Senior Shelter Cluster Coordination Officer, P4, Kinshasa At UN High Commissioner for Refugees

Organizational Setting and Work Relationships

In complex humanitarian emergencies where UNHCR is designated as the Shelter Cluster (SC) Lead Agency under the Cluster Approach, the Senior Shelter Cluster Coordination Officer performs a dedicated coordination, strategy development and advocacy function. The incumbent reports directly to the UNHCR Representative who has final accountability for the performance of UNHCR as Cluster Lead Agency. The incumbent liaises with the Global Shelter Cluster Coordinator who has global responsibility for the performance of UNHCR as Global Cluster Lead Agency.

The Senior Shelter Cluster Coordination Officer effectuates UNHCR’s commitment to work within the framework of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) and the Cluster Approach. The UNHCR SC Lead Agency functions, embodied in the role of the Senior Shelter Cluster Coordination Officer, are critical in ensuring UNHCR¿s leadership within a diverse shelter community. The incumbent is expected to perform UNHCR’s lead role in the SC and to impartially represent the interests of the members of the Shelter Cluster, including the provision of active support, as applicable, to sub-national clusters which may be coordinated by other Agencies. As a result, the incumbent leads an inter-agency team in an environment that requires high standards of accountability and demonstrable leadership, coordination, negotiation and conflict resolution skills, and in which the principles of partnership and collaboration are essential.

The Senior Shelter Cluster Coordination Officer represents the SC in Inter-Cluster Coordination mechanisms. The incumbent ensures appropriate cross-sectoral coordination with other related clusters such as WASH, CCCM, Protection (HLP) and others, advocates for shelter in the humanitarian response, leads the mainstreaming of early recovery activities in the Shelter Cluster, and spearheads the integration of cross-cutting issues into the work of the Shelter Cluster, especially age, gender, diversity, HIV, environment.

The Senior Shelter Cluster Coordination Officer works closely with and/or directly supervises a multi-functional SC Support team, including, but not limited to, the areas of information management, needs assessment, technical support, shelter recovery, reporting and advocacy.

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.


Strategic Direction and Coordination

– Ensure that UNHCR delivers on its commitments and accountability as lead of the Shelter Cluster. Manage the team deployed or hired in country to coordinate the Shelter Cluster.

– Ensure that strong working relationships are established with all cluster members at national and in all sub-national locations in order to facilitate effective collaboration and communication. Upon consultations with SC members, take final decision over format and frequency of meetings, designation of focal points and the establishment of a strategic advisory group, sub-national clusters, Technical Working Groups and ad hoc/task-related bodies for specific issues.

– Ensure that coordination services, including meetings, are provided in line with the Principles of Partnership, ensuring that cluster coordination is inclusive, consultative and results-oriented at national level and in all the different sub-national locations.

– Under the framework of the Inter-Agency contingency Plan, lead the development of contingency plans, the revision of existing contingency planning and emergency preparedness measures and ensure they are updated and developed.

– Develop an SC Strategy in a consultative process with SC partners including the local government and ensure that the shelter response is driven by this strategy. Update as appropriate the SC Strategy: ensure proper linkages with disaster risk reduction, relief, and recovery and development efforts.

– Ensure that the SC Strategy is integrated into the Humanitarian Country Team¿s common humanitarian action plan.

– Promote accountability to affected population, participation of local and national stakeholders such as civil groups, and ensure coordination with government counterparts and other relevant authorities.

– Ensure that appropriate transitional measures are in place for handing over to the government or recovery and development actors.

– Ensure the establishment and maintenance of the cluster structure including the cluster core documents as defined by the Global Shelter Cluster guidance: Strategy, Technical Standards, and Factsheet.

– Lead the evaluation of the cluster¿s performance. Based on the feedback of this evaluation, work with Shelter Cluster members to develop a plan of response to improve the cluster¿s performance.

