest is at Extreme level, as cases of violent demonstrations, road blockages, forced takeover of tall collection points are quite frequent. UNHCR personnel should avoid areas of civil unrest. Tuxtla town is exposed to natural hazards (High Level). Cases of flooding, heavy rains and earthquakes are quite frequent.

The UNHCR personnel must remain security aware at all times, apply personal security measures and avoid movement after dark. There is no curfew in Tuxtla, yet the number of incidences at night is high. While on road missions, exercise caution and always obtain Security Clearance through UNDSS COSNU. Road travel at night is restricted. Road travel is recommended only on federal highways and toll roads.


Additional Qualifications


Coaching Staff, PG-Programme Analysis, PG-Programme Management (programme cycles and reporting standards), PG-Programme Planning, PG-Resource planning, PG-Results Based Programming, PG-Stakeholder management and coordination with Implementing Partners (Gov/NGO/Corporate), PG-UNHCR's Programmes, Team-Oriented Leadership


BA: Business Administration (Required), BA: Economics (Required), BA: Social Science (Required)


HCR Learning Program - UNHCR

Work Experience

Number of Persons of Concern Served, Workforce to Supervise, Working with Persons of Concern: Asylum Seekers, Working with Persons of Concern: Internally Displaced Persons, Working with Persons of Concern: Others of Concern, Working with Persons of Concern: Refugees


Accountability, Analytical thinking, Change capability & adaptability, Client & results orientation, Commitment to continuous learning, Communication, Empowering & building trust, Judgement & decision making, Managing performance, Managing resource, Negotiation & conflict resolution, Organizational awareness, Teamwork & collaboration

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Bi-annual Compendium 2022 Part B – November 2022

Functional clearance

This position doesn't require a functional clearance
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