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Shelter Associate


  • Organization: UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  • Location: Herat
  • Grade: Level not specified - Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Protection Officer (Refugee)
    • Human Settlements (Shelter, Housing, Land, Property)
  • Closing Date: Closed

Hardship Level (not applicable for home-based)

E (most hardship)

Family Type (not applicable for home-based)

Non Family

Staff Member / Affiliate Type


Target Start Date


Job Posting End Date

May 27, 2023

Terms of Reference

Operational Context

Define the role of the position within the team, describing its leadership role, if any, it’s external/internal work relationships or contacts, the contextual environment in which it operates and the scope of supervision received, and where applicable, exercised by the incumbent.

The Shelter Associate reports to Head of field office of UNHCR Field Office Herat. The incumbent’s main role includes assisting to provide inputs for formulation of projects to address needs of beneficiaries and UNHCR, taking into consideration the technical standards (UNHCR/Sphere/National), UNHCR protection mandate and policy priorities, such as environment, women and children, groups with specific needs.

Assists in close monitoring of the Shelter activities and the construction work undertaken by partners and contractors with the aim of accomplishing the tasks in the most cost-effective fashion on agreed time schedule and in conformity with the set guidelines and principles.

The incumbent shall provide technical support to other departments within UNHCR and partners working in the Field Office in achieving the core mandate of the organization.

The incumbent keeps frequent internal contacts with staff members in the same duty station to exchange information, to establish understanding of respective needs; to ensure provision of technical level services, resolution of problems.

Within an urban context, it is essential that shelter responses take into consideration urban planning strategies, including an analysis of residential areas, housing affordability and availability. In addition, regardless of the context, shelter assistance should always minimize the risk of harm, eviction, exploitation, and abuse, overcrowded living conditions, limited access to services and unhygienic condition.


 UNHCR’s policies, standards and procedures are constantly and coherently applied in the area of responsibility (AoR).

 The needs of persons of concern in the AoR are assessed and analysed in a participating manner and using an Age, Gender, and Diversity (AGD) perspective to form a firm basis for planning.

 UNHCR’s Field Office has sufficient support in the field of shelter and infrastructure thus better able to meet the needs of persons of concern.

Responsibility (process and functions undertaken to achieve results)
 Assist in providing technical input related to shelter, site selection/development, infrastructure, and shelter with due consideration to water, sanitation, and environmental concern to the operation, implementing partners and other agencies involved in assisting persons of concern to UNHCR.

 Assist in providing inputs for formulation of project submissions to address the needs, taking into consideration the technical standards (UNHCR/Sphere/National) and UNHCR protection mandate and policy priorities, such as environment, women and children, groups with specific needs, etc.

 Assist in developing standard designs for shelter and providing technical details on layout of the shelters on ground (streets, alleys, drainage, etc.) and bill of quantities.

 Prepare, detailed designs, bill of quantities, drawings, execution work plan, handover/completion certificates for different construction works to be undertaken in Field Office operations.

 Develop detailed rates for items of work based on current market conditions.

 Inspect and review the construction projects on a periodic basis to ensure compliance with safety code and building code regulations by maintaining strict quality control procedures - this necessitates regular testing of materials, visual inspections of work, and conducting regular safety checks. Review the entire project to ensure that the work is being done according to the work plans and technical specifications.

 Provide technical input in monitoring in camp/site construction and related activities.

 Perform other related activities as required.

Authority (decisions made in executing responsibilities and to achieve results)

 Assist Programme in reviewing technical components of the Project Partnership Agreements that contain any construction and infrastructure projects.

 Actively work with Programme as a member of the Multi-Functional Team in the Operation and regularly participate in multi-sectoral activities to ensure protection and assistance needs of the population are met.

Essential Minimum Qualifications and Experience

 Completion of secondary/High school with certificate/training in architecture or urban planning/ civil/structural engineering.
 At least 3 years relevant experience with High School Diploma; or 2 years relevant work experience with Bachelor or equivalent or higher
 Previous experience in all disciplines of Civil Engineering, rural settlement development, emergency management, environmental planning, and ability of making the linkages to rehabilitation and development programmes will be an added advantage.
 Prior experience of implementing shelter and construction projects in humanitarian context and emergencies, assisting in liaison with other units and governmental technical departments.
 Knowledge of shelter technical guidelines and rules for adequate orientation, ventilation, flood, and natural disaster-prone areas.
 Knowledge of a range of physical planning assistance options, including sensitivity to cultural and gender specific needs to ensure that the social and cultural background of the Beneficiaries in the western region is considered while designing and developing camps/shelter options.
 Extensive knowledge of basic computer software MS Office and other relevant software including AutoCAD, ArchiCAD, Microsoft Visio, GPS, and GIS.
 Excellent knowledge of English and ability to prepare technical reports in English.

Desirable Qualifications & Competencies

 Knowledge of UNHCR shelter standards, as well as standards related to protection, environment and land use.
 Knowledge of a range of shelter assistance options, including sensitivity to cultural and gender specific needs to ensure that the social and cultural background of PoC is taken into account while designing and developing shelter options.
 Knowledge of computer graphics, AutoCAD, and mapping software as well as the capacity to use mapping tools (GPS), and digital photographic equipment, and related software (map info etc.)
 Work experience with local contractors.

Cross-Functional Competencies

 Analytical Thinking
 Innovation & Creativity
 Technological Awareness
 Negotiation & Conflict Resolution
 Planning & Organizing
 Policy Research & Development
 Political Awareness
 Stakeholder Management
 Change Capability & Adaptability

Functional Skills
 SP-CAD 3D modelling for Settlement Analysis (e.g., Infraworks, Civil 3D)
 CO-Drafting and Documentation
 SP-Shelter and Infrastructure Coordination
 IT-Computer Assisted Design Software (e.g., AutoCAD)
 (Functional Skills marked with an asterisk* are essential)


Standard Job Description

Required Languages


Desired Languages


Additional Qualifications




Work Experience

Other information

This position doesn't require a functional clearance
This vacancy is now closed.
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