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Head of Field Office P4


Opportunity Deadline


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Job Description

  • Location: Bangladesh
  • Organization: UNHCR
  • Category: Management
  • Job Type: Full Time
  • Salary: N/A
  • Vacancy No: JR2328215
  • No of Jobs: N/A
  • Experience: For P4 – 9 years relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or 8 years relevant experience with Graduate degree; or 7 years relevant experience with Doctorate degree
  • Gender: Male/Female
  • Deadline: 9 November 2023
Cox’s Bazaar, Bangladesh
time type
Full time
posted on
Posted Today
job requisition id

Only candidates who are not nationals of the country of assignment are eligible to apply to this position


Hardship Level


Family Type


Residential location (if applicable)





Staff Member / Affiliate Type


* Staff members will not normally serve in International Professional positions in the country of their nationality. In addition, in case of a first appointment upon recruitment, the assignment must be outside the staff member’s country of nationality.

In practical terms this means that you are not eligible to apply for International Professional vacancies advertised in the country where you are national of.



Regular > Regular Assignment

Remote work accepted


Target Start Date


Job Posting End Date

November 9, 2023


Standard Job Description

Head of Field Office

Organizational Setting and Work Relationships

Head of a UNHCR Field Office (HoFO) is a senior managerial position within a given country operation. The incumbent carries the full delegated authority of the UNHCR Representative (or the country Manager or Head of Sub-Office) of the country, who will exercise entire supervisory managerial responsibility over the position. The position, on the other hand, provides all 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 UNCR 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 Representative (or the country manager) on a regular and timely manner. Subject to the specific legal or socio economic or security developments in the Area of Responsibility (AOR), Representative will direct and guide the Head of Field Office to take the most appropriate course of action. Concerning overall physical security concerns, HoFO will liaise directly with the competent UN security coordinator while keeping the UNHCR Representative fully informed.

While the functional responsibility of a Head of Field Office will always remain the same despite its grade level, the other parameters (therefore the depth and breadth of the competencies) such as the size of the population of concern to UNHCR, their specific legal/security concerns, volume of assistance, Number of operational / Implementing partners and the size of the Office (i.e. number of UNHCR staff and their grade levels) will determine the appropriate grade level. The operational autonomy also depends upon the same parameters/competencies.

As the most senior UNHCR staff member within the given geographical area, he/she is required to liaise with all the relevant senior government officials, security organs in the area, the Head of various Non-Governmental Organisations (both national and internationals based in the area), Civilian/tribal leaders/elders, local opinion makers and the local media net-work to ensure his/her assigned responsibilities are effectively and efficiently discharged.

As the extended field representative of UNHCR at the front line of High Commissioner¿s operations, he/she remain as the effective advocate and assistant to the local authorities to ensure that the respective government authorities in the area implement their conventional responsibilities 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 refugee conventional responsibilities and international obligations of the local authorities Vis a Vis the population of concern to UNHCR within the given geographical area; based on local situations/developments make appropriate recommendation to the UNHCR Representative/HoSO.
– Advocate and promote UNHCR standards concerning the treatment of asylum seekers, refugees and returnees as well as IDPs, where applicable; Advocate, promote and encourage the concerned authorities and local opinion makers to uphold established UNHCR standards that have become the international norms.
– Ensure that the basic needs of the concerned population are properly assessed with the participation of the beneficiaries themselves, the host governments and/or the competent Implementing partners and/or UNHCR itself.
– 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
– Ensure through the subordinate staff that all deadlines for monitoring and reporting of UNHCR operational activities (i.e. include assistance as well as Administrative) are met on a regular basis.
– Manage all UNHCR resources, both human, financial/material, at an optimum level for the wellbeing of the concerned population and the UNHCR staff.
– Ensure that all security measures of UNHCR office (and residential, where ever 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.
– 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 Representative/HoSO. In the event of substantial telephone conversation that leads to specific action or non-action, it should be recorded and share with the other party.
– Represent UNHCR in inter-agency fora and with local authorities in the AOR.
– 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 Representation or Sub-Office in coordination with local authorities and NGOs.

– Lead risk assessments and discussions with team(s) to proactively manage risks and seize opportunities impacting objectives. Ensure that risk management principles are integrated in decision-making both at strategic and operational levels. Allocate resources for planned treatments with resource requirements in Strategic Plans. Ensure that risks are managed to acceptable levels and escalate, as needed. If a Risk Owner, designate the Risk Focal Point and certify that the annual risk review is completed and ensure that the risk register is updated during the year, as needed.
– Perform other related duties as required.

Minimum Qualifications

Education & Professional Work Experience
Years of Experience / Degree Level
For P4 – 9 years relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or 8 years relevant experience with Graduate degree; or 7 years relevant experience with Doctorate degree

Field(s) of Education
Human Resources Management;
Personnel Administration;
Political Science;
International Relations;
or other relevant field.

