Head of National Office, P3, Oranjestad At UN High Commissioner for Refugees

Organizational Setting and Work Relationships

Head of a UNHCR National Office is a senior managerial position within a given country operation. The incumbent acts under delegated authority of the UNHCR Regional Representative (or the Deputy Regional Representative), who exercises supervisory managerial responsibility over the position. The position reports and provides information on developments in relation to the protection (legal protection issues relating to the persons of concern to UNHCR), security (physical security in relation to the UNHCR staff and the persons of concern to UNHCR) and operational matters (programme and office management / administration) within the domain of its geographical area of responsibility to the UNHCR Regional Representative (or Deputy) on a regular and timely manner. Subject to the specific legal or socio economic or security developments in the Area of Responsibility (AOR), the Regional Representative will direct and guide the Head of National Office (HoNO) to take the most appropriate course of action. The Head of UNHCR National Office will on request serve as a designated member of the UN Country Team, participating in relevant meetings including monthly UNCT meetings, engaging the involvement and advocacy of the Regional Representative as may be appropriate. S/he will also advise the UN Resident Coordinator in regard to UNHCR’s issues of concern. The Head of the UNHCR National Office will also support the UN Designated Official as a member of the Security Management Team. Concerning overall physical security concerns, HoNO will liaise directly with the competent UN security coordinator while keeping the UNHCR Regional/Deputy Regional Representative fully informed. As the most senior UNHCR staff member within the given geographical area, s/he is required in consultation with the Regional Representative to liaise with relevant government officials, security organs in the area, Non-Governmental Organisations (both national and international which are based in the area), local opinion makers and the local media. As the extended field representative of UNHCR at the front line of High Commissioner¿s operations, s/he remains as the effective advocate and assistant to the local authorities to ensure that the respective government authorities in the area implement their responsibilities emanating from the 1951 Convention in favour of refugees and others of concern to UNHCR.

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.


– Monitor and report on the implementation of 1951 Refugee Convention responsibilities and international obligations of the national authorities vis-a-vis the population of concern to UNHCR within the given geographical area; based on the situations/developments make appropriate recommendation to the UNHCR Regional Representative/Deputy Regional Representative. Request regional support as appropriate.

– Advocate and promote UNHCR standards concerning the treatment of asylum seekers, refugees and returnees as well as IDPs and stateless persons, where applicable.

– Ensure that the basic needs of the concerned population are properly assessed with the participation of the beneficiaries themselves, the host government and/or the competent implementing partners and/or UNHCR itself and its UNCT partners.

– Subject to the needs, ensure that the planning, formulation and budgeting of identified assistance projects are done as per UNHCR programme cycle; upon approval of assistance project, ensure the timely implementation and rigorous monitoring of identified assistance activities, specifically on integration and self-reliance measures.

– Ensure, through the subordinate staff, that deadlines for monitoring and reporting of UNHCR operational activities (i.e. include assistance as well as Administrative) are met on a regular basis.

– Manage UNHCR resources, both human, financial/material, at an optimum level for the wellbeing of the concerned population and the UNHCR staff.

– Ensure that security measures of UNHCR office (and residential, where applicable) compounds are always up to date; any security breaches and/or potential security threat should be reported immediately to competent UN security coordinator in the country. Support the UN Designated Official and represent UNHCR in the regular meetings of the Security Management Team. – Ensure that staff welfare, both in terms of working and living conditions, are maintained at a satisfactory level within the constraints in the operational area; this requires remaining current in health and medical facilities locally available and evacuation options available in a moment of medical urgency.

– Guide, coach and advocate the subordinate staff to maintain highest standards of conduct and behaviour thorough one¿s own practice and deeds.

– Prepare and submit regular reports, both verbally and written, to the UNHCR Regional/Deputy Regional Representative.

– Participate in the deliberations and work of the UN Country Team and promote UNHCR¿s issues of concern.

– Any other responsibilities/functions deemed necessary or as delegated by the UNHCR Regional Representative in order to meet the level of the services in the organization.

– Represent UNHCR in inter-agency fora and with national authorities.

– Enforce compliance with UNHCR¿s global protection, programme, finance, human resources and security policies and standards.

– Submit project proposals for assistance to refugees and other persons of concern to UNHCR Regional Representation in coordination with local authorities and NGOs.

– Perform other related duties as required.

Minimum Qualifications

Education & Professional

Work Experience Years of Experience / Degree Level For P3/NOC – 6 years relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or 5 years relevant experience with Graduate degree; or 4 years relevant experience with Doctorate degree Field(s) of Education Economics; International Relations; Law; Management; Political Science; Personnel Administration; or other relevant field. (Field(s) of Education marked with an asterisk* are essential) Certificates and/or Licenses HCR Managing Operatns Lrng Prg; (Certificates and Licenses marked with an asterisk* are essential)

Relevant Job Experience


– In-depth knowledge in aspects of UNHCR mandate and its Field level application.

– Applied knowledge of protection principles, operational arrangements/standards in relation to protection, assistance, UNHCR office management and staff administration.


– Working experience in the Field. Functional Skills *PR-Refugee Protection Principles and Framework *MG-Office Management *HR-Administration of Staff Contracts and Benefits *IT-Computer Literacy (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

The incumbent should possess solid leadership and coordination skills to negotiate with multiple stakeholders including government counterparts, UN and NGO partners, the private sector, and academia.
The incumbent must have strong and proven diplomatic and communication skills as well as an understanding of programme, administration and HR processes. The incumbent shall also possess professional experience in protection, the ability to work under minimum supervision, and experience in contributing to solutions strategies and plans. Ability to produce high-quality products under tight deadlines. Spanish and Dutch language skills are desirable.

