Job Location: Kathmandu, Nepal
Only candidates who are not nationals of the country of assignment are eligible to apply to this position
Hardship Level: B
Family Type: Family
Residential location (if applicable)
Staff Member / Affiliate Type
* Staff members will not normally serve in International Professional positions in the country of their nationality. In addition, in case of a first appointment upon recruitment, the assignment must be outside the staff member’s country of nationality.
In practical terms this means that you are not eligible to apply for International Professional vacancies advertised in the country where you are national of.
Regular > Regular Assignment
Remote work accepted
Target Start Date
Job Posting End Date
November 9, 2023
Standard Job Description
Organizational Setting and Work Relationships
As the High Commissioner’s senior representative in the country, the Representative provides managerial leadership and oversight to ensure UNHCR’s effective performance in the country of her/his assignment. The incumbent usually manages a budget of less than USD 6 millions.
Reporting to the Director of the Bureau, the Representative is responsible and accountable for translating organizational and Bureau-wide objectives and policies into effective programmes. Through a continuous process of situational analysis, the Representative works with his/her team to identify strategic objectives and develop coherent, consistent and effective responses to the challenges faced. He/she is responsible for ensuring the adequate provision of technical support and guidance to the office to enable them to fulfil their accountabilities, including those outlined in the Terms of Reference of UNHCR offices as well as the Age, Gender and Diversity Accountability Framework. UNHCR is well integrated into the UN Resident Coordinator System.
The Representative works to ensure that UNHCR is widely perceived as an effective and trusted partner. S/he is responsible for creating effective networks, relationships, partnerships, and synergies with governments, NGOs, relevant regional political and other fora, civil society, persons of concern and other key strategic partners and actors. He/she lends visibility to important strategic issues, promotes concerted action and the commitment of sufficient resources and expertise to address important matters of concern to UNHCR.
In a complex and demanding political and operational environment, the Representative strives to build a dynamic and sufficiently capacitated team. S/he devolves appropriate authorities, facilitates the sharing of expertise and best practice and creates a climate of collaboration, which aims to empower and motivate colleagues to approach challenges with insight and innovation and to work toward achieving measurable and effective results. The Representative is responsible to ensure a vibrant Multi-Functional Team approach is established and employed at different stages of the operations management cycle, including in programme monitoring, and engaging the participation of relevant functions within the operation. S/he has a responsibility to inform the Bureau and other relevant parties at Headquarters of key political and operational developments in a timely manner.
The comports and actions of the Representative must always reflect the core values and principles embodied in UNHCR¿s mandate. A failure on the part of the Representative to adhere to these standards would have negative implications for UNHCR’s credibility, operations and, ultimately, the protection and well-being of persons of concern to the Office.
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.
- Stay abreast of the challenges posed by the local political context.
- Manage a consultative process within the country operations and with external partners.
- Develop and implement a comprehensive communications strategy that generates political and financial support for UNHCR¿s operations.
Mobilize financial support for UNHCR corporate priorities as well for country specific projects.
- Implement a results-oriented approach, engaging a robust Multi-Functional Team, for assessing, designing, delivering and monitoring the country operation.
- Ensure that the protection strategy is fully integrated into the country operations plan and that necessary resources are allocated to it.
- Ensure the country operation¿s adherence to UNHCR¿s policy on Age, Gender and Diversity Mainstreaming (AGDM).
- Ensure the country operation plans are consistent with the regional and global strategic priorities; manage a participatory process, with stakeholders, to apply UNHCR¿s standards and indicators in assessing and measuring the performance of the country operations.
- Promote accession to the Convention and Protocol, and ensure the application of protection standards in the treatment of persons of concern especially women and children.
- Ensure persons of concern, especially women and children, have access to relevant information; ensure that cases of sexual violence and abuse against girls and boys are reported and dealt with expeditiously.
- Ensure the engagement of UNHCR in the UNCT, UN common programming, planning and funding activities and to actively contribute in the establishment of the CCA/UNDAF and the consequent joint implementation activities.
- Participate in the Cluster approach, ensure UNHCR¿s Cluster Lead role and implement other IASC and inter-agency/UN policies.
- Ensure that risks to the operation¿s objectives are regularly assessed, priority risks are identified and risk treatments for the priority risks form an integral part of the operations plans.
- Ensure that staff and financial resources are commensurate with operational objectives.
- Ensure effective and efficient management of resources within the rules and procedures of UNHCR.
