Organizational Setting and Work Relationships

In complex humanitarian emergencies and natural disasters where UNHCR is designated as the Protection Cluster Lead Agency under the Cluster Approach, the position of Senior Protection Cluster Coordination Officer performs a dedicated coordination, strategy development and advocacy function. The Senior Protection Cluster Coordination Officer reports directly to the UNHCR Representative who has final accountability for the performance of UNHCR as Cluster Lead Agency. At the same time, the incumbent effectuates UNHCR’s commitment to work within the framework of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) and the Cluster Approach. The UNHCR Protection Cluster Lead Agency functions, embodied in the role of Senior Protection Cluster Coordination Officer, are critical in ensuring UNHCR¿s leadership within a diverse protection community. The Senior Protection Cluster Coordination Officer is expected to discharge UNHCR’s lead role in the Protection Cluster and to impartially represent the interests of the members of the Protection Cluster, including the provision of active support, as applicable, to sub-clusters or working groups of the Cluster which may be coordinated by other Agencies. As a result, the Senior Protection Cluster Coordination Officer leads an inter-agency team in an environment that requires high standards of accountability and demonstrable leadership, coordination, negotiation and conflict resolution skills, and in which the principles of partnership and collaboration are essential.

The Senior Protection Cluster Coordination Officer represents the Protection Cluster in Inter-Cluster Coordination mechanisms. The Senior Protection Cluster Coordination Officer advocates for protection mainstreaming in the humanitarian response, leads the mainstreaming of early recovery activities in the Protection Cluster, and spearheads the integration of cross-cutting issues into the work of the Protection Cluster, especially age, gender and diversity.

The Senior Protection Cluster Coordination Officer works closely with and/or directly supervises a multi-functional UNHCR Protection Cluster Support team, including, but not limited to, the areas of information management, needs assessment, profiling, registration, reporting and advocacy.

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.


– Chair cluster meetings and represent the Protection Cluster in meetings with sectoral and external partners, authorities and other relevant interlocutors.

– Issue reports and make advocacy statements on behalf of the Protection Cluster.

– Make decision over format and frequency of meetings, designation of focal points and the establishment of sub-groups/working groups and ad hoc/task-related bodies for specific issues.

– Negotiate with the Humanitarian Coordinator/Resident Coordinator, the Humanitarian Country Team and cluster members the prioritization and inclusion of project proposals and common funding criteria for inclusion in inter-agency funding appeals.

– Allocate financial and other resources within the Protection Cluster, when required, such as regarding Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) or Common Humanitarian Funds (CHF). Perform other related duties as required.

Strategic Direction

– Ensure that the protection response is driven by a Protection Cluster strategy developed in a consultative process with external partners and is integrated into the Humanitarian Country Team¿s common humanitarian action plan.

– Convene and facilitate meetings in line with the Principles of Partnership, ensuring that cluster meetings are consultative and results oriented.

– Ensure coordination with government counterparts and other relevant authorities.

– Lead the design of transition strategies for the Protection Cluster: facilitate the development of a strategy for the cluster ensuring proper linkages with disaster risk reduction, relief, and recovery and development efforts.

Needs Assessment and Resources Mobilization

– Lead, coordinate and conduct within the Protection Cluster or at Inter-Cluster level protection needs assessments, including participatory assessments of affected populations.

– Provide strategic direction to development of common funding criteria, resource mobilisation and prioritization within the Protection Cluster for inclusion in Consolidated Appeals and pooled funds processes; Establish mechanisms for accountable and transparent financial resource allocation within the cluster.

Capacity Development

– Coordinate the delivery of protection training activities for Protection Cluster members, other local partners, and relevant authorities.

– Coordinate initiatives to build the protection capacity of the national and local government, partners and civil society.

Standards Setting

– Ensure adherence to IASC standard operating procedures for IDP profiling.

– Coordinate the integration of cross-cutting issues in the work of the Protection Cluster, including any work developed by sub-clusters or working groups.

– Ensure adherence of Protection Cluster activities to Guidelines on Age, Gender and Diversity Mainstreaming.

– Through Cluster-wide consultative processes, provide input into the development of global protection policy and standards led by the Global Protection Cluster.

