Assistant Government Liaison Officer, Garowe, Somalia

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

Assistant Government Liaison Officer, Garowe, Somalia

  • Organization: UNHCR – United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  • Location: Garowe
  • Closing Date: February 11, 2024

Hardship Level

E (most hardship)

Family Type

Non Family with Residential Location

Family Type

Non Family with Residential LocationDanger Pay

Residential location (if applicable)

Nairobi (CO), Kenya



Staff Member / Affiliate Type

National Professional Officer


Regular > Regular Assignment

Remote work accepted


Target Start Date


Job Posting End Date

February 11, 2024

Standard Job Description

Assistant Government Liaison Officer

Organizational Setting and Work Relationships
The Assistant Government Liaison Officer is usually located in country operations. S/he plays a crucial support role in ensuring UNHCR’s approach to the Government is consistent, strategic and coherent. UNHCR assists the Government on coordination, response delivery and protection issues. Typically, this involves joint coordination arrangements, partnership with various government departments in service delivery, and regular dialogue at all levels on refugee protection issues. The main aim is to assist senior management to ensure that UNHCR can fulfil its role to support the Government to lead the refugee response ensuring the protection of refugees and – in line with the GCR – promote the inclusion of refugees into national systems by coordinating with other actors – including development actors at the early stages of a refugee response and in mixed situations supporting the Government to prevent, respond to and resolve internal displacement while complementing and reinforcing national response efforts. This should be done in line with UNHCR’s Mandate, the Global Compact for Refugees, the IDP policy, and agreed inter-agency commitments. More specifically, s/he advises the senior management on issues and processes concerning the relationship with the Government and related positioning, coordination, advocacy, information, resource allocation, fundraising, reporting, and communication with other UN agencies, NGOs, civil society actors, private sector, media and other relevant actors through strong engagement in humanitarian inter-agency processes, but also with a focus on development processes as they impact on UNHCR. The overall goal of the position is to support the effectiveness of UNHCR’s leadership roles and responses to situations affecting people of concern to UNHCR (refugees, asylum-seekers, IDPs, stateless persons, returnees, host communities) through an open and transparent partnership approach with the Government.

The Assistant Government Liaison Officer ensures that support is provided for strategic planning, assessment, monitoring and analysis concerning the relationship with the Government. The Assistant Government Liaison Officer will support all planning and reporting activities. The incumbent will support the supervisor in maintaining a constant dialogue with the Government on the overall protection context. A key tool in this regard will be the facilitation and support of periodic meetings with the Government, as well as to support the broadening of mutual information through meeting reports, situation updates and newsletters.

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.

– Assist in the establishment of close working relations with Government Officials and/or other external parties.
– Provide suggestions for promoting UNHCR’s policies and liaising with Government authorities on issues related to latest humanitarian and development processes.
– Support coordination meetings as required, including by preparing meetings and background information, drafting minutes and follow-up documentation.
– Manage the flow of information to/from the supervisor and other senior staff; identifies priority matters that need to be urgently addressed by the supervisor.
– Draft correspondence, documents and reports, and prepares tables and ensures follow-up.
– Assist in ensuring appropriate links with the Government through establishment/maintenance of appropriate coordination and information exchange.
– Act on behalf of the supervisor to convey, clarify and explain UNHCR’s positions to Government or other external parties as applicable.
– Inform the supervisor on a continuing basis of relevant information on the outcome of discussions with external parties.
– Act as interpreter during meetings held by the supervisor with senior officials or other external parties.
– Accompany the supervisor and Headquarters visitors to camps, border missions and provincial cities.
– May be required to coordinate the work of lower level staff.

– 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

Years of Experience / Degree Level
For P1/NOA – 1 year relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or no experience with Graduate degree; or no experience with Doctorate degree

Field(s) of Education
Law/International Law;
Political Science;
Social Science;
Business Administration;
or other relevant field.

Certificates and/or Licenses
Not specified.

Relevant Job Experience
Not specified.
Not specified.

Functional Skills
CO-Drafting and Documentation
CL-Multi-stakeholder Communications with Partners, Government & Community
(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

UNHCR SO Galkayo is recruiting an Assistant Government Liaison Officer for its office in Garoowe. This individual will work under the direct supervision of the Galkayo Head of Sub-Office and will be expected to effectively coordinate with various stakeholders in the complex field of humanitarian work.

The ideal candidate should be a dedicated team leader, flexible and proactive in managing emergency situations and challenges as they arise. He/she should have proven experience in emergency management, stakeholders’ management, and coordination with Government and partners. A thorough understanding of UNHCR’s protection mandate and humanitarian coordination processes and/or development coordination is desirable.

