Team Leader, Operations Support Office and Field Protection Coordinator, P-4

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International Public Sector
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Team Leader, Operations Support Office and Field Protection Coordinator, P-4

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Application closing date: 30 May 2018

UNRWA, the largest United Nations operation in the Middle East with over 30,000 staff working in five areas of operation, is looking for committed professionals wishing to make a change.

Protection for every Palestine refugee

Over 5 million registered Palestine refugees are covered under UNRWA’s protection mandate: to provide protection activities that aim to respond to the protection needs of Palestine refugees amidst increasing conflict and displacement in the region. For a wide range of reasons, Palestine refugees do not enjoy basic human rights, and the vulnerability of women and children to violence and abuse is also increasing. In recent years, UNRWA has strengthened its capacity to provide protection to Palestine refugees through various initiatives. We apply a holistic approach to protection: an ‘internal’ dimension, focusing on realizing the rights of Palestine refugees in and through the Agency’s service delivery programmes, and an ‘external’ dimension involving engagement with relevant duty bearers to ensure respect for Palestine refugee rights.

Do you want to make a lasting difference?

If you are passionate about ensuring protection for Palestine refugees in Gaza, UNRWA would like to hear from you. In this role, you will be responsible for the day-to-day management of the Operations Support Office team in Gaza, and leading and coordinating UNRWA Gaza’s efforts to integrate the principles and practice of protection into its programmes and operations. This is a position for a mature professional in the humanitarian field who possesses a thorough understanding of humanitarian principles and operations and the programmatic, advocacy and conceptual aspects of protection, and possesses the skills to translate these principles into practice for the benefit of Palestine refugees in Gaza.

The main responsibilities include:

  • Leading the Operations Support Office, which contributes to the Agency’s humanitarian programmes in the Gaza Strip by proactively monitoring, documenting and reporting on the living conditions of Palestine refugees and protection, and Agency adherence to humanitarian principles, particularly neutrality;
  • Providing oversight to the team’s inspection process of UNRWA’s property and any assets that the Agency controls to monitor that they are used only as intended. Following up with relevant internal and external interlocutors on issues related to the neutrality and integrity of UNRWA property and assets
  • Overseeing the daily management of the Operations Support Office team in accordance with the established work plans and objectives including plan and execution of all operations; overseeing resource allocation, establishing and maintaining operational guidelines and issuing instructions to his/her team members and administrative duties related to the assigned staff and for all logistics related to the programme;
  • Leading the implementation of the Agency’s protection strategy (including GBV and Child Protection) at the field level by  coordinating the development  and implementation of the Gaza Field Office’s multi-year protection operational plan and annual protection work plans;
  • Leading the OSO team to monitor, document, refer and report on protection incidents and cases, patterns and trends and advising the development of response mechanisms by programmes; assisting Chiefs of Area Offices, and other governorate-level staff in identifying and responding to specific protection needs and well-being of refugees;
  • Ensuring that rapidly changing protection needs are monitored and addressed during escalations of violence; providing the Director with regular, analytical reports on protection threats of refugees and advising on decision points; ensuring that UNRWA advocacy messages and strategies are well-informed by protection and operational challenges on the ground;
  • Providing technical guidance on protection, including all aspects of GBV, child protection and disability, so that it is mainstreamed throughout UNRWA programmes, planning and service delivery; helping develop a field-office wide case referral mechanism; facilitating the training of programme staff on protection work plans;
  • Contributing to the organisation and briefing of high level delegations.
  • Maintaining close cooperation with the Gaza Field Office (GFO) Field Security Officer (FSO) and UN Department of Safety and Security (DSS) in order to brief OSOs on developments in the security situation, to guide OSOs while in the field, to inform the Agency’s protection and neutrality intervention efforts, and to ensure information gathered is shared;
  • Serving as the protection focal point for actors external to the UNRWA Gaza office; liaising with and attending the Protection Cluster and Child Protection Working Group; coordinating with OHCHR, OCHA, relevant NGOs and other protection partners in the Gaza Strip; collaborating with OHCHR and others in planning and hosting human rights delegation visits and other protection-focused delegations when visiting Gaza such as special rapporteurs and provide inputs to the international human right mechanisms;
  • Monitoring political and operational developments in the Gaza Strip, the occupied Palestinian territory and the region, particularly in relation to the development of law and policy in the area of refugees’ protection.

Conditions of service 

UNRWA offers an attractive compensation package including annual salary starting at $71,332 net tax free with post adjustment of 55.2% (subject to change without notice). All UNRWA duty stations (with the exception of Gaza and Syria) are family duty stations. Other benefits, subject to eligibility, include:

  • Dependency allowances
  • Rental subsidy
  • Education grant for children
  • Home leave travel
  • 6 weeks (30 working days) annual leave
  • Pension fund entitlements under the UN Joint Staff Pension Fund
  • International health insurance; optional life insurance
  • Disability protection

Additional benefits available to staff working in Gaza:

  • Hardship allowance
  • Non-family service allowance
  • R&R leave (currently every 8 weeks)
  • Family visit travel
  • Support for settling-in of staff
  • Members’ families in nearby locations*

* While Gaza is a non-family duty station, eligible staff members may set up a second household in a nearby location to have their family nearby. However, Gaza remains the official duty station with any travel outside the duty station being subject to management approval and in accordance to office practices to ensure international staff presence in Gaza at all times.

To qualify for this position, you will need:


Advanced university degree from an accredited educational institution in political or social sciences or law, or related discipline; a first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of an advanced university degree;

Work experience 

A minimum of eight years of relevant professional experience managing or supporting large-scale humanitarian operations, as well as in protection response in emergency contexts, including at least two years of relevant experience at international level outside your home country;


Excellent command of written and spoken English.

Desirable qualifications:

  • Ability to speak Arabic.

You will also need to demonstrate the following competencies:

  • Excellent interpersonal skills, mature, independent, disciplined, loyal, self-confident and self-assured
  • Excellent analysis, communication, negotiation skills and demonstrated ability to handle sensitive situations diplomatically
  • Ability to work under pressure and lead a team
  • Flexible, able to assess and analyse situations quickly, objectively and prudently
  • Politically aware while remaining neutral, impartial and discreet at all times
  • Strong knowledge of and exposure to a range of human rights issues to include approaches and techniques to address sensitive problems
  • Ability to establish priorities and to plan work assignments
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United Nations Relief & Works Agency (UNRWA)

UNRWA human development and humanitarian services encompass primary and vocational education, primary health care, relief and social services, infrastructure and camp improvement, microfinance and emergency response, including in situations of armed conflict.

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