Organizational Setting and Work Relationships
UNHCR’s mandated responsibility for finding solutions to refugee situations has long required stronger cooperation with development partners and the inclusion of persons of concern within development planning and programming instruments, including national development programmes. Due to a variety of factors, the proportion of refugees and internally displaced persons in protracted displacement situations remains high. Moreover, the diminishing number of forcibly displaced people who have access to so-called durable solutions constitutes a worrying trend that has persisted in recent years. The increasing scale of irregular migration, large scale refugee movements, internal displacement and the costs of responding to humanitarian situations have placed forced displacement high on the global agenda. Given the complexity and protractedness of many of today¿s forced displacement situations, often occurring in fragile contexts, awareness is growing that the humanitarian model of care and maintenance is unsustainable in the longer term and that forced displacement requires a development response to complement humanitarian assistance, address poverty and other development challenges in a sustainable and inclusive manner. The SDGs provide a yardstick for inclusive development based on the principles of Leaving No One Behind and Reaching the Furthest Behind First. It is also acknowledged that extreme poverty and human suffering associated with refugees and other forcibly displaced people need to be systematically taken into account existing when addressing development challenges and development prospects of host communities, countries, and regions.
The Global Compact for Refugees frames this new approach towards a more predictable and equitable responsibility-sharing, recognizing that more sustainable approaches to refugee situations cannot be achieved without the systematic engagement of a broader set of stakeholders, including development partners.
Among the most significant humanitarian-development cooperation partnerships strengthened in recent years has been between the World Bank and UNHCR on forced displacement. In the eighteenth replenishment (2017-2020) of the World Bank¿s International Development Association (IDA), which provides financing for low-income countries, an amount of US$ 2.2 billion has been included for those states receiving large numbers of refugees (Sub-Window for Refugees and Host-Communities). The IDA 18 allocation follows the operationalization of a Global Concessional Financing Facility (GCFF) for Middle-Income Countries (MICs) affected by large numbers of refugees. In addition, UNHCR has enhanced cooperation with the private sector wing of the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the African Development Bank (AfDB), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and bilateral development donor.
Within the context outlined above, the role of the Senior Development Officer is to support UNHCR’s engagement and cooperation with development agencies¿ medium-term programmes assisting local communities and UNHCR’s population of concern and the ability to leverage development partnerships to influence policy dialogue to enact institutional reforms toward improved protection environments, socio-economic inclusion, and self-reliance; taking into account and reducing the vulnerabilities of forcibly displaced persons. As such, the incumbent needs to have practical experience working with and an understanding of the interplay of different aspects of economic growth, governance, fragility and conflict, the main factors that influence the environment for inclusion and resilience for UNHCR¿s population of concern. Depending on the operating environments in the area of responsibility (AoR), the incumbent might need to have specific expertise in areas such as social protection, governance in fragile contexts, local governance and community development. It is anticipated that development responses to forced displacement will grow in significance in future years due to the greater importance attached to fragility and addressing protracted displacement situations. The incumbent will assist in identifying potential opportunities and ensure complementarity between UNHCR’s protection work and the economic and social development objectives pursued by development partners and their government counterparts. It will, therefore, be important that the Assistant Development Officer supports relevant UNHCR staff within the AoR to contribute to the Operation¿s efforts to (i) align policy, operational and programme priorities between humanitarian and development agencies, (ii) establish and maintain reporting and knowledge, and information exchanges on key developments among all interested stakeholders, (iii) assist relevant UNHCR staff to engage in development planning, programming and coordination processes with Government entities and development partners; and (iv) assist relevant UNHCR staff in developing, contributing to and coordinating multi-year and multi-partner transition strategies for protracted forced displacement situations.
In Country Operations, the Senior Development Officer will normally work under the overall supervision of the UNHCR Representative or his/her Deputy. In the Regional Bureaux, the Senior Development Officer will normally work under the overall supervision of the Bureau Director, Deputy Director, Head of External Engagement Service or Chief of External Engagement
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.
