Shelter Officer at Center for International Peace Operations

About the Center for International Peace Operations

The Berlin Center for International Peace Operations was established in 2002 by the Federal Government of Germany and the German Parliament to strengthen international civilian capacities for crisis prevention, conflict resolution and peacebuilding. It is a non-profit limited liability company, whose sole shareholder is the Federal Republic of Germany, represented by the German Federal Foreign Office. ZIF provides services and expertise for peace operations, election observation missions as well as humanitarian surge deployments.

ZIF’s Expert Pool

For peace operations, humanitarian surge deployments and election observation missions, we recruit and second German personnel. We manage the ZIF Expert Pool to facilitate the deployment of pre-qualified and pre-selected personnel to operations at short notice. As the employer, we are fully committed to our duty of care obligations before, during and after deployment. ZIF supports humanitarian UN partner agencies by deploying humanitarian experts.

Shelter Officer Profile

Shelter Officers assess the housing situation of displaced persons. Their aim is to improve living conditions, for example in terms of hygiene and humane housing, and to minimise the risk of exploitation and eviction, overcrowding as well as lack of access to essential services.

Where shelter challenges arise, the Shelter Officer, in close collaboration with local, national and humanitarian partners, suggests (emergency) shelter solutions following an assessment and mapping of various shelter options.

Shelter Officers involve the affected population, the local community as well as authorities and humanitarian partners in the assessment and planning process. In addition, they ensure that questions pertaining to protection, culture, climate, age, gender and environmental concerns are taken into consideration when assessing shelter needs and planning for housing elements.

If required, the Shelter Officer works towards planning and designing new shelters and/or public buildings/services like water infrastructure, communal centres, schools, recreational and other facilities, taking into account both current and projected shelter needs in displacement situations. Where new structures are needed, the Shelter Officer may be tasked to carry out construction work. This includes leading the process to develop building specifications, drawings as well as bills of quantities to commission third parties with the construction work.

Continuous monitoring and quality control of construction and rehabilitation works is a key component of the function’s tasks. The Shelter Officer ensures that construction standards as well as international minimum shelter standards are adhered to. And whenever feasible, the Shelter Officer strives towards making best use of local building material, construction capacities and housing culture.

People affected by crises are increasingly residing in urban areas. Therefore, Shelter Officers also assess the availability and affordability of shelters in the urban context. Should existing shelters not meet shelter standards, the function may also be tasked to plan and design the rehabilitation of existing urban shelters.

Specific profile requirements

  • University degree or technical college degree in civil engineering, architecture or related field of study;
  • Several years of experience in engineering, construction and infrastructure planning;
  • Proven work experience in supervising construction projects;
  • Affiliation to a professional body (relevant for architects only)
  • Expertise in developing bills of quantities;
  • Sound knowledge of shelter-related technical guidelines and humanitarian standards;
  • Technical knowledge of calculations and design programmes like AutoCAD/SketchUp (or equivalent technical drawing tools);
  • Technical knowledge of GIS software is desirable;
  • Experience in using data collection tools to collect on-site data (e.g. KoBo toolbox);
  • Work experience in the context of displacement is desirable;
  • Prior work experience as Shelter Officer is highly desirable;
  • Prior experience in working with UNHCR and IOM is an asset.

General profile requirements

  • German citizenship;
  • University degree or relevant occupational training (preferably in the professional profile for which you are applying);
  • Several years of relevant professional experience, at least partly in the desired professional profile in a humanitarian setting (or comparable);
  • Experience in crisis or conflict areas desirable;
  • Excellent oral and written English language skills (C1 level and above);
  • Further language skills at level B2 and above desirable (especially French, Spanish and Arabic – in some cases level B1 may be acceptable for Arabic language skills);
  • Physical and mental fitness for travel to tropical areas;
  • Availability for a deployment for up to six months or longer.

How to apply

Women are especially encouraged to apply.

Deadline: Open until filled

To apply for ZIF’s Expert Pool, please visit the following website (redirecting to German application page):

Kindly note that you apply for a humanitarian roster. ZIF currently finalizes relevant standby agreements. A deployment opportunity may arise in the near future.

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