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Snr Data Policy Officer

New York United States of America

  • Organization: UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  • Location: New York United States of America
  • Grade: Level not specified - Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Legal - Broad
    • Statistics
    • Political Affairs
    • Information Technology and Computer Science
  • Closing Date:

Hardship Level

H (no 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

Senior Data Policy Officer Organizational Setting and Work Relationships The UNHCR Data Transformation Strategy 2020-2025 envisions that by 2025 UNHCR becomes a trusted leader on data and information related to refugees and other persons of concern (POC), thereby enabling actions to protect and to empower them. The strategy envisages data and information management functions in UNHCR carried out in a complementary and inter-linked manner between Headquarters Divisions and Services, Regional Bureaux, country operations and key external partners, including persons of concern. Global Data Service translates UNHCR¿s data vision and strategy into implementation across the organization, through direct and indirect service delivery, coordination and collaboration, and advocacy to and with internal and external UNHCR stakeholders. The role of the Senior Data Policy Officer is to support corporate efforts to provide guidance and set direction on UNHCR¿s collection, analysis, storage, and dissemination of operational data and information relating to POC and their situation, including on data protection standards of personal data. Regardless of the location of the positions, whether at Headquarters, regional or country levels, in close consultation with relevant Divisions and other entities, the incumbent drives the initiatives aimed at setting standards, policy, and guidance for data management and encourages development of secure and interoperable operational data systems for UNHCR agility and modernization. For HQ-based positions, the Snr Data Policy Officer engages in reviewing and validating specialized operational data standards, policies and guidance proposed and drafted by respective subject-matter experts to ensure coherence and harmonization across UNHCR. The incumbent is the main reference for coordination of the efforts to monitor compliance with operational data standards across different types of data systems and processes to inform future standard setting and policy enhancement, as well as ensuring the overall reliability of evidence for data informed decisions. In line with the above, the incumbent also advances the concept of data protection/privacy by design and by default. S/he acts as a technical advisor on the interoperability of data collected both internally and externally, and how to store and disseminate non-personal data responsibly to help establish an open data culture. For HQs positions, in accordance with UNHCR¿s mandate, the incumbent supports the efforts of the Global Data Service for advocacy for the interests of UNHCR populations of concern and UNHCR as an institution in global interagency data coordination fora in collaboration with other Sections of the Global Data Service, relevant Divisions, entities and Regional Bureaux as required. S/he provides advice on institutionalizing commitments UNHCR makes in interagency fora through UNHCR data guidance and policies. It leads the coordination efforts with the rest of the UN in New York on data-relevant discussions. 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 - Facilitate consensus on developing, consolidating, documenting, communicating and monitoring compliance with organizational data standards and policies that deliver an ethical, coherent, and quality-driven approach to data and its use for protection and solutions to POC. - Provide technical advice on data-related norms, standards and guidelines in internal policies and external agreements. - Identify opportunities within UNHCR¿s external partnerships and collaborations for improving data management services for UNHCR and for UNHCR's partners. - Uphold and ensure the respect of data protection principles, especially the data protection by design and by default concept, in all aspects related to the processing of personal POC data and raise needs for further norm setting and development with the HQ DPO. - Represent UNHCR in interagency negotiations on data or in interagency data coordination fora, (depending on the location of the incumbent - either at the request of the Global Data Service or at the request of business owners or other data stakeholders at global, regional or country levels). - Represent UNHCR in humanitarian and development related interagency discussions and negotiations on data policy initiatives, including on data gathering, data responsibility and standards, in coordination with subject-matter experts and the relevant UNHCR interagency and external relations colleagues. - Ensure in-house coherence and close cooperation between various entities focused on the collecting, analysing and sharing data regarding all POC. - In consultation with relevant Sections in the Global Data Service, Legal Affairs Service, relevant Divisions and entities, support the negotiation of global Memoranda of Understanding, Data Sharing Agreements and other interagency agreements on data sharing, taking into account UNHCR data protection standards. - Consolidate and disseminate operational data standards, policies, rules and guidance from the Global Data Service, along with those of subject-matter experts and other internal data stakeholders in UNHCR. - Institutionalize external data-related commitments by communicating decisions and escalating issues of concern internally. - In collaboration with relevant Sections in the Global Data Service, Divisions and other internal entities, support the establishment of internal system interoperability of corporate operational data systems by translating UNHCR data rules into data system requirements and by mainstreaming data requirements from corporate systems into data norms and standards guidance and tools. - Monitor global and regional compliance with data rules and standards, including identifying policy non-compliant or redundant corporate data systems at global and regional levels. - Contribute to fostering and maintaining new partnerships with UN, private sector, development partners, global level organizations and other actors geared towards achieving solutions for system-wide data interoperability and data system linkages. For HQ positions only - Facilitate and encourage collaboration of UNHCR internal headquarters-based business owners and technical data focal points with the Global Data Service, including but not limited to sector-specific data specialists and UNHCR-led Global Clusters. - Support Regional Bureaux and the DIMAs in developing regional monitoring plans for data policy, guidance, norms and standards compliance at country level. - Enhance UNHCR¿s global data standards and norms to maximize the possibility of compatibility with member states and development actor data practices in order to support social inclusion, POC resilience and the objectives of the Global Compact for Refugees. - 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 Business Administration Information Technology Law Political Science Social Science Statistics Demography Economics Data Science Development or other relevant field (Field(s) of Education marked with an asterisk* are essential) Certificates and/or Licenses International Protection Emergency Registration HCR Operational Data Management Learning Programme UNHCR Needs Assessment eLearning Interagency Coordination Learning Programme Protection Information Management Training Evaluation Training Global Learning Programme JIPS Profiling Coordination Training HCR Risk Management Basics & ERM Programme HCR Leadership for Humanitarians HCR Management Learning Programme (Certificates and Licenses marked with an asterisk* are essential) Relevant Job Experience Essential: Field experience, preferably in a humanitarian context. Relevant work experience in the area of standards and policy setting, data protection and capacity development. Strong understanding of the principles and concepts of international protection and UNHCR. Team-building, managerial, planning, coordination and representation skills. Ability to explain data and related systems in accessible language for business owners and to translate business requirements to data technical teams. Experience with phases of the data management lifecycle and associated methodologies. Demonstrated data literacy, especially the ability to derive information from data and present evidence to decision-making. Ability to design and implement policies and procedures which are adapted to the data protection, standards setting and capacity development needs. Demonstrated ability for leadership in the context of partnership building and consensual decision-making. Experience working with partners, including host and donor Governments, humanitarian and development partners. Demonstrated ability to innovate and design policies, structures and systems which improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the UNHCR data processes. Ability to effectively present complex information to all levels of management. Proven ability to address multiple tasks in a courteous and service-oriented manner in demanding working conditions that often have short deadlines. Desirable: Experience in process re-engineering (process redesign, process transformation, or change management). Experience with data sharing, data management, and data analysis. Technical expertise in registration, identity or biometric management systems. Experience with UNHCR¿s corporate applications and operational data. Hands on experience with design and implementation of related operational data systems. Thorough understanding of relational data theory and other methods of data structure. Experience designing primary data collection systems. Knowledge of national and international statistical systems. Demonstrated understanding of civil registration and other national population registration systems. Demonstrated knowledge of UNHCR and interagency policies, standards, programmes and operations. Experience working in both cluster coordination model and refugee coordination model contexts. Functional Skills *CO-Drafting and Documentation *DM-Data Management *IT-Computer Literacy CL-Cluster Information Management Tools, Resources and Approaches DM-Data Collection and Analysis DM-Data collection methodologies DM-Data governance, quality assurance and preservation DM-Data Interoperability DM-Data science methodologies DM-Database Design & Development DM-Development of and revision of data standards DM-Population census and econometrics DM-Protection Data Management Systems DM-Qualitative data analysis DM-Quantitative data analysis IT-IT Refugee Systems & Applications MG-Coordination MG-Country/Regional Office Representation PG-Needs Assessment and Response Analysis PG-Programme Management (programme cycles and reporting standards) PR-Individual Case Management PR-Protection-related guidelines, standards and indicators RG-Civil Registry Systems Analysis UN-UN/UNHCR Inter-agency Policies, Standards, Programmes, and Partnerships (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:

