Senior Staff Welfare Officer


Senior Staff Welfare Officer

UNHCR has operations in 126 countries and 461 locations, carried on by over 12,000 staff members and affiliate workforce. Given the nature of work, the psychosocial hazards to staff well-being range from workplace stress, exposure to traumatic situations and vicarious exposure to traumatic experiences of people of concern. The impact of these can reflect at the individual, interpersonal and team levels and can affect the staff well-being as well as the efficiency of the operation.

The Staff Health and Welfare Service (SH&WS) and more specifically its Staff Welfare Section (SWS), are entrusted with addressing these challenges. The Staff Welfare team comprises the Staff Welfare Officers based in Geneva, Dakar, Kinshasa, Nairobi, Juba, Bangkok, Amman and Beirut. The team works together in designing staff welfare programmes under the leadership of the Chief, SWS.

The SW function in Bangkok covers the UNHCR operations in Asia and Pacific Region and it is responsible for:

a) implementation of  the existing global staff welfare projects including psychological preparation, end of assignment debriefings, critical incident response, training and coordination of the Peer Support. Personnel Network and the implementation of the framework for staff support in high-risk environments.
b) provision of technical expertise related to programmes of psychological well-being of staff and their family members for each duty station within the operation (assessment of psychosocial needs, programme design, programme implementation and management, evaluation, training design and delivery).
c) provision of clinical work with colleagues and their family members (psychological assessment, individual/group counselling, crises interventions, referrals) when needed. 
d) provision of expert advice and guidance to the Representatives of the operations covered by the function and the Chief of the Staff Welfare Section/ Staff Health and Welfare Service (SH&WS) at the HQ.

The Senior Staff Welfare Officer is directly supervised by the Chief of the Staff Welfare Section, SH&WS at Headquarters.

Within  UNHCR
- Work closely with the regional office in Bangkok and its regional team.
- Liaise closely with staff in the Staff Welfare Section at Headquarters for technical planning, coordination, support and reporting.
- Work closely with the members of the SH&WS team especially - the Snr. Regional Medical Officer in Bangkok for collaboration on individual cases involving the medical issues and necessitating the medical follow up and with other SWOs for exchange of best practices.
- Communicate with other functional units at Headquarters (FSS, Medical Service, PAPS, Ombudsman, the Ethics Director, Staff Council, IGO, LAS, Desk) involved in individual case management, as required and/or appropriate.
- Closely cooperate with the Asia Bureau, Regional Office and the Representatives in the regions in order to determine regional priorities and required resource planning and allocation.
- Be available for counselling to all UNHCR staff and affiliated workforce, as well as family members when appropriate, in the region in person, by phone or by email. 

With EXTERNAL Parties
- The incumbent is a member of the UNSSCG (UN Staff/Stress Counsellors Group).
- Maintain affiliations with professional organisations and associations  to maintain the required level of professional expertise.
- Create a pool of counselling resources in the region that could be used by the UNHCR staff when necessary. 
- Maintain close collaboration with the UN counsellors in the region of coverage. 
- Make oneself available to other organisations in the humanitarian community when appropriate and feasible.

- The appropriate staff welfare coverage of UNHCR operations exists.
- Quality staff welfare support services and programmes are provided to the operations, staff and their family members in the region.
- The ethical principle of the psychological profession where confidentiality is a paramount ¿ is strictly observed.

