Organizational Setting and Work Relationships

Head of a UNHCR Field Office (HoFO) is a senior managerial position within a given country operation. The incumbent carries the full delegated authority of the UNHCR Representative (or the country Manager or Head of Sub-Office) of the country, who will exercise entire supervisory managerial responsibility over the position. The position, on the other hand, provides all information on developments in relation to the protection (legal protection issues relating to the persons of concern to UNHCR), security (Physical security in relation to the UNCR staff and the persons of concern to UNHCR) and operational matters (programme and office management / administration) within the domain of its geographical area of responsibility to the UNHCR Representative (or the country manager) on a regular and timely manner. Subject to the specific legal or socio economic or security developments in the Area of Responsibility (AOR), Representative will direct and guide the Head of Field Office to take the most appropriate course of action. Concerning overall physical security concerns, HoFO will liaise directly with the competent UN security coordinator while keeping the UNHCR Representative fully informed. While the functional responsibility of a Head of Field Office will always remain the same despite its grade level, the other parameters (therefore the depth and breadth of the competencies) such as the size of the population of concern to UNHCR, their specific legal/security concerns, volume of assistance, Number of operational / Implementing partners and the size of the Office (i.e. number of UNHCR staff and their grade levels) will determine the appropriate grade level. The operational autonomy also depends upon the same parameters/competencies. As the most senior UNHCR staff member within the given geographical area, he/she is required to liaise with all the relevant senior government officials, security organs in the area, the Head of various Non-Governmental Organisations (both national and internationals based in the area), Civilian/tribal leaders/elders, local opinion makers and the local media net-work to ensure his/her assigned responsibilities are effectively and efficiently discharged. As the extended field representative of UNHCR at the front line of High Commissioner’s operations, he/she remain as the effective advocate and assistant to the local authorities to ensure that the respective government authorities in the area implement their conventional responsibilities in favour of refugees and others of concern to UNHCR.

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.


– Monitor and report on the implementation of refugee conventional responsibilities and international obligations of the local authorities Vis a Vis the population of concern to UNHCR within the given geographical area; based on local situations/developments make appropriate recommendation to the UNHCR Representative/HoSO.

– Advocate and promote UNHCR standards concerning the treatment of asylum seekers, refugees and returnees as well as IDPs, where applicable; Advocate, promote and encourage the concerned authorities and local opinion makers to uphold established UNHCR standards that have become the international norms.

– Ensure that the basic needs of the concerned population are properly assessed with the participation of the beneficiaries themselves, the host governments and/or the competent Implementing partners and/or UNHCR itself.

– Subject to the needs, ensure that the planning, formulation and budgeting of identified assistance projects are done as per UNHCR programme cycle; upon approval of assistance project, ensure the timely implementation and rigorous monitoring of identified assistance activities.

– Ensure through the subordinate staff that all deadlines for monitoring and reporting of UNHCR operational activities (i.e. include assistance as well as Administrative) are met on a regular basis.

– Manage all UNHCR resources, both human, financial/material, at an optimum level for the wellbeing of the concerned population and the UNHCR staff.

– Ensure that all security measures of UNHCR office (and residential, where ever applicable) compounds are always up to date; any security breaches and/or potential security threat should be reported immediately to competent UN security coordinator in the country.

– Ensure that staff welfare, both in terms of working and living conditions, are maintained at a satisfactory level within the constraints in the operational area; this requires remaining current in health and medical facilities locally available and evacuation options available in a moment of medical urgency.

– Guide, coach and advocate the subordinate staff to maintain highest standards of conduct and behaviour thorough one¿s own practice and deeds.

– Prepare and submit regular reports, both verbally and written, to the UNHCR Representative/HoSO. In the event of substantial telephone conversation that leads to specific action or non-action, it should be recorded and share with the other party.

– Represent UNHCR in inter-agency fora and with local authorities in the AOR. – Enforce compliance with UNHCR¿s global protection, programme, finance, human resources and security policies and standards.

– Submit project proposals for assistance to refugees and other persons of concern to UNHCR Representation or Sub-Office in coordination with local authorities and NGOs.

– Perform other related duties as required.

Minimum Qualifications

Education & Professional Work Experience

Years of Experience / Degree Level For P4 – 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 Human Resources Management; Personnel Administration; Law; Political Science; International Relations; Economics; or other relevant field. (Field(s) of Education marked with an asterisk* are essential) Certificates and/or Licenses HCR Management Lrng Prg; HCR Managing Operatns Lrng Prg; (Certificates and Licenses marked with an asterisk* are essential) Relevant Job Experience Essential In-depth knowledge in all aspects of UNHCR’s Field level operation. Applied experience of protection principles, operational arrangements/standards in relation to protection, assistance, UNHCR office management and staff administration. Should be conversant in the current priorities in the organisation and existing mechanisms within the organisation to implement those priorities. Desirable Working experience both in UNHCR HQ and/or a Regional Office and the Field.