Needs Assessment, Resources Mobilization and Allocation

– Lead, coordinate and conduct within the SC or at Inter-Cluster level shelter needs assessments, including participatory assessments.

– Set up a system to ensure the timely availability of data to inform operational decisions by partners and strategic decisions of the Humanitarian Country Team.

– Ensure that the SC covers all identified shelter needs of the affected population and not only those relating to the specific mandate of individual members of the Shelter Cluster.

– Provide transparent strategic direction to the development of common funding criteria, resource mobilisation and prioritization within the SC for inclusion in Consolidated Appeals and pooled funds processes.

– Establish mechanisms for accountable and transparent financial resource allocation within the cluster.

Capacity Development

– Ensure capacity building of the government counterpart or the organization that will take over the coordination of the cluster once this is phased out.

– Coordinate the delivery of shelter training activities for SC members, other local partners, and relevant authorities.

– Coordinate initiatives to build the shelter capacity of the national and local government, partners and civil society.

Standard Setting and Implementation

– Ensure that the shelter response is informed by appropriate relevant Technical Standards including among others Sphere, and good practice.

– Ensure appropriate collaboration with shelter response-related clusters of CCCM, Early Recovery, Education, Health, Logistics, Protection and WASH in the work of the Shelter Cluster.

– Coordinate the integration of cross-cutting issues in the work of the Shelter Cluster, including age, gender, environment, diversity.

– Through Cluster-wide consultative processes, provide input into the development of global shelter policy and standards led by the Global Shelter Cluster.

Information Management, Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting

– Ensure that the SC has a functional information management strategy and mechanism to report and share information within the Shelter Cluster, with the other clusters, with the government, with the overall humanitarian community including donors, with UNHCR internal mechanisms, and with the Global Shelter Cluster.

– Ensure that the SC produces analytical shelter reports, including the Factsheet. Promote that information on affected population is disaggregated by sex and age. Implement decisions on indicators to measure impact and performance of SC members.

– Ensure that the SC maintains an updated website and produces regular updates on the shelter concerns of the affected population, the response by the shelter actors, the gaps, challenges and recommendations.

– Promote and ensure monitoring and evaluation of the impact of operations carried out by cluster members and the performance of the coordination team.

– Appraise the performance of any directly supervised personnel of the SC coordination team.

Advocacy, Promotion and Fundraising

– Identify core advocacy concerns for the SC through a consultative process: develop joint cluster/ inter-cluster initiatives to ensure regular and consistent advocacy.

– Represent the SC in meetings with sectoral and external partners, authorities, donors and other relevant interlocutors.

– Issue reports and make advocacy statements on behalf of the Shelter Cluster.

– Negotiate with the Humanitarian Coordinator/Resident Coordinator, the Humanitarian Country Team and cluster members the prioritization and inclusion of project proposals and common funding criteria for inclusion in inter-agency funding appeals.

– Direct transparent and accountable financial and other resource allocation within the Shelter Cluster, when required, such as with regard to CERF or CHF.

– Approach donors and other potential sources of funding to explain the SC strategy, challenges, and progress, and to advocate for funding for the overall shelter sector.

– Coordinate with UNHCR and other partners to maximize communication impact to donors and others on the SC priorities.

– Ensure a consistent interpretation and application of international law and related UNHCR and IASC legal standards and policies for the adequate provision of shelter.

– Ensure the Shelter Cluster¿s adherence to international human rights instruments, the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement as well as other relevant international and regional instruments; in cooperation with the Humanitarian Country Team.

– Perform other related duties as required.

Minimum Qualifications

Education & Professional Work Experience

Years of Experience / Degree Level

For P4/NOD – 9 years relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or 8 years relevant experience with Graduate degree; or 7 years relevant experience with Doctorate degree

Field(s) of Education

Shelter-related sciences (e.g. civil engineering or architecture) or other relevant field.

