Senior Operations Officer, P4 (TA), San Salvador

Closing date:

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is offering a Temporary Appointment within the Operational Delivery Unit in our Country Office in El Salvador.

UNHCR is a global organization dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights and building a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people. Every year, millions of men, women and children are forced to flee their homes to escape conflict and persecution. We are in over 125 countries, using our expertise to protect and care for millions.

  • Title: Senior Operations Officer
  • Duty Station: San Salvador, El Salvador
  • Duration: 6 months
  • Contract Type: Temporary Appointment
  • Closing date: 7 November 2021 (midnight Geneva time)
  • Start date: ASAP

Organizational context

El Salvador has a population of 6.7 million people. In 2018, the Government acknowledged the phenomenon of internal forced displacement and in 2020 enacted an IDP law. Since July 2019, El Salvador is part of the Comprehensive Regional Framework for Protection and Solutions (MIRPS) and has committed to take concrete steps to assist, protect and find suitable solutions for forcibly displaced peopleUNHCR is working closely with the Government on the introduction of legal and policy frameworks to implement the provisions of the 2020 IDP law. UNHCR is also supporting the strengthening of national mechanisms for the protection of forcibly displaced persons with shelter, livelihoods, education, psycho-social support, legal counseling, land and property protection, among others. UNHCR has been working with communities to bring such protection services, as well as supporting with solutions.

The incumbent will work under the direct supervision of the Representative and will supervise Programme, CBI, Supply teams. Will also be responsible for the emergency response.

The position

The Senior Operations Officer will work under the direct supervision of the Representative and may have alternative reporting relationships depending on the structure and size of the Operation. S/he and will be the focal person responsible for liaising with Partners through sector meetings and other coordination mechanisms in the Area of responsibility (AoR). S/he will liaise with relevant sections at HQ/Region/Field on a wide range of issues concerning the operations such as protection, resource mobilization and allocations, human resources, budget, compliance, staff welfare and security matters. The incumbent may supervise professional and/or support staff. S/he will actively support the regional operational planning process, reporting and monitoring as well as mapping of areas where persons of concern are currently located in the AoR. The incumbent will contribute to progress on issues such as negotiations on Partnership Project agreements, contractual service agreements, and management of Administrative Budgets related to the AoR.

Duties and responsibilities

Within the Area of Responsibility, the candidate will be responsible to:

  • Serve as the focal point for the operations within the AoR and follow up on situational realities, challenges and developments which may have an impact on the refugees, IDP situations, and other persons of concern.
  • Analyse information received concerning new refugee situations in the AoR and present coherent, consistent and credible proposals to address the emergency needs.
  • Manage the process of gathering information, preparation of analytical papers and formulating recommendations for action for the operations within the AoR.
  • Contribute to the preparation of action plans to address any operational/legal gaps that have been identified; and ensure advice/guidance is provided to field offices to improve the delivery of assistance of refugees and other persons of concern (PoCs).
  • Provide guidance and support for communication and sharing of best practices amongst countries/operations in the AoR as well as with other entities in the field and at Headquarters.
  • Coordinate with field offices for provision of timely, coherent, consistent, quality information about their operations.
  • In the bureaux, support senior staff in the preparation of the official submissions to the meetings of the Budget Committee and Contracts’ Committee, and advocate for resources required for the operations to meet their objectives, especially during Annual Planning Reviews, Mid-Year Reviews and ad hoc resource allocation consultations. Analyse Country offices’ requests concerning material requirements and staffing and initiate/coordinate appropriate action to provide Country offices with relevant and timely decisions and direction.
  • In the field, coordinate and supervise the field activities in the areas of protection and programme in the AoR. Build the capacity of local partners and civil society through training and other initiatives. Liaise with local Government authorities and operational partners on issues relating to the protection and assistance of PoCs. Supervise and monitor the implementation of UNHCR projects.
  • Monitor the implementation of programmes within the AoR through regular missions and participate in on-going needs assessments.
  • Keep the various sections and technical units at the Bureau and HQ informed on issues related to the implementation of UNHCR’s programmes within the AoR.
  • Maintain a wide range of external contacts with Permanent Missions, donors, and civil society organization.
  • Perform other related duties as required.

Essential minimum qualifications and professional experience required

The ideal candidate will have:

  • Undergraduate degree (equivalent of a BA/BS) in Political Science, Business Administration, Economics, Law, Social Science or related field plus minimum 9 years of previous work experience relevant to the function. Graduate degree (equivalent of a Master’s) plus 8 years or Doctorate degree (equivalent of a PhD) plus 7 years of previous relevant work experience may also be accepted.
  • Experience in field operations. At least 5 years of relevant experience in an international capacity. Understanding of UNHCR mandate and operations.
  • Operational experience in dealing with emergency situations (preparedness and response).
  • Excellent computer skills, in particular in MS Office applications.
  • Excellent communication and analytical thinking skills.
  • Experience in supervisory responsibility.
  • Fluency in English and Spanish, including strong drafting skills.
  • Desired qualifications and competencies
  • Strong operational background and political awareness. Experience working with UNHCR; or other UN entities or partners preferably in the area of refugee or humanitarian operations. Proven track record in emergency preparedness, response and management.
  • Good knowledge of the Comprehensive Regional Framework for Protection and Solutions (MIRPS).
  • Exposure to UN/UNHCR field Operations.
  • Strategic vision, leadership and team building.
  • Ability to come up with creative solutions to operational challenges.


The successful candidate will be based with the team in the UNHCR Country Office in San Salvador, El Salvador.


The Temporary Appointment is for a period of up to six months and the start date is as soon as possible. It is a full-time role with working hours starting from 9 am to 6 pm Monday to Friday (40 hours per week). The Fixed Term Position will be advertised and the Temporary Appointment candidate could apply to this upcoming vacancy.

How to apply

Interested candidates are requested to apply on the UNHCR career page at – by clicking on the Vacancies tab and entering job ID 30459.

The UNHCR workforce consists of many diverse nationalities, cultures, languages and opinions. UNHCR seeks to sustain and strengthen this diversity to ensure equal opportunities as well as an inclusive working environment for its entire workforce. Applications are encouraged from all qualified candidates without distinction on grounds of race, colour, sex, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity.

Please note that UNHCR does not charge a fee at any stage of its recruitment process (application, interview, meeting, travelling, processing, training or any other fees).

Closing Date

Please note that the closing date is 7 November 2021 (midnight Geneva time).

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