Senior Administrative Officer

  • Location:
  • Salary:
    negotiable / YEAR
  • Job type:
  • Posted:
    1 month ago
  • Category:
    Management and Strategy
  • Deadline:


Only candidates who are not nationals of the country of assignment are eligible to apply to this position


Standard Job Description

Senior Administrative Officer

Organizational Setting and Work Relationships
The Senior Administrative Officer is part of the Senior Management of an office. The incumbent is responsible for the implementation of general administrative and resource management tasks as delegated by the supervisor. S/he will work with an oversight from the supervisor, who will provide general guidance and work plans for identifying work priorities and appropriate approaches; work is controlled for meeting expected results.
The Senior Administrative Officer will establish and maintain efficient administrative control mechanisms to ensure compliance with UN administrative, financial and human resources rules and procedures. Contacts on administrative/budgetary related issues are mainly with Sections/Units/Offices within the organization both at HQ and in the Field and with local suppliers/services to ensure provision of services and resolution of difficult problems.
The incumbent will maintain frequent external contacts with counterparts in other organizations or at working level in national Governments on issues of importance to Organization¿s programmes. S/he acts as adviser or representative of the Organization with authority to discuss problems and seek common ground on which to recommend solutions based on predetermined guidelines provided by higher authority.
The incumbent may directly supervise professional and general service staff, either local or international.

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.

– Ensure the provision of resources (human, material and services) necessary to support the day-to-day activities of the staff in the office.
– Manage the day-to-day personnel and administrative operations of the Office.
– Ensure that the working environment is healthy and respectful, and free from hazard or security risks.
– In coordination with Human Resources and Field Security, undertake periodic reviews to ensure that the Office premises are set up and staff accommodation are managed in line with the organizational policies and any related issues are brought to the attention of DHR.
– Undertake missions to field locations to review administrative arrangements and make appropriate recommendations as required.
– Formulate and implement staff safety and security measures, in consultation with the Head of Office and Field Security Officers (FSOs).Ensure MOSS/MORSS compliance in consultation with FSOs.
– Bring issues to the attention of senior management relating to compliance with UNHCR standards of work-life balance, security (including MOSS/MORSS), health, well-being and living conditions of staff, and resource allocation.
– Allocate office space.
– Liaise with Government and other external actors in providing vital supportive services (i.e. processing of visas; tax exemptions, etc.).
– Attend inter-agency meetings with other UN agencies with specific focus on general administration, staff safety and human resources issues (i.e. common services).
– In the absence of an HR Officer, prepare recruitment, appointments and administrative formalities concerning local staff
– Serve in an advisory capacity in counselling staff members.
– Review and approve the settlement of employee entitlements including DSA, local salaries and the Medical Insurance Plan (MIP).
– Advise on matters pertaining to administrative and staffing requirements in the Division/Bureau/Office.
– In cooperation with HR, endorse staffing management strategies, and ensure local compliance with UNHCR¿s workplace standards.
– Issue and extend contracts for locally recruited staff.
– Coordinate training and capacity-building activities to staff in administrative related areas.
– Provide guidance and support on UNHCR¿s internal control framework, financial rules, policies and procedures.
– Prepare the ABOD for the Office, and monitor the budgetary execution of it.
– Control and check the monthly accounts and various administrative activities.
– Ensure that appropriate internal controls are in place.
– In cooperation with Supply, prepare a procurement plan, initiate and coordinate local procurement for the smooth running of the Office.
– Manage contracts and relations with suppliers.
– Recommend local service providers (e.g. building security guards and cleaning companies).
– Award, issue and terminate (local) contracts and frame agreements in accordance with delegated authorities and UNHCR regulations, rules and procedures.
– Serve as a member of the Local Contracts Committee (LCC) in accordance with delegated authorities.
– Participate in the physical verification of UNHCR property plant and equipment.
– Enforce compliance with UNHCR¿s financial and administrative rules, policies and instructions.

– 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.

Minimum Qualifications

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
Accounting; Public or Business Administration; Economics; or other relevant field.
(Field(s) of Education marked with an asterisk* are essential)

Certificates and/or Licenses
UNHCR Management Learning Programme
(Certificates and Licenses marked with an asterisk* are essential)

Relevant Job Experience
Minimum 5 years of relevant work experience in an International Organization (United Nations or similar). Good understanding and/or experience of financial and HR modules of a major Enterprise Resource Planning system (such as PeopleSoft, SAP or Oracle). Excellent communication and negotiation skills. Experience of managing people in a multinational/multicultural environments.
Completion of relevant UNHCR Management learning programme. Experience in procurement in an International Organization. Accounting qualification from an internationally recognized Institute of Accounting.