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

Nature of Position:

The UNHCR Office in New York works on all matters relating to data and statistics within various inter-governmental and inter-agency processes, whether in leadership role or in a convening capacity, always in a collaborative and consensus-building manner. UNHCR is also frequently called upon to brief and partner with Member States and civil society, including academic institutions, on refugees and stateless persons. It is also the port of call in New York on issues related to UNHCR's global programmes and persons of concern. UNHCR is appreciated as the agency with expertise on matters pertaining to refugees, other forcibly displaced and stateless persons and with specific operational expertise across all continents. UNHCR is also seen as the authority on all issues relating to statistics, data, and innovation related to refugees and other forcibly displaced and stateless persons.

The UNHCR Data Transformation Strategy 2020-2025 provides a unique opportunity for UNHCR to cement its position as a data leader and innovator. The UNHCR Office in New York has been engaged with a variety of data and statistics initiatives, working closely with relevant Divisions at UNHCR, including DIP, DRS, DSPR, and DIST.

Given the context outlined above, and within an inter-agency and inter-governmental context, successful engagement in New York relies as much on strong coordination, communication and consensus-building skills as it does on technical expertise. Experience with UN system inter-governmental and inter-agency processes, allied with strong diplomatic skills and political awareness, are key to advancing UNHCR 's strategic priorities in New York, and to building on existing partnerships not only with Member States but also with the UN Secretariat, UNICEF, OCHA, UNDESA, UNFPA, IOM, WFP and others.

Living and Working Conditions:

New York is classified as a Category H (Headquarters) duty station with all amenities and excellent infrastructure.

The Security Level System is minimal.

Additional Qualifications


DM-Qualitative data analysis, EL-Monitoring and Evaluation, PG-Stakeholder management and coordination with Implementing Partners (Gov/NGO/Corporate), UN-UN/UNHCR Reforms



Emergency Registration - Other, Evaluation Training - Other, Global Learning Programme - Other, HCR Leadership for Humanitarians - UNHCR, HCR Management Learning Program - UNHCR, HCR Operational Data Management Learning Program - UNHCR, HCR Risk Management Basics & ERM Program - UNHCR, Interagency Coord Learning Program - Other, International Protection - Other, JIPS Profiling Coord Training - Other, Needs Assessment e-Learning - Other, Protection Information Management Training - Other

Work Experience


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

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Bi-annual Compendium 2022 Part B – November 2022

Functional clearance

This position requires Functional Clearance
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