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Programme Officer – UNHCR


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Job Description

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

Programme Officer

Organizational Setting and Work Relationships
The Programme Officer may be based in HQ, field/regional bureau, typically reporting to and be guided by the Senior Program officer and may supervise a small team of local and international staff. He/she may refer to UNHCR’s Programme Manual (Chapter IV), UNHCR’s corporate and regional strategic priorities, operation plans and other relevant institutional rules and regulations for further guidance.
The Programme Officer will provide programmatic guidance and support with regard to the implementation of protection and solutions strategies within available resources. S/he will coordinate with the other sections/units to ensure harmonized programmatic approaches at all levels and throughout the UNHCR Operations Management Cycle. S/he will work in line with the overall UNHCR directions which crucially require working with partners, including with persons of concern, governmental institutions and the private sector, ensuring that programme management is approached as per UNHCR’s Strategic Directions, Global Strategic Priorities (GSPs), Global Compact for Refugees (GCR), corporate positions on SDGs.

The incumbent is expected to work in line with the multi-functional team (MFT) approach as defined within the Program Manual, ensuring the participation of relevant stakeholders in all phases of the Program Management Cycle.

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.

– Support in assessing and analysing the needs of persons of concern in a participatory manner, using an Age, Gender and Diversity (AGD) perspective as basis for planning.
– Provide support on programmatic aspects of developing multi-year protection and solutions strategies and annual plans with corresponding priorities taking into account corporate priorities.
– Support Results Based Management and programme capacity in light of evolving requirements, programming approaches and gaps.
– Support the planning process in compliance with planning parameters outlined in the Programme Manual and the planning instructions.
– Review and analyse plans, mid-year and year-end reports of UNHCR office(s), ensuring quality assurance and compliance with established policies, guidelines, procedures and standards.
– Support in the provision of overall direction to broaden partnerships with key stakeholders in order to maximize the protection and solutions response for persons of concern.
– Provide support to ensure a consistent application of the framework for implementing with partners, including the effective implementation of the policy on selection and retention of partners, management of partnership agreements, risk-based project performance monitoring, and risk-based project audits, among others.
– Contribute to ensure consistent and coherent monitoring approaches, tools and systems in line with global standards and polices.
– Actively contribute to UNHCRs programming of community of practice and continuously contributing to improvements of programming tools and processes.
– Identify potential gaps and problems and in cooperation with other relevant sections recommend appropriate solutions to ensure the efficient implementation of programme activities.
– Oversee a timely and effective follow-up of internal and external audits observations and recommendations that relate to programmatic issues.

– Support the identification and management of risks and seek to seize opportunities impacting objectives in the area of responsibility. Ensure decision making in risk based in the functional area of work. Raise risks, issues and concerns to a supervisor or to relevant functional colleague(s).
– Perform other related duties as required.

Minimum Qualifications
Education & Professional Work Experience
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, Business Administration, Social Sciences
or other relevant field.

Demonstrated experience in programme management including familiarization with the OMC and sound knowledge Results Based-Management. Demonstrated experience in field operations, sound knowledge on the centrality of protection in programming, Joint Needs Assessments and the principles of targeting.

Demonstrated experience in coordination within an inter-agency context and other actors, in a refugee or humanitarian context. Sound experience in program management training and capacity building activities.

Functional Skills
PG-Programme Management (programme cycles and reporting standards)
PG-Results-Based Management
PG-UNHCR’s Programmes
(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 applicant should have good analytical skill to produce reports that would help decision making process, working experience in big and complex operation operations particularly in camp settings and proven managerial skill. 

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

Over 926,000 Rohingya refugees reside in Bangladesh, the majority in 33 extremely overcrowded camps in the Ukhiya and Teknaf subdivisions of Cox’s Bazar District, now home to the world’s largest refugee settlement. Some 26,000 refugees also reside on Bhasan Char, an island located in the Bay of Bengal, 60 kilometres from the Bangladesh mainland.


As the Rohingya refugee response is well into its sixth year, and with the GoB remaining focused on voluntary repatriation, in safe, dignified and sustainable conditions, as the primary solution for Rohingya refugees, UNHCR and its partners continue to support the GoB to respond to the massive humanitarian and protection needs of Rohingya refugees and alleviate the pressure on the Bangladeshi host community and existing facilities and services.


The Programme Officer is a member of the Programme team in Cox’s Bazar, under the overall supervision of the Senior Programme Officer who will monitor the performance of the incumbent and provide regular guidance. The incumbent may also receive guidance from Senior Operations Coordinator.


The Programme Officer will through a consultative process assist in the establishment and management of partnerships. She/he will guide and train UNHCR as well as partners’ staff on UNHCR standard procedures related to the Results Based Programme management. The candidate will participate in the MFT monitoring visits, data collection/verification, to measure and analyze partners’ performance, implementation trends and impact of interventions. In addition, She/he will undertake field visits to assess needs and gaps which will subsequently contribute to improve planning, programming, implementation and monitoring of projects. The incumbent of the position will be requested to assist in monitoring compliance to the organization’s resource allocation framework, identify shortcomings, provide support in addressing the shortcoming and follow on the implementation of corrective actions. The incumbent is also expected to provide inputs towards funding proposals and reporting to donors.


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



PG-Programme Management (programme cycles and reporting standards), PG-Results-Based Management, PG-UNHCR’s Programmes 


Bachelor of Arts (BA): Business Administration, Bachelor of Arts (BA): Economics, Bachelor of Arts (BA): Social Science 


Programme Management – 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: RefugeesCompetencies

Accountability, Analytical thinking, Change capability & adaptability, Client & results orientation, Commitment to continuous learning, Communication, Empowering & building trust, Judgement & decision making, Managing performance, Managing resource, Negotiation & conflict resolution, Organizational awareness, 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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