Senior Social Protection Officer at UN High Commissioner for Refugees

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is offering a Temporary Appointment within the GCR Section/External Engagement Pillar in the UNHCR Regional Bureau in Nairobi, Kenya and the UNHCR Kenya Country Office (shared position).

Organizational context The Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) affirmed by the UN General Assembly in December 2018 has strengthened UNHCR¿s protection and solutions mandate. It calls for the inclusion of refugees in the societies that host them, pending solutions; and has provided an opportunity to assemble into a single framework decades of good practices pertaining to inclusion.

Inclusion of refugees in government social protection programmes, in particular social safety nets, with the support of the international community is highlighted in the Compact. However, applying this is often challenging as refugees may be excluded from, or only have partial access to, the different government programmes making up the national social protection system. This is due to various reasons, including limited capacity of national systems to serve their own citizens, restrictive policies and legal frameworks, limited ability of refugees to pay into social protection schemes and other protection-related issues preventing access. The exclusion also applies to internally displaced and stateless persons in various contexts.

To meet these challenges, humanitarian and development actors, particularly in protracted displacement contexts, are increasingly working to transition refugees from humanitarian assistance to government social assistance (including shock-responsive mechanisms), social insurance and public labour intervention programmes. This contributes to the SDG `Leave No-One Behind¿ principle and SDG-specific objectives working to increase the global coverage of social protection. Innovative financing such as the World Bank¿s IDA-18 Refugee Sub-Window (RSW) and IDA-19 and IDA-20 Window for Host Communities and Refugees (WHR) are opening up windows of inclusion in government social protection programmes for refugees using an area-based approach. Humanitarian actors are also providing assistance to refugees and host communities through socio-economic services and the delivery of cash and in-kind transfers providing similar functions as the government national social protection system. This assistance in some contexts is being aligned to national social protection programmes as the first key step for transitioning refugees to these programmes in the future.

As part of the implementation of the GCR, UNHCR is increasing its capacity to support initiatives aimed at including, where possible, its persons of concern (POC) to national social protection programmes whilst modifying its assistance in preparation for this. This requires capacities for operational analysis and planning, policy support, applied research and capacity building, and partnerships across the triple nexus.

The position Within this context, the Senior Social Protection Officer¿s role is to support UNHCR operations to further analyse government social protection programmes in order to plan for and support the transition of refugees, IDPs and stateless persons from humanitarian assistance to these programmes. The incumbent should have a demonstrated field experience in supporting and working with government social protection systems particularly in contexts of fragility and/or forced displacement; proven technical skills in implementing and monitoring of different types of social protection programmes; and relevant field experience in working with poor and humanitarian caseloads, particularly those impacted by forced displacement.

The incumbent is expected to work in line with the multi-functional team (MFT) approach of UNCHR and establish strong working relationships with staff supporting international protection, programme, livelihoods, economic and financial inclusion, education, public health, Cash-Based Interventions and partnerships with development actors.

The Senior Social Protection Officer will support the Regional Bureau for the Eastern Horn of Africa and Great Lakes region (EHAGL), working in the External Engagement Pillar, along with Economists, Economic Inclusion/Livelihoods and Development Officers and closely liaise with colleagues in the Protection Service. S/he will report to the Head of the External Engagement Pillar.

Duties and responsibilities The Senior Social Protection Officer is expected to:

¿ Build on the recent mapping and analysis of existing and planned government social protection systems and programmes in the region and the key actors supporting this and work with Country Operations to refine and make progress on the key recommendations of the regional study (produced in 2021). ¿ Support selected Country Operations to develop roadmaps/country level plans towards the inclusion of UNHCR¿s Persons of Concern (PoCs) to social protection programmes, including how to align UNHCR assistance to these programmes within the Area of Responsibility (AOR), working with Multi-Functional Teams to transform this into planning (including resourcing) in accordance with UNHCR procedures. ¿ Support Country Operations in host countries accessing IDA-19 and IDA-20 WHR funding for social protection projects to engage in project design and implementation, including potential ¿transition action plans¿ for PoC inclusion. ¿ Contribute to policy development and advocacy, providing operational and best-practice briefs to senior management and other technical staff engaged in external processes and partnerships linked to social protection. ¿ Leverage external partnerships to influence government and donor policy dialogue. ¿ Represent UNHCR and support advocacy and funding partnerships with host Governments, key bilateral donors and international financial institutions working to strengthen social protection systems and COVID-19 responses in forced displacement contexts. ¿ Continue to organize and co-chair with ILO and the World Bank quarterly meetings of the Regional Knowledge Exchange on Social Protection and Forced Displacement (revived in 2021) which includes UNHCR, World Bank, ILO, UNDP, FCDO, UNICEF, WFP, GIZ, ECHO, EC Delegation, REDSS, NRC, Oxfam, Concern, CALP etc. Ensure the data portal for this group is kept up to date. ¿ Promote and support applied research to build the knowledge base for UNHCR and other external actors for the inclusion of refugees and other PoCs to social protection and economic inclusion programmes. ¿ Support the capacity building of regional and country operations staff through training sessions, sharing of internal and external best practices and relevant research and experience. ¿ Further develop relationships with key social protection stakeholders at a regional level to further the inclusion agenda. ¿ Perform other related duties as required.

Essential minimum qualifications and professional experience required

The ideal candidate will have: ¿ At least a master¿s degree in Socio-Economic Development; Social Sciences; Development studies; Community Development; International Relations; Law; Political Science; Disaster Risk Management/Emergency Management/related Environmental/Earth science or other relevant field. ¿ At least 9 years of demonstrated experience in field programming and support related government social protection systems, particularly in contexts of fragility and/or forced displacement. ¿ Proven knowledge and technical skills in implementing and monitoring of social protection programmes. ¿ Relevant field experience in working with humanitarian and/or forcibly displaced caseloads. ¿ Preferably, a good knowledge of UNHCR and/or other institutions working with displaced populations. Experience in poverty reduction and/or graduation programmes is a bonus. ¿ Excellent English skills and additional language skills relevant in the region a bonus.

Duration The duration is for 12 months starting 01 September 2022, it is a full-time role with working hours starting from 8.00am to 04:30pm (Nairobi time) Monday to Friday

How to apply

For a full job description and to apply, interested candidates are requested to visit the UNHCR career page at – click on the Vacancies tab and enter job ID 38137.

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).

Please note that the closing date for this TA advertisement is Monday 1 August 2022 (midnight Geneva time).

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July 2024