Senior Operations Officer

  • Location:
  • Salary:
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  • Posted:
    5 days ago
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  • Deadline:
    December 15, 2022



Standard Job Description

Senior Operations Officer Organizational Setting and Work Relationships The Senior Operations Officer normally works under the direct supervision of the Senior Operations Coordinator or Head of the Office and may have alternative reporting relationships depending on the structure and size of the Operation. S/he and will be the focal person responsible for liaising with Partners through sector meetings and other coordination mechanisms in the Area of responsibility (AoR). S/he will liaise with relevant sections at HQ/Region/Field on a wide range of issues concerning the operations such as protection, resource mobilization and allocations, human resources, budget, compliance, staff welfare and security matters. The incumbent may supervise professional and/or support staff. S/he will actively support the regional operational planning process, reporting and monitoring as well as mapping of areas where persons of concern are currently located in the AoR. The incumbent will contribute to progress on issues such as negotiations on Partnership Project agreements, contractual service agreements, and management of Administrative Budgets related to the AoR. Within UNHCR, the incumbent has regular contact with other sections/units at Headquarters and with field offices on issues related UNHCR’s programme in the operations/countries within the AoR. External contacts are with, UN agencies and NGOs on UNHCR’s programmes in the operations/countries covered under the AoR. Duties – Serve as the focal point for the operations within the AoR and follow up on situational realities, challenges and developments which may have an impact on the refugees, IDP situations, and other persons of concern. – Analyse information received concerning new refugee situations in the AoR and present coherent, consistent and credible proposals to address the emergency needs. – Manage the process of gathering information, preparation of analytical papers and formulating recommendations for action for the operations within the AoR. – Contribute to the preparation of action plans to address any operational/legal gaps that have been identified; and ensure advice/guidance is provided to field offices to improve the delivery of assistance of refugees and other persons of concern (PoCs). – Provide guidance and support for communication, and sharing of best practices amongst countries/operations in the AoR as well as with other entities in the field and at Headquarters. – Coordinate with field offices for provision of timely, coherent, consistent, quality information about their operations. – In the bureaux, support senior staff in the preparation of the official submissions to the meetings of the Budget Committee and Contracts’ Committee, and advocate for resources required for the operations to meet their objectives, especially during Annual Planning Reviews, Mid-Year Reviews and ad hoc resource allocation consultations. Analyse Country offices’ requests concerning material requirements and staffing and initiate/coordinate appropriate action to provide Country offices with relevant and timely decisions and direction. – In the field, coordinate and supervise the field activities in the areas of protection and programme in the AoR. Build the capacity of local partners and civil society through training and other initiatives. Liaise with local Government authorities and operational partners on issues relating to the protection and assistance of PoCs. Supervise and monitor the implementation of UNHCR projects. – Monitor the implementation of programmes within the AoR through regular missions and participate in on-going needs assessments. – Keep the various sections and technical units at the Bureau and HQ informed on issues related to the implementation of UNHCR’s programmes within the AoR. – Maintain a wide range of external contacts with Permanent Missions, donors, and civil society organization. – 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 Political Science; Economics; Social Science; Business Administration; Law; or other relevant field. Certificates and/or Licenses Programme Management; Relevant Job Experience Essential: Experience in field operations. At least 5 years of relevant experience in an international capacity. Understanding of UNHCR mandate and operations. Desirable: Strong operational background and political awareness. Experience working with UNHCR; or other UN entities or partners preferably in the area of refugee or humanitarian operations. Proven track record in emergency preparedness, response and management. Functional Skills MG-Field Operations Management; MG-Coordination; (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 incumbent will work under the direct supervision of the Snr Operations Coordinator – P5. The tasks and responsibilities attached to this position need to be undertaken by an experienced candidate with solid UNHCR experience in the Field (Programme and/or Protection). The Snr Operations Officer is a key element for operational support to country operations, liaising with relevant sections at BR/Field on a wide range of issues concerning the operations such as protection, resource mobilization and allocations, human resources, budget, compliance, staff welfare and security matters.

