Internal Vacancy - Senior Area Support Officer







Internal Vacancy Announcement



Senior Area Support Officer




Vacancy Announcement Number




Deadline for Applications

28 May 2016

Duty Station

Damascus, Syria


The Director of UNRWA Affairs (DUA), Syria is responsible for the overall management of the Senior Area Support Officer’s work, with direct supervision by the Deputy Director of UNRWA Affairs (Organizational Support). The Senior Protection Coordinator and Director of Legal Affairs provide technical support and strategic guidance. The Senior Area Support Officer is responsible for the day-to-day operational and administrative supervision of Area Support Officers in Syria.


The Senior Area Support Officer leads a team of Area Support Officers and their assistants imbedded in the Area Offices. S/he tasks them based on activity plans discussed and devised in close coordination with Chiefs Area Offices/Area Officers. In accordance with the established Agency policy and procedures, the incumbent will:


Primary Duties and Responsibilities

·        Lead her/his team to ensure the efficacy of the Agency’s programmes and humanitarian response in the Field in terms of impact on the well-being of Palestine refuges, the incorporation of protection principles in operations, and the safeguarding of the integrity and neutrality of UNRWA facilities and operations;

·        Oversee the establishment and daily management of the Area Support Officer Programme in Syria in accordance with the established objectives, through:

§  Building trust, knowledge and capacity among staff, local partners and refugee communities;

§  Conducting regular briefings for Area Support Officers (ASOs), other colleagues and interlocutors;

§  Planning, objective-setting, monitoring and evaluating activities of the programme;

·        Conduct overall operational coordination with other departments in the Syria Field Office through SFO’s Front Office, and with external authorities and other agencies in direct relation to operational issues as may be advised by D/DUA (OS); identify Field-specific protection concerns and ensure that protection objectives are implemented through planning and programme delivery;

§  Ensure prompt information sharing and quality analyses on programme, humanitarian and operational matters, including analysis of protection incidents, patterns and trends;

§  Establish and maintain, as required, operational guidelines and instructions for the guidance of Area Support Officers; be responsible for handling administrative duties related to ASOs;

§  Monitor closely legislative and operational developments, notably in relation to the development of law and policy affecting refugees’ protection and their socio-economic well-being.


Professional Knowledge and Experience

·        Advanced university degree from an accredited educational institution, in law, political or social sciences or related field;

·        A minimum of eight years of relevant experience in the  humanitarian sector, including at least four years in supervisory roles, including two years of international experience outside one’s home country;

·        Excellent command of written and spoken English.



§  Excellent interpersonal skills, mature, independent, disciplined, loyal, self-confident and self-assured;

§  Excellent communication, negotiation skills and demonstrated ability to handle sensitive situations diplomatically, including in tense operational contexts of armed conflict;

§  Decisive but flexible, able to assess and analyse situations quickly, objectively and prudently;

§  Ability to build an enabling work environment, coordinate team work and motivate team members, promote understanding, build trust, and generate consensus on sensitive or contentious issues;

§  Politically aware while remaining impartial and discreet at all times, sound political judgment and excellent diplomatic skills;

§  Knowledge of approaches and techniques through which to develop practical solutions to sensitive problems.


Desirable Qualifications

·        Experience in applying to operational context knowledge of public international law, particularly of international refugee law, international humanitarian law and international human rights law;

·        Practical experience in ways of implementing operational protection principles within a human development framework;

·        Knowledge and understanding of the Palestine refugees situation in the political context of the Middle East and specifically Syria;

·        Previous coordination experience with relevant UN agencies, NGOs, civil society and legislative bodies;

·        Working knowledge of Arabic.



When the minimum requirements are not fully met, the Director of Human Resources may exceptionally substitute part of the unmet requirements with a combination of relevant academic qualification, additional professional training and progressive relevant work experience. NB: Work experience alone or formal qualifications with no relevant work experience are not considered an acceptable combination.


Conditions of Service 

UNRWA offers an attractive compensation package including annual salary starting at $74,130 net tax free with dependants or $69,032 single, plus post adjustment of 37.9% (subject to change without notice). Other benefits, subject to eligibility, include education grant, dependency allowance, home leave, pension fund, health insurance and 6 weeks of annual leave. Syria is currently a non-family duty station. Staff members based in Syria are entitled to additional benefits, subject to eligibility, including Extended Monthly Security Evacuation Allowance, danger pay and R&R leave, currently every 4 weeks (according to the UN classification of the duty station) but subject to change without notice. Initial contract is for one year, with the possibility of further extensions subject to the availability of funds and the continuing need for the post.


Please note that conditions of service may be subject to change as of 1 July 2016 in accordance with standards set by the International Civil Service Commission or determined by the General Assembly, subject to detailed regulations, rules and administrative issuances as may be promulgated by UNRWA and any amendments made thereto from time to time.


How to Apply

To start the application process, applicants are required to register at by creating a personal profile and completing UNRWA Personal History Form. Please note that UNRWA only accepts degrees from accredited educational institutions. Only applications received through will be considered. Due to the large number of applications received for UNRWA vacancies, only applicants short-listed for interview will be contacted.



Date of issue: 15 May 2016 / LF


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: UNRWA - United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees
  • Location: Damascus
  • Grade: P-4, International Professional
  • Occupational Groups:
  • Closing Date: 2016-05-28

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