Functional Skills
IT-Computer Literacy
UN-UN/UNHCR Administrative Rules, Regulations and Procedures
CO-Drafting and Documentation
MG-Resource Management
GB-Building Maintenance
SC-Inventory / Stock management
DV-Vehicle Management
(Functional Skills marked with an asterisk* are essential)

Language Requirements
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

The candidate should have exceptionally strong managerial skills and be able to manage multifunctional teams accross country of operation and for several other Field offices.
S/he will act as the OiC in the absence of the Assistant Representative – Administration and should be able to manage large scale operation with minimum supervision.
Exceptional coordination skills with UN Agencies, demonstrated experience in coordinating actions with the Security counterparts and other units (Supply, Programme etc).

Required languages (expected Overall ability is at least B2 level):



Desired languages



Operational context

Nature of Position:

The Senior Admin Officer P4 reports directly to the Assistant Representative (Admin) who has the overall responsibility for supervision of Admin, Finance, HR, ICT, Staff Welfare and MS. The Ukraine operation evolved into an emergency with 11 offices in the country and the situation is still very fluid with high-risk category requiring immediate and effective responses in these functional areas. The Senior Admin Officer in the country office in Kyiv will also be responsible for providing effective, timely and accurate guidance in these functional areas in 11 offices in the country. Some of the essential functional requirements on this position would be:

  • Ensure timely provision of resources (material, services, human, budgetary) to support field offices in the country.
  • Provide guidance on financial management in the operation.
  • Maintain administrative budget for the country and regularly review implementation.
  • Provide safe, secure, and healthy work environment and accommodation that are compliant with UNHCR standards and indicators.
  • Undertake regular field missions to review administrative and financial arrangements and make proactive recommendations as required.
  • Liaise with Government and other external actors in providing vital supportive services such as visas, tax exemptions, conscription, etc.
  • Serve in an advisory capacity in guiding functional unit staff in the field locations.
  • Attend inter-agency meetings with other UN Agencies in Ukraine with specific focus on general administration, staff and financial services.
  • Review and approve the settlement of employee entitlements including DSA, danger pay, RnR, local salaries and other entitlements.
  • Prepare the ABOD for the Office and monitor the budgetary execution of it.
  • Control and check the monthly accounts and various administrative and finance activities.
  • Back up Assistant Representative (Admin) when required.


The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has been present in Ukraine since 1994 and substantially increased its presence and response after the full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. The geographical presence within Ukraine has significatively expanded to deliver the emergency response. The country office is located in the capital, Kyiv, and sub- and field offices, as well as field units, are located in Chernivtsi, Dnipro, Kyiv, L’viv, Odesa, Poltava, Uzhhorod and Vinnytsia. The current set-up is the foundation for the 2024 structure, which, however, may need to be continuously reviewed and adjusted in response to the evolving operational environment.

The war in Ukraine has caused death and suffering on a dramatic scale and left at least 17.6 million people in urgent need of humanitarian assistance and protection. At the end of September 2023, some 5 million people are estimated to be internally displaced, while around 6 million refugees from Ukraine have been recorded across Europe, most of them women and children. Ukraine also hosts a few thousand asylum-seekers and refugees and is home to more than 35,000 people who are stateless or at risk of statelessness.

The massive destruction of civilian infrastructure, with the energy sector being particularly targeted has made life unbearable for millions of people who have lost their homes and livelihoods, and has severely disrupted access to electricity, water, heating as well as critical services, including healthcare, education and social protection services. Humanitarian access continues to be hampered, particularly in areas in the East under the temporary military control of the Russian Federation.

Civilians remain exposed to serious risks to their physical security and integrity, particularly in eastern and southern regions of Ukraine. The risk of GBV, including sexual violence, is high particularly in areas of active hostilities. The separation of families is one of the problems most reported by protection actors, particularly following displacement. Populations displaced or affected by the war live in situations of deprivation, following the loss or damage of their housing, loss of incomes, and the lack of access to essential services, such as health care or education.

The Government of Ukraine maintains a strong lead role in responding to the needs of its population and UNHCR supports the Government and its central and local institutions to provide protection, shelter/housing, cash and in-kind assistance to people impacted by the war. Currently, UNHCR has MOUs with three line ministries, 17 regional state administrations and agreements with 29 partners, mainly local NGOs. Under the leadership of the UN Humanitarian Coordinator, UNHCR operates as part of the inter-agency humanitarian response, working in close coordination with local authorities and humanitarian partners. UNHCR is leading three clusters – Protection, Shelter and NFIs, and CCCM and is part of the Durable Solutions Steering Committee.

The strategic orientation of UNHCR’s response is to reach people with specific vulnerabilities who remain in frontline and heavily affected areas with immediate relief while supporting displaced people and those who have remained in their homes, or returned, with protection advice, housing support and cash assistance to enable their recovery and attainment of durable solutions.

Protection is truly at the centre of this response, as the highest critical needs of the population caused by the international armed conflict are in the area of protection, and UNHCR leads this sector through the Protection Cluster. The Assistant Representative (protection) is therefore not only a key member of the senior management team in the Operation, s/he also regularly represents UNHCR in meetings/conferences, before donors and on the Humanitarian Country Team and in other fora where protection strategies and programmatic responses are developed. Since Ukraine is a highly sophisticated country with a strong government leadership and well-established administrative, social protection and digital systems, it is essential to design and deliver UNHCR’s protection programs in a way which simultaneously addresses immediate needs and supports the further development of sustainable and inclusive national protection systems.

