E (most hardship)
Non FamilyDanger Pay
Residential location (if applicable)
Staff Member / Affiliate Type
Regular > Regular Assignment
February 16, 2023
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
In this context, the incumbent should have diverse leadership and managerial skills, including a solid operational background in protection and field activities in emergency, stable, and solutions/transitional contexts in both refugee and IDP situations. Well-developed stakeholder management, advocacy, interpersonal, communication, negotiation, and partner engagement skills are critical to the successful implementation of immediate and longer-term organizational objectives.
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 incumbent reports to the Deputy Representative and oversees a motivated team with 2 international staff and approximately 26 national staff (regular and affiliate workforce). The area of responsibility of FO Baghdad includes 13 governorates within Federal Iraq (Anbar, Babil, Baghdad, Basra, Diyala, Diwaniya, Kerbala, Missan, Muthana, Najaf, Salah Al-Din, ThiQar, and Wassit), which host approximately 22,000 refugees/asylum seekers. Some 63 percent are Syrian, 33 percent Palestinian, and the remaining 4 percent come from various countries, including Turkey and Iran. Palestinian refugees came to Iraq in three primary waves in 1948, 1967, and 1991 due to the Arab-Israeli conflict and the Gulf War. Most Syrians arrived in 2011-2012 due to the civil war, with minor influxes in late 2019 and early 2022 as a result of military operations in northeast Syria.
Of the 1.2 million IDPs across the country and 4.9 million IDP returnees, at least 800,000 remain displaced within the area, while some 2.7 million IDPs have returned to the area, after having been displaced in 2014 due to Da’esh operations in Iraq. The vast majority reside in urban/peri-urban areas, with very few staying in informal settlements in Anbar and Salah Al-Din governorates.
As the displacement situation is becoming increasingly protracted, UNHCR in Iraq, as part of the broader UN efforts, is currently transitioning from a humanitarian response towards longer-term development and inclusion of refugees and IDPs in Government service provision and plans. In this endeavor, UNHCR continues to lead the refugee response. As the country's humanitarian context has transitioned into a post-conflict landscape, there is increased focus on identifying and removing obstacles to durable solutions. As part of these efforts, UNHCR is co-/leading area-based coordination forums (ABCs) in Anbar and Salah Al-Din governorates, formed under the umbrella of the Durable Solutions Technical Working Group, to strengthen governmental coordination mechanisms at the governorate and local levels, while ensuring the centrality of protection.
The incumbent is expected to oversee the quality, timely and effective implementation of the Operation’s protection and solutions strategy, including its area-based programming. S/he is expected to lead discussions at the local level to encourage further responsibility of relevant government counterparts, advocate for international norms and standards in refugee/IDP protection and solutions interventions, and ensure community engagement and empowerment are further strengthened as part of transition efforts.
Relations with local Government counterparts, UN Agencies, NGOs (including development actors), and civil society actors are critical to the overall successful implementation of activities and support to refugees and IDPs. The Office currently has three PPA partners and undertakes a range of protection/field programs and direct implementation activities. There are also opportunities for interim local solutions, including increased area-based programming for displaced and host communities.
Living and Working Conditions:
Baghdad is a non-family high-risk E duty station, with four weeks of R&R. Staff live in a UN compound with freedom of movement outside the compound in armored vehicles only and is limited even so. Missions within south/central Iraq are undertaken with similar tight security measures being required. Freedom of movement and security is much more relaxed in the KRI.
- SIM cards and business cards will be available for staff upon arrival.
- There is a fully equipped gym in the integrated compound in Baghdad and a basketball/tennis/badminton court; the gym is open 24/7, as is the basketball/tennis court (but please be mindful of residents living next to the court).
- A UN market operates seven days a week in the integrated compound in Baghdad, where groceries and fresh vegetables can be purchased.
- A water plant exists in the integrated compound in Baghdad.
- There is a canteen in the integrated compound in Baghdad that operates seven days a week for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, offering a variety of food for reasonable prices. In addition a Coffee shop and a pizzeria available.
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
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
Add.2 to Bi-annual Compendium 2022 - Part B
This position doesn't require a functional clearance