Team Leader, Operations Support Office and Field Protection Coordinator (re-advertised)

Employer: UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East
Location: Gaza
Closing date: 17 Jan 2016

Grade: P4
Closing: 17 January 2016

UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and is mandated to provide assistance and protection to a population of some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip to achieve their full potential in human development, pending a just solution to their plight. UNRWA’s services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, microfinance and emergency assistance. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions. UNRWA is the largest UN operation in the Middle East with more than 30,000 staff. For its international team, UNRWA is seeking to employ a qualified:

Team Leader, Operations Support Office and Field Protection Coordinator (re-advertised)

Note: Applicants to vacancy announcement 15-FO-GA-27 need not re-apply.

The Director of UNRWA Operations in Gaza is accountable for the Operations Support Office programme, particularly its work to support the neutrality of UNRWA operations and for the overall leadership and accountability of protection within the field’s operations. The Deputy Director for UNRWA Operations is responsible for the senior direct supervision and guidance of the OSO and neutrality and protection work. The Team Leader, Operations Support Office and Field Protection Coordinator is responsible for the day-to-day management of the Operations Support Office team in Gaza as well as for leading and co-ordinating UNRWA Gaza’s efforts to integrate the principles and practice of protection into its programmes and operations. This is a position for a mature professional in the humanitarian field who possesses a thorough understanding of humanitarian principles and operations and the programmatic, advocacy and conceptual aspects of protection, and possesses the skills to translate these principles into practice for the benefit of Palestine refugees in Gaza. In addition, the incumbent and OSO Team regularly support the Field in planning and hosting delegations visiting Gaza. In accordance with the established Agency policy and procedures, the incumbent will:

Primary Duties and Responsibilities
· Lead the Operations Support Office, which contributes to the Agency’s humanitarian programmes in the Gaza Strip by proactively monitoring, documenting and reporting on the living conditions of Palestine refugees and protection, and Agency adherence to humanitarian principles, particularly neutrality;

· Provide oversight to the team’s inspection process of UNRWA’s property and any assets that the Agency controls to monitor that they are used only as intended. Follow up with relevant internal and external interlocutors on issues related to the neutrality and integrity of UNRWA property and assets;

· Oversee the daily management of the Operations Support Office team in accordance with the established work plans and objectives including plan and execution of all operations; oversee resource allocation, establish and maintain operational guidelines and issue instructions to his/her team members and administrative duties related to the assigned staff and for all logistics related to the programme;

· Lead the implementation of the Agency’s protection strategy (including GBV and Child Protection) at the field level by developing and coordinating the implementation of the Gaza Field Office’s multi-year protection operational plan and protection work plans;

· Support the OSO team to monitor, document, refer and report on protection incidents and cases, patterns and trends and advise the development of response mechanisms by programmes; assist Chiefs of Area Offices, and other governorate-level staff in identifying and responding to specific protection needs and well-being of refugees;

· Ensure that rapidly changing protection needs are monitored and addressed during escalations of violence; provide the Director with regular, analytical reports on protection threats of refugees and advise on decision points; ensure that UNRWA advocacy messages and strategies are well-informed by protection and operational challenges on the ground;

· Provide technical guidance on protection, including all aspects of GBV, child protection and disability, so that it is mainstreamed throughout UNRWA programmes, planning and service delivery; help develop a field-office wide case referral mechanism; facilitate the training of programme staff on protection work plans;

· Contribute to the organising and briefing of high level delegations.

· Maintain close cooperation with the Gaza Field Office (GFO) Field Security Officer (FSO) and UN Department of Safety and Security (DSS) in order to brief OSOs on developments in the security situation, to guide OSOs while in the field, to inform the Agency’s protection and neutrality intervention efforts, and to ensure information gathered is shared;

· Serve as the protection focal point for actors external to the UNRWA Gaza office; liaise and attend the Protection Cluster and Child Protection Working Group; coordinate with OHCHR, OCHA, relevant NGOs and other protection partners in the Gaza Strip; collaborate with OHCHR and others in planning and hosting human rights delegation visits and other protection-focused delegations when visiting Gaza such as special rapporteurs and provide inputs to the international human right mechanisms;

· Monitor political and operational developments in the Gaza Strip, the occupied Palestinian territory and the region, particularly in relation to the development of law and policy in the area of refugees’ protection.

