Job Opening

Duty Station: Field Locations
Posting Period: 19 December 2016 - 26 February 2017
Job Opening Number: 16-Political Affairs-FMADPKO-71792-P- (M)
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
Sorry, this job opening is no longer available.

Special Notice

The United Nations Secretariat maintains rosters of qualified and available candidates to fill anticipated job openings in peacekeeping operations, special political missions, and other field operations.

The purpose of this job opening is to deepen the roster of qualified D1 Head of Office candidates in anticipation of vacancies in field mission locations. Please note that Head of Office positions are typically in conflict and post-conflict locations in non-family and/or hardship duty stations. Heads of Offices may also be housed in camp environments. An updated list of missions and additional information on working in the field can be found at

For this Job Opening, candidates should have at least three years of field experience in a conflict or post-conflict setting, including at least one year of field experience at the sub-national level outside a capital city. Prior experience working in the United Nations Secretariat is not a requirement. Applications from qualified men and women of all nationalities are sought.

The entire assessment process takes an average of six months. All applicants will be notified in writing of the outcome of their application (whether successful or unsuccessful) within 14 days of the conclusion of the process. Successful candidates will be placed on the roster and subsequently will be invited to apply for field mission vacancies open only to roster members. Roster membership does not guarantee selection.

Org. Setting and Reporting

These positions are located in the United Nations field Peace Operations and Special Political missions. Typically Heads of Office (HoO) are deployed at the sub-national level in regional field offices and report to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General. The Head of Office (HoO) is the most senior United Nations representative in the designated Area of Responsibility (AoR) and is responsible for implementing the Mission’s mandate and developing strategies for achieving these goals in the AoR using the political, institutional and financial resources available. The position provides a unique opportunity to play a central role in implementing one of the United Nations' most important mandates.


Within limits of delegated authority, the Head of Office’s responsibilities may include the following:

• As the most senior United Nations official in the AoR, the HoO represents the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) with local authorities, senior government officials, international organisations, representatives of civil society and other senior stakeholders.
• Ensures the mission is fully engaged in any ongoing political processes that the mission is mandated to support in the AoR.

Operational Management
• In consultation with substantive components at Mission Headquarters (HQ), lead, direct and coordinate the personnel, operations and programs of all civilian Mission components in the Field Office AoR, in line with the mandate and strategic guidance and priorities provided by Mission Headquarters, as well as applicable principles, rules and regulations.
• Ensure the operational functioning of the Field Office, in collaboration with Mission Support and the military.
• Formulate a comprehensive programme of work for the Field Office, including operational plans within the AoR, determining local priorities and activities that are in accordance with the mandate, that align with the strategic direction of the Mission and the Result-Based Budget (RBB) and which promote coherence and integration across the substantive units.
• Monitor and report on performance against targets/indicators developed in the local workplans, for example for mandated reporting to the General Assembly such as the RBB performance report and the Mission’s quarterly goals.
• Ensures that the resources provided to the Field Office are managed and used efficiently and effectively.
• Work in close partnership with the Mission’s military and police components to ensure that their activities are aligned with Mission priorities and relevant frameworks and regulations, including vis-à-vis security management.
• Through delegated authority, act as Area Security Coordinator, responsible for implementing the UN security management framework, designed to ensure the protection of all UN staff and assets.
• Manage and oversee the development of quick impact projects and their implementation and evaluations.
• Supervise, mentor, and evaluate civilian staff within the Field Office and participate in the selection of new staff.

Analysis, Advice and Reporting
• Assess implications of local developments and emerging issues in the AoR and make recommendations to Mission leadership on possible strategies, actions, policies and other measures to address issues of concern and to advance mandated objectives and UN principles and values; Ensure outcomes are monitored, evaluated and reported.
• Ensure regular, timely and high quality reporting to the Mission leadership on pertinent developments and issues; Oversee and manage the preparation of summary and analytical reports, including conflict analyses, situation reports, briefing notes, notes to file and draft code cables.
• Oversee the preparation of contextual information materials, such as background notes and profiles; Ensure an effective system of information management designed to guarantee accessibility and utility of information.

