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UNHCR are recruiting Senior Development Officers

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by Impactpool

UNHCR are now recruiting Senior Development Officers to support them in the shift from an emergency-focused approach to a more comprehensive model that recognizes the value of engaging in development processes with development partners. In UNHCR, this is a new category of staff from a variety of development-related backgrounds. Selected candidates have the opportunity to work in different field locations as well as the Headquarters (Geneva).


Why work as a Development Officer for UNHCR?

Forced displacement caused by fragility, conflict, and violence is a critical development challenge. By 2030, up to 2/3 of the world's extreme poor could live in settings affected by fragility, conflict and violence. Refugees, internally displaced persons, asylum seekers and stateless persons make up a portion of these poor and are equally of concern to development actors as to humanitarians. The SDGs recognize the importance of such populations in their objective to ‘leave no one behind’.

As of the end of 2019, there were 79.5 million forcibly displaced people in the world of which 82% were hosted in countries located in developing regions. More worrying, some 80% of refugees have been displaced for more than 5 years; many for decades. Building resilience and finding lasting solutions has become more challenging in this new paradigm.

The Global Refugee Compact (GCR) underscored the need for UNHCR to take a ‘whole of society’ approach in order to fulfill its mandate for protection and solutions for refugees and other persons of concern. Development actors are vital to addressing these challenges. UNHCR is broadening and deepening its partnerships with development actors – host government line ministries, multilateral development banks, bilateral development agencies and development NGOs. Through developing and implementing approaches to address the humanitarian-development nexus, collecting and sharing knowledge and good practice and building trustful partnerships, UNHCR hopes to ensure better outcomes for persons of concern. 


Would you like to bring your development expertise and professional experience to UNHCR to help move this agenda forward?

To support UNHCR in the shift from an emergency-focused approach to a more comprehensive model that recognizes the value of engaging in development processes with development partners, UNHCR is recruiting Senior Development Officers (SDOs) – a new category of staff -  from a variety of development-related backgrounds. Bringing your expertise and capacity to UNHCR’s work at this critical venture will make all the difference in creating opportunities for refugees and other forcibly displaced and stateless persons to live with greater dignity and opportunity. 

The role of SDOs is unique and innovative within UNHCR’s workforce. They contribute to facilitating comprehensive responses at regional and country levels by identifying opportunities and operationalizing approaches to strengthen the humanitarian-development-peace nexus. SDOs build strong partnerships and facilitate joint analysis, planning and programming with development actors. SDOs build awareness and capacity with UNHCR staff on partnerships with development actors and on development programming and processes. 


Why has UNHCR decided to create the role?

  • To create stronger alliances with actors who can help achieve the objectives of the GCR, especially development actors, whose policies, planning, advocacy and programmes can have significant medium to longer-term impact on the lives of forcibly displaced.
  • To have a dedicated workforce that understands development actors and can create synergies that benefit persons of concern, host governments and host communities.
  • To deepen UNHCR’s understanding of national, local and sectoral development plans to further the inclusion agenda.  


Why will it be exciting to be a development officer in UNHCR?  

  • Because it is a relatively new field of work where the incumbent has significant space to mold the process using their own creativity and agency.
  • Because you would join a team of dynamic and committed colleagues in field offices, regional bureaus or headquarters looking for people with your expertise.
  • Because it is personally satisfying to know that, through this work, you can make a real difference in people’s lives.
  • Because the experience and knowledge you will gain working with forcibly displaced persons and UNHCR will make you sought after for this expertise if you wish to return to the development arena.


What does it mean to apply to a talent pool?

As part of this profile-based recruitment exercise, all candidates undergo a comprehensive selection process, which includes basic eligibility screening, followed by various assessments (language and functional assessment, as appropriate) and grading.  Candidates who pass these assessments will be part of the ready-to-hire pool and may be contacted by a recruiter according to the needs of UNHCR to fill positions. Being in the ready-to-hire pool means that you are part of the candidates who could be proposed to the Hiring Managers to fill positions and they will take the final decision after a comprehensive review. Once endorsed in the Talent Pools, shortlisted candidates are contacted to ascertain their availability, for deployment purposes and ongoing interest mostly for temporary appointments.  Successful applicants remain in the Talent Pool. The due focus will be given on language needs, diversity and gender in maintaining these various talent pools. 

This Position Is Closed - Explore UNHCR vacancies

The deadline for applications closed November 1, 2020 (midnight Geneva time).

UNHCR strongly encourages women as well as candidates from the Global South
and persons with disabilities to apply.

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