Professional Knowledge and Experience
Advanced university degree from an accredited educational institution in political or social sciences or law, or related discipline;
A minimum of eight years of relevant professional experience managing or supporting large-scale humanitarian operations, as well as in protection response in emergency contexts, including two years of international experience outside one’s home country;
Excellent command of written and spoken English.

Excellent interpersonal skills, mature, independent, disciplined, loyal, self-confident and self-assured;
Excellent analysis, communication, negotiation skills and demonstrated ability to handle sensitive situations diplomatically;
Ability to work under pressure and lead a team;
Flexible, able to assess and analyse situations quickly, objectively and prudently;
Politically aware while remaining neutral, impartial and discreet at all times;
Strong knowledge of and exposure to a range of human rights issues to include approaches and techniques to address sensitive problems;
Ability to establish priorities and to plan work assignments.

Desirable Qualifications
Experience in applying knowledge of public international law, particularly of international refugee law, international humanitarian law and international human rights law;
Practical experience in ways of incorporating operational humanitarian and protection principles within a human development framework;
Experience working or leading protection efforts in an acute complex emergency;
Knowledge and understanding of the Palestine refugees situation in the political context of the Middle East and specifically in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt);
Familiarity with relevant parts of the UN system (OHCHR, UNHCR, UNICEF, OCHA);
Working knowledge of Arabic.


When the minimum requirements are not fully met, the Human Resources Department may substitute part of the unmet requirements under UNRWA’s equivalency determination guidelines with a combination of relevant academic qualification, additional professional training and/or progressive relevant work experience. Note: Work experience alone or formal qualifications with no relevant work experience are not considered sufficient for an equivalency determination.

Conditions of Service

UNRWA offers an attractive compensation package including annual salary starting at $73,338 net tax free with dependants or$68,294 single, plus post adjustment of 55.8%** (subject to change without notice). Other benefits, subject to eligibility, include education grant, dependency allowance, home leave, pension fund, health insurance and 6 weeks annual leave. Gaza is currently a non-family duty station. Staff members based in Gaza are entitled to additional benefits, subject to eligibility, including Additional Hardship Allowance, danger pay and R&R leave, currently every 8 weeks (according to the UN classification of the duty station) but subject to change without notice. Initial contract is for one year, with the possibility of further extensions subject to the availability of funds, performance and the continuing need for the post.

How to Apply

To start the application process, applicants are required to register at by creating a personal profile and completing UNRWA Personal History Form. Please note that UNRWA only accepts degrees from accredited educational institutions. Only applications received through will be considered. Due to the large number of applications received for UNRWA vacancies, only applicants short-listed for interview will be contacted.

The United Nations does not charge fees at any stage of the recruitment process (application, testing, interviewing, etc). The United Nations does not concern itself with information related to bank accounts.

General Information

UNRWA encourages applications from qualified women.

UNRWA welcomes applications from qualified candidates with disabilities.

UNRWA is a United Nations organization whose staff are expected to uphold the highest standards of integrity, neutrality and impartiality. This includes respect for and commitment to human rights, diversity, and non-violent means of dealing with all kinds of conflict. UNRWA staff are expected to uphold these values at all times, both at work and outside. Only persons who fully and unconditionally commit to these values should consider applying for UNRWA jobs. UNRWA is a non-smoking work environment.

The statutory retirement age for staff entering or re-entering service in the UN Common System after 1 January 1990 is 62 and 65 after 1 January 2014. For external applicants, only those who are expected to complete a term of appointment will normally be considered.

The Agency reserves the right not to make an appointment, to make an appointment at a lower grade, or to make an appointment with a modified job description.

On appointment, all individuals will be asked to sign a self-attestation, confirming that they have not committed, been convicted of, or prosecuted for, any criminal offence and that they have not been involved, by act or omission, in the commission of any violation of international human rights law or international humanitarian law. Date of issue: 9 December 2015 / CF