Head of Field Unit, Dobley, Somalia

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

Head of Field Unit, Dobley, Somalia

  • Organization: UNHCR – United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  • Location: Somalia
  • Closing Date: February 14, 2024

Hardship Level

U (unclassified)

Family Type


Family Type

PendingDanger Pay

Residential location (if applicable)



Staff Member / Affiliate Type

National Professional Officer


Regular > Regular Assignment

Remote work accepted


Target Start Date


Job Posting End Date

February 14, 2024

Standard Job Description

Head of Field Unit

Organizational Setting and Work Relationships
The position is under direct supervision and guidance of the Representative/Head of Sub/Field-Office on issues concerning programme, protection, external relations, etc. Advice and operational support may also be received from other senior staff and support units at the Branch Office and from the Bureau at Headquarters.
The incumbent represents UNHCR at the field level. S/he will persuade and obtain assistance of others on matters of non-routine significance. Contacts predominantly with persons on subject matters of importance to Organization’s programmes (e.g. counterparts in other organizations or at working level in national Governments).

While the functional responsibility of a Head of Field Unit will 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. The Field Unit managed by the incumbent has no other professional position and less than 6 General Service positions. The supervisor exercises substantive oversight and provides regular guidance, direction and support to the incumbent.

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-à-vis the population of concern to UNHCR within the AOR.
– Advocate and promote UNHCR standards concerning the treatment of persons of concern.
– 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 monitoring of identified assistance activities.
– Ensure through the subordinate staff that deadlines for monitoring and reporting of UNHCR operational activities are met on a regular basis.
– Manage UNHCR resources, both human, financial/material, at an optimum level for the wellbeing of the concerned population and the UNHCR staff.
– Ensure that security measures of UNHCR office (and residential, wherever 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.
– 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.
– Any other responsibilities/functions deemed necessary or as delegated by the UNHCR Representative of the country in order to meet the level of the services in the organization.
– 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

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
Business Administration; Economics; International Relations;
Law; Management; Political Science;
or other relevant field.

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

Relevant Job Experience
Applied knowledge of protection principles, operational arrangements/standards in relation to protection, assistance, UNHCR office management and staff administration.

Not specified.

Functional Skills
*PR-Refugee Protection Principles and Framework
*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

The incumbent will work under the direct supervision of the Field Officer based in Kismayo and is expected to effectively coordinate with various stakeholders to streamline field and protection work, as well as pathways to durable solutions.

The ideal she/he should have proven experience in leadership and management skills, field and protection, stakeholders’ management, and cluster coordination with the government and partners. A thorough understanding of UNHCR’s protection mandate, durable solutions, and cross-border movement is desirable.
The She/he should have experience working directly with forcibly displaced communities, protection of vulnerable groups and practical knowledge of working with humanitarian actors.

A good understanding of IDPs, refugees’ protection, mixed migration, as well as relocation of IDPs and cluster coordination are essential. He/she should possess knowledge of international protection principles and humanitarian values. The ability to liaise and communicate with the government and local authorities, and conduct protection needs assessments, will be an asset.
Additionally, the candidate should be proficient in coordinating with sub-national clusters like WASH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene), Shelter, Protection (HLP), etc. Previous experience and knowledge in handling a humanitarian response to assist individuals suffering from the effects of natural disasters and human conflicts, understanding of the cross-cutting issues in the interagency cluster mechanism is an added advantage.

The incumbent must have excellent writing, editing, interpersonal and communication skills with the ability to deliver quality work under pressure within a short timeframe.

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: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel

Nature of Position:

UNHCR Sub Office Mogadishu covers the Southern and Central regions of Somalia, the security situation remains volatile with Al-Shabaab remaining in control of large rural areas, as well as sporadically active in urban centers by carrying out attacks ranging from bombing attacks to gaining control over some towns. There are various factors to be considered such as the current delay and disputes over the national elections in addition to the protracted and recurrent internal displacement caused by interlinked drivers (i.e., climatic shocks and conflicts).

In Jubaland State of Somalia, UNHCR continues working with the Government towards the implementation of the GCR/ CRRF to ensure that refugees, returnees, and asylum seekers are included in national development initiatives, including social protection , safety net systems and pathway to the durable solutions. Implementation of the GCR in Somalia is also rooted in regional processes led by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and guided by the Nairobi Declaration on Durable Solutions (2017). The Nairobi Declaration, and its accompanying Plan of Action, proposes a comprehensive regional approach to deliver durable solutions for Somali refugees and to create an enabling environment for their return and reintegration. The National Durable Solutions Strategy (NDSS), launched in March 2021, contributes to the implementation of GCR and the FGS’s pledges made at the Global Refugee Forum.

The Head of Field Unit (NOA) at UNHCR Field Unit  Dhobley will be under the direct supervision and guidance of the Field Officer based in Kismayo. This position encompasses a wide range of responsibilities, including program management, field/protection,  cross border monitoring, pathway to durable solutions humanitarian emergency response, and external relations. The focus is primarily on engaging with IDPs, refugees, returnees, and asylum seekers. The Head of Field Unit may also receive advice and operational support from other senior staff and support units at the Branch Office and Headquarters.

Acting as the representative of UNHCR at the field level, the incumbent is tasked with persuading and obtaining assistance from others on matters of non-routine significance.

