Associate Shelter Cluster Coordination Officer, UNOPS IICA-1, Ouagadougou

Growing insecurity in Burkina Faso has led to the forced displacement of over 1,368, 164 people by end of July 2021. The number of those fleeing for safety has doubled in 2020 alone making Burkina Faso one of the fastest growing humanitarian and protection crisis globally. At mid-year, UNHCR’s response is only funded at 34% thus highlighting the urgent need to reinforce the visibility of the Operation and the ability to share good quality and analytical products in a timely manner with donors and other partners.

UNHCR in Ouagadougou trough the Cluster shelter and Non Food Items would need a support of an International staff on UNOPS contract to reinforce the leadership of the agency on the support provided to the humanitarian community to improve the coordination on this thematic.

  • Title: Associate Shelter Cluster Coordination Officer
  • Duty Station: Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
  • Duration: up to 31/03/2022
  • Contract Type: UNOPS International ICA1– (equivalent to P2)
  • Closing date: 22/08/2021
  • Start date: Immediately

Organisational context

UNHCR is responsible for the protection for refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Burkina Faso. Within the IDP context, as of 31 July 2021, there were 1,368,164 IDPs in various regions of the country (Sahel, Centre Nord, and Est), UNHCR has been designated the lead of the Protection and Shelter/Non-Food Items (NFI) Clusters to ensure that IDP are provided with protection and assistance according to international standards. Therefore, UNCHR is tasked to provide technical and strategic support in these two areas to the various offices and partners through the Clusters in Burkina Faso. Further UNHCR is also working with Implementing Partners in Protection and Shelter to implement partner protection an assistance activity. The UNOPS staff will work within the Shelter Cluster and NFI team unit in UNHCR Branch office in Ouagadougou but will be travel extensively as allowed by security restrictions in place. The Shelter Cluster unit provides technical support to all shelter partners responsible for the provision of shelter in the key regions affected by the crisis. The main responsibility of the team is to develop technical documents, coordinate the Shelter partners interventions, and advocate for the mobilisation of more resources.

Under the overall guidance the Snr Shelter Cluster Coordination Officer will coordinate quality, timely and effective shelter cluster responses to the needs of populations of concern and ensure that beneficiaries of all age, gender and diversity groups are involved with the Office in making decisions that affect them.

The position

The Associate Shelter Cluster Coordination Officer will build and maintain effective interfaces with other relevant teams within the Cluster group.

Duties and responsibilities

  • Ensuring that Shelter Cluster partners are supported in carrying out shelter needs assessments, Post distribution monitoring report considering the current situation, projected population planning figures and the expected scale of returns;
  • Ensure that monthly regular cluster and technical working meetings are done, and reports disseminated to shelter cluster partners and launch them on the national and the global cluster website site;
  • Developing country level shelter cluster strategies and take into consideration the local context, age and gender, culture, climate, environmental protection and the availability of local resources, including materials, capacities and existing infrastructure;
  • Providing clear guidance on standards for shelter and settlement, including minimum emergency standards to meet basic and essential needs;
  • Together with the information management officer, compiling, analyzing and mapping available information on shelter options in country considering relevant policies adopted by the Government and the cluster shelter;
  • Ensure that shelter partners when planning shelter works, that the technical component reflects shelter cluster minimum standards for the provision of emergency and other types of shelter assistance and is within the recommended budgetary requirements approved by the cluster. Due consideration should be given to standards in other relevant sectors such as water and sanitation, protection and GSAT;
  • Ensuring that shelter cluster strategy is periodically reviewed to reflect the evolving situation in country and progressively transitioning to more sustainable shelter solutions. This process should be done in close collaboration with the beneficiaries and the host Government while bearing in mind the shelter needs of people upon their eventual return to their country of origin;
  • Ensuring that specifications, bills of quantities and drawings are produced in a technically sound and standardized manner and establish monitoring and evaluation tools to ensure that works are implemented according to cluster recommendations;
  • Promoting the sustainability of technical interventions through local capacity building and self-help in collaboration with local partners in the field. Ensure that local communities have been consulted on all activities so as not to create unnecessary tension between the displaced and host populations;
  • The position requires regular contact with other clusters colleagues and partners, program, protection and field staff in country in order to ensure that shelter cluster strategy are considered in all technical support related to shelter and construction activities;
  • Close and regular contact with technical and non-technical staff of UN Agencies, shelter cluster Partners, National and International NGOs and Government Authorities, is essential to discuss matters relating to shelter and infrastructure coordination and provision;

