Strategic Partnership Adviser, P5, Kabul-CO At UN High Commissioner for Refugees

Organizational Setting and Work Relationships

The Strategic Partnership Advisor is usually located in a regional office, a, multi-country offices, regional bureaux, regional refugee coordinator’s office. The incumbent plays a crucial role in ensuring UNHCR’s approach to partnership and inter-agency processes is consistent, strategic and coherent. The main aim is to ensure that UNHCR fulfils its role to support the Government to lead the refugee response, coordinate other actors in the initial stages of a refugee emergency and adhere to UNHCR inter agency commitments (including through providing guidance to country level cluster coordinators) in IDP situations. This should be done in line with UNHCRs Mandate, the Global Compact for Refugees, the IDP policy, and agreed inter agency commitments. More specifically, s/he is responsible for developing inter-agency engagement strategies and providing authoritative advice on coordination matters. S/he is the main interlocutor with UN agencies, NGO partners and donors and advises the senior management on inter-agency processes and related positioning, coordination, advocacy, information, resource allocation, fundraising, reporting, and communication. Depending on the division of labour within the office, s/he will also liaise with government entities, the private sector, media, and other relevant actors. This is ideally done both bilaterally and through strong engagement in inter agency processes. The overall goal of the position is to strengthen and enhance the effectiveness of UNHCR’s leadership roles and responses to situations affecting people of concern to UNHCR (refugees, IDPs, stateless persons, returnees, host communities) through an open and transparent partnership approach.

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.


– Ensure proactive lead and/or participation in inter-agency fora to ensure that UNHCR, its Mandate and programmes are given due attention and reflected in linkage at the country level, bureaux and at the policy levels of humanitarian and development coordination systems.

– Promote UNHCR’s policies and linkages within multilateral processes, including humanitarian and development processes as elaborated by the humanitarian working groups, the Inter Agency Standing Committee, and the United Nations Sustainable Development Group (UNSDG), as well as in regional and country levels.

– Ensure effective and inclusive coordination mechanisms and tools are in place and provide authoritative advice to the senior managers on coordination matters, in line with the GRF, the refugee coordination model and globally-agreed arrangements applicable in various situations (refugee-only; mixed refugee-IDPs; refugee and migrant movements).

– Ensure a cohesive and regional UNHCR response, including in cluster contexts, where UNHCR leads one or more clusters at the country level;

– Promote preparedness, contingency planning and prevention, and facilitate sustainable solutions within inter agency fora;

– Maintain frequent formal and informal contacts with counterparts in other organisations, donor entities and ensure UNHCR engagement with host governments is coherent and consistent.

– Maintain an open dialogue and information sharing with NGOs and civil society partners to enlarge UNHCR’s support and tap into complementary resources/ support to refugees.

– Ensure internal institutional coherence and coordination of actions pursued for a strong refugee coordination system under government leadership where possible, with accompanying planning instruments in the delivery of refugee responses and within the clusters in regards to the clusters that UNHCR leads and/or participates in.

– Where there is lack of clarity as to UNHCR’s positions and priorities, identify where there are gaps or a lack of clarity and raise this to the attention of senior management and HQ functional entities to stimulate a process whereby policy will be clearly mapped out and agreed at the highest levels in the organisation.

– Maintain close contact with DER-PCS-DRS-NYO on emerging issues.

For positions in the Regional Bureaux, multi-country offices or RRC offices only:

– Ensure UNHCR is engaged in regional inter-agency processes, including regional Economic Commissions and regional UNSDG;

– Establish regional coordination mechanisms and/or consultation fora for situations led by UNHCR.

– Where applicable, coordinate the compilation of a regional refugee response plan (in some situations, this could be a regional refugee and migrant response plan or a refugee and resilience plan), as well as its monitoring and the tracking of financial contributions;

– Support and manage the staff appointed in support of an RRC (if appointed);

– Ensure UNHCR lead in RRP processes and other inter agency response plans related to refugees while ensuring coherence and relevant highlight of the displacement issues with the HRP as well as the UNSDCF, including through supporting inter-agency information-management; analysis and reporting where necessary.