- Organising, supervising and/or conducting the psychological risk assessments for the operations in the region as the basis for planning and budgeting of the staff welfare activities on the annual basis. 
- Ensure access to individual counselling of staff and family members for work related issues (stress, trauma, interpersonal conflicts, harassment, job insecurity) and/or personal issues (family, marital, children or finance related problems).
- Ensuring that the capacity to support staff following critical incidents exists in all operations in high risk environments  in accordance with the UNHCR SOP on Support to staff affected by critical incidents. Ensuring timely response to critical incidents in different operations. Ensuring that the guidance to the operational managers is provided as required.
- Implementing the global UNHCR staff welfare projects (psychological preparation for hardship assignment, psychological debriefing following hardship assignment, framework of support to high risk environments including the implementation of the SOP for Critical Incidents).
- Undertaking regular travel to duty stations in the region to ensure that access to services by all staff and family member as well to implement and or monitor the staff welfare programmes.
- Maintaining a proactive contact with the counselling resources in the region for staff and family members including the members of the UN Staff/Stress  Counsellors Group and other local/regional mental health professionals/ resources outside the UN system, e.g. NGOs, private practitioners. Ensuring that the global database of such resources is up to date for every country in the region of coverage. 
- Overseeing the management of the UNHCR Peer Support Personnel Network in the region and providing of support to the PSP in the operations of coverage.
- Maintain a record of individual staff welfare actions and interventions in the confidential folder of the MSRP or in the separate confidential database in accordance with the UN Confidentiality Guidelines for Staff/Stress Counsellors and relevant UNHCR policies on confidentiality of SW data. Ensure timely reporting on missions, staff welfare assessments and related recommendations to the Head of RSH, Bureau Director, relevant heads of operations in the field, Chief of SWS and the Head of SH&WS at HQ. Provide input in the global reports by the SWS as required. 
- Actively participate in the global SW projects initiated by the Staff Welfare Section aimed at further development of the staff welfare programme in UNHCR.
- Provide annual staff welfare analysis to the Bureau Director, Regional Representative, Representatives and the Chief, Staff Welfare Section related to the status of welfare of the staff in the region.
- Any other duties agreed in cooperation between the Bureau Director, Regional Representative and the Chief, Staff Welfare Section at Headquarters.

- Direct contact with the Staff Welfare Section at Headquarters for coordination and support.
- Communicate directly with other functional units at Headquarters (FSS, Medical Section, Global Staff Accommodation, PAPS, Ombudsman, Staff Council, IGO, LAS, Desk) involved in case management when a specific case or incident requires.
- Make technical proposals relevant to improvement of staff well-being in the region including identifying additional resources to support the programme implementation to senior management within the Bureau and the operations as well as to the SWS.
- Make confidential recommendations pertinent to mental health and psychosocial well-being of individual staff to the Staff Health and Welfare Service and its sections. 
- Maintain close and direct contacts with the UNHCR Representatives and Heads of Offices in the region.
- Provide support to other organisations in the humanitarian community when appropriate and feasible.

- Advanced University Degree in  Clinical Psychology, Psychotherapy, Counselling or other mental health care profession.
- Minimum 10 years of relevant job experience at the professional level in the same functional area (mental health) out of which a minimum of 5 years should be at the international level.
- Demonstrated clinical experience and counselling skills.
- Proven capacity to deliver training and work with the tensions in the groups.
- Ability to establish a quick rapport with people of different cultural background, gender and age in clinical and non-clinical settings.
- Thorough understanding of psycho-social needs of humanitarian workers.
- Cultural sensitivity and ability to work in diverse cultural contexts.
- Excellent knowledge of English.

- Conflict resolution and mediation skills.
- Good knowledge of subjects related to organisational psychology.
- Good knowledge of data collection and management, statistics and other research methodology.

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
M002L3 - Managing Performance Level 3
M006L3 - Managing Resources Level 3
M005L3 - Leadership Level 3
M003L3 - Judgement and Decision Making Level 3
M004L3 - Strategic Planning and Vision Level 3
X005L3 - Planning and Organizing Level 3
X001L3 - Analytical Thinking Level 3
X008L3 - Stakeholder Management Level 3

Please note that the closing date for all vacancies in the March 2016 Compendium is Monday 25 April 2016 (midnight Geneva time).

Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.
  • Organization: UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  • Location: Bangkok
  • Grade: P-4, International Professional
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Human Resources
    • Human Resources
  • Closing Date: 2016-04-25

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