Essential minimum qualifications and professional experience required

The ideal candidate will:

  • University Degree in Civil Engineering, Building Construction, Architecture or other relevant qualification.
  • Have three years of experience (with Bachelor degree) or two years of experience (with Master degree) of relevant experience
  • Relevant professional experience includes management of humanitarian shelter or settlement programs / projects or a combination of experience in the humanitarian sector and construction-related activities outside of the humanitarian sector such as supervision of construction works. Attendance to humanitarian Shelter Cluster Training will be an asset.
  • Excellent interpersonal, teamwork and negotiation skills in a cross-cultural environment and the ability to assist in communication of technical and non-technical details with Government technical staff as well as NGO staff and local authorities.
  • Excellent legal research, analytical skills and drafting ;
  • Have excellent communication skills with strong interpersonal, ability to work in team and negotiation skills.
  • Computer skills: Knowledge of computer software (MS Word, Excel PowerPoint), as well as the capacity to use mapping tools, i.e. GPS and knowledge of construction drawing and design software (AutoCad or MS Visio, Hipanet etc) is a great added advantage.
  • Be fluent in French, with advanced writing skills. Good knowledge of English will be an asset.
  • Be able to multi-task and to prioritize workload.

Competencies and values

  • Integrity and professionalism: demonstrated expertise in area of specialty and ability to apply good judgment; high degree of autonomy, personal initiative and ability to take ownership; willingness to accept wide responsibilities and ability to work independently under established procedures in a politically sensitive environment, while exercising discretion, impartiality and neutrality; ability to manage information objectively, accurately and confidentially; responsive and client-oriented.
  • Accountability: mature and responsible; ability to operate in compliance with organizational rules and regulations.
  • Commitment to continuous learning: initiative and willingness to learn new skills and stay abreast of new developments in area of expertise; ability to adapt to changes in work environment.
  • Planning and organizing: effective organizational and problem-solving skills and ability to manage a large volume of work in an efficient and timely manner; ability to establish priorities and to plan, coordinate and monitor (own) work; ability to work under pressure, with conflicting deadlines, and to handle multiple concurrent projects/activities.
  • Teamwork and respect for diversity: ability to operate effectively across organizational boundaries; ability to establish and maintain effective partnerships and harmonious working


The successful candidate will be based with the team in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.


The Individual Contractor Agreement is for six (06) months and will start in October. It is a full-time role with working hours starting from 8.00am to 5. 30 pm Monday to Thursday and from 8 h 00 to 14 h 00 pm the Friday (40 hours per week).

Burkina Faso has very basic infrastructures, including in the health sector. In Ouagadougou, there are more than 20 health clinics, but only 7 recommended by the UN System.

Epidemics and other disease outbreaks are common in the operational area. Ouagadougou is a family duty station and education is generally in French, however there is also a US English school. Banking services available include more than five international banks among which two are recommended by the UN System (United Bank of Africa and Ecobank). Hot and dry desert environment with high daylight temperature fluctuations.

In the field, due to security-borne restrictions, the office has built two guest houses where all staff are advised to reside during field missions (in FU Djibo and FO Dori).

Housing in Ouagadougou is mainly individual houses and are easily available. But most buildings are not well maintained and need repair. Electricity is very expensive, and a backup generator is recommended.

Burkina Faso is connected to the Internet thanks to two access providers (Onatel, Fasonet) on affordable rates.

Currently, the security and human rights situation in Northern and Eastern Burkina Faso has significantly deteriorated, leading to substantial displacement. The number of IDPs has reached 1,368,164 displaced in 31 July 2021.

As a result of the internal displacement, the United Nations Country Team (UNCT), in close collaboration with the Government of Burkina Faso, has set up a coordination mechanism involving several sectoral groups to respond to the needs of the population affected by the crisis.

Sensitive security context could put certain nationalities, like white skin people (European, American or Asiatic) at risk. The Sahel region (Northern part of Burkina Faso, bordering Mali), our main operational area, is permanently facing terrorist activities, resulting to casualties and kidnappings.

How to apply

To learn more and apply, please visit

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 applications: 22/08/2021

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