Representative P5

Full Time

Standard Job Description

Representative 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 million. 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. Duties Strategic Direction – 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. Operations – 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 operations 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 operations objectives are regularly assessed, priority risks are identified and risk treatments for the priority risks form an integral part of the operations plans. Resource Management – 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. Security – 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 plan, and approve the country operations 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 organizations 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. – Perform other related duties as required. Minimum Qualifications 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 Operates Long Prg; HCR Protection Learning Prg; (Certificates and Licenses marked with an asterisk* are essential) Relevant Job Experience Essential – 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. Desirable – Knowledge of geo-political realities and their socio-cultural implications. Functional Skills *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) 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

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


Desired languages


Operational context

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

Nature of Position: The Representation in Zimbabwe is overseeing protection and solutions for protracted refugees, asylum seekers and internally displaced populations, which have been in the country for more than 20 years. Zimbabwe received 21,800 refugees mainly from DRC, Burundi and Rwanda and 41,500 forced displaced people resulting from climate change and development projects. Zimbabwe made reservations to 4 provisions of the 1951 Convention, thus shrinking asylum space and fundamental rights on access to employment, public education, social security, and freedom of movement. The country is reluctant to implement the out-of-camp policy and keen to deport refugees. The protection regime in the country made refugees decide to move to other neighboring countries on secondary movements. With the protracted nature of the caseloads, the operation would require durable solutions, including the inclusion in the national development plan with the support of development actors, exploring voluntary repatriation where possible and resettlement in third countries. In spite of the restrictive protection environment, Zimbabwe made pledges at the 2019 Global Refugee Forum to remove some barriers and include refugees in the national systems. In order to ensure greater protection and seek for solutions, the Representative should have a strong knowledge of the UNHCR protection policies and principles and good communication and negotiation skills. Sh/e would be conversant with the GCR and be able to work with the UNCT/HCT under the leadership of the RC/HC to address the plight of refugees and engage the State and UN on the IDPs situations. S/he would be knowledgeable of the UN and Humanitarian reform and development

Living and Working Conditions: The Representative position is based in Harare, the capital city of Zimbabwe, which is the centre of national government, trade and culture and home to over 1,5 million people. 

The climate in Zimbabwe is markedly varied by altitude. There is the dry, cool season for the period May to September when the whole country has very little rain. The rainy season is typically a time of heavy rainfall from November to March. Daily temperature ranges are about 7–22 °C (45–72 °F) in July (the coldest month), about 15–29 °C (59–84 °F) in October (the hottest month) and about 16–26 °C (61–79 °F) in January (mid-summer).

Harare is a C category duty station with 3 years of Standard Assignment Length.  It is a family duty station, and educational facilities from primary to secondary school are available. Private hospitals are available in Harare, which address simple to complex sicknesses. There are no compulsory vaccinations for entering Zimbabwe, except vaccination against Yellow Fever which is compulsory before entering from or having been in transit through, for more than 12 hours, an area where the disease is endemic. COVID-19 vaccination is encouraged. Good leisure and recreational facilities are available in Harare.

UNDSS-cleared hotels are available, with rates differing depending on availability and season.  MOSS compliant apartments are also available. UNDSS recommends that international staff reside in the diplomatic area of Harare, where the UNHCR office is located.

Banks and ATM machines are available in Harare. However, access to USD cash is limited and international staff members are encouraged to use the ATM implant within the office compound. Most major credit and debit cards are accepted in hotels, restaurants, and larger shops.

The current operational circumstances require frequently long working hours. This is a stressful work context, making a capacity for self-care critical.

The Security Level in Harare is classified as Low (Level 2) as per the UN security management system in Zimbabwe. There are no major security challenges to UN operations in Harare. However, individuals must be on the alert as crime, mainly robberies, house break-ins and smash & grab thefts from motor vehicles at traffic lights and road accidents are some of the increasing risks to the UN in Zimbabwe.


Additional Qualifications



BA: Business Administration (Required), BA: Human Resources Management (Required), BA: International Relations (Required), BA: Law (Required), BA: Political Science (Required), BA: Social Science (Required)


HCR Learning Program – UNHCR, HCR Protection Learning Program – UNHCR, Programme Management (PM) 1 – UNHCR

Work Experience