Functional Skills

IT-Microsoft Office Productivity Software PR-Protection-related guidelines, standards and indicators MG-Office Management HR-Administration of Staff Contracts and Benefits IT-Computer Literacy (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

In addition to requirements under the job description and desired skills, the candidate should have a strong proven leadership and communication skills to lead the team and to interact with Authorities and Partners. She/he will be required to liaise with all the relevant government officials, security organs in the area, the Head of various Non-Governmental Organizations, therefore communication and leadership are important.
The candidate should be able to undertake frequents field visits to the 2 camps under Huye Field Office for monitoring and evaluation of UNHCR and partners activities.
The candidate should demonstrate a very good analytical skills to provide insight on specific legal or socio economic or security developments in Huye field office. An experience in Field/Sub office management is desirable. A very good knowledge of UNHCR/UN security management is important.

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


Desired languages


Operational context

Occupational Safety and Health Considerations:

Nature of Position:

The UNHCR Representation Office in Rwanda provides protection and assistance to about 126,000 refugees, mainly refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo who have been on the Rwandan territory since 1996 and Burundian refugees who have been arriving in the country further to the April 2015 attempt coup aftermath. There is as well as a significant number of returnee population of Rwandan refugees who came back after many years in exile.

The Representation is composed of the Branch Office in Kigali, Field Offices in Huye, Karongi, Nyamata, a field unit in Kabarore and a Sub-Office in Kirehe. There are 5 refugees camps, 4 reception centers and a center dedicated to receiving evacuees from Libya. The field office Huye covers two refugee camps, namely Kigeme and Mugombwa as well as a reception center (Nyanza-used for returnees and new asylum seekers from Burundi).

Huye Field office is in the Southern Province of Rwanda and currently hosts 26,843 refugees spread across two camps (Kigeme 14,551 and Mugombwa 11,457) hosting refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Huye Urban that hosts 835 Burundian urban refugees. The field office also runs the Nyanza Transit Center which receives new arrivals from Burundi (who are subsequently relocated to Mahama Refugee Camp from time to time) and Rwandan returnees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. UNHCR Huye field office currently works through 10 partners offering services in the 2 camps, urban area and the transit center.

The Head of Field Office Huye reports to the Deputy Representative (Operations). Protection and Solutions are the key focus of the office with Cash Based Interventions (CBI) and Livelihoods as strategic priorities. The incumbent will need to have strong proven leadership and communication skills to lead the team and to interact with Authorities and Partners.

Living and Working Conditions:

In Huye town, private houses are available for rent. Staffs could use brokers to visit available housing options which are usually equipped with adequate facilities. The usual practice is to give at least a three-months deposit upon signing a rent contract. Huye has small private clinics that can offer consultations with general practicians or some specialists. There is a tertiary level facility (CHUB – Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Butare) which is considered referral hospital at the national level.

Limited education facilities are available for international staffs’ children. There are no accredited international schools in Huye but private schools offering teaching in English or French, following the national curricula are available. Security in Huye is at Level 1 and is a family duty station (category B) with low security risks. UNHCR facilitates private guarding services for international staff’s residence. Banking facilities are available. Transport to Kigali is available with (private) buses every 30min / every hour (depending on the time of the year).

Additional Qualifications



BA: Economics (Required), BA: International Relations (Required), BA: Law (Required), BA: Management (Required), BA: Personnel Administration (Required), BA: Political Science (Required)


HCR Management Learning Program – UNHCR, Programme Management (PM) 1 – UNHCR

Work Experience


Accountability, Analytical thinking, Client & results orientation, Commitment to continuous learning, Communication, Empowering & building trust, Judgement & decision making, Leadership, Managing performance, Managing resource, Organizational awareness, Planning & organizing, Political awareness, Strategic planning & visions, Teamwork & collaboration

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Add. 3 to Bi-annual Compendium 2022 – Part B

Additional Information

Functional clearance

This position doesn’t require a functional clearance

How to apply



The UNHCR workforce consists of many diverse nationalities, cultures, languages and opinions. UNHCR seeks 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, colour, sex, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity.

Please note that UNHCR does not charge a fee at any stage of its recruitment process (application, interview, meeting, travelling, processing, training or any other fees).

Closing date of receipt of applications: 16 March 2023 (midnight Geneva time)