(Field(s) of Education marked with an asterisk* are essential)

Certificates and/or Licenses

CCCM Cluster Coordination

HCR Coordination Lrng Prog

HCR Management Lrng Prg

UNHCR Tri-Cluster Knowledge and Coordination Skills Workshop

UNHCR Workshop on Emergency Management

(Certificates and Licenses marked with an asterisk* are essential)

Relevant Job Experience


Work experience in an international capacity preferably working in shelter or with the SC. Excellent knowledge of the Humanitarian reform process and the role of the humanitarian community (UN System, Red Cross Red Crescent Movement, and NGO). Extensive knowledge of current humanitarian issues. Experience in the implementation of shelter programmes. Good knowledge of shelter-related technical guidelines and standards. Preferable good understanding of UNHCR with regard to global policies as well as operational and administrative issues. Good managerial and communication skills.


Applied knowledge in UNHCR mandate, its policies and priorities in relation to IDPs, shelter and NFI. Demonstrated expertise in program management and reporting requirements.

Functional Skills


PR-CCCM Technical Guidelines and Standards

CL-Cluster Information Management Tools, Resources and Approaches

PR-Country Operations applying the Cluster Approach

CO-Drafting and Documentation

SP-Shelter and Infrastructure Coordination

SP-Global Shelter Cluster Strategy

(Functional Skills marked with an asterisk* are essential)

Language Requirements

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

– Team player

– Coordination skills

– Negotiation with both internal and external collaborators

– Experience managing large scale construction projects

– Strategy formulation, development and implementation

Required languages (expected Overall ability is at least B2 level):



Desired languages


Operational context

Occupational Safety and Health Considerations:

Kinshasa is currently a security level 2 duty station. The security situation in Kinshasa is relatively calm. The security related threats staff may face in Kinshasa are mainly from crime and civil unrest. Criminality is prevalent in Kinshasa, including Gombe commune in the city centre. Criminality activities include street and house robbery, vehicle-related crimes such as break-ins. UN personnel are not specifically targeted, but criminals focus attacks on those perceived to have money and valuables. Identified crime actors are street children locally called Shegués, organized gangs and unemployed youth called Kulunas, and sometimes uncontrolled elements of the national security forces. Of special concern are armed robberies committed by criminals posing as policemen who target foreigners walking alone. These criminals present what looks like a legitimate ID card of the security forces, get the victim inside a vehicle and rob them of valuables before letting them go. UN personnel must also be aware of the danger from driving in Kinshasa. Road traffic accidents are the most common security incident for the UN in Kinshasa.

The presidential election scheduled for 2023 may generate significantly more tensions and protests in the country overall and not only in the East. This in a context of a rise in the anti-UN sentiment, a difficult socio-economic situation and a number of inter-community tensions, compounded with a rise in violence due to armed or terrorists’ groups in the East.

To view occupational safety and health considerations for this duty station, please visit this link:

Nature of Position:

The Senior Cluster Coordinator (Shelter) reports to the Assistant Representative (Programme) and assists in the coordination and leadership of the shelter response in the Kasai, Tanganyika and North Kivu, South Kivu and Ituri region. The coordination aims to facilitate an effective response strategy to the shelter needs of internally displaced persons (IDPs). It also focuses on effective monitoring and evaluation to ensure that UNHCR’s five-year plan is implemented in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

In order to ensure smooth management of the shelter cluster, the Senior Shelter Cluster Coordinator must be skilled at stakeholder management, strategy formulation, and implementation, planning and coordination as well as being able to manage several competing priorities. S/He must have a detailed knowledge of the UN System, and NGO humanitarian community particularly in view of the inter-agency operational context. S/He needs to be a skilled negotiator and have experience in “Cluster” and/or post-conflict operational management. S/He should also be versatile in the use of drawing and design-related software and ability to prepare schedules/Bills of quantities and estimating costs. Familiarity with the humanitarian reform and cluster approach, experience with handling confidential data, ability to visit a large geographical area within short time periods will also be an essential requirement.