The applicant needs to be motivated, hardworking, able to work under pressure and to tight deadlines. Excellent communication skills are critical attributes, as the individual will be working closely, and communicating daily with colleagues in the operations. Experience of working within refugees and IDPs operations would be an advantage. A working knowledge of French is essential. 

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




Desired languages



Operational context

Occupational Safety and Health Considerations:


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Nature of Position:


The Regional Bureau for West and Central Africa located in Dakar will cover 13 countries with UNHCR presence (Burkina Faso, Cameroon, CAR, Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, and Togo) and another six where there is no presence (Benin, Cape Verde, Gabon, Guinea-Bissau, the Gambia, Sierra Leone, Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tome & Principe).The Bureau will be accredited to ECOWAS and the regional body for the Central Africa region, ECCAS. It will liaise closely with UN regional entities. The region has English-speaking and also French speaking countries. Full proficiency in both English and French is thus mandatory.

The region is host to some 13.1 million persons of concern. Burkina Faso, Nigeria, the Central African Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, Chad, Cameroon and Niger continue to host a majority of this population many of whom were forced to flee from armed conflicts, intercommunal clashes, persecution, and other serious human rights abuses. Although there has been some VOLREP movements and small-scale spontaneous returns in the region, the current trends in population movements are expected to continue in 2022 and 2023 with limited prospects for solutions.  Knowledge of and familiarity with operations in the West and Central Africa region, emerging trends in the Sahel region and also the full range of political and humanitarian challenges and opportunities would be beneficial.

In view of the Bureau ‘s role for managerial oversight, technical guidance and support to operations in the region, the incumbent of the position should have strong technical capacity and experience in his/her field of expertise. S/he should be a strong team player, have strong service-orientation, flexibility and proactivity to manage arising situations and challenges. In addition, the incumbent of the position should co-ordinate closely with other units in the Bureau, promote collaboration and diversity in a multicultural environment and contribute to a positive work environment. The incumbent must be able to communicate clearly and effectively, both orally and in writing in both languages.

The incumbent of the position will be expected to travel on missions to remote field-locations, some of which may have challenging living and working conditions as well as security constraints.


Living and Working Conditions:

As the capital of Senegal, Dakar is home to a population of over one million people. Dakar has reasonable medical facilities, offering both general and specialist care in accordance with international standards. Dakar is classified by the United Nations as an “A” family duty station, which implies access to all basic services and most recreational activities and facilities. Living conditions are comfortable and services are available.

While the asylum practice in the West Africa are rather generous, it is self-evident that the operational and political environments in the region present unique challenges (in terms of security, governance   and socio-economic outlooks) to the UN in general, and UNHCR in particular.   The Region houses a variety of political and UN coordination mechanisms that demand a significant amount of time to ensure that UNHCR remains relevant. Notable among these structures are United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel, headed by an SRSG, the Regional UNDG, and Regional offices for WFP, UNICEF, OCHA, UNWOMEN, FAO, etc. Donors also have regional platforms in West Africa.

The Senegalese government has initiated a project for a common UN House in Diamniadio, for the use of United Nations services and offices, located in the new administrative city of Diamnadio, situated 40 km outside Dakar



Additional Qualifications





BA: Business Administration (Required), BA: Economics (Required), BA: Law (Required), BA: Political Science (Required), BA: Social Science (Required) 


Programme Management – Other 

Work Experience


Accountability, Analytical thinking, Client & results orientation, Commitment to continuous learning, Communication, Empowering & building trust, Judgement & decision making, Managing performance, Managing resource, Negotiation & conflict resolution, Organizational awareness, Planning & organizing, Teamwork & collaboration

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Bi-annual Compendium 2022 Part B – November 2022 





Functional clearance

This position doesn’t require a functional clearance