- Establish and manage local administrative mechanisms such as a Local Contracts (or Purchasing) Committee, Local Asset Management Board and APPC.
- Ensure local compliance with UNHCR¿s human resources (HR) policies including on gender, disabilities, diversity, ethics and HIV/AIDS.
- Manage a process of recruitment, assignment and reassignment of local staff for the country operation, in accordance UN/UNHCR rules and procedures.
- Where necessary, identify the most appropriate affiliate workforce and optimize its use.
- In coordination with the Global Learning Centre, ensure that the learning needs of UNHCR¿s workforce in the country are identified, assessed and addressed.
- Exercise effective managerial oversight, direction, guidance and support and conduct regular performance appraisals and coaching.
- In close collaboration with the Designated Official (DO), UNDSS and UN country team/Security Management Team (SMT), gather and analyse information on the local security situation and play an active role in the inter-agency security and contingency planning processes.
- Ensure that appropriate security measures are in place to protect staff, and that the country operation complies with UN MOSS/MORSS staff security rules, guidelines and procedures
- Represent UNHCR in the UNCT/Humanitarian Country Team and other inter-agency fora.
- Decide on the country strategy and priorities, country operations plans, and approve the country operation¿s protection strategy.
- Enforce local compliance with UNHCR¿s global protection, programme, finance and human resources and security policies and standards.
- Negotiate and sign local agreements with implementing and operational partners.
- Authorize payments as per the organization’s Delegation of Authority Plan (DOAP) and in accordance with UN/UNHCR rules and procedures.
- Modify operational projects and reallocate funds, within the approved budgets and in respect of donor earmarking.
- Lead risk assessments and discussions with team(s) to proactively manage risks and seize opportunities impacting objectives. Ensure that risk management principles are integrated in decision-making both at strategic and operational levels. Allocate resources for planned treatments with resource requirements in Strategic Plans. Ensure that risks are managed to acceptable levels and escalate, as needed. If a Risk Owner, designate the Risk Focal Point and certify that the annual risk review is completed and ensure that the risk register is updated during the year, as needed.
- Perform other related duties as required.
Education & Professional Work Experience
Years of Experience / Degree Level
For P5 – 12 years relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or 11 years relevant experience with Graduate degree; or 10 years relevant experience with Doctorate degree
Field(s) of Education
Business Administration; International Relations; Law;
Political Science; Social Science; Human Resources Management;
or other relevant field.
(Field(s) of Education marked with an asterisk* are essential)
Certificates and/or Licenses
HCR Learning Prog; HCR Managing Operatns Lrng Prg; HCR Protection Learning Prg;
(Certificates and Licenses marked with an asterisk* are essential)
Relevant Job Experience
- Senior positions in a large governmental or international agency. Extensive knowledge of UNHCR operations and services.
- A high level of skill in management of broad programmes, political decision making and negotiating, as well as demonstrated tolerance to frequently changing and highly charged situations.
- Ability to lead strategic planning, change processes, results-based management and reporting.
- Ability to lead formulation, oversight of implementation, monitoring and evaluation of operations.
- Ability to manage for results: translates strategic aims into achievable plans, with established priorities, monitors them, making periodic adjustments as required.
- Ability to effectively represent UNHCR at the senior level in internal and external meetings and to build strong relationships with clients.
- Knowledge of geo-political realities and their socio-cultural implications.
- IT-Computer Literacy
- PG-Programme Management (programme cycles and reporting standards)
- PG-Results-Based Management
- MG-Field Operations Management
- UN-UN/UNHCR Inter-agency Policies, Standards, Programmes, and Partnerships
- UN-UN/UNHCR Mandate and Global Strategic Priorities
- MG-Political Decision Making
- MG-Change Management
- MG-Country/Regional Office Representation
- MG-Client Relationship Management
UN-Analysis of geo-political realities and their socio-cultural implications
(Functional Skills marked with an asterisk* are essential)
For International Professional and Field Service jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English.
For National Professional jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English and local language.
For General Service jobs: Knowledge of English and/or UN working language of the duty station if not English.
All UNHCR workforce members must individually and collectively, contribute towards a working environment where each person feels safe, and empowered to perform their duties. This includes by demonstrating no tolerance for sexual exploitation and abuse, harassment including sexual harassment, sexism, gender inequality, discrimination and abuse of power.
As individuals and as managers, all must be proactive in preventing and responding to inappropriate conduct, support ongoing dialogue on these matters and speaking up and seeking guidance and support from relevant UNHCR resources when these issues arise.
