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  • Posted: August 1, 2019
    Deadline: Not specified
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  • UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is a global organisation dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights and building a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people. We work to ensure that everybody has the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge, having fled violence, persecution, war or disaster at home. Since 1950, we...
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    Head of Bureau, External Engagement Service, D1, Nairobi

    Duties and Qualifications

    Head of Bureau External Engagement Service
    Organizational Setting and Work Relationships

    The Head of Bureau External Engagement Service reports directly to the Bureau Director, is supported by, and directly supervises staff, and oversees:

    • Communications and Public Information;
    • Donor Relations;
    • Partnerships;
    • Inter-agency coordination;
    • Information management and analysis;
    • Internal and external reporting;

    The role of the Head of Bureau External Engagement Service in overseeing a vast platform of diverse and interrelated activities, ensuring strategic coherence and collaboration among the different functional areas of the Bureau and synergistic use of resources including through a multi-functional team, is key to the Bureau's success in this external sphere. S/he provides direct support to the Bureau Director and other senior managers in the Bureau, as well as Representatives on issues related to external engagements, in a context of greater decentralisation of resource allocation and management to the field.

    The Head of Bureau External Engagement Service engages with the Division of External Relations and the Division of Resilience and Solutions or any other Bureau or Division to seek guidance and engage on strategic topics, in order to ensure information and knowledge sharing. Supporting the development of regional and functional strategies and priorities in line with UNHCR corporate and regional objectives, through engagement with a wide array of stakeholders and regional actors, s/he will collaborate closely with the other functional pillars in the Regional Bureau and with HQ-based Divisions and deliver strategic guidance of planning and management services to the Bureau and Country operations through relevant technical teams.

    The incumbent will lead the development and the implementation of UNHCR's integrated communication strategy aimed at building awareness of, empathy with, and concrete support for refugees and other forcibly displaced persons while positioning UNHCR as an effective, impactful organization. Seeking to achieve the UNHCR's resource mobilization goals within the region while simultaneously enhancing the visibility and reputation of country operations' programme, the incumbent will lead in developing and implementing partnership and coordination and external engagement strategies in order to strengthen UNHCR's position globally, regionally and/or locally and is responsible for the mobilization of public, political, operational and financial support for the work of UNHCR and comprehensive responses in his/her AOR.

    The Head of Bureau External Engagement Service will be responsible for ensuring UNHCR fulfils its coordination lead and catalytic roles and responsibilities, in line with its mandate, the Global Compact for Refugees, the IDP policy and cluster lead responsibilities and will advise the Director on UNHCR's engagement in regional inter-agency processes, as required (e.g. regional economic commissions, regional UNSDGs), S/he is also responsible for ensuring the Regional Bureau provides timely support to Country Operations on inter-agency and coordination matters, in line with corporate policies, guidance and positions.

    The incumbent supervises a team of senior staff in the Bureau and will also be responsible for providing support or guidance to host Governments whenever required on developing comprehensive plans under national leadership setting out policy priorities, institutional and operational arrangements, requirements for support from the international community, including investment.

    The grade level of the positions with this role can be P5 or D1 depending on the Bureau structure. Positions at D1 normally report to Bureau Director at D2 grade level and positions at P5 to Bureau Deputy Director at D1 grade level.

    In the Regional Bureaux, the incumbent is responsible for ensuring, in an effective and efficient manner which supports the Organization's Mandate, overall quality assurance and managerial support of operations, in line with the Bureau's 2nd line function, within the three lines of defence conceptual framework for effective control and risk management adopted by the UN system.
    S/he will, further, cover the full spectrum of managerial oversight, manage performance and monitor the adherence of Country Operations to UNHCR's rules and regulations, monitoring, identifying and addressing any emerging issues and risks as appropriate. The incumbent also promotes a culture that is results-oriented, efficient and based on trust and pursues measures to ensure that inclusion, gender balance and diversity are taken into due consideration in staffing, resource allocation and representation at all levels throughout the region.

    As a key custodian of the organization's standards of conduct, s/he will proactively establish a working environment where all personnel feel safe, heard, equipped and empowered to speak up; demonstrate no tolerance for sexism, gender inequality, discrimination of any kind, abuse of power, harassment or sexual harassment; foster ongoing dialogue on those matters; take seriously all issues of inappropriate behaviour and actions reported, whether formally or informally; and seek guidance and support as necessary to ensure that appropriate follow-up is taken, working on the basis of zero tolerance for any form of misconduct.