Fluency in French is essential. In addition, a good working knowledge of English is also crucial many reports, and communications to internal and external interlocutors are done in English.

Living and Working Conditions:

The Democratic Republic of Congo is the third largest country in Africa, and as a result is quite diverse. Living conditions therefore vary between UNHCR duty stations, with all usual amenities present in the capital Kinshasa, but only very basic conditions in remote duty stations in the provinces, where, for instance, there may be no guarantee of public power supply nor running water. Accommodation is very expensive in Kinshasa. There are several Supermarkets in town but consumer items are generally very expensive (as everything is imported). For food, local markets offer a much cheaper alternative. Kinshasa is considered family duty station since 1 January 2015, despite the fact that most facilities and amenities are still basic. UN international personnel are only allowed to reside within an established Residential Security Perimeter.

The unit of currency is the Congolese Franc. The US dollar is the other preferred currency. It may be impossible to exchange traveller ‘s checks away from the capital city. Credit cards are usually accepted in major hotels and some supermarkets in Kinshasa. In larger towns and cities (such as Kinshasa, Goma, Bukavu, Kisangani), it is recommended to open US Dollar bank accounts, while in other places, banks may be absent (including ATMs) and payments will be processed in cash.

In addition to French, there are four major spoken languages in DRC, namely Lingala, Kikongo, Tshiluba and Swahili.

Additional Qualifications


CL-Cluster Information Management Tools, Resources and Approaches, CL-Protection Cluster Coordination, ER-Inter-Agency Leadership/Coordination, FO-Complex field emergency operations, MG-Field Operations Management, PG-Stakeholder management and coordination with Implementing Partners (Gov/NGO/Corporate), PG-UNHCR’s Programmes, PR-Assessment of IDPs Status, Rights, Obligation, PR-CCCM Technical Guidelines and Standards, PR-Coordination in Forced Displacement situations, PR-Country Operations applying the Cluster Approach, PR-Durable Solutions/Comprehensive Solutions Strategies implementation, PR-Durable Solutions – Peace-building (Fund), PR-Principles and procedures, operational arrangements, assistance for returnees, UN-UN/UNHCR Reforms


BA: Architecture (Required), BA: Civil Engineering (Required), BA: Shelter-related sciences (Required)


CCCM Cluster Coordination – UNHCR, Emergency Management Workshop – UNHCR, HCR Coordination Learning Program – UNHCR, HCR Management Learning Program – UNHCR, Tri_Cluster Knowledge/Coord Skills – Other

Work Experience

Annual Budget OL in Operation/Office, Number of Persons of Concern Served, Number of Workforce in Operation/Work Setting, Workforce to Supervise, Working with Persons of Concern: Asylum Seekers, Working with Persons of Concern: Internally Displaced Persons, Working with Persons of Concern: Others of Concern, Working with Persons of Concern: Refugees, Working with Persons of Concern: Returned IDPs, Working with Persons of Concern: Returned Refugees, Working with Persons of Concern: Stateless


Accountability, Client & results orientation, Commitment to continuous learning, Communication, Empowering & building trust, Judgement & decision making, Leadership, Managing performance, Managing resource, Negotiation & conflict resolution, Organizational awareness, Strategic planning & visions, Teamwork & collaboration

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Add.2 to Bi-annual Compendium 2022 – Part B

Functional clearance

This position requires Functional Clearance

How to apply

For a full job description and to apply, interested candidates are requested to visit

The UNHCR workforce consists of many diverse nationalities, cultures, languages and opinions. UNHCR seeks to sustain and strengthen this diversity to ensure equal opportunities as well as an inclusive working environment for its entire workforce. Applications are encouraged from all qualified candidates without distinction on grounds of race, colour, sex, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity.

Please note that UNHCR does not charge a fee at any stage of its recruitment process (application, interview, meeting, travelling, processing, training or any other fees).

Closing date of receipt of applications: 16 February 2023 (midnight Geneva time)

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