Snr Reg Staff Welfare Off

MENA (EXT) | Amman

Senior Regional Staff Welfare Officer


Given its performance requirements, the dynamism of staff movements, (rotation and constant requirement to move and readjust) and the increasingly volatile working environment, UNHCR is an environment where the stress factors are highly relevant. Although stress in general can be a motivating factor, when poorly managed or ignored, it has a significant potential to undermine the mental and physical health of the UNHCR workforce impacting adversely on the overall performance of the operation(s).

The organisational response to this challenge is entrusted to the Staff Health and Welfare Service (SH&WS) and more specifically to its Staff Welfare Section (SWS). The regional Staff Welfare Officers based in Dakar, Kinshasa, Nairobi, Islamabad and Amman are a part of the Staff Welfare team that works together in addressing the above challenges.

The Senior Regional Staff Welfare Officer provides:

- Technical capacity to implement the global staff welfare project (psychological preparation, psychological post-mission debriefing, crisis response, training and coordination of the Peer Support Personnel Network) that are already put in place.
- Technical expertise in the area of psychological well-being of staff and their family members within the context of the countries of coverage (assessment of psychosocial needs, programme design, programme implementation and management, evaluation, training design and delivery)
- Clinical skills to the colleagues and their family members (psychological assessment. individual/group counselling, crises interventions, referrals) when needed. 
- Guidance to the Regional Director, the Staff Health and Welfare Service (SH&WS) and Staff Welfare Section at the HQ as well as other related functional units at the HQ in respect of the staff welfare priorities in the region, necessary interventions and required resources.

This post is officially responsible for the operations in the following countries:  Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Turkey.

- Although expected to work rather independently in the region of coverage, the Senior  Regional Staff Welfare Officer receives functional supervision from the Chief of the Staff Welfare Section, SH&WS at Headquarters and provides the reports to the same on the achievements.
- The administrative supervision is provided by the MENA Director. The incumbent will also refer to the policies, standards, rules and regulations which are in force within UNHCR and which are relevant to the functions of the post.


Within  UNHCR
- Liaise closely with staff in the Staff Welfare Section at Headquarters for technical planning, coordination and support.
- As appropriate, 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.
- Closely cooperate with the Director/Deputy Director and Senior Resource Manager in terms of determining regional priorities and resource planning and allocation.
- Maintain close contacts with the UNHCR Representatives and Heads of Offices in the region in order to ensure that the staff welfare needs are covered in a particular operation or to carry out assessment, staff welfare programme design and implementation of that programme in the operation.
- Be available for counselling to all UNHCR colleagues in the region in person, by phone or by email. 

With EXTERNAL Parties:
- 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. 
- Make oneself available to other organisations in the humanitarian community when appropriate and feasible.



- Adequate measures of support to psychosocial well-being of staff are available to the staff working in the region of coverage.
- Staff and their families are fully aware of  the challenges to psychosocial well-being and the appropriate interventions.
- Staff Welfare work is performed in accordance with the ethical principle of the psychological profession where confidentiality is a paramount consideration.


- Implement the global UNHCR staff welfare projects (psychological preparation for hardship assignment, psychological debriefing following hardship assignment, implementation of the SOP for Critical Incidents).
- Assess region specific staff welfare needs and design and implement an appropriate psychosocial intervention programme in close collaboration with the SWS and the heads of UNHCR Offices in the region.
- Ensure access to individual counselling of staff and family members for a variety of issues, related to both work (stress, trauma, interpersonal conflicts, harassment, job insecurity) and personal (family, marital, children or finance related problems).
- Ensure regular response to critical incidents in accordance with the UNHCR SOP on Critical Incidents including ensuring the provision of psychological first aid (personally or through the Peer Support Personnel Network or other resources), referrals and necessary follow-up coordinated with the Medical Section and relevant HR functions. Be a part of the Crisis Management Team and provide guidance to the team members related to psychosocial needs and how to respond to them.
- Undertake 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.
- Maintain 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. Ensure that the global database of such resources is up to date for every country in the region of coverage. 
- Coordinate and manage the UNHCR Peer Support Personnel Network in the region through monitoring of their activities, training of UNHCR personnel and supervising their work with the staff.
- 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 Director of MENA and relevant heads of operations in the field and Chief of SWS and the Head of SH&WS at HQ. Provide input in global reports by the SWS as required. 
- Actively participate in the global SW activities initiated by the Staff Welfare Section aimed at further development of the staff welfare programme in UNHCR.
- Provide annual staff welfare analysis to the MENA Director Director and the Chief, Staff Welfare Section related to the status of welfare of the staff in the region.


- As appropriate, communicate directly with other functional units at Headquarters (FSS, Medical Service, PAPS, Mediator, Staff Council, IGO, LAS, Desk) involved in case management when a specific case or incident requires.
- Make 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. 
- Create a pool of counselling resources in the region that could be used by the UNHCR staff when necessary. 
- Provide support to other organisations in the humanitarian community when appropriate and feasible.

- Advanced University Degree in Psychology, Social Work (clinical orientation), Psychotherapy, Counselling or other mental health care profession.
- Minimum 10 years of previous job experience relevant to the function of which 5 years should be in an International capacity.
- Demonstrated clinical experience and counselling skills.
- Proficiency in English.


- Experience in dealing with teams and groups is extremely important.
- Humanitarian experience in the Field is an asset.
- Knowledge of Arabic is desirable.
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: MENA (EXT) | Amman
  • Grade: P-4, International Professional
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Human Resources
  • Closing Date: 2016-07-11

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