This is a Standard Job Description for all UNHCR jobs with this job title and grade level. The Operational Context may contain additional essential and/or desirable qualifications relating to the specific operation and/or position. Any such requirements are incorporated by reference in this Job Description and will be considered for the screening, shortlisting and selection of candidates.
Desired Candidate Profile
Strong leadership, management and inter-personal skills;
Political awareness, patience, diplomacy, and a principled approach;
Solid understanding of protection, combined with excellent analytical skills and creativity to assess risk and to address the protection needs of persons of concern;
Solid understanding of statelessness and minority rights responses.
Strong foundation in operations management, including programme, administration and resource mobilization;
Proven experience operating within an inter-agency context coupled with an ability to manage stakeholder relations with government, diplomatic community, UN and civil society;
The ability to establish a long-term vision and an ability to design short-, mid- and long-term strategies for the country operation in a changing and challenging working environment; and,
Experience with UN and Humanitarian Country Teams, as well as Security Management Team.
Experience with natural disaster, climate change and linkages to forced displacement response.
Required languages (expected Overall ability is at least B2 level):
Occupational Safety and Health Considerations
To view occupational safety and health considerations for this duty station, please visit this link:
- Strong leadership, management and inter-personal skills;
- Political awareness, patience, diplomacy, and a principled approach;
- Solid understanding of protection, combined with excellent analytical skills and creativity to assess risk and to address the protection needs of persons of concern;
- Solid understanding of statelessness and minority rights responses.
- Strong foundation in operations management, including programme, administration and resource mobilization;
- Proven experience operating within an inter-agency context coupled with an ability to manage stakeholder relations with government, diplomatic community, UN and civil society;
- The ability to establish a long-term vision and an ability to design short-, mid- and long-term strategies for the country operation in a changing and challenging working environment; and,
- Experience with UN and Humanitarian Country Teams, as well as Security Management Team.
- Experience with natural disaster, climate change and linkages to forced displacement response.
The Nepal operation is both complex and diverse and most of the issues dealt with by UNHCR have a high degree of political sensitivity. The Operation consists of two Offices; the Representation in Kathmandu with approximately 25 staff members, and a Sub-Office in Damak with approximately 55 staff members. The Program centres around four distinct population planning groups with its operational budget spread across two pillars.
In line with its Protection and Solutions Strategy for 2017-19, the Nepal Operation focuses on four populations of concern: (1) Bhutanese refugees; (2) Tibetan refugees; (3) urban refugees in Kathmandu; and (4) persons without citizenship certificates or related civil registry documents. All caseloads in Nepal are complex and potentially sensitive – both nationally and within the regional geopolitical context – thereby necessitating prudence and close collaboration with the Government of Nepal and other stakeholders.
On 20 September 2015, the new Constitution of Nepal was promulgated, representing an important element of the peace process after the Civil War (1996-2006). The Constitution also created a federal system of government which is progressively being rolled out, one of the major developments being the recently held local, provincial and federal elections. The federalization process will impact UNHCR’s engagement with the Government and joint activities on multiple levels, requiring adept change management and flexibility. Regular changes in coalition governments – a defining feature of Nepali politics for decades – will also present challenges in the implementation of joint strategies, which the Office will manage in close collaboration with government partners.
(1) BHUTANESE REFUGEES: The large-scale Bhutanese resettlement programme that was launched in 2007 has drawn to a close, with over 111,400 refugees resettled to third countries. With the conclusion of resettlement, space was created to pursue alternative durable solutions for the remaining 8041 Bhutanese refugees who are projected to remain in Nepal as of January 2018. The Office will support advocacy efforts of the Bhutan Core Group (BCG) in the context of voluntary repatriation and, where feasible, use its good offices to facilitate dialogue. UNHCR will also reinforce efforts to increase the self-reliance of refugees through initiatives in the spheres of livelihoods, health, education, and community-based protection, whilst advocating for the inclusion of refugees in national services. Particular emphasis will be placed on strengthening linkages with host communities, and creating shared socio-economic spaces between refugees and local communities through strategic partnerships, site planning and multi-sectoral initiatives that benefit both refugees and host communities.
(2) TIBETAN REFUGEES: As of 1 January 2018, it is projected that approximately 14,000 long-staying Tibetan refugees will remain in Nepal, with 80 Tibetan New Arrivals (TNAs) reaching Nepal during the course of the year and requiring assistance to transit to a third country. In 2018, it is anticipated that the main challenges Tibetan long-stayers will face relate to documentation, in addition to administrative obstacles in the sphere of livelihoods. In these contexts, the Office will provide technical support in a low-profile manner, respecting geopolitical sensitivities.
