Shelter Officer at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

Full Time
Posted 2 years ago

Shelter Officer at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) are recruiting to fill for the position below;

Job Title: Shelter Officer

Job ID: 18448
Location: Maiduguri, Borno
Salary Grade: P3
Hardship Level: E

Organizational Setting and Work Relationships
The Shelter Officer conducts comprehensive sectoral needs assessments in liaison with other relevant sectors such as Protection, Programme, Community Services, Public Health, WASH, Administration and Supply. To ensure the most effective response, both quantitative and qualitative data should be gathered on the profile/needs and living conditions of both the displaced population and host community.

Close and regular contact is also maintained with technical and non-technical staff of UN Agencies, Implementing Partners, and Shelter sector members, national and international NGOs and Government Authorities. The incumbent also discusses matters relating to shelter and infrastructure coordination and provision. Specialized functions to be dealt with by the incumbent in this post include shelter planning/design and construction monitoring including remote monitoring, therefore the person should have a strong academic qualification in civil engineering, architecture or a related discipline.

The Shelter Officer also ensures that the development of shelter strategies takes into account the local context, age and gender, culture, climate, environmental protection, available resources and skills. In addition, the incumbent ensures that shelter responses within the Area of Responsibility (AoR) evolve according to the changing nature of the situation, progressively working towards more durable solutions and drawing from local building practices and materials. Within an urban context, it is essential that shelter responses take into consideration urban planning strategies, including an analysis or residential areas, housing affordability and availability. In addition, regardless of the context, shelter assistance should at all times minimize the risk of eviction, exploitation and abuse, overcrowded living conditions, limited access to services and unhygienic conditions. The Shelter Officer normally reports to the Senior Shelter Officer.

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 that UNHCR Field Operations are supported in carrying out shelter and settlement needs assessments taking into account the current situation, projected population planning figures and the expected scale of returns and displacement.
  • Contribute to the development of country level shelter strategies which are framed by UNHCR¿s Global Strategy for Settlement and Shelter and take into consideration the local context, age and gender, culture, climate, environmental protection and the availability of local resources, including materials, capacities and existing infrastructure.
  • Provide clear guidance on standards and best practices for shelter and settlement, including minimum emergency standards to meet basic and essential needs.
  • Organise and provide trainings in construction techniques and practices leading to more durable solutions and drawing from local building practices and materials.
  • Together with UNHCR’s implementing partners and Shelter Cluster members, compile, analyse and map available information on shelter options in country taking into account relevant policies adopted by the Government. When planning shelter works, ensure that the technical component reflects UNHCR minimum standards for the provision of emergency and other types of shelter assistance and is within the budgetary requirements. Due consideration should be given to standards in other relevant sectors such as water and sanitation.
  • Ensure the shelter strategy is periodically reviewed to reflect the evolving situation in country and progressively transitioning to more sustainable shelter solutions. This process should be done in close collaboration with the beneficiaries and the host Government while bearing in mind the shelter needs of people upon their eventual return to their country of origin.
  • Ensure that specifications, bills of quantities and drawings are produced in a technically sound and standardised manner and monitor programme performance to ensure works are implemented according to plans and completed within the designated timeframe.
  • Promote the sustainability of technical interventions through local capacity building and self-help in collaboration with local partners in the field. Ensure that local communities have been consulted on all activities so as not to create unnecessary tension between the displaced and host populations.
  • In consultation with UNHCR¿s implementing partners and local communities themselves, identify the need for community based Quick Impact Projects (QIPs) that can benefit the local and displaced communities.
  • Intervene with implementing partners on Shelter issues.
  • Decide priorities in the designing of implementation plan.
  • Advise on implementing partners’ selection.
  • Ensure technical information is available on the SIP (settlement information portal), ensure shelter dashboards are populated with relevant data, prepare mission reports and debrief.
  • Maintain regular contact with the SSS/DPSM Section in Geneva and support regular technical updates.
  • Enforce compliance with, and integrity of, all shelter standard operating procedures.
  • Enforce technical strategies, protocols and guidelines.
  • Perform other related duties as required.

Minimum Qualifications
Education & Professional Work Experience

  • Years of Experience / Degree Level: 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:

  • Architecture Engineering;
  • Civil Engineering;
  • Or other relevant field.

Relevant Job Experience

  • Prior experience of implementing shelter and settlement projects in humanitarian context and large scale emergencies coordinating with operational partners, governmental technical departments. Minimum 2 years of international field experience
  • Prior experience in designing and implementing a shelter strategy, including host family situations, collective shelter and camp settings, in emergency while considering the transition to more sustainable solutions. Project formulation, planning, supervision and management skills.
  • Proficient in basic computer software¿s, including engineering (AutoCAD) and site planning design tools (GPS). Previous involvement in implementation processes (including development of bill of quantities, analysis of local capacity and local markets, cost estimations, etc.)
  • Experience of construction management (including site supervision, monitoring, quality control, evaluation etc.) including application of participatory approaches to facilitate active participation of communities into the project cycle and into the construction process
  • Experience in developing shelter and settlement need assessments and undertaking gap analysis for development of shelter programmes. Experience in building on existing local capacity and transfer knowledge as appropriate.


  • Knowledge of UNHCR shelter standards, as well as standards related to protection, WASH, environment and land use. Knowledge of a range of shelter assistance options, including sensitivity to cultural and gender specific needs to ensure that the social and cultural background of the refugees is taken into account while designing, developing and implementing shelter options
  • Familiarity with and considerable Field exposure to UNHCR programme planning and implementation and on humanitarian operations. Ability making the linkages to rehabilitation and development programmes will be an added advantage.

Functional Skills:

  • IT-Computer Literacy;
  • SP-Environment Planning;
  • SP-Design tools such as Global Positioning System (GPS);
  • SP-Shelter and Site Planning Technical Guidelines and Standards;
  • SP-Infrastructure Development/Construction Management/Property Management;
  • EX-Field experience in emergency and/or large-scale settings;
  • SP-Autocad software;
  • PR-Global Shelter Cluster Strategy;
  • SP-Shelter Assessment including survey/implementation/monitoring/evaluation/coordination
  • MG-Crisis/Emergency Relief Management;

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.

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.

Position Competencies

  • C001L3 Accountability Level 3
  • C002L3 Teamwork & Collaboration Level 3
  • C003L3 Communication Level 3
  • C004L3 Commitment to Continuous Learning Level 3
  • C005L3 Client & Result Orientation Level 3
  • C006L3 Organizational Awareness Level 3
  • M001L3 Empowering and Building Trust Level 3
  • M006L3 Managing Resources Level 3
  • M005L3 Leadership Level 3
  • M003L3 Judgement and Decision Making Level 3
  • X005L3 Planning and Organizing Level 3
  • X003L3 Technological Awareness Level 3
  • X001L3 Analytical Thinking Level 3
  • X008L3 Stakeholder Management Level 3

Procedures and Eligibility

  • Before submitting an application, UNHCR staff members intending to apply to this Job Opening are requested to consult the Recruitment and Assignments Policy (RAP, UNHCR/HCP/2017/2 and the Recruitment and Assignments Administrative Instruction (RAAI), UNHCR/AI/2017/7 OF 15 August 2017.

Note: 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.


Job Features

Job CategoryAdministration/ Office/ Operations, NGO / Community Services
Closing Date14th October, 2019.

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