Certificates and/or Licenses
HCR Management Lrng Prg;
HCR Managing Operatns Lrng Prg;
(Certificates and Licenses marked with an asterisk* are essential)

Relevant Job Experience
In-depth knowledge in all aspects of UNHCR¿s Field level operation.  Applied experience of protection principles, operational arrangements/standards in relation to protection, assistance, UNHCR office management and staff administration. Should be conversant in the current priorities in the organisation and existing mechanisms within the organisation to implement those priorities.
Working experience both in UNHCR HQ and/or a Regional Office and the Field.

Functional Skills
IT-Microsoft Office Productivity Software
PR-Protection-related guidelines, standards and indicators
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

Refer to the section of Nature of Position.

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




Desired languages




Operational context

Occupational Safety and Health Considerations

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



Nature of Position

The Head of Field Office under the direct supervision of the Principal Situation Coordinator in Cox`s Bazar will provide day-to-day management of UNHCR activities for Bhasan Char, an island currently hosting approximately 30,000 refugees and gradually to host up to 100,000 refugees as per the government plan. The incumbent is stationed in Cox’s Bazar and is expected to travel to Bhasan Char on a regular and frequent basis for missions that can take several weeks. The position might eventually be transferred to Bhasan Char. UNHCR maintains a field presence in Bhasan Char to deliver and coordinate services to refugees provided by NGOs and UN agencies under RCM. As a leading coordination agency for the operation in Bhasan Char, the Head of UNHCR field office will be responsible for ensuring close communication and coordination with the government authorities, including security and military authorities present on the island. Moreover, as most senior UN staff on the island, the incumbent will oversee the security situation and coordinate with relevant security staff in Cox’s Bazar. Coordination with the government authorities on Bhasan Char is key to operation on the island, hence the incumbent has to ensure regular communication with all stakeholders and act overall coordinator for the response on the island. Supported by the Inter-Sector Coordinator, the Head of Office will lead the inter-sector coordination and facilitate further communication with the relevant government authorities. Given the high number of NGOs operating on the island, the Head of Office will need to ensure constructive communication and coordination to further rationalize and streamline response efforts. Therefore, previous experience in refugee coordination model is highly desired. The Head of FO Bhasan Char will supervise and manage UNHCR team assigned to the operation as well as ensure coordination with relevant technical focal points at Cox’s Bazar level. Furthermore, as part of Common Services, the Head of FO, will closely work with WFP – another key UN actor on the island and admin focal agency – to ensure staff welfare and duty of care for the staff based in Bhasan Char. Finally, the Head of FO will represent UNHCR during donor and other external visit on the island.


Living and Working Conditions

Cox’s Bazar, classified as a category D family duty station with a 2-year Standard Assignment Length (SAL), presents certain challenges and amenities. Educational resources are limited, and international schools spanning primary to secondary levels are exclusively located in Dhaka. Health services are somewhat constrained in Cox’s Bazar, with more reliable facilities accessible in Dhaka. Throughout the year, there are prevalent risks of malaria and dengue necessitating recommended vaccinations against Japanese Encephalitis and diphtheria.


As a prominent tourist destination in Bangladesh, Cox’s Bazar draws visitors due to its scenic location at the Bay of Bengal and its expansive beach. Despite its significance, the city’s infrastructure and shopping options are quite basic, catering to its relatively small population of 250,000 individuals. International staff typically reside in privately rented or serviced apartments, meeting fundamental standards.


The Rest and Recuperation (R&R) cycle in Cox’s Bazar spans 8 weeks, with Bangkok, Thailand being the designated R&R location. Flights connecting Cox’s Bazar to Dhaka operate daily but only during daylight hours. Banking facilities and ATM machines are available in Cox’s Bazar, and credit/debit cards are generally accepted. However, for those considering bringing family members, especially young children, it is advisable to consult HR for comprehensive information since educational and medical facilities may not be sufficient.


The General Threat Assessment in Bangladesh is level 3 moderate. The security situation is in general volatile and unpredictable. Given the current situation in the area, All UN official movements should be completed during daytime hours (Sunrise to sunset). All international personnel should return to their homes before 2300 hours. Crowded local markets should be avoided. Security Clearance is required and can be requested via TRIP at https://dss.un.org. Requests for clearance should be submitted 7 days prior to travel.


Additional Qualifications



MG-Field Operations Management


Bachelor of Arts (BA): Economics, Bachelor of Arts (BA): International Relations, Bachelor of Arts (BA): Law, Bachelor of Arts (BA): Management, Bachelor of Arts (BA): Personnel Administration, Bachelor of Arts (BA): Political Science


HCR Management Learning Program – UNHCR, Programme Management (PM) 1 – UNHCR

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: RefugeesCompetencies

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

UNHCR Salary Calculator



Bi-annual Compendium 2023 Part B – October 2023Additional Information






Functional clearance

This position doesn’t require a functional clearance


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