Job Opening

Department/Office: United Nations Mission in Colombia
Duty Station: QUIBDO; San Jose del Guaviare;
Posting Period: 21 February 2018 - 22 March 2018
Job Opening Number: 18-Political Affairs-MC-93515-R- (M)
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity

Org. Setting and Reporting

This position is located within the United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia. The Head of the Office reports to the Director of Field Coordination Office in Bogotá, which falls under the Deputy Special-Representative of the Secretary-General. The Head of Office is the Mission's most senior representative in his/her geographical area of responsibility and assumes overall responsibility for administering the Regional Office as well as for managing teams at the local level under the authority of the Regional Office, in line with the mandate and strategic guidance provided by Mission headquarters. The Head of Office represents the Mission and is responsible for engaging all relevant governmental and non-governmental actors, as well as the UN system, in the department(s) covered, regarding the Mission´s mandate and activities.


In line with the Mission´s mandate and strategic guidance provided by Mission headquarters, as well as applicable principles, rules and regulation, and within limits of delegated authority, the Head of Office is responsible for the effective running of the Regional Office and for, but not limited to, the following duties:

Management: Ensure that the Regional Office functions in a coordinated, coherent and effective manner across all areas of activity and responsibility; Formulate a work plan for the Regional Office and the field teams (local level) falling under the responsibility of the Regional Office; Serve as first or second reporting officer to staff in the Regional Office and at the local level; Provide strategic direction and guidance to the substantive activities of the Mission within the Regional Office´s area of responsibility; Ensure the operational functioning of the Regional Office and support the operational functioning field teams, as appropriate, in collaboration with national and regional Mission Support personnel; Analysis, Advice and Reporting: Identify, analyze and monitor regional/ local developments and emerging issues with respect to the Mission´s mandate; assess implications and make recommendations to Mission leadership and partners on possible strategies, policies and action to be taken to address issues of concern and to advance mandated objectives and UN principles and values; monitor, and report on outcomes; Ensure regular, timely and high quality reporting to Mission leadership on pertinent developments and issues related to the mandate; Manage the preparation of summary and analytical reports, including situation reports, briefing notes, notes to file and verification reports; 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 departmental and municipal authorities, political and community leaders, civil society representatives, the UN system and other national and international partners on coordination and policy matters; Develop and lead outreach strategies, in collaboration with public information staff, targeting the local population in order to build and maintain trust, manage expectations, consolidate relationships and the public opinion regarding the peace process and the Mission´s work, create/expand political space, foster dialogue 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; Provide good offices on behalf of the SRSG, as appropriate. Support and/or facilitate visits to the area of responsibility by Mission delegations and/or external partners.


Professionalism - 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.

Communication - Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; Listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; Asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; Tailors language, tone, style and format to match audience; Demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.

Teamwork – Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; Solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others; Places team agenda before personal agenda; Supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; Shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.

Managing Performance - Delegates the appropriate responsibility, accountability, and decision-making authority; Makes sure that roles, responsibilities, and reporting lines are clear to each staff member; Accurately judges the amount of time and resources needed to accomplish a task and matches task to skills; Monitors progress against milestones and deadlines; Regularly discusses performance and provides feedback and coaching to staff; Encourages risk-taking and supports staff when they make mistakes; Actively supports the development and career aspirations of staff; Appraises performance fairly.

Judgement/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 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 that the actions proposed will satisfy the expressed and underlying needs for the decision; Makes tough decisions when necessary.


An Advanced university degree (Master's degree or equivalent) in political science, international relations, social science, economics, law, public administration, or a related field is required. 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 ten (10) years of progressively responsible experience in political, civil or humanitarian affairs, human rights, programme management, or a related field is required. A proven track record of leadership in multi-cultural settings, including management and coordination of multi-disciplinary teams, is required. 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. Extensive experience in outreach, facilitation, analysis, advice and reporting is required. Experience in working with civil society organizations as well as national and international security forces (police and military) are highly desirable. Experience working in Latin America is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations. For this position, fluency in English (both oral and written) is required. Fluency in Spanish is highly desirable.


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

Special Notice

The United Nation 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 select two selected candidates and the list of qualified candidates will be included in the [Head of Office, Political Affairs, P5] roster.
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.

Quibdó and San José del Guaviare are Category C duty stations. Currently, they are family duty stations, although due to the significant hardship living and working conditions, Quibdo qualifies for a 12-week rest and recuperation (R&R) cycle and San Jose del Guaviare does not have R&R. Candidates should be fully aware of the living conditions and the limited welfare, education and medical facilities available in these locations, as well as willing and able to accept and work in such conditions prior to applying.

The United Nations is Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.

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. Candidates will not be considered for employment with the United Nations if they have committed violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law, sexual exploitation or sexual abuse, or crimes other than minor traffic offences, or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have been involved in the commission of any of these acts. The term “sexual exploitation” means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. The term “sexual abuse” means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions.

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 Manual for the Applicant, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.

The 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 according to the instructions provided in inspira to be considered for the current job opening. 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 reference checks to verify the information provided in the application.

Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at 11:59 p.m. (New York time) on the deadline date.

No Fee


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