Information Management

– Facilitate reporting and information sharing within the Protection Cluster and at the inter-cluster level.

– Ensure that the Protection Cluster has a functional information management strategy and mechanism.

– Ensure that the Protection Cluster produces regular updates and briefing notes on the protection concerns in the affected population, response activities, challenges and recommendations.


– Identify core advocacy concerns for the Protection Cluster through a consultative process: develop joint cluster/ inter-cluster initiatives to ensure regular and consistent advocacy.

– Ensure a consistent interpretation and application of international law and related UNHCR and IASC legal standards and protection policies.

– Ensure the Protection Cluster¿s adherence to international human rights instruments, the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement as well as other relevant international and regional instruments; in cooperation with the Humanitarian Country Team support local interventions when violations of international protection standards and principles occur.

– Promote and strengthen national legislation relevant to internal displacement and durable solutions

Minimum Qualifications

Education & Professional Work Experience

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

Law; Human Rights; International Relations;

or other relevant field.

(Field(s) of Education marked with an asterisk* are essential)

Certificates and/or Licenses

CCCM Cluster Coordination;

HCR Coordination Lrng Prog;

HCR Management Lrng Prg;

HCR Protection Learning Prg;

Emergency Mgmt Workshop;

Tri-Cluster Knowl/Coord Skills;

Prot in NaturalDisaster Situat;

(Certificates and Licenses marked with an asterisk* are essential)

Relevant Job Experience


9 years of previous work experience preferably in working with Protection Cluster, IDP Operation or Country Operations applying the Cluster Approach.


Not specified.

Functional Skills

PR-Country Operations applying the Cluster Approach

CL-Protection Cluster 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

– Strong diplomatic, negotiation and communication skills.

– Experience in the MENA region.

– Arabic is desirable.

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 incumbent will coordinate the protection cluster as per the guidance provided by the Global Protection Custer. The incumbent needs a good knowledge of Syria operational context and political sensitivities. S/He will coordinate and advance the protection sector agenda in the context of the inter-agency humanitarian response in Syria. The incumbent will need to have an excellent familiarity with the major IASC policies ad guidelines in order to ensure implementation of the strategies and activities as outlined in the Humanitarian Response Plan. The discharge of the function of this post implies extensive coordination and other inter-action with a variety of actors, including UN and non-UN members of the Protection Sector within Syria, other Sector Coordinators in Syria, other protection Coordinators in the context of the Whole of Syria, as well as national authorities at a senior level. Relation with the authorities will often include intensive negotiations with various ministries. Experience in capacity building and training will also be relevant to ensure that the protection capacity building program is adequately implemented. Syria Operation is one of the biggest and most complex operations conducted by UNHCR worldwide. The effective coordination of the planning and implementation of the protection sector remains therefore a very challenging task requiring technical competencies in humanitarian protection and political awareness.

Living and Working Conditions:

Syria is non-family high risk duty station. Damascus is an R&R duty station with 6 weeks cycle applied. All international staff are accommodated in security cleared hotel. Travel is normally via road either to Lebanon or Amman and the designated R&R destination is Amman, Jordan. Regular shuttles are provided to staff.

Additional Qualifications


CL-Inter-Agency Leadership/Coordination, Leadership


BA: Human Rights (Required), BA: International Relations (Required), BA: Law (Required)


CCCM Cluster Coordination – UNHCR, Emergency Management Workshop – UNHCR, HCR Coordination Learning Program – UNHCR, HCR Management Learning Program – UNHCR, HCR Protection Learning Program – UNHCR, Protection in Natural Disaster Situation – Other, Tri_Cluster Knowledge/Coord Skills – Other

Work Experience

Working with Persons of Concern: Asylum Seekers, Working with Persons of Concern: Internally Displaced Persons, Working with Persons of Concern: Others of Concern, Working with Persons of Concern: Refugees, Working with Persons of Concern: Returned IDPs, Working with Persons of Concern: Returned Refugees, Working with Persons of Concern: Stateless


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

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March 2023 Compendium – Part B

Additional Information

Functional clearance

This position doesn’t require a functional clearance

How to apply

For a full job description and to apply, interested candidates are requested to:


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: 20 April 2023 (midnight Geneva time)