Head of Field Office P4 at UNHCR
Residential location (if applicable)
Staff Member / Affiliate Type
* Staff members will not normally serve in International Professional positions in the country of their nationality. In addition, in case of a first appointment upon recruitment, the assignment must be outside the staff member’s country of nationality.
- Free CV Writing and Download, Cover/Job Application Letters, Interview Questions and It's Best Answers plus Examples. Click Here
In practical terms this means that you are not eligible to apply for International Professional vacancies advertised in the country where you are national of.
Regular > Regular Assignment
November 9, 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.
– 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.
– Lead risk assessments and discussions with team(s) to proactively
manage risks and seize opportunities impacting objectives. Ensure that
risk management principles are integrated in decision-making both at
strategic and operational levels. Allocate resources for planned
treatments with resource requirements in Strategic Plans. Ensure that
risks are managed to acceptable levels and escalate, as needed. If a
Risk Owner, designate the Risk Focal Point and certify that the annual
risk review is completed and ensure that the risk register is updated
during the year, as needed.
– Perform other related duties as required.
Education & Professional Work Experience
Years of Experience / Degree Level
For P4 – 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
Human Resources Management;
or other relevant field.
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
PR-Protection-related guidelines, standards and indicators
HR-Administration of Staff Contracts and Benefits
(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 addition to having solid operational experience in managing an Office covering a large number of staff and partners, the incumbent must possess a proven record of strong diplomatic and negotiation skills. S/he should demonstrate a good capacity in engaging regional and local authorities in a very challenging environment.
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: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel”
Nature of Position:
Tanzania has largely remained peaceful since its independence in 1961. Surrounded by countries prone to conflict, the country has a long history of generosity in granting asylum to refugees from many of its neighboring countries. Since its independence, the country has offered refuge to more than two million refugees and asylum seekers and has provided solutions for their protracted situation, including voluntary repatriation, local integration, and resettlement. Refugees have arrived in Tanzania in several waves of displacement, largely from Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and Burundi, as well as from Mozambique and Uganda. Tanzania’s early refugee policies favored local integration into self-sufficient agricultural settlements. However, since the mass refugee influx from Rwanda in 1996, Tanzania’s approach to refugee protection and management shifted from a focus on local economic integration to one of strict encampment.
Nyarugusu camp, in the Kigoma region of northwest Tanzania, was created in 1996 after an estimated 150,000 Congolese refugees escaped civil war and fled into Tanzania. In addition, in 2015, over 110,000 Burundian refugees were accommodated in Nyarugusu and other camps after fleeing civil unrest. The situations has remained protracted and as of 30 September 2023, Nyarugusu camp hosts 88,733 Congolese and 48,264 Burundian refugees and asylum seekers; as well as 133 individuals of other nationalities. Nearby Nduta camp, which falls under FO-Kibondo, also hosts 69,499 Burundian refugees and asylum seekers. Most recently, from March through August 2023, the DRC experienced an uptick in violence and over 10,000 new Congolese refugees (included in the above numbers) were received in Kigoma, then registered and accommodated in Nyarugusu camp.
In accordance with the Refugees Act of 1998, refugees’ movement outside of the camp is legally allowed by permit only, though some refugee movement is nonetheless observed outside the camps, for example to pursue livelihoods activities. With regards to durable solutions, Nyarugusu camp currently hosts a large group resettlement programme geared towards Congolese refugees, prioritizing those who arrived between 1996 and 1999. The office submitted 7,844 individuals for resettlement in the first nine months of 2023. UNHCR and the Government of Tanzania have facilitated voluntary repatriation for Burundian refugees and asylum seekers since 2016, and the process is ongoing.
Nyarugusu and Nduta camps are jointly managed by UNHCR and the Ministry of Home Affairs of the Government of Tanzania. The region’s administrative seat is in Kigoma. UNHCR supports physical security in the camp through an MOU with the police and Ministry of Home Affairs, and supervision of community watch teams.
Under the direct supervision of the Representative, the Head of Field Office will assist the operation in the overall management of the Kasulu Office. S/he is expected to have a close working relationship with local Governments, UN agencies, diplomatic missions, and donors. The incumbent will supervise operational and protection activities in the AoR.
Living and Working Conditions:
Field Office Kasulu is located in the Kigoma Region of Tanzania (Western Region) and is approximately 1200kms away from the Regional Economic City of Dar Es Salaam, and about 55kms from the Burundi border. There are two main seasons; the dry season (May to October) is mostly dusty while the rainy season (November to April) is quite muddy and cool. Staff are advised to be equipped with appropriate clothing including fleece and rain jackets.
There are 11 UNHCR houses located in two compounds close to the office for international staff members. 4 of the houses have shared common areas with separate bedrooms and shared bathrooms, 3 semi-detached houses, and 6 individually occupied. Although basic, the houses are fully furnished. The PAMA telephone facility is available in all the staff houses and can be used to communicate internationally using assigned PIN Codes. Internet access is provided as is satellite TV (DSTV) with the cost of the latter covered by individual staff members. However, UNHCR owned houses are not enough for all international staff and some are renting houses in the town.
Kasulu offers a limited choice of food and other items, and staff often have to rely on visits to Kigoma or elsewhere for variety. There are no duty-free shops or supermarkets. Due to the lack of basic facilities, families of staff members (national and international) are mostly living elsewhere even though Kasulu is classified as a family duty station.
Recreation facilities in Kasulu are very basic. Kigoma, which is the closest town (96 kms by road) is not easily accessible as staff members have to rely on UN vehicles and those wishing to travel need to make their own private arrangement for the use of vehicles. Alternatively public transport to Kigoma Town is available through the local taxis and minibuses at individuals own risk.
Security Conditions: UN Security Level-3 is currently in place, which limits official and private road travel by staff as per the MOSS. All official missions in this region cannot begin before sunrise and no travel can take place after sundown. Security escort is not required for travel from Kasulu to Kigoma Town and between Kasulu – Kibondo during daytime. For all official movements outside Kasulu, staff must obtain security clearance from UNDSS through TRIP.
Bachelor of Arts (BA): Economics, Bachelor of Arts (BA): International Relations, Bachelor of Arts (BA): Law, Bachelor of Arts (BA): Management, Bachelor of Arts (BA): Personnel Administration, Bachelor of Arts (BA): Political Science
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
Bi-annual Compendium 2023 Part B – October 2023
This position doesn’t require a functional clearance