Head of Operations, Africa At International Organization for Migration

Position Title : Head of Operations, Africa

Duty Station : Nairobi, Kenya

Classification : Professional Staff, Grade P4

Type of Appointment : Fixed term, one year with possibility of extension

Estimated Start Date : As soon as possible

Closing Date : 29 July 2021

Established in 1951, IOM is a Related Organization of the United Nations, and as the leading UN agency in the field of migration, works closely with governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental partners. IOM is dedicated to promoting humane and orderly migration for the benefit of all. It does so by providing services and advice to governments and migrants.

IOM is committed to a diverse and inclusive work environment. Read more about diversity and inclusion at IOM at www.iom.int/diversity.

Applications are welcome from first- and second-tier candidates, particularly qualified female candidates as well as applications from the non-represented member countries of IOM. For all IOM vacancies, applications from qualified and eligible first-tier candidates are considered before those of qualified and eligible second-tier candidates in the selection process.

For the purpose of this vacancy, the following are considered first-tier candidates:

  1. Internal candidates
  2. External female candidates:
  3. Candidate from the following non-represented member states:

Antigua and Barbuda; Botswana; Cabo Verde; Comoros; Cook Islands; Cuba; Fiji; Gabon; Guinea-Bissau; Guyana; Holy See; Iceland; Kingdom of Eswatini; Kiribati; Lao People’s Democratic Republic (the); Latvia; Libya; Luxembourg; Marshall Islands; Micronesia (Federated States of); Montenegro; Namibia; Nauru; Palau; Saint Kitts and Nevis; Saint Lucia; Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; Samoa; Sao Tome and Principe; Seychelles; Solomon Islands; Suriname; The Bahamas; Timor-Leste; Tonga; Tuvalu; Vanuatu

Second tier candidates include:

All external candidates, except candidates from non-represented member states of IOM and female candidates.


The United States Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) operates world-wide with a target of providing resettlement opportunities to 110,000 or more individuals each year. IOM provides a range of services and support to the USRAP including, but not limited to, case processing, migration health assessments, cultural orientation training, organized transportation and administration of a travel loan and collections program. Some 1200 multi-disciplinary staff members work in support of the USRAP which has an annual budget in the range of USD 340 million. The Department of Operations and Emergencies (DOE), specifically the Resettlement and Movement Division (RMM), has the organizational responsibility to provide direction, oversight and guidance to IOM’s global support to all resettlement programs.

Under the direct supervision of the Head of Operations, Africa in Nairobi, Kenya and the general supervision of the Head of IOM Kenya Country Office, the successful candidate will be responsible for supporting the overall management of refugee resettlement projects throughout Sub-Saharan Africa under the guidance of the Head of Operations, Africa.

The region supported by the Deputy Head of Operations, Africa, is large in scope, comprised of numerous types of working environments that may include urban, rural and camp settings, and has a number of locations that are operationally complex and logistically challenging. This may include, but is not limited to, areas containing intra-, inter- and/or non- state conflict, areas of extreme political sensitivity and/or volatility, border regions, hardship locations and remote locations. Some of these locations currently or will in the future have sub-offices under the overall technical supervision of the Head of Operations, Africa. Travel to all locations of operational importance in the region for the purposes of monitoring and oversight, including to remote and hardship areas and to areas with a wide variety of security advisories, is expected.

Core Functions / Responsibilities:

  1. In coordination with the Head of Operations, Africa, support the oversight of refugee resettlement projects in Sub-Saharan Africa. Oversight includes technical assistance, staff training, development and succession planning, helping ensure all necessary refugee movements are carried out effectively, developing and standardizing regional operating procedures, and working to prevent fraud and malfeasance in resettlement activities.
  2. In locations in Sub-Saharan Africa where IOM has no offices, manage resettlement operations to ensure refugee movements occur in an efficient and effective manner. This may include site visits and coordination with a range of partners, including host governments, resettlement countries, UN agencies and the USRAP Resettlement Support Center (RSC) Africa administered by Church World Service.
  3. As needed, assist the Head of Operations in guiding and supervising Operations Officers at IOM country missions in Sub-Saharan Africa with resettlement projects, including working with relevant staff to ensure smooth transits and departures, solve challenges, monitor the administrative and logistical support provided to resettlement projects by the IOM mission, operate efficiently within established budgetary constraints, work effectively with partners and host governments, and implement and strengthen fraud and malfeasance prevention and response mechanisms.
  4. Support the Head of Operations, Africa, in communicating and coordinating with external partners, including the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and resettlement countries. Develop and maintain a positive working relationship between Operations staff members and external counterparts.
  5. Through communication with host governments, resettlement countries, US Embassy Refugee Coordinators, UNHCR, RSC Africa, relevant IOM units and other partner organizations, create, routinely update and disseminate a streamlined schedule for Africa Operations that details all planned activities related to resettlement, including activities undertaken by US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), RSC Africa and the IOM Migrant Health Division (MHD).
  6. In close coordination with the USRAP Monitoring Officer in Washington, DC, design and administer operational audits of IOM missions implementing USRAP projects in Sub-Saharan Africa. Create mechanisms by which projects can be remotely monitored and establish operational standards and measures of efficiency for Sub-Saharan Africa by which projects can be evaluated.
  7. Create and implement an effective feedback mechanism for resettlement beneficiaries with the objective of giving beneficiaries a voice and providing them with an additional avenue for reporting issues related to IOM personnel, service providers, fraud and sexual exploitation and abuse. Report on and utilize the feedback to improve the delivery of services.
  8. Based on best practices from other regions and with a focus on providing a safe and secure location for refugees to live, design and implement an operational standardization of Transit Center (TC) activities across Sub-Saharan Africa, including establishing rules, regulations and standards related to such areas as health, hygiene and security.
  9. Support the Head of Operations, Africa, in organizing and analysing data received by Operations Officers from across the region on resettlement activities and departures from Sub-Saharan Africa to the United States and other resettlement countries.
  10. Represent Operations Africa at meetings, workshops and international conferences as needed and prepare reports, briefings, background information, narratives and statistical reporting as required.
  11. Pro-actively implement fraud prevention measures in all aspects of program delivery in accordance with IOM policies and PRM Fraud Prevention and Mitigation Measures. Bring to the attention of the Head of Operations, Africa any non-compliance of staff or other areas of concern and provide plans for improvements that will maintain the integrity of activities in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  12. Update staff members of changes in workflow and/or procedures, and provide additional training as required.
  13. Suggest possible improvements to the Head of Operations, Africa, in order to properly support the overall development of operations staff and movements-related activities in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  14. Perform such other duties as may be assigned.