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


Desired languages




Operational context

Occupational Safety and Health Considerations:

Nature of Position:

Aruba and Curacao are autonomous countries within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. UNHCR in Aruba is part of the UNHCR Multi-Country Office in Panama and supports the regional response to outflows of Venezuelans in the Caribbean. UNHCR works with governments in Caribbean countries to develop and strengthen their protection for asylum seekers, refugees, and stateless persons and monitors and reports on the treatment of refugees and stateless persons throughout the Caribbean region. In May 2018, UNHCR established an operational presence in Aruba, with a current workforce of 12 as of end 2022. The office is based in Aruba with and currently also oversees UNHCR’s work in Curacao..

Aruba and Curaçao host populations estimated at 17,000 Venezuelans in each country as of end 2022. In 2021, Aruba and Curaçao respectively hosted the world’s largest and third largest numbers of Venezuelans abroad relative to their population (1 out 6 in Aruba and 1 out of 10 in Curaçao). Despite being a signatory to the 1967 Protocol, Aruba’s asylum system is weak and not embedded in national legislation, as the national legislation is yet to be established. Curacao has not acceded to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees nor its 1967 Protocol and the only protection from refoulement available is under Article 3 European Convention of Human Rights.

In this legal and political context, UNHCR office in Aruba established its operations with a focus on legal protection and community-based protection. Legal protection entails support to Government asylum and international protection procedures, provision of legal assistance through partners and legal advice and information directly through protection counselling services. Strategic litigation, capacity building for government officials, lawyers and para-legals as well as judicial engagement constitutes a significant part of the of the operational strategy. The Head of the National Office hence is required to have a good understanding of protection principles and directly engage with government authorities , judicial actors, non-governmental organizations, diplomatic missions and local media representing the office and lead advocacy initiatives at the local level. The Head of National Office also serves as the National Coordinator of the R4V platform and other coordination mechanisms and reports on developments in relation to the protection (legal protection issues relating to the persons of concern to UNHCR), security (physical security in relation to the UNHCR staff and the persons of concern to UNHCR) and operational matters (programme and office management / administration) in Aruba to the Representative of the Multi-Country in Panama on a regular and timely manner. S/he should have excellent communication skills, good drafting ability in English and proven experience in establishing and maintaining effective working relations with different stakeholders as well as with different units within UNHCR. The candidate should have experience managing a team too. Knowledge of Dutch is a distinct advantage.

Living and Working Conditions:

Aruba is a semi-autonomous entity within the Kingdom of the Netherlands located in the southern Caribbean Sea, off the Venezuelan coast. Financial services and tourism are mainstays of Curacao’s economy. Aruba lies outside the hurricane belt but has still been mildly affected by hurricanes and by tropical storms and flooding seasonally. It is classified as an A duty station (family) and has good infrastructure (health, housing, banking, telecommunications, and recreational facilities) and good supply of goods and services, with no particular health hazards. There is international school teaching in English. Transportation system is not very developed and taxis are not always available and the prices are high. Private vehicle is generally the most feasible transportation means. Driving in Aruba is on the right-hand side of the road. Aruba’s main roads are well lit. Non-existent or hidden and poorly maintained street signs are the major road hazard in Aruba. Therefore, drivers should proceed through intersections with caution. Roads in Aruba are extremely slippery during rainfall

In terms of security Aruba is safe and it is rated as security level 1 with no major security risks. Major security risk is theft. Theft of passports, wallets, handbags jewelry and other personal possessions is common. Rental cars and other rental vehicles are popular targets for criminals. It is recommended to avoid carrying large sums of cash or displaying expensive jewelry. Valuables should not be left unattended in hotel rooms, on the beach or in vehicles.

There are direct flights to the neighbouring countries as well as to Amsterdam for Europe connections.

The cost of living is high for the region especially for housing and health, but it is easy to find accommodation on the private market. Most of the food is imported as Aruba is a small island with no arable land and no industry.

The climate is hot and dry for the most part of the year without major temperature changes and rainy season is not heavy. There are lots of beaches, restaurants, water sports and other recreational facilities as it is a very touristic island. The local language is Papiemento and official language is Dutch. However English and Spanish are widely spoken among the local community. Working language of UNHCR in Aruba is English.

Additional Qualifications


MG-Country/Regional Office Representation, MG-Management Planning, MG-Office Management, MG-Partnership Development, MG-People Management, MG-Policy Compliance Monitoring, PR-Asylum/Migration, PR-Cooperation with national and international asylum stakeholders, PR-Government Refugee Status Determination (RSD) procedures


BA: Economics (Required), BA: International Relations (Required), BA: Law (Required), BA: Management (Required), BA: Personnel Administration (Required), BA: Political Science (Required)


Programme Management (PM) 1 – UNHCR

Work Experience

Administration, Number of Persons of Concern Served, Number of Workforce in Operation/Work Setting, Programme/Planning, Protection, Work Context: Protection


Accountability, Analytical thinking, Client & results orientation, Commitment to continuous learning, Communication, Empowering & building trust, Judgement & decision making, Leadership, Managing performance, Managing resource, Organizational awareness, Planning & organizing, Political awareness, 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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