Senior Policy Adviser

  • Location:
  • Salary:
  • Job type:
  • Posted:
    5 days ago
  • Category:
    Human Rights
  • Deadline:
    December 15, 2022



Standard Job Description

Senior Policy Adviser Organizational Setting and Work Relationships The role of the Senior Policy Adviser is to lead the development of policies on a variety of protection and solution challenges in the region, including protection strategies and operational responses, building on comprehensive responses outlined in the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR). The incumbent may be based in the Division/Field/Regional Bureau. S/he will normally report to and be guided by the Director/Deputy Director/Representative and may supervise a small team of local and international staff. The Senior Policy Adviser will provide strategic advice to the management as well as coordinate with other Bureaux and Divisions on policy matters with the aim of ensuring harmonization across regions and in global policy matters of UNHCR. S/he will consult and closely coordinate with the Division of Resilience and Solutions, the Division of International Protection, the Division of Programme Management and Support and other Divisions as well as other Regional Bureaux and operations as required as is most relevant according to the matters to be dealt with as well as ensuring due information and coordination with concerned states. S/he will focus in particular on issues pertaining to inclusion and development, which represent a wide range of challenges and opportunities which crucially require working with new partners, including with local government actors, civil society, academia and the private sector. UNHCR has a role to play as a facilitator in integration dialogue engaging a diversity of partners. The incumbent is also expected to support and undertake new initiatives in regional fora which can extend UNHCR’s influence and promote solutions for refugee situations in the region. The incumbent will also provide strategic advice and analytical support to the management. 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 AoR. 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. 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. Duties – Facilitate the development and articulation of the strategies and policies in the area of responsibility (AoR) by supporting their use and application, through consultative processes among senior managers in the field, and reflecting major global developments influencing UNHCR’s work, such as the Global Compact on Refugees and UNHCR’s support to applying comprehensive responses included therein. – Review and analyse information related to solution perspectives in the AoR, ensuring overall harmonization and coherence of the solution strategies, policies and operations. – Ensure effective representation and engagement with strategy and policy development and evaluation processes on selected cross-cutting protection and policy issues, both within UNHCR and, as appropriate, on the inter-agency level, or with relevance to government-led comprehensive responses at national or regional levels. – Advise the Director on key strategic issues pertaining to solutions. – Lead the development and formulation of solutions oriented strategies which would be sub-regional and country specific, as necessary, taking into account the local context. – Contribute to fostering and maintaining new partnerships with UN, whole-of-government including local authorities as applicable, private sector, civil society, academia, development partners, regional organizations and other actors geared towards achieving solutions in line with the GCR and application of comprehensive responses. – Closely coordinate work related to strategy development within the Bureau, with other Bureaux and Divisions at HQ, Regional and Country Representations, governmental departments, other major stakeholders, including in private sector, at high level. Reach out to People of Concern and their involvement in the process of the search for adequate solutions is key. – In Regional Bureaux, contribute to strengthening the Bureau¿s capacity for results-based management, monitoring and the evaluation of operational performance through the development of relevant tools and approaches and identifying and meeting capacity-building needs. – Provide substantive guidance on the implementation of the solutions strategy and relevant ongoing activities to operations in the region and appropriate Divisions and Services at HQ. – Perform other related duties as required. Minimum Qualifications Years of Experience / Degree Level For P5 – 12 years relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or 11 years relevant experience with Graduate degree; or 10 years relevant experience with Doctorate degree. Field(s) of Education Public Policy; Public Administration; Law; International Law; Political Science; Social Science; or other relevant field. Relevant Job Experience Essential Prior experience with an international organisation, development organisation or with government as part of solution-oriented or similar programmes supported by international actors. Demonstrated ability to conceptualise, develop and implement strategy and policy. Experience in both headquarters and the field, working with multiple priorities in high-pressure environments. Desirable Experience in coordination of UNHCR interventions with other actors, in a refugee context. Experience in applying legislative policies in international organization or the public sector. Training in UNHCR’s Protection and management learning programmes, including thematic protection learning programmes. Functional Skills UN-Policy Advocacy in UNHCR MG-Policy Development, Evaluation, Research, Publication CO-Drafting and Documentation (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

• Prior experience in the field of protection in Field operations and also at HQs to ensure comprehensive perspectives to policy issues to be addressed;
• Proven experience in skillful drafting or close review of documents including position papers, conference documents, guidance notes in both English and French and inserting language suitable to UNHCR and to the people it serves in relevant documents including at very short notice;

• Experience working with or liaising closely with other colleagues in the Bureau as well as those in operations in order to easily collect, review and consolidate inputs on a broad range of issues to then provide coherent and meaningful contributions;
• Experience in collaborating closely with external as well as other UN entities especially on various processes or mechanisms where UNHCR has to operate as a reliable team member to advance common initiatives;

• Ability to participate in inter-agency meetings in the framework of New York-based or other processes and provide pertinent contributions reflecting the perspective of the Bureau and/or relevant operations. 

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




Desired languages



Operational context

Occupational Safety and Health Considerations:


To view occupational safety and health considerations for this duty station, please visit this link:


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








Work Experience


Accountability, Analytical thinking, Client & results orientation, Commitment to continuous learning, Communication, Empowering & building trust, Judgement & decision making, Leadership, Managing performance, Negotiation & conflict resolution, Organizational awareness, Policy research & development, Strategic planning & visions, Teamwork & collaboration

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Bi-annual Compendium 2022 Part B – November 2022#4LKDN – job post also available on LinkedIn 





Functional clearance

This position doesn’t require a functional clearance