Assistant Representative – Protection, P5, Kigali At UN High Commissioner for Refugees

Organizational Setting and Work Relationships

The Assistant Representative- Protection is the senior protection manager in a Country Office and reports to the Representative. A member of the senior management team, the incumbent has direct or reviewing supervisory responsibility for protection staff who may include community services, registration, resettlement and education. He/she has country-wide functional supervisory responsibility for protection staff and provides protection oversight and guidance to the information and programme management functions. The Assistant Representative- Protection transposes UNHCR’s Global Strategic Priorities into a comprehensive protection strategy adapted to the country context. He/she is guardian of protection standards, operational procedures and practices in protection delivery at country level and represents the UNHCR to authorities, UN sister agencies, partners and other stakeholders on protection policy and doctrine. UNHCR is well integrated into the UN Resident Coordinator System. The Assistant Representative- Protection is relied upon by the Office to plan, manage and guide country-wide protection delivery to populations of concern and to promote and gain support for UNHCR’s protection agenda externally. This includes ensuring that operational responses in sectors are shaped in a protection optic, mainstream protection methodologies and integrate protection safeguards. He/she ensures that persons and communities of concern are involved with the Office in making decisions that affect them and that their interests are effectively represented to authorities, protection and assistance partners and to the broad network of donors and stakeholders who can contribute to enhancing protection.

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 political, social, economic and security developments that have an impact on the protection environment and protection delivery capacity and advise the Representative in the overall management of UNHCR’s operations.

– Manage a consultative process with government counterparts, partners and persons of concern to develop and implement a comprehensive protection strategy addressing the specific protection needs of women and men, children, youth and older persons, persons with disabilities, minority groups such as sexual minorities and persons living with HIV/AIDS; and Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) priorities with regard to these person

– In operations applying the Cluster Approach, ensure the response of the Protection Cluster is grounded in a strategy which covers assessed and prioritized protection needs of the affected populations.

– Ensure the protection strategy is fully integrated into the Country Operations Plan, the UN Development and Assistance Framework (UNDAF) and in respect of UNHCR¿s mandate, the Humanitarian Country Team’s common humanitarian action plan where applicable.

– Ensure that necessary resources are allocated to address protection gaps.

– Promote International and National Law and applicable UN/UNHCR and IASC policy, standards and codes of conduct. Foster their consistent and coherent interpretation and application and ensure that sectors and /or in clusters in applicable operations fulfil their responsibilities mainstreaming protection.

– Design, deliver and monitor programmes on an AGD basis to address identified protection needs.

– Oversee the provision of expert legal advice and guidance on protection issues to internal and external interlocutors and ensure that legal assistance and documentation is accessible to persons of concern.

– Oversee Eligibility and Status Determination operations ensuring compliance with UNHCR procedural standards and international protection principles.

– Oversee the implementation of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for protection /solutions processes and systems. – Promote and supervise the delivery of effective measures to identify, prevent and reduce statelessness.

– Develop and implement a country-level education plan as part of the protection strategy. Ensure the provision of quality and protective education with an emphasis on learning outcomes and lifelong learning opportunities forging partnerships with the Ministry for Education, UNICEF and other partners as appropriate.

– Develop and implement a country-level child protection plan as part of the protection strategy ensuring programmes use a child protection systems approach.

– Ensure that appropriate interventions are undertaken by the Office, or intervene directly, in cases of refoulement, expulsion and other protection incidents through working relations with governments and other partners.

– Coordinate the design, implementation and evaluation of protection related programming with implementing and operational partners.

– Ensure with governments and partners that durable solutions through voluntary repatriation, local integration, and where appropriate, resettlement are sought and provided to the largest possible number of persons of concern.

– Oversee the development and implementation of a results-based advocacy programme in consultation with sectorial and/or cluster partners.

– Advocate with authorities and stakeholders for access to and respect for the rights of persons of concern and their access to services.

– Ensure the Protection Sector or Cluster strategy has an effective information management component to provide disaggregated data on populations of concern and their problems; and researches, collects and disseminates relevant protection information and good practices to enhance protection delivery.

– Build the protection capacity of national and local government, partners and civil society to assume their responsibilities vis-à-vis persons of concern through protection training, mainstreaming and related activities.

– Coordinate capacity-building initiatives for communities and persons of concern to assert their rights.

– Advise and capacitate national authorities, relevant institutions and NGOs to strengthen legislation and status determination procedures and mechanisms.

– Contribute to a communications strategy to generate external support for UNHCR’s operations and the Protection Sector/Cluster.

– Provide effective supervisory and managerial oversight, direction and guidance of the protection function.

– Design and establish effective protection staffing structures in Offices ensuring staffing configurations, profiles and competencies are commensurate with protection challenges.

– Approve the comprehensive protection strategy for endorsement by the Representative and Regional Office or Headquarters. – Chair strategic or operational protection meetings, including Protection Cluster meetings in applicable operations and represent the protection sector/cluster in inter-agency mechanisms.

– Issue advocacy statements on behalf of UNHCR or the Protection Cluster in applicable operations. Intervene with authorities on protection issues. – Negotiate with resettlement countries and countries of return on behalf of UNHCR.

– Clear documents and reports prepared by the Protection Unit / Section.

– Take decisions on individual cases.

– Negotiate with the Humanitarian Coordinator/Resident Coordinator, the Humanitarian Country Team and partners on protection funding priorities in inter-agency funding appeals.