    • Develop, implement, strengthen and monitor UNHCR¿s external engagement strategies in the region in alignment with UNHCR¿s regional and global strategies, through an inclusive process that ensures buy-in from all stakeholders.
    • Ensure consistent and cohesive messaging aligned with the Organization¿s strategic and operational plans.
    • Ensure that Bureau and Country Operations implement and adhere to UNHCR corporate fund raising priorities and procedures.
    • Guide Bureau Director, Representatives and staff in Country Offices in identifying communications challenges and emerging issues in the region.
    • Lead government and interagency resource mobilization activities in the Bureau and engage with current and prospective donors, including briefings and missions, to expand the donor base to meet growing needs.
    • Develop country or regional strategies to raise locally available funds.
    • Provide guidance and support for country or regional strategies to raise locally available funds.
    • Provide guidance on and develop funding submissions to local funding sources.
    • Ensure and maintain dialogue with donors, providing information and analysis to ensure support.
    • Ensure that Country Operations receive support to identify, develop and strengthen development and private sector partnerships that bring additional resources, technical advice, services and technology to refugee hosting and return areas.
    • Develop and implement UNHCR¿s regional inter-agency and coordination strategy and advise the Director on UNHCR¿s engagement in regional inter-agency processes, as required.
    • Lead and launch the Refugee Response Plans (RRPs) and mixed situation response plans, and ensure appropriate participation in Humanitarian Response Plans and processes. Maintain an overview of country level RRPs.
    • Ensure an open dialogue and information sharing with NGOs and civil society partners to enlarge UNHCR¿s support and tap into complementary resources/ support to refugees.
    • Represent UNHCR at external meetings and fora, including inter-agency and international engagements to advance UNHCR's ability to deliver protection, assistance, and solutions to persons of concern to the Organization.
    • Champion innovative partnerships meeting the organizational needs in adherence also to UNHCR¿s inter-agency commitments.
    • Organize annual regional NGO consultations and facilitate events, meetings, conferences, and other events, as requested.
    • Explore opportunities for activation of international burden and responsibility sharing tools provided by the Global Compact on Refugees including national arrangements, support platform, regional and sub regional approaches and Global Refugee Forum.
    • Exercise judgement to prioritize media opportunities, and prepare talking points, speeches, presentations and other supporting materials, as needed.
    • Provide timely support to Country Operations on inter-agency and coordination matters, in line with corporate policies, guidance and positions
    • Provide required support & training/capacity building of external engagement staff in the region to help streamline external engagement across relevant functions.
    • May act as Officer-in-Charge in the absence of the Deputy Director.
    • Perform other related duties as required.

    Minimum Qualifications

    Years of Experience / Degree Level
    For D1 - 17 years relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or 16 years relevant experience with Graduate degree; or 15 years relevant experience with Doctorate degree

    Field(s) of Education

    • International Relations; Political Science; Social Sciences;
    • Public Administration; Journalism; Public Relations;
    • Multimedia Studies; or other relevant field.
    • (Field(s) of Education marked with an asterisk* are essential)

    Certificates and/or Licenses
    (Certificates and Licenses marked with an asterisk* are essential)

    Relevant Job Experience


    • Experience in External Engagement strategy development.
    • Experience in strategic External engagement with donors, NGOs/civil society, UN agencies, and governments.
    • Track record in communication/media strategies, resource mobilisation, and/or strategic partnership building.
    • Understanding of humanitarian programming and financing and demonstrated ability to effectively advocate.


    • Experience in campaign planning and implementation.
    • Good understanding of the role of the UN in humanitarian emergencies, its agencies and ways of working. Good research, policy analysis and report writing skills.
    • Representation to major program donors in a highly professional manner, in person and in writing.
    • Experience in senior management positions.
    • Clear understanding of the workings of major donor perspectives, requirements and standards.
    • Media relations. Excellent press release, media advisory, spokesperson skills.
    • Ability to build productive relationships with internal and external stakeholders.

    Method of Application

    Interested and qualified? Go to UN High Commissioner for Refugees on public.msrp.unhcr.org to apply
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