Associate Shelter Officer

  • Location:
  • Salary:
    negotiable / YEAR
  • Job type:
  • Posted:
    6 months ago
  • Category:
    Infrastructure, Urban and Rural Development
  • Deadline:



Terms of Reference

Duty Station: CO Kabul, Afghanistan
Initial Contract Duration: Six Months
Contract Type: UNOPS (IICA 1 = P2)
Start date: ASAP

Operational context

For over 40 years Afghanistan has seen some of the world’s largest population movements. Between 2002 and 2020 an estimated 7 million Afghans have returned to Afghanistan, with more than 5.2 million being refugees who have voluntarily repatriated with UNHCR’s assistance. Refugee returns during the last three years have been far lower than in previous years, with 2,147 Afghan refugees returned from Pakistan (1,092), Iran (939), and other countries (116) in 2020, the lowest return figure that could be attributed to the deteriorating political, security and economic situation in Afghanistan and the impact of COVID-19. The intra-Afghan peace negotiations did not result in the optimal outcome. The Taliban have taken over the territories at lightning speed. As of 25 August 2021, all provinces except Panjshir have been captured by the Taliban. In the meantime, the U.S. strives to keep its decision to draw down from Afghanistan by 31 August 2021.

Since beginning of the year 2022, some people started to return to their original places or settled in new safe areas where they can find lands. As ES/NFI Cluster lead agency, while continuing distributing NFIs, UNHCR Afghanistan also provided cash for rent for a period of three months targeting families mostly displaced in urban areas. UNHCR Afghanistan aims to provide 6,000 permanent shelters with seasonal support package (bukhari heater and solar panels) per year, and infrastructure support together with livelihood projects targeting families displaced in urban areas. The objective of the livelihood community-based projects and infrastructure programme is to provide essential support to uplift their living conditions and long-term sustainable systems for extremely vulnerable individuals and protection cases, giving households more flexibility and mobility in choosing their living areas. UNHCR will also provide training centers, craft centers, carpet producing centers with community-based programmes to displaced populations residing in new formal and informal settlements. At the same time, wherever feasible, UNHCR support shelter repairs, transitional shelters either through cash for shelter or in-kind materials and tools to displaced families that opt to return to their areas of origin.

For the year 2023, UNHCR Afghanistan Office institutionalized the support of approximately 14,000 households distributed in many regions across the country. The target includes construction of 3,198 permanent shelters, 200 earthquake resistant shelters, 717 transitional shelters; support to 1,653 households in need of major shelter repairs and 4,067 minor repairs; and 3,868 emergency shelter. In parallel, UNHCR Afghanistan in collaboration with donors, is committed to assist the people with community infrastructure and livelihood projects, building or rehabilitating 54 schools, 26 health facilities, 14 community centers, 5 vocational and working centers, and 45 different projects such as roads, bridges, wash, water and irrigation schemes.

UNHCR will engage a qualified international Associate Shelter Officer to ensure effective planning and implementation of infrastructure and shelter programmes. She/he will coordinate with Field and Implementing Partners to compile all information and data about shelter and infrastructure programmes in the Operation. She/he will conduct a series of regular on-site monitoring of shelter interventions in all areas of Afghanistan requested to facilitate the shelter support and infrastructure constructions intervention linked to returnees and coordination of temporary settlements. She/he will coordinate the works with national staff and partner, including technical capacity-building activities aimed at partners and field offices, communities, and affected households.