– Ensure, in close liaise with other inter agency staff, that regional NGO consultations are held in order to reach out to regional and national NGOs and civil society groups and build consensus

– Promote with relevant country operations coordinated approaches to humanitarian inter agency processes, including development processes as they impact on UNHCR in the field;

– Liaise with other UN agencies and other inter government agencies and fora at the regional level to find areas of cooperation, joint initiatives and where applicable negotiate joint agreements or work programmes to further protection and assistance for persons of concern;

– Ensure efficient and timely circulation of information to stakeholders, including through the production of regular and up-to-date information, key messages and regional situational analysis.

– Ensure effective coordination mechanisms are in place in country operations in line with globally-agreed arrangements and the refugee coordination model) and ensure support is provided in a timely manner.

– Advise field operations on how to facilitate UNHCR¿s catalytic and convener¿s role in the context of the Global Compact on Refugees – Advise field operations on how to engage in UN development processes

– Organize regional-level capacity building, as required.

– Alert the HQ (DER and DESS) on issues related to coordination arrangements interface with development and humanitarian systems.

– 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 Law; Political Science; Economics; International Relations; Business Administration; Social Science or other relevant field. (Field(s) of Education marked with an asterisk* are essential) Certificates and/or Licenses Inter-Agency Certification Learning Program (IACLP); (Certificates and Licenses marked with an asterisk* are essential)

Relevant Job Experience

Essential: Experience of working in an inter-agency environment at field or Headquarters level. Experience of liaising with governments and/or the donor community. Thorough understanding of UNHCR’s protection mandate and core mission. Thorough understanding of humanitarian coordination processes and recent inter-agency developments related to the IASC and the broader UN. Desirable: Inter-agency coordination role. Drafting joint appeal/ refugee response plan/HRP. Experience with another UN agency or partner.

Functional Skills *SK000187 UN-UN/UNHCR Interagency Policies, Standards, Programmes, Partnerships, Humanitarian Ops *SK000205 ER-Inter-Agency External Relations *SK000363 EX-Field experience in emergency and/or large-scale settings *SK000716 MG-Partnership Development SK000356 EX-Experience with Inter/Non-Governmental Organization (INGO/NGO) SK000383 ER-Donor Relations – Humanitarian Financing (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 Strategic Partnership Adviser should have a proven track record supporting the implementation of the humanitarian-development-peace nexus. A demonstrable capacity to build partnerships with multiple stakeholders, in particular development actors and international financial institutions is desirable in the profile. Experience working on financial inclusion, empowerment of women and gender mainstreaming will be a pivotal advantage.

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

Desired languages

Operational context

Occupational Safety and Health Considerations:

UNHCR and UN agencies jointly run JMS Level 1 medical clinic and satellite located in ICON compound. UNHCR and WFP have contracted IQARUS international to provide medical interventions under the AFMAT clinics in Kabul and Field Offices. Staff members on special prescription should travel with sufficient quantity of medication. Medical facilities for referral in Kabul include German Clinic, French Medical Institute for Mothers & Children (FMIC) and Blossom Health Center. Seasonal air pollution occurs in Afghanistan and contributes to comorbidities that are known to worsen outcomes among those infected with COVID-19.