(3) URBAN REFUGEES: UNHCR will conduct refugee status determination (RSD) under its mandate in strategic fashion for a small urban caseload. In the solutions context, the Office will prioritise self-reliance and income-generation initiatives, whilst continuing to address education, health and protection issues. As of 30 November 2017, there are 533 urban refugees and 157 urban asylum seekers originating from 9 different countries. The population figure is essentially stable, but the Office is closely monitoring the prospect of modest numbers of new Rohingya refugees in view of the ongoing emergency in Bangladesh and possible restrictions on Rohingya refugees in India.
(4) CITIZENSHIP: In 2018, UNHCR and partners will, in close collaboration with the Government, focus on the provision of legal analysis, technical advice and capacity-building activities in support of the national authorities to further bring relevant norms in line with international standards, and to facilitate the issuance of citizenship certificates to eligible persons. The Office will also provide technical support for the ongoing reform of civil registry systems.
(5) Nepal has been significantly impacted by climate change, natural disaster and related emergency response concerns are a key deliverable, along with effective skills and experience with contingency planning.
Taking into account the reduced Bhutanese refugee population and a shift from resettlement to alternative solutions, staffing rationalisation in Damak will continue in 2018. In 2018, Sub-Office Damak envisions a reduction of staffing (UNHCR posts and affiliate workforce) approaching 50%, as staffing structures are rationalised and increasing responsibility is transferred to the local authorities, partners, refugees and the host community. In 2019, further reductions are contemplated, which will bring the Sub-Office to the size of a Field Office, as BO Kathmandu assumes greater direct management of the Bhutanese caseload. From 2018-20, BO Kathmandu also envisions a rationalisation of staffing, with the downgrading and discontinuation of select posts. BO Kathmandu staff will continue to exclusively cover the Tibetan refugee, urban refugee, and citizenship caseloads, while providing increasing support to the Sub-Office in Damak as downsizing continues into 2018 and 2019.
Working and Living Conditions:
- Nepal is a landlocked country, commonly divided into three physiographic areas: Mountain, Hill and Terai. The capital city, Kathmandu, which falls in the hilly region, has a fairly temperate climate.
- Kathmandu has the only international airport in the country, which connects it to major cities around the world. Though the city has all major facilities, including hospitals, schools and restaurants, road safety, air and water pollution remain major concerns.
- Security Level 2 (Low) is applicable in Kathmandu and other major cities of the country. All UN staff reassigned to Nepal should attend the radio and security briefing provided by DSS.
- There is no direct threat to UN/staff.
- In Kathmandu, ongoing vigilance and adherence to security protocols are required in the context of the urban refugee programme, where security risks must be managed in relation to reception, RSD interviews, counselling activities, and assistance delivery. Security threats including protests, sit-ins or violent acts in or near the office premises – and potentially away from the office – exist and must be regularly assessed, whilst analysing risks and implementing measures to mitigate them.
- The security situation in the Bhutanese refugee camps and surrounding area is generally stable, but with increasing security risks related to the downsizing of the operation, reductions in assistance; in particular food ration cuts, and the conclusion of resettlement. Threats against staff, protests, sit-ins, roadblocks and self-harm must be carefully assessed, with ongoing risk analysis and the implementation of mitigating measures. The risk of assault and theft in Damak city also exists, particularly at night, and requires vigilance by staff and partners. At the same time, the risk of political turbulence in the Far Eastern Region continues, with related strikes, roadblocks and violence requiring careful monitoring.
Bachelor of Arts (BA): Business Administration, Bachelor of Arts (BA): Human Resources Management, Bachelor of Arts (BA): International Relations, Bachelor of Arts (BA): Law, Bachelor of Arts (BA): Political Science, Bachelor of Arts (BA): Social Science
HCR Learning Program – UNHCR, HCR Protection Learning Program – UNHCR, Programme Management (PM) 1 – UNHCR
Accountability, Analytical thinking, Client & results orientation, Commitment to continuous learning, Communication, Empowering & building trust, Judgement & decision making, Leadership, Managing performance, Managing resource, Negotiation & conflict resolution, Organizational awareness, Political awareness, Strategic planning & visions, Teamwork & collaboration
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Bi-annual Compendium 2023 Part A – October 2023
This position doesn’t require a functional clearance