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Associate Development Officer


  • Organization: UNV - United Nations Volunteers
  • Location: Lusaka
  • Grade: Level not specified - Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Development Cooperation and Sustainable Development Goals
    • Humanitarian Aid and Coordination
  • Closing Date: Closed


Mission and objectives

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was established on December 14, 1950 by the United Nations General Assembly. The agency is mandated to lead and co-ordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide. Its primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees. UNHCR strives to ensure that everyone can exercise the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another state, with the option to return home voluntarily, integrate locally or to resettle in a third country. UNHCR also has a mandate to help stateless people. As of 31 December 2021, UNHCR had recruited 18,879 people, of whom around nearly 91 per cent are based in the field. UNHCR works in 137 countries and territories, with personnel based in a mixture of regional and branch offices and sub and field offices. Our teams work hard to help the displaced, specializing in a wide range of disciplines, including legal protection, administration, community services, public affairs and health.


UNHCR established its presence in Zambia in 1967 initially to assist in the protection of Angolan asylum seekers. As of 2023, UNHCR has its Representation based in Lusaka and two field offices in Solwezi (North-Western Province) and Kawambwa (Luapula Province). The main responsibility for UNHCR, in line with the statutory responsibilities is to monitor the implementation of the 1951 Convention and promote mixed durable solutions for refugees and other persons that we care. UNHCR discharges this role primarily by providing technical support and guidance to the Government on policy formulation and refugee matters. There are 81,639 refugees and asylum seekers in three refugee settlements (Mayukwayukwa, Meheba and Mantapala). Majority of Persons of Concern (PoCs) that UNHCR serves in Zambia are from Angola, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda and Somalia. Congolese make 57% of the total POCs that UNHCR serves. The majority of these POCs that UNHCR caters for live in three refugee settlements, namely Mayukwayukwa (21,756), Meheba (36,483) and Mantapala (6,955). Meheba Refugee Settlement was established in 1971 and is in Kalumbila District of North-Western Province. The Settlement covers an area of 720km2 and is demarcated into eight blocks from A-H. It is located 10kms from the Kalumbila District Administration Centre, and 75kms South-West of Solwezi, the Provincial Capital of the North-Western Province (NWP). The Settlement hosts a protracted Congolese (the Democratic Republic of Congo) and Somali population, new arrivals from Burundi and the DRC as well as “former” refugees from Angola and Rwanda. These remain under the management of the Department of Resettlement (in the Office of Vice President). Health, education, protection, community, and security services are provided by Government staff who reside in the settlement. Livelihood initiatives are also provided by different operational and implementing partners, while warehousing and fuel management lies with Action Africa Help Zambia (AAHZ). Humanitarian assistance by UNHCR is prioritized for new arrivals and persons with specific needs. Zambia has adopted a comprehensive refugee response approach as envisioned by the New York Declaration of 2016, which guides the country’s operations. The framework envisages an all-of-society approach with solid investment and support from the international community in various key life-saving sectors to guarantee a dignified reception and productive stay in the country of asylum. The Government of Zambia (GRZ) coordinates the response to refugee arrivals through the Office of the Commissioner for Refugees (COR), with the direct support of UNHCR. An Inter-Ministerial Committee was established in 2017 to coordinate the response to the Congolese refugee situation. An Inter-Agency Task Force for the Congolese Situation, co-chaired by UNHCR and COR in Lusaka, coordinates the ongoing reception and response, while in Meheba a similar Inter-Agency Task Force with sectoral working groups on protection, WASH, health, shelter, and education coordinates the response in bi-weekly coordination meetings.

Task description

Under the direct supervision of the Head of Office, the Associate Development Officer will undertake the following tasks: • Assist management in commissioning and/or conducting practical research and analysis to interpret long-term political, economic, and social trends that will enhance opportunities for solutions, resilience, and inclusion for populations that UNHCR cares for as well as more sustainable approaches to refugee protection; • Support management in planning for resilience and inclusion with a clear shared vision of longer-term protection and solution outcomes for people that we serve and host communities, mapping roles, resources, and capacities of development partners, including International Financial Institutions, Multilateral Development Banks, and Bilateral Development/non-traditional donors; • Assist in facilitating the inclusion of populations that we serve into national and local development planning and programming instruments; • Assist management in identifying, strategically articulating and capitalizing development and resilience opportunities, including through Government pledges and or pledges made by bilateral or multilateral development and/or peacebuilding partners; • Assist in facilitating relationship building with development co-operation agencies and peace and state-building agendas through the different stages of policy and programme identification, preparation, implementation, and review; • Support the development of partnerships and networks with development cooperation actors to influence policy dialogue with the Government on institutional arrangements related to sectors, locations, and programme content of consequence to UNHCR and persons that we serve. This includes supporting the coordination of the in-country relationship with the World Bank and other multilateral development banks, especially where there is potential for specific funding directed towards our beneficiaries (e.g., WB IDA sub-window for refugees and host communities or the WB Global Concessional Financing Facility); • Participate in coordination mechanisms with development partners to assist them in incorporating the concerns of refugees, returnees, and others of concern to UNHCR into the design and implementation arrangements of projects and interventions in a manner that impacts positively on protection circumstances; • Contribute to the identification, commissioning and/or contribution to studies and analytical activities that build the conceptual framework and evidence base for comprehensive, development-oriented responses, including preparedness work for forced displacement; • Support the field office and the operation to ensure that development actors are provided relevant data to inform their planning, programming, and advocacy around resilience for and inclusion of UNHCR POCs; • Support the operations engagement with Governments, development partners (both multilateral and bilateral), and with the private sector and civil society (as appropriate) to identify opportunities for UNHCR to contribute to the design and implementation of monitoring systems to track progress towards agreed outcomes; • Support the facilitation, coordination, collaboration, and knowledge sharing experiences between UNHCR and development actors by documenting and disseminating good practices; • Support training activities aimed at the capacity building of UNHCR and partner agency staff to achieve greater coordination, effectiveness and synergies between humanitarian and development interventions.

This vacancy is now closed.
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