– Enforce compliance of staff and partners with global protection policies and standards of professional integrity in the delivery of protection services.

– Enforce compliance with, and integrity of protection standard operating procedures.

– Approve expenditures under the UNHCR protection budget and direct transparent and accountable financial and other resource allocation within the Protection Cluster in applicable operations.

– 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 Humanitarian Law; International Relations; Law; Political Science; International Refugee Law; or other relevant field. (Field(s) of Education marked with an asterisk* are essential) Certificates and/or Licenses HCR Learning Prog; HCR Management Lrng Prg; HCR Protection Learning Prg; (Certificates and Licenses marked with an asterisk* are essential)

Relevant Job Experience

Essential – minimum 11 years of previous work experience in progressively responsible functions in an organisation or institution that administer/manage and assist a large number of asylum seekers, refugees and Displaced persons, preferably within the UN. – Thorough knowledge in International refugee law, its applications under different circumstances; ability to analyse and advocate the application of various regional refugee instruments for the benefits of the persons of concern to UNHCR. Field experience, preferably in the context of UNHCR, in repatriation and resettlement of refugees. Desirable – Solid UNHCR experience from both the Field (including Hardship Duty stations) and Headquarters. – UNHCR specific learning/training activities (i.e. Management Learning Programme, Protection Learning Programme). Functional Skills *PR-International Humanitarian Law *PR-Refugee Resettlement programs *PR-Managing large influx of Persons of Concern *PR-Refugee Protection Principles and Framework FO-Operational activities in hardship duty stations *PR-Application of various regional refugee instruments (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

In view of the Office’s role for managerial oversight, technical guidance and support to operations in the country, the incumbent of the position should have strong technical capacity and experience in protection and the application of international refugee, human rights and humanitarian law
The ideal candidate should have experience in and ability to serve in a variety of functional areas, including capacity development and systematic monitoring and advocacy regarding policy and practices.

The incumbent must be able to communicate clearly and effectively, both orally and in writing in both languages. A good understanding of the Global Compact on Refugees and its application, as well as knowledge of, and familiarity with, operations in Africa, and experience working with refugee, resettlement, returnee and stateless populations would be beneficial

S/he should have a track record of leading/working with functionally and culturally diverse teams. Strong interpersonal and communication skills, diplomacy as well as a mature approach, are a must for the position. The incumbent is expected to be a forward-thinker and solutions-oriented.
S/he is expected to have robust protection knowledge, relevant technical and operational capacity, political sensitivity, and experience in managing Inter-Agency, donor relations and partnerships as well as good negotiation skills for advocacy.
Due to the nature of the work, the incumbent is expected to have a pro-active mature attitude and be responsive to address complex and dynamics situations but can remain calm under stressful situations.

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


Desired languages


Operational context

Occupational Safety and Health Considerations:

Nature of Position:

The UNHCR Representation Office in Rwanda principally consists of a refugee population mainly from the Democratic Republic of Congo who have been on the Rwandan territory since 1996 in addition to Burundian refugees who moved to Rwanda due to the volatile Burundi situation since April 2015. There is also a small population of Rwandan refugees returning after many years in exile. The operation comprises the Country Office in Kigali, Sub office Kirehe, Field offices Nyamata, Karongi, Kabaroroe as well as Huye with over 335 staff and affiliate workforce. Rwanda operation is currently undertaking a voluntary repatriation to Burundi.

The Assistant Representative – Protection of UNHCR Rwanda reports to the Representative. S/he will be a part of the Senior Management team of UNHCR Rwanda operation.

She/he works to identify strategic objectives and develop coherent, consistent, and effective responses to the challenges faced in terms of delivering protection to the PoCs under the UNHCR Mandate in the Rwanda operation. She/he will be expected to liaise with a large variety of actors, including Government authorities, Diplomats, the UN Resident Coordinator, Heads of sister agencies, International Humanitarian actors, partners, and other key stakeholders. She/he should keep abreast of Legal, Security, Political and other Developments relevant to the protection environment and population movements.

Living and Working Conditions:

The Republic of Rwanda is a small landlocked country in the Great Lakes region of east-central Africa, bordered by Uganda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Tanzania. UNHCR enjoys cordial working relations with Government Officials, other UN Agencies and Partners. Basic health facilities are available with a UN Dispensary that can provide 1st Aid assistance and guidance. Domestic supplies are available on the market. Housing conditions in the capital Kigali are of good standard and rents are reasonable. There are good international schools existing in Kigali at the primary and secondary levels. The main airport in Kigali has several international flights with easy connections to the region.

Additional Qualifications



BA: Humanitarian Law (Required), BA: International Refugee Law (Required), BA: International Relations (Required), BA: Law (Required), BA: Political Science (Required)


HCR Learning Program – UNHCR, HCR Management Learning Program – UNHCR, HCR Protection Learning Program – UNHCR

Work Experience


Accountability, Analytical thinking, Client & results orientation, Commitment to continuous learning, Communication, Empowering & building trust, Judgement & decision making, Leadership, Managing performance, Managing resource, Organizational awareness, Political awareness, Stakeholder management, Strategic planning & visions, Teamwork & collaboration

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Add. 3 to Bi-annual Compendium 2022 – Part B

Additional Information

Functional clearance

This position doesn’t require a functional clearance

How to apply

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 March 2023 (midnight Geneva time)

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