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Post Title:

Post Level: P-3

Programme Officer

Major Duties and Responsibilities

1. Assesses refugee needs in close collaboration with government authorities, implementing partners and the refugees in order to allow the proper design and setting of programme objectives within the framework of UNHCR policies, procedures, guidelines and stated country objectives;

2. Assists in the management of UNHCR’s assistance programmes in the form of project submissions, revisions and reallocations throughout the project lifecycle of needs assessments, project design, budgeting, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation in order to fulfil the requirements of UNHCR’s Operations Management System;

3. Ensure that the operations and the projects implemented under it adhere to the rules and regulations stipulated in the UNHCR Manual.

4. Ensures proper financial control of projects through the analysis of sub- project monitoring reports (SPMR) and project monitoring reports (PMR) to verify that any disbursements are in accordance with project budgets and with the UN Financial Rules and Regulations;

5. Liaises with government ministries, implementing partners and other UN agencies as appropriate to obtain maximum benefit and efficient use of resources in the implementation of assistance programmes;

6. Controls the implementation of sub-project agreements and any parts of projects directly implemented by UNHCR though appropriate financial and physical monitoring;

7. Trains and provides guidance to UNHCR and implementing partner staff in programme management procedures, including the use of relevant computer applications;

8. Undertakes missions within the geographical area of responsibility to evaluate and improve the planning, programming, implementation and monitoring of assistance projects.

9. Undertakes other duties as required.

Normal Purpose of Typical Job Contacts


matters of non-routine significance. WITH EXTERNAL PARTIES:

others on matters of non-routine significance. Contacts are predominantly with persons on subject matters of importance to Organization's programmes (e.g. counterparts in other organizations or at working level in national Governments).

To persuade and obtain assistance of others on

To persuade and obtain assistance of

Managerial Competencies (if any) (see attached Annex)


Strategic Planning


Managing Performance


Coaching and Developing Staff


Managing Resources


Political and Organisation Awareness

Functional Competencies (see attached Annex)


Assessing beneficiary needs and availability of resources


Monitoring and evaluating programes/projects


Ensuring effective project financial control


Facilitating programme delivery by implementing partners


Implementing field operations


Providing programming support and advice

Academic Qualifications

First University degree (BA/BSc.) in Economics, Business Administration, Social Science Advanced University degree (MA/MSc.) in Economics, Business Administration, Social Science

Other relevant qualifications in addition to the above

Diploma in Administration

Humanitarian studies

Accounting studies/qualifications

Studies in logistics, project design, planning, social services, demographics/population

Relevant Experience

Minimum 8 years experience in programme management, project control in a medium-sized projects, 2 years of which in an international capacity.

2 or more years UN-based experience and/or work in a multi-cultural, multi-national context

Work in a developing country (other than own) in humanitarian or developmental work

Work experience in the humanitarian field

Language skills

Excellent knowledge of English and French (or another UN official language)

Knowledge of other languages an asset.

Managerial and Technical Skills

Progressive managerial path/familiarity with standards of organisation management

Supervisory responsibility

Ability to manage medium-sized programme/project under hardship field conditions

Ability to prepare and administer budgets/resources/people

Negotiating/diplomatic skills

Ability to work with computers

Demonstrated writing/drafting skills

Good communication/inter-personal skills

Ability to teach and train others




Demonstrates the ability to develop and communicate a clear strategic direction, taking into account the needs of beneficiaries and the interests of the organisation as a whole.


Managers within UNHCR need to be capable of determining the strategic direction for their area of responsibility in support of UNHCR's overall policy and objectives. A key requirement is the ability to stand back and focus on long term direction, whilst at the same time maintaining an appropriate level of involvement in day to day issues.


I Steps back from operational issues to focus on a long term direction for the area of responsibility which directly links the needs of beneficiaries with overall UNHCR objectives.

II Consults with groups inside and outside the organisation as appropriate to ensure that the strategic direction is realistic and suitable.

III Develops challenging but realistic goals for the area of responsibility which provide staff, donors and other interested parties with a clear and common understanding of the strategic direction.

IV Involves staff in developing the strategic direction, and obtains their commitment to the proposed strategic direction and goals and the means to achieve them.



Demonstrates the ability to provide effective coaching and encourage appropriate development activities in order to support staff in identifying and meeting their training and development needs.


Staff development plays an important role in ensuring that staff are able to achieve their objectives, meet required standards of performance in their current job, and acquire skills needed for future career plans where appropriate. But staff development is not limited to formal, off-the-job training courses. Managers have a crucial role to play, by helping staff understand their training and development needs, and providing them with opportunities to meet them. In support of this, managers need to recognise the importance of good coaching skills.


I Supports staff in identifying their training and development needs in relation to competencies required to do the job.

II Provides effective feedback and coaching to staff managed, with the aim of guiding them to improve their performance or acquire new competencies.

III Seeks to maximise the use of on-the-job opportunities for developing staff, and in lieu of formal training, supports cost effective methods of development.

IV Encourages learning activities which foster team building and effective teamwork.

V Counsels staff in reviewing their future career options and identifying realistic career goals; facilitates achievement of development activities in support of goals where feasible and appropriate.



Demonstrates the ability to plan and use resources (people and/or finance

and/or physical assets) in accordance with UNHCR/UN guidelines and

delegated accountability so that objectives are achieved in the most effective manner possible.


Resources are limited and must be used to the best effect for the benefit of refugees, to maintain the essential staff confidence in management, and government confidence in UNHCR.


I Uses the agreed strategic direction for the area of responsibility to identify, prioritise and plan resource requirements as accurately and as early as possible.