As an EU candidate country, Ukraine will also embark on substantial reforms in numerous sectors, including justice and home affairs, which presents an opportunity to contribute to strengthened and more inclusive protection, asylum and statelessness reduction systems. Working closely with government authorities, local community representatives and partners from the embassies, UN, civil society and international financial institutions, amongst others, is thus key to ensuring that UNHCR’s response is closely aligned with and complementary of national and local strategies and recovery plans.

As the war continues, new urgent humanitarian needs are created every day, alongside protracted ones and peoples’ and communities’ efforts to recover and rebuild their lives in war-torn communities. Among the some 5 million IDPs and 6 million refugees from Ukraine, the majority express a hope and desire to return to their homes as soon as the security situation allows. The protection needs of the population thus need to be analysed and addressed both from a humanitarian as well as from an early recovery and durable solutions perspective, with UNHCR playing a leading role in this work.

Working and Living conditions:

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has been present in Ukraine since 1994 but has increased its presence by a substantially larger scale up in the operation’s structure, staffing and response after the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. The geographical presence within Ukraine has significatively expanded to deliver the emergency response. The Country Office is based in Kyiv and new operational offices have been established in the central and western regions. UNHCR now has direct operational presence in Chernivtsi, Dnipro, Kyiv, L’viv, Odesa, Poltava, Uzhhorod and Vinnytsia. The current structure will be continuously reviewed and adjusted in response to the evolving operational environment.

International and national staff live in private apartments in the cities of their duty stations. The quality of life is high, as Ukraine is a developed country with functioning infrastructure. However, the volatile security situation, which includes frequent missile and drone attacks that trigger air raid alarms, affects the living and working environment on a more or less daily basis, including during the winter when energy infrastructure has been attacked.


There is an ongoing armed conflict in Ukraine and parts of some oblasts, including Donetska, Luhanska, Khersonska, and Zaporizka oblasts, are temporarily controlled by the Russian Federation Armed Forces. The Line of Contact (LoC) is the primary area of kinetic military operations, particularly in the east (Donbas) and southeast regions. Cruise missiles, ballistic missiles, aero-ballistic missiles, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have been targeting vital civilian and military sites, including airports, since the start of the invasion. As a result, commercial air travel is suspended, and vehicles and trains are the only modes of transportation.

Critical energy and transportation infrastructure have also been targeted in large-scale aerial attacks since October 2022, resulting in frequent power outages and connectivity issues. These conditions may lead to additional challenges during the upcoming winter season, affecting staff safety and well-being. The UN has not been targeted and retains its impartiality and neutrality when delivering its mandate. However, the danger cannot be fully ruled out, and risks to personnel and dependents, assets, and programmatic activities remain extant.

UN Security Management System (UNSMS) is using comprehensive Security Risk Management (SRM) processes to identify and evaluate security threats and risk levels, which are regularly reviewed. Currently, the most significant threats and hazards are associated with armed conflict, with current risk levels ranging from “high” to “very high” or “unacceptable” in areas with ongoing hostilities. This has resulted in a reduction of humanitarian space, making it difficult and sometimes impossible to access beneficiaries in contested areas. When assessing risk levels, the security personnel and the UNHCR Representative, as part of the country’s Security Management Team, adhere to the SRM process as defined by the UNSMS. However, it’s important to note that, in general, the projected risk levels in all three SRM areas where the UN/HCR operates are “high”.

Therefore, those applying for positions in Ukraine should be prepared to work in a highly dynamic security environment where unexpected events occur frequently. Air raids are common, and staff may be required to work from bunkers or underground carparks, metro stations, and other locations for extended periods. Power and water outages could be expected during the winter months and disruptions to public services such as shops and restaurants may occur. Curfews are in place throughout the country, and mission travel must be authorized by the Representative or designated managers, subject to the completion of mandatory BSAFE, SSAFE, and IFAK training and security clearance procedures.

The security unit works closely with UNDSS to ensure that program activities can be implemented within the acceptable level of risk by following the required measures and procedures set up and approved by the Designated Official. Due to the evolving operational and security environment in the country, UNHCR is flexible and may relocate its offices to better serve its mandate of providing protection and assistance to those in need.

Additional Qualifications



Bachelor of Arts (BA): Accounting, Bachelor of Arts (BA): Business Administration, Bachelor of Arts (BA): Economics, Bachelor of Arts (BA): Finance, Bachelor of Arts (BA): Public Professions


HCR Management Learning Program – UNHCR

Work Experience


Accountability, Analytical thinking, Client & results orientation, Commitment to continuous learning, Communication, Judgement & decision making, Leadership, Managing performance, Managing resource, Organizational awareness, Planning & organizing, Stakeholder management, Teamwork & collaboration

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Bi-annual Compendium 2023 Part B – October 2023

Additional Information

Functional clearance

This position requires Functional Clearance

This job has expired.