Duties and responsibilities
The incumbent will work under the direct supervision of Shelter Officer in Country Office Kabul, to assume the following responsibilities:
• Ensure that UNHCR Field Operations are supported in carrying out shelter and construction of common facilities and infrastructure facilities considering the current situation, projected population planning figures and the expected scale of returns and displacement.
• Coordinate with Field, Implementing Partners and other functional Units (Protection, Solutions, Programme, Supply, Info Management, External Relations) to collect information and data about shelter and infrastructure programmes in the Operation, develop trackers of planning and progress of the works, follow up trackers, prepare periodic reports and SitReps, and provide any requested information related to shelter and infrastructure programmes.
• Contribute to the development of country level shelter strategies which are framed by UNHCR’s Global Strategy for Settlement and Shelter and take into consideration the local context, age and gender, culture, climate, environmental protection and the availability of local resources, including materials, capacities and existing infrastructure.
• Coordinate activities in standard emergency shelter kit distribution, cash for rental subsidy, transitional shelter and permanent shelter with ES/NFI cluster and physical site planners, local authority partners and other stakeholders including hosting community.
• Monitor successful implementation in the area of intervention based on UNHCR standard and report regularly.
• Work in close coordination with all functional Units in UNHCR (Protection, Solutions, Programme, Field, Administration, and Supply) for all issues related to protection, population of concern figures and assistance, and work in close coordination with the Shelter Officer and Geographical Information System (GIS) Expert based in the Regional Hub in Nairobi for issues concerning GPS points and mapping of shelter supported areas.
• Assist UNHCR office with any other shelter and settlement related issues as required by the Supervisor.
• Assist in analyzing budgetary implication of technical components and advise on the matters related to procurement of sector-related materials or equipment (including development and preparation of technical specifications for bid documents, technical evaluation of bids, review/inspect quality of the products/works as requested), and assist in fund raising efforts (provision of information and preparation of project proposals, and participation in negotiations) and other publicity endeavors.
• Provide clear guidance on standards and best practices for shelter and constructions, including minimum emergency standards to meet basic and essential needs.
• Ensure that specifications, bills of quantities and drawings are produced in a technically sound and standardized manner and monitor programme performance to ensure works are implemented according to plans and completed within the designated timeframe.
• Together with UNHCR’s implementing partners and Shelter Cluster members, compile, analyze and map available information on shelter options in country taking into account relevant policies adopted by the authorities. When planning shelter works, ensure that the technical component reflects UNHCR minimum standards for the provision of emergency and other types of shelter assistance and is within the budgetary requirements. Due consideration should be given to standards in other relevant sectors such as water and sanitation.
• Coordinate with the affected committees, local authorities, and other partners the identification of potential needs related to shelter and NFIs and ensure that NFIs need identification/distribution is coordinated among all the actors.
• Coordinate provision of technical 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, with specific needs etc.
• Provide support to relevant sectors in the market analysis of locally available construction materials and skills, promoting the use of local capacity as appropriate.

• 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.

Essential minimum qualifications and professional experience required.
Years of Experience
3 years relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or 2 years relevant experience with Graduate degree; or 1 year relevant experience with Doctorate degree.

Education and Experience:
• University degree in Architecture or Civil Engineering.
• Advanced University Degree (Master) in Project Management, Architecture, Civil Engineering or other relevant discipline or University Degree (bachelor’s degree / first level) with a combination of six additional years of relevant professional experience in Project Management, Architecture, Civil Engineering, or other relevant discipline, may be accepted.
• Computer literacy in MS Office and other relevant engineering software to produce site plans, layout, and technical drawings (AutoCAD).

Certificates and/or Licenses:
• Registration in Association of Architecture/Engineering.

Relevant Work Experience:
• Prior experience of implementing shelter and infrastructure projects in humanitarian context and large-scale emergencies coordinating with implementing partners and governmental technical departments.
• Prior experience in designing and implementing a shelter strategy, including host family situations, collective shelter and camp settings, in emergency while considering the transition to more sustainable solutions.
• Project formulation, planning, and supervision skills.
• Previous involvement in implementation processes (including development of bill of quantities, analysis of local capacity and local markets, cost estimations, etc.).
• Experience of construction management (including site supervision, monitoring, quality control, evaluation etc.) including application of participatory approaches to facilitate active participation of communities into the project cycle and into the construction process.
• Experience in developing shelter and settlement need assessments and undertaking gap analysis for development of shelter programmes.
• Experience in building on existing local capacity and transfer knowledge as appropriate.

Language Requirements:
For International Professional and Field Service jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English.

Desirable qualifications and competencies
• Knowledge of UNHCR shelter standards, as well as standards related to protection, WASH, environment, and land use.
• Knowledge of a range of shelter assistance options, humanitarian infrastructure, including sensitivity to cultural and gender specific needs to ensure that the social and cultural background of the beneficiaries is considered while designing, developing, and implementing shelter options.
• Proficient in basic computer software’s, including engineering (AutoCAD) and basic geo-spatial analysis tools (GPS).
• Familiarity with and considerable Field exposure to UNHCR programme planning and implementation and on humanitarian operations.
• Ability making the linkages to rehabilitation and development programmes will be an added advantage.

Key Competencies
Accountability, Communication, Organizational Awareness, Teamwork & Collaboration, Commitment to Continuous Learning, Client & Result Orientation.

The successful candidate will be based in UNHCR Country Office Kabul, Afghanistan.

The UNHCR workforce consists of many diverse nationalities, cultures, languages and opinions. UNHCR seek to sustain and strengthen this diversity to ensure equal opportunities as well as an inclusive working environment for its entire workforce. Applications are encouraged from all qualified candidates without distinction on grounds of race, color, sex, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity.

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.

Standard Job Description

Required Languages




Desired Languages



Additional Qualifications



Bachelor of Arts (BA): Architecture (Required), Bachelor of Arts (BA): Civil Engineering (Required)


Shelter Coordination Training – UNHCR

Work Experience

Other information

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for an interview.This position doesn’t require a functional clearance

This job has expired.