Planning, Coordination and Facilitation
• Develop and maintain productive relationships with the authorities, political and community leaders, civil society actors, the UN family and other national and international partners on operations, coordination and policy matters.
• Develop and lead outreach strategies targeting the local population, in order to cultivate ties, create/expand political space, foster inter-community dialogue and conflict resolution and develop an understanding of local perceptions and views on relevant issues, challenges and possible solutions thereto; Ensure that perceptions are factored into the Mission’s own activities and contribution to policy-making and planning processes.
• Consult and collaborate with institutional partners to increase understanding of issues and develop strategies and plans of action to address challenges, in pursuit of shared objectives.
• Promote coherence in the activities of the members of the United Nations Country Team (UNCT); Support the development and implementation of UN common planning and programming processes, including through the provision of substantive and practical assistance to related activities.
• Support and/or facilitate visits to the AoR by Mission delegations and/or other partners and stakeholders.


Professionalism: Extensive understanding of conflict and post-conflict contexts, with proven ability to work under pressure in austere, insecure environments while maintaining resilience, integrity, productivity and effectiveness. Demonstrated capacity and willingness to learn and apply United Nations Secretariat rules and regulations in a sub-national field context. Proven ability to work in a diverse environment, including with uniformed personnel. Shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations. Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work

Creativity: Actively seeks to improve programmes or services; Offers new and different options to solve problems or meet client needs; Promotes and persuades others to consider new ideas; Takes calculated risks on new and unusual ideas; thinks "outside the box"; Takes an interest in new ideas and new ways of doing things; Is not bound by current thinking or traditional approaches.

Accountability: Takes ownership of all responsibilities and honours commitments; delivers outputs for which one has responsibility within prescribed time, cost and quality standards; operates in compliance with organizational regulations and rules; supports subordinates, provides oversight and takes responsibility for delegated assignments; takes personal responsibility for his/her own shortcomings and those of the work unit, where applicable.

Leadership: Serves as a role model that other people want to follow: empowers others to translate vision into results; is proactive in developing strategies to accomplish objectives; establishes and maintains relationships with a broad range of people to understand needs and gain support; anticipates and resolves conflicts by pursuing mutually agreeable solutions; drives for change and improvements; does not accept the status quo; shows the courage to take unpopular stands. Provides leadership and takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work; demonstrates knowledge of strategies and commitment to the goal of gender balance in staffing.

Judgment/Decision-making: Identifies the key issues in a complex situation, and comes to the heart of the problem quickly; gathers relevant information before making a decision; considers positive and negative impacts of decisions prior to making them; takes decisions with an eye to the impact on others and on the Organization; proposes a course of action or makes a recommendation based on all available information; checks assumptions against facts; determines the actions proposed will satisfy the expressed and underlying needs for the decision; makes tough decisions when necessary


Advanced university degree (Master's degree or equivalent) in political or social science, law, international relations, public administration, humanitarian affairs, security operations, or a related field. A first level university degree with a relevant combination of academic qualifications and experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree

Work Experience

A minimum of fifteen years of progressively responsible experience in political, civil or humanitarian affairs, public administration, programme management, security operations, or a related field is required. Extensive experience in outreach, facilitation, analysis, advice and reporting is required. At least five years of experience in the management and coordination of multi-disciplinary teams is required. At least three years of experience working in a United Nations common system field operation (inclusive of peacekeeping, political missions and UN agencies, funds, and programmes) - or similar international organization or non-governmental organization - in a conflict or post-conflict setting is required. One year of field experience at the sub-national level outside a capital city is required. Experience in crisis or emergency response is required. Experience implementing organisational mandated security protocols is required. Experience working with or coordinating closely with uniformed and non-uniformed personnel is required.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in English (oral and written) is required. Working knowledge of French is desirable.


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by competency-based interview.

United Nations Considerations

According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity, including but not limited to, respect for international human rights and humanitarian law. Candidates may be subject to screening against these standards, including but not limited to, whether they have committed or are alleged to have committed criminal offences or violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law.

Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. The United Nations places no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.

Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the At-a-Glance on "The Application Process" and the Instructional Manual for the Applicants, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.

The screening and evaluation of applicants will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations including the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of the General Assembly, the Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications, including but not limited to, their education, work experience, and language skills, according to the instructions provided on inspira. Applicants will be disqualified from consideration if they do not demonstrate in their application that they meet the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations. Applicants are solely responsible for providing complete and accurate information at the time of application: no amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to a reference-checking process to verify the information provided in the application.

Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at midnight (New York time) on the deadline date.

No Fee


Sorry, this job opening is no longer available.
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