The candidate should have a strong background in humanitarian work and coordination. He/she should possess a knowledge of international protection principles and experience with UNHCR ProGres software would be a plus. The ability to liaise with Government and local authorities and conduct protection needs assessments will be an asset.

The candidate should also be proficient in coordinating with clusters like WASH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene), Shelter, Protection (HLP), etc. He/she should be able to advocate for CCCM, support early recovery activities, and integrate cross-cutting issues in CCCM Cluster work.

The incumbent must have excellent writing, editing, and communication skills and be able to deliver quality work under pressure, within a short time frame.

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 kindly visit this link:

Nature of Position:

UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) Field Unit of Garoowe is part of the overall Puntland team responding to forcibly displacement of population, climate changes adverse socioeconomic challenges. The location is impacted by unfolding conflicts in the region, insurgency, and various natural disasters such as flooding, drought, and food insecurity all of which have created displaced persons in need of protection and assistance internally.

The Sub-Office of Galkayo to which the Garoowe field Unit reports work is guided by the EAGL regional Bureau’s Strategic Direction and Priorities defined in the Somalia 2023-2025 multi-year plan. In response to the growing needs of asylum seekers, refugees with large backlogs in RSD (Refugee Status Determination), mixed migrants and IDPS, UNHCR is redoubling its efforts to find comprehensive solutions such as durable solutions, including livelihoods, access to the protection environment through registration, IDPs enrolment and legal documentation, promoting the community-based approach for protection and strengthening our Accountability to Affected People (AAP) towards People with and for whom UNHCR works.

The Assistant Government Liaison Officer based in Garoowe will report to and act as a key advisor to the Head of Sub-Office of Galkayo. He/she is acting as the Garoowe Unit leader and supervises one Field Associate and one Driver.

The incumbent will work in close coordination with other sections of the Galkayo Sub- Office and Bossaso field office to ensure effective UNHCR leadership roles and responses to situations affecting forcibly displaced people (i.e., Refugees, Asylum Seekers, IDPs, returnees, host communities, Mixed Migrants) through an open and transparent partnership approach with the Puntland Government.

The incumbent is expected to work in agreement with the Multi-Functional Team, results managers ensuring that support for strategic planning, implementation, monitoring, analysis and reporting with Puntland Government/Partners involvement is fully provided.

He/she must be able to support Sub-Office management in maintaining a constant dialogue with Puntland Government and partners on the overall protection context. In this regard, the incumbent will also facilitate regular meetings with the Government, Partners and the expansion of mutual information through timely meeting reports, operational, security, political, situational updates, and newsletters.

Living and Working Conditions:

Security: The overall security environment in Puntland and Galmudug is substantial with armed conflict, Terrorism, and organised crimes as the main threats. Staff are encouraged to attain respective briefing prior to any travel. All staff are encouraged to submit their TRIP prior to any movement.

Transportation: With the approval of several domestic flights, UNHAS remains to be the preferred means of transportation to and from Galkayo due to the irregularities. However, within Puntland, Ethiopian Airlines has flights to and from Garoowe and Bossaso coupled to other domestic flights like Freedom and Premier airlines on a regular basis.

For inter town movements, local staff can move by road transport using third party transport under low profile on official missions and taxi services are available for private movements.

Medical: As far as medical facilities are concerned, there is a UN dispensary in the Common Compound managed by a medical doctor and a nurse from UNDP (United Nations Development Programme). In addition to the dispensary, Modern Hospital and GMC hospital have agreement with UNHCR Somalia and do accept the use our medical insurance (MIP (Medical Insurance Plan)).

Accommodation: In Galkayo, local staff can get accommodation from reliable guest houses with support from the security team. However, access to a reasonable food variety in Galkayo is particularly challenging due to the nomadic nature.

Banking: There are no official banking facilities like in Mogadishu with ATMs, but local staff can have access to their accounts using a mobile money transfer agent Amal Money
Transfer. Local staff are encouraged to open an account with Amal.

Dress code: UN staff travelling to the field are advised to respect the Somali culture and women are particularly encouraged to cover their hair and wear long skirts/trousers and long-sleeved blouses.

Telecommunication: The major telecommunication companies in Galkayo are Golis and SOMTEL with all staff using Golis. Nevertheless, the network supports roaming services for Hormud telecommunication and Kenya’s Safaricom network.

Additional Qualifications


CL-Multi-stakeholder Communications with Partners, Government & Community, CO-Drafting and Documentation, SO-Networking


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


Work Experience


Accountability, Client & results orientation, Commitment to continuous learning, Communication, Empowering & building trust, Negotiation & conflict resolution, Organizational awareness, Political awareness, Stakeholder management, Teamwork & collaboration

UNHCR Salary Calculator


Additional Information

Shortlisted candidates may be subjected to a written test.

Functional clearance

This position doesn’t require a functional clearance.

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