While the functional responsibilities of a Head of Field Unit remain consistent regardless of grade level, certain parameters, such as the size of the population of concern, legal/security concerns, volume of assistance, number of operational/implementing partners, and the size of the office, determine the appropriate grade level. The operational autonomy of the Field Unit managed by the Head of Field Unit is influenced by these same parameters and competencies. In this specific context, the Field Unit overseen by the incumbent has no other professional positions and has one Driver at General Service position.

The Head of Sub Office/OiC/Field officer based in Kismayo provides substantive oversight, offering regular guidance, direction, and support to the Head of Field Unit. This dynamic ensures effective management and execution of duties within the Field Unit.

Living and Working Conditions:


Dhobley town (Afmadow district – Lower Juba) is 5 km from the border with Kenya, 18km from the Kenya border town of Liboi. Dhobley is located along the East of The Kenya border. The district is located 401 KM Southwest of Mogadishu. There is an average annual rainfall of 400mm, with marked variations according to the seasons. Vegetation in the region is primarily semiarid savannah with thorn bushes. Most of the population consists of agro- pastoralists and pastoralists communities.

Dhobley is a return destination for many Somali refugees in Kenya and so far over 1,500 households’ refugees have returned to Dobley as their destination with VOLREP infrastructure such as border way station constructed.  Moreover, Dhobley hosts over 9,560 households or 57,360 individuals Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in numerous settlements. In addition, Dhobley is prone to emergencies due to rains/floods and drought. This context has resulted in many humanitarian agencies and government institutions to engage in protection and assistance delivery as well as reintegration activities.

Security Situation:

The current risk level as reflected in the Security Risk Assessment for Dhobley is indicated HIGH, however it is relatively stable compared to other enclaves in the region, but sporadic militant activities have been reported recently.

AMISOM Sector 2 HQ with more than 300 soldiers (currently KDF) is in near proximity to the town and has significantly contributed to the improved security in the immediate area. However, despite having experienced relative calm for the past years, the conditions may change rapidly.

Living Conditions:

International staff are accommodated at UNSOS compound inside AMISOM base which is approximately 1.5 km from the town. Staff are being moved daily with armed escort provided by the local police and will be using UNHCR AVs. Request AMISOM escort to provide security on staff movement can be done on need basis.

AMISOM provides security during the day while staff are working within UNHCR compound. Additionally, there is a presence of armed security within UNHCR compound contracted through partnership agreement to provide security services in both the way station and office compound.

Living conditions:

UNHCR currently have no international staff based in Dobley, however international staff on mission are accommodated in UNSOS compound inside ATMIS base which is approximately 1.5km from town. The staff will commute daily with armed escort provided by the local police and will be using UNHCR AV. National staff live in the town, they commute to and from the office on working days. UNHCR provides shuttle service to/from office and staff residences. In town, there are social amenities, including cafes, restaurants, football playgrounds, and recreational public parks to which national staff have access.

Working conditions:

UNHCR has an office in the town. The office is equipped with furniture, office items, and full access to the internet.  Field and Protection staff regularly visit IDP sites and monitor Partners project implementation activities. Other UN agencies, including UNICEF, WFP, IOM, FAO and WHO have a presence in Dobley. UNHCR closely works with UN agencies, NGOs, and Government offices, particularly the state authority organization Jubaland commission of Refugees and IDPs (JUCRI), the Ministry of Humanitarian, and the district office. UNHCR also hosts WFP in the premises through an existing MOU.

Healthcare services:

There are very limited medical facilities in Dhobley. In the town, national staff have access to Dhobley General Hospital and other private clinics. Additionally, there is Level II clinic in UNSOS/UNSOM compound, run by ATMIS (KDF), and the National staff members and their dependents have full access to this facility which as well provides medical support for other UN staff based in Dhobley.


All basic foods are available in the market ranging from meat, dairy, fruit, and vegetables. There are two supply routes where basic commodities come through i.e., Kismayo sea port and through Kenya’s border which has a long stretch porous border. There are hotels and cafeterias within the protected areas where international staff can frequent for their meals, drinks, and beverages.

There is an operational Air strip in Dhobley. There is regular commercial which ply Dhobley/Kismayo/Mogadishu routes. There is UNSOS flights from/to Kismayo every Monday and Thursday. Daruro and Premier Airlines are the two cleared commercial flights that can be used by the UNHCR staff members travelling to and from Dhobley. International flights are always connected through Mogadishu.


There is mobile network coverage in Dhobley. Hormuud and SomTel are the two main service providers.


There are two main bank outlets (Dahabshiil & Amal) in town where national staff can open bank accounts. UNHCR uses AMAL to transfer staff monthly allowances/salaries, CBI and other entitlements. Mobile banking/EVC is widely used in Dhobley.

Education: there are several private primary and secondary schools and vocational training centers in Dobley.

Additional Qualifications


HR-Administration of Staff Contracts and Benefits, IT-Computer Literacy, MG-Office Management, PR-Protection-related guidelines, standards and indicators, PR-Refugee Protection Principles and Framework


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


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

Work Experience


Accountability, Analytical thinking, Client & results orientation, Commitment to continuous learning, Communication, Empowering & building trust, Judgement & decision making, Managing performance, Managing resource, Organizational awareness, Planning & organizing, Political awareness, Teamwork & collaboration

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Additional Information

Shortlisted candidates may be required to undertake a written test

Functional clearance

This position doesn’t require a functional clearance

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