Required Qualifications and Experience:


• Master’s degree in Social Science, International Relations, Regional Studies or a related field from an accredited academic institution with seven years of relevant professional experience; or

• University degree in the above fields with nine years of relevant professional experience.


• Field and regional management experience in movement/operations projects in at least two different regions;

• Service in movement/operations, with a focus on resettlement projects, at two levels below this position (for instance, experience serving as an Operations Officer and Operations Coordinator in relation to an application for the position of Deputy Head of Operations);

• Experience in project cycle management, preferably with particular emphasis on the USRAP;

• Experience serving as a donor liaison and writing donor reports;

• Experience managing staff at various levels and from a range of cultural backgrounds, including teams of international staff.


• Demonstrated record of establishing and maintaining good working relationships with governmental and diplomatic authorities, national, regional and international institutions, as well as civil society actors;

• Knowledge of resettlement programs and IOM financial management and budgetary procedures.


IOM’s official languages are English, French, and Spanish.

External applicants for all positions in the Professional category are required to be proficient in English and have at least a working knowledge of one additional UN Language (French, Spanish, Arabic, Russian or Chinese).

For all applicants, fluency in English is required (oral and written).

Proficiency of language(s) required will be specifically evaluated during the selection process, which may include written and/or oral assessments.



Accredited Universities are the ones listed in the UNESCO World Higher Education Database (https://whed.net/home.php).

Required Competencies:

Values – all IOM staff members must abide by and demonstrate these three values:

• Inclusion and respect for diversity: respects and promotes individual and cultural differences; encourages diversity and inclusion wherever possible.

• Integrity and transparency: maintains high ethical standards and acts in a manner consistent with organizational principles/rules and standards of conduct.

• Professionalism: demonstrates ability to work in a composed, competent and committed manner and exercises careful judgment in meeting day-to-day challenges.

Core Competencies – behavioural indicators level 3

• Teamwork: develops and promotes effective collaboration within and across units to achieve shared goals and optimize results.

• Delivering results: produces and delivers quality results in a service-oriented and timely manner; is action oriented and committed to achieving agreed outcomes.

• Managing and sharing knowledge: continuously seeks to learn, share knowledge and innovate.

• Accountability: takes ownership for achieving the Organization’s priorities and assumes responsibility for own action and delegated work.

• Communication: encourages and contributes to clear and open communication; explains complex matters in an informative, inspiring and motivational way.

Managerial Competencies – behavioural indicators level 3

• Leadership: provides a clear sense of direction, leads by example and demonstrates the ability to carry out the organization’s vision; assists others to realize and develop their potential.

• Empowering others & building trust: creates an atmosphere of trust and an enabling environment where staff can contribute their best and develop their potential.

• Strategic thinking and vision: works strategically to realize the Organization’s goals and communicates a clear strategic direction.

IOM’s competency framework can be found at this link.


Competencies will be assessed during a competency-based interview.


Internationally recruited professional staff are required to be mobile.

Any offer made to the candidate in relation to this vacancy notice is subject to funding confirmation.

This selection process may be used to staff similar positions in various duty stations. Recommended candidates endorsed by the Appointments and Postings Board will remain eligible to be appointed in a similar position for a period of 24 months.

The list of NMS countries above includes all IOM Member States which are non-represented in the Professional Category of staff members. For this staff category, candidates who are nationals of the duty station’s country cannot be considered eligible.

Appointment will be subject to certification that the candidate is medically fit for appointment, accreditation, any residency or visa requirements, and security clearances.

Vacancies close at 23:59 local time Geneva, Switzerland on the respective closing date. No late applications will be accepted.

How to apply

Interested candidates are invited to submit their applications via PRISM, IOM e-Recruitment system, by 29 July 2021 at the latest, referring to this advertisement.

IOM only accepts duly completed applications submitted through the IOM e-Recruitment system. The online tool also allows candidates to track the status of their application.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

For further information please refer to: www.iom.int/recruitment

Posting period:

From 16.07.2021 to 29.07.2021

No Fees:

IOM does not charge a fee at any stage of its recruitment process (application, interview, processing, training or other fee). IOM does not request any information related to bank accounts.

Requisition: VN 2021 162 Head of Operations, Africa (P4) Nairobi, Kenya (57087650) Released

Posting: Posting NC57087651 (57087651) Released

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