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

Nature of Position:

The situation in Afghanistan is dynamically complex and continues to deteriorate, especially for the human rights of women and girls. The country is in general experiencing wholescale erosion of fundamental human rights for everyone. The international community, with the donor partners, the United Nations and humanitarian country teams at the vanguard, has taken a firm and principled stand in support of the people of Afghanistan by meeting their humanitarian assistance and basic human needs in this context and, inter alia, advocating strongly for the reversal of the deteriorating human rights situation. Increased political, reputational, operational, security and safety risks remain present. Principled engagement with the de facto authorities is a priority, as they control access to 37 million Afghans, and are an advocacy focus for the work of UNHCR to find solutions for the more than 2 million refugees, in Iran and Pakistan, and the more than 3.4 million IDPs in Afghanistan. This calls for constant and rapid adjustments of UNHCR approaches and engagement policies while maintaining humanitarian principles within the framework of the Solutions Strategy for Afghan refugees (SSAR. It also calls for the implementation of the humanitarian-development-peace (HDP) nexus using the area-based approach.

Under the direct supervision of the Representative, the Strategic Partnership Adviser will provide overall support in building and operationalizing the partnerships in line with the global, regional, and national policy frameworks (GCR, GRF, CRRF, SSAR, OneUN/UNSDCF, GSP, IDP Policy, national plans). S/he will be responsible for and support the Representative in operationalization of the evidence-based Country Operation partnership strategy and HDP engagement on protection, solutions, inclusion, resilience, and stabilization.

The incumbent should have relevant experience and knowledge of geo-political, security, and economic context of the Afghan situation to support the Representative in policy formulation, advocacy and coordination with diverse actors and to ensure that persons of concern (PoCs) needs are integrated into the regional, national, local frameworks. S/he will be responsible for managing and expanding the network of partners (e.g. UN, IFIs, donors, CSOs/CBOs, I/NGOs, government, private sector etc.) to enlarge UNHCR ‘s support and tap into complementary resources/support to PoCs including through area-based progrmme in the Priority Areas of Return and Reintegration (PARRs) in Afghanistan.

S/he should have demonstrated experience in leading inter-agency and national fora and HDP coordination systems including on inclusion, and preparedness and contingency plans to facilitate sustainable solutions of PoCs. S/he should have experience in (i) developing/implementing of evidence-based, conflict-sensitive, and area-based strategies and programmes to respond to new and emerging challenges in forced displacement, and (ii) support to senior management on gaps and problems on resource management to ensure a consistent application of UNHCR’s policies/practices related to UN cooperation (e.g. DAO, OneUN etc. S/he is responsible for reintegration and parentships portfolio, HDP nexus, and CRRF strategy; and provide support to resource mobilization and Comms/IM Strategy.

Living and Working Conditions:

Afghanistan is a high-risk country with a very complex operational environment, characterized by uncertainty and frequent security incidents. Movement by all personnel is restricted, coordinated and monitored by the security officers. UNHCR in Kabul is located within the ICON Compound on the Supreme road of the Police district 9. It occupies 40 MOSS compliant rooms for staff accommodation with each room having its own washroom and other facilities. Offices are within the ICON compound. No visits except in UN compounds and Embassies which is frustrating, stressful to cope.

Outdoor air quality is a health concern in Kabul. The degree of exposure and concentration of air pollutants can be detrimental to breathing problems, development of chronic diseases and deterioration of health status in individuals with chronic diseases. Office provides air purifiers both in the office and accommodation.

Security situation is unstable, volatile, unpredictable with rise 2022-2023. A daily radio check is mandatory. All movements is strictly by Armoured Vehicle or by air. A 4 weeks R&R cycle is applicable for the duty station and staff are highly encouraged not to delay. Considering the serious restrictions on staff movement, it is crucial to demonstrate a record of maintaining a positive attitude whenever confronted with adversity and restraints in social life. Staff interested in the position should be mentally, psychologically, and physically fit and ready to face situations when required to be locked down in compound bunkers for an extended period due to security incidents.

Additional Qualifications




Interagency Coord Learning Program – 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: 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, Negotiation & conflict resolution, Organizational awareness, Planning & organizing, Stakeholder management, Strategic planning & visions, Teamwork & collaboration

UNHCR Salary Calculator


March 2023 Compendium – 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: 20 April 2023 (midnight Geneva time)

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