Principal Situation Coordinator At UN High Commissioner for Refugees

Organizational Setting and Work Relationships

The Principal Situation Coordinator normally works under the direct supervision of the Bureau Director or Representative and may have alternative reporting relationships depending on the structure and size of the Office. S/he coordinates the responses to a designated situation ensuring that the measures, necessary for timely, effective and consistent responses are taken and coordinated between Headquarters, the Regional Bureau and the concerned UNHCR Country Operations within a specific region. S/he will furthermore coordinate with regional stakeholders within the Inter-Agency Framework and actively contribute to the implementation of a situational strategy for persons of concern (PoCs) in the area of responsibility (AoR) in close consultation and coordination with relevant sections at Bureau, Country and Headquarters level. Moreover, the incumbent in close coordination with Senior Policy Adviser or Head of Bureau Protection Service, as appropriate, will lead the endeavour to define the strategic response to the designated situation in the AoR.

The incumbent supervises Operations or other staff. External contacts are with relevant national and international governmental counterparts, UN Resident Coordinators, UN agencies, private sector, and NGOs on UNHCR’s programmes in the countries covered under the AoR in coordination with Representatives.

The grade level of the positions with this role can be P5 or D1 depending on the activities covered under the designated situation as well as the structure and location of the organizational unit in which the position operates. Positions at D1 normally report to Director/Representative at D2 grade level and positions at P5 to (Deputy) Director/Representative or Head of Operations Service at D1 grade level.

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.


  • Facilitate strategic planning, tactical and operational synergies and collaboration with Governmental, UN system, non-governmental organizations, donors, civil society partners and other stakeholders in coordination with Representatives in country operations.
  • Coordinate the preparation, revision or updating of UNHCR-led Inter-Agency Regional Contingency and/or Refugee Response plans drawing upon and rationalizing the respective elements of the concerned Country Operation plans to include coherent scenarios and strategies on protection and durable solutions (even in the initial stages of the emergency) as well as resource requirements, advocacy, fundraising and information-management.
  • Monitor political, security and other developments in the country/ies of origin and the affected countries in the region, including where relevant, the responses by international humanitarian community, United Nations Peacekeeping Missions, development actors, as well as any escalations or other changes in the conflict/insecurity or mediation/peace efforts; ensure that the relevant implications and inputs are factored into the coordinated regional refugee response to the emergencies in the countries concerned.
  • Convene regional coordination meetings bringing together all regional partners; Undertake missions to identify political, security, operational, funding challenges, and risks facing the regional refugee response and to foster the best possible inter-agency collaboration, synergy and action.
  • Maintain a pro-active external relations and strategic communications posture on key developments of the (emergency) response and regularly provide briefings and other information or advocacy products to relevant governments, regional multilateral institutions, donors and other stakeholders; ensure UNHCR participation in meetings, consultations, initiatives or other events crucial to coordination of the regional refugee response.
  • Ensure visibility for and mobilize or sustain funding support for UNHCR¿s activities (and its partners), interests or concerns relating to the situation, both in the country(ies) of origin as well as in the countries affected.
  • Liaise with focal points in the Bureau and country operations to ensure close follow up on situational realities, programme /Regional Response plan implementation, challenges and sub-regional developments which may have an impact on the situation.
  • Provide inputs to concerned Country Operation plans to include coherent scenarios and strategies on protection and durable solutions in line with regional strategy.
  • Ensure that risk management considerations are integrated into decision making, planning, monitoring, reporting and contingency activities in the region covered, and promote this across relevant field operations.
  • Perform other related duties as required.

Minimum Qualifications

Years of Experience / Degree Level
For D1 – 17 years relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or 16 years relevant experience with Graduate degree; or 15 years relevant experience with Doctorate degree

Field(s) of Education
Political Science; Economics; Social Science; Business Administration; Law; Economics; or other relevant field.

Certificates and/or Licenses
Programme Management;

Relevant Job Experience

Experience in field operations. Strong operational background and political awareness. At least 10 years of relevant experience in an international capacity. Understanding of UNHCR mandate and operations.
Experience in lobbying successfully governmental counterparts in key policy issues of relevance to POCs¿ access to rights and search for durable solutions. Experience in working with UNHCR; or other UN entities or partners preferably in the area of refugee or humanitarian operations. Proven track record in emergency preparedness, response and management.

How to apply

Interested candidates are requested to apply on the UNHCR career page at – by clicking on the Vacancies tab and entering job ID 28059.

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

Please note that the closing date is Tuesday 13 July 2021 (mid-night Geneva time).

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