For positions in Country Operations only
- Advise operations on practical research and analysis to interpret long-term political, economic and social trends that will enhance opportunities for solutions, resilience and inclusion for populations of concern to UNHCR as well as more sustainable approaches to refugee protection;
- Support the operation in planning for resilience and inclusion with a clear shared vision of longer term protection and solution outcomes for people of concern that takes account of host communities and leverages the roles, resources and capacities of development partners, including International Financial Institutions, Multilateral Development Banks, and Bilateral Development donors.
- Support the development of comprehensive multi-year protection and solutions plans/strategies (incl. Multi-Year Multi-Partner Strategies) for Persons of Concern to UNHCR and/or facilitate the inclusion of populations of concern into national and local development planning and programming instruments.
- Support and advise the operation 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.
- Provide technical leadership and support for 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.
- Develop partnerships and networks with development cooperation actors to influence the policy dialogue with governments on institutional arrangements related to sectors, locations and programme content of consequence to UNHCR and persons of concern. This would, in particular, focus on 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 UNHCR¿s persons of concern (e.g. WB IDA sub-window for refugees and host communities or the WB Global Concessional Financing Facility).
- Cooperate 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.
- Identify, commission and/or contribute to studies and analytical activities that build the conceptual framework and evidence base for comprehensive, development-oriented responses, including preparedness work, to forced displacement.
- Ensure that development actors are provided relevant data to inform their planning, programming and advocacy around resilience for and inclusion of UNHCR persons of concern.
- Engage 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.
- Facilitate coordination and collaboration and the sharing of knowledge and experience sharing between UNHCR and development actors and across UNHCR operations globally by documenting and disseminating good practices and active participation in the Division of Resilience and Solutions¿, Development Partnerships Community of Practice; and,
- 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.
For positions in Regional Bureaux only
- Provide support, as detailed in the above duties for a country SDO for countries without an SDO as specified in the operational context for this position.
- Support the Regional Bureau and country operations in analysing from a development perspective the potential components of longer-term situational solutions strategies, identifying the protection/resilience/solutions challenges, and the means to address these and possible regional opportunities for engagement.
- Support and advise the Regional Bureau and/or operations in identifying, articulating and capitalizing development and resilience opportunities, including through pledges made by regional partners, and regional development initiatives and programmes.
- Aggregate, analyse and package available knowledge and data from country operations to feed into regional and HQ policy, programme and advocacy efforts.
- Ensure support and coherence, where relevant, across operations in how they engage with development actors (e.g. messaging, policies, etc.).
- Interpret long-term political, economic and social trends from a situational or regional perspective that will define the opportunities for inclusion for populations of concern to UNHCR as well as more sustainable approaches to refugee protection management.
- Engage with regional bodies, such as IGAD, ECOWAS, etc. to identify and advocate for entry points for inclusion in development-related fora; and,
Identify, commission and/or contribute to studies and analytical activities from a situational or regional perspective that build the conceptual framework and evidence base for comprehensive, development-oriented responses, including preparedness work, to forced displacement.
Perform other related duties as required.
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
Development Economics; Development Studies; Socio-economic Development;
International Relations; Political Science; Law
or other relevant field.
(Field(s) of Education marked with an asterisk* are essential)
Certificates and/or Licenses
Relevant Job Experience
Six (6) years of direct work experience in a large international development institution in a relevant position and of which at least two (2) years in field operations. Preferably with knowledge of, or experience in, local or area based economic development, direct engagement in a technical sector such as education, WASH, social protection, health, energy. Practical experience working with and an understanding of the different aspects of economic growth, governance, fragility and conflict. Expertise related to the governance of specific multilateral development banks or bilateral development actors most relevant to the AoR.
Experience with forced displacement. Experience in primary data collection, quantitative research methods and results-based management.