II Identifies the resources currently in place which would support achievement of the strategic direction and puts plans in place to gain additional resources if required.

III Establishes 'indicators' to monitor the progress and effectiveness of plans and use of resources.

IV Monitors the use of resources to ensure they are in line with UNHCR/UN rules and guidelines, and adjusts resource plans as required in response to changing circumstances.

V Reviews and evaluates achievements to enhance future planning and resource utilisation.



Identifies and understands relationships, constraints and pressures affecting others, and especially refugees.


This competency underlines the importance for managers to be able to understand the motivations and objectives of others. It recognises the need to use both formal and informal networks to negotiate and gain commitment to the achievement of particular strategies or activities. To do this, the manager must appreciate others' concerns and requirements, and use this understanding to shape his/her approach. It involves influencing others to take personal responsibility for carrying forward ideas, and to be genuinely committed to outcomes. It is particularly important when negotiating with external contacts, such as government authorities.


I Understands and takes due account of the political objectives of organisations and individuals with whom UNHCR must work and whose actions affect the fate of refugees.

II Takes time to understand the culture and hierarchies of relevant external organisations.

III Continually looks for opportunities to add new contacts to strengthen his/her formal or informal network within UNHCR, with government authorities and with NGO, the wider UN community and other relevant organisations.

IV Makes consistent efforts to develop and utilise working relationships to achieve work-related goals, assisting and supporting contacts in their objectives where possible.

V Anticipates the effects of own actions and words in the culture/environment, and adapts own style appropriately to maximise impact and build trust.



Demonstrates the ability to identify and analyse relevant information, and use this to develop programmes/projects which meet beneficiary needs whilst

taking account of availability of resources.


I Thoroughly researches the nature and composition of beneficiary population and local communities, and availability of resources, to support development of programmes/projects which will work effectively in the environment, which respect local culture and customs, and which will prevent or reduce vulnerability.

II Closely monitors the evolving situation, using a range of techniques including observation, communication with beneficiary groups and implementing partners, meetings and reports and close collaboration with other UNHCR staff, to gather regular, up-to-date information on changing needs, paying specific attention to ethnic, national, gender and age groups and paying particular attention to identifying vulnerable groups.

III Objectively reviews current programmes and projects, encouraging the involvement of beneficiary groups, local authorities and implementing partners where appropriate, to determine how far they meet existing and new needs. Uses these reviews as a basis for enhancing the impact of UNHCR projects.

IV Identifies a range of information sources, and collects and analyses information. Interprets and forecasts trends and utilises the results for development and refinement of UNHCR programmes/projects

V Looks beyond immediate needs to determine likely future needs and service requirements and assesses how these may affect plans being developed.



Demonstrates the ability to ensure the appropriate use of programme/project funds through careful monitoring, control and management of programme activities.


I Verifies that implementing partners' requests for payment of instalments are justified on the basis of monitoring the rate of implementation and expenditure as a percentage of previous instalments paid. Ensures timely payment of instalments (which implies timely cash replenishment) to partners so as to avoid unnecessary delays in project implementation.

II Monitors level and phased use of funds, and obligations level, to ensure that overall expenditure will not exceed agreed budget levels; revises budgets accordingly.

III Carries out audits of implementing partners' accounts to ensure that funding is properly disbursed and justified.

IV Elicits from implementing partners timely submission of Sub-Project Monitoring Reports and uses these reports to improve project implementation, consequently submitting Project Monitoring Reports, in a timely fashion, in accordance with the UNHCR programming cycle.

V Ensures that UNHCR and implementing partners' procurement of goods and services is carried out, recorded and documented in a manner consistent with UNHCR Guidelines and Financial Rules (i.e. obtaining and verifying reports on non-expendable property, and timely disposal of these assets purchased with UNHCR funds).

VI Develops country-specific management tools for project monitoring and control.



Demonstrates the ability to build relationships and work closely with implementing partners, in support of successful programme implementation.


I Ensures sub-agreements are developed in close cooperation with implementing partners in sufficient detail to facilitate project monitoring, are consistent with the letter of instruction, and are executed in a timely fashion so as to avoid unnecessary delays in project implementation.

II In liaison with UNHCR colleagues (programme, field, other specialists etc) builds a mutually supportive partnership and maintains regular contact with implementing partners, so that problems can be addressed at an early stage and resolved if possible on the spot, in a firm but constructive manner which does not harm future working relations.

III Understands and applies the principles of effective programme management in setting up well balanced implementation teams where appropriate.

IV Conducts negotiations with implementing partners which result in an agreement on project content and funding, managing expectations by clarifying priorities and explaining constraints, and providing firm but constructive advice on how proposals can be modified in line with funding.

V Keeps up to date with the activities of different implementing partners to ensure they are coordinated to best effect and overlaps are avoided, acting as a mediator to reconcile different approaches, focus efforts in the same direction, and encourage learning from each other as a means of improving overall programme/project performance.



Demonstrates the ability to provide sound, well argued advice which supports the achievement of programme objectives.


I Sets and communicates standards for programme development which ensure that information on best programming practice is disseminated in the country, and applied in everyday programming activities.

II Provides practical and realistic advice to other staff on developing effective programme proposals, monitoring programmes and resolving problems; coaches them to find their own solutions in accordance with guidelines and best practice, and apply the learning in the future.

III Documents examples of effective programming practice, as well as lessons learned in project implementation.

IV Assess training and development needs for a range of staff and plans, organises and delivers training activities which are both tailored to meet the current needs of the organisation and delivered in a style that is appropriate to the audience.

V Plans and undertakes field missions, in relation to programme review, seeking to maximise their impact by drafting appropriate terms of reference, providing professional advice and undertaking follow up actions.