The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is mandated to lead and coordinate international action to protect and assist refugees and other persons of concern. The organization is constantly seeking talented, compassionate candidates with high integrity to strengthen its capacity to respond urgently to crises with the right skills. Given the nature of UNHCR’s work, it is essential that its workforce has the right mix of skills and qualities to fulfil its mandate.
The Education Officer will support, and where appropriate, oversee, the roll-out of Refugee Education 2030, the Refugee Education Strategy. This will be done in line with the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR), which calls on States and relevant Stakeholders to contribute resources and expertise to expand and enhance the quality and inclusiveness of national education systems to facilitate access by refugee and host community children and youth to primary, secondary and tertiary education. Providing inclusive and equitable quality education is central to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and the Education Officer will ensure UNHCR’s programming is in line with the SDGs, particularly SDG4.
In emergency contexts the Education Officer will be expected to provide strategic and technical advice to both UNHCR’s senior management and partners on ways in which emergency responses support the goal of inclusion in national education systems.
The incumbent provides strong and timely technical guidance to UNHCR senior management and partners including on the design and scope of UNHCR’s responses in education, catalyses the engagement of other humanitarian and development actors, supports resource mobilisation efforts, including with the private sector, and monitors the response. S/he has close contacts with internal and external stakeholders such as government counterparts, UN Agencies, partners and embassies/donors.
The Education Officer is normally supervised by the Senior Protection Officer or Assistant Representative (Protection or Operations).
Duties and responsibilities include:
Advocacy, Coordination, Leadership and Partnership
- In line with UNHCR Global Refugee Education Strategy 2030, advocate and coordinate through relevant fora at regional and local levels to promote equitable and durable inclusion of refugees in public schools, to foster safe and enabling environment that support learning for all students as well as to enable refugee learners to use their education towards sustainable futures.
- Advocate as relevant with authorities for the respect of the right of refugees to an education of quality and for their access to national education services.
- Coordinate with education and other relevant actors and ensure that refugee education interests are understood and included in relevant initiatives at regional and local levels.
- Provide leadership of sectoral coordination bodies and advocacy in support of the inter-agency response in emergencies.
Strategic planning and monitoring
- Contribute to development and/or implementation and monitoring of UNHCR’s Global Refugee Education Strategy 2030 and adaptation at country level.
- Work with others in UNHCR to advocate for refugees, returnees and other POC’s access to local public schools and lobby for inclusion of refugees, returnees and other POC as a specific group in government policies and plans related to education.
- Support and monitor education projects and programmes for refugees implemented by UNHCR, its project partners and other actors.
- Work closely with UNHCR programme, technical, field and protection staff to identify priority education issues and key data requirements for programme planning and monitoring to ensure that minimum UNHCR and international standards are being met.
- Provide guidance to address education challenges and gaps in collaboration with national and local education authorities and other appropriate stakeholders by taking into account the particular needs of women, men, boys and girls as well as vulnerable groups according to UNHCR’s AGD policy.
- Support the senior management to ensure that UNHCR Global Refugee Education Strategy 2030 is fully integrated into the Country Operations Plan and other key documents.
- Prepare regular sectoral reports and submit material for preparation of periodic project monitoring reports as required by the office at country level.
- Ensure adequate and accurate reporting, timely updates and briefings to donors and management.
Technical Support and Guidance
- Provide technical advice and guidance on education issues to external and internal interlocutors, PoC of all ages and gender.
- Liaise with competent authorities to ensure the issuance and recognition of relevant education documentation.
- Design, deliver and monitor education programmes in line with Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) standards and the AGD approach among others.
- Identify and promote education activities that support durable solutions, including voluntary repatriation.
- Participate in education needs assessment and provide guidance for improved coordination of responses.
- Collaborate with partners to ensure coherent planning as well as joint implementation and monitoring and provide advice on programme reorientation if necessary, including with regard to the EAC Programme, the UNHCR-UNICEF Blueprint for Joint Action and the 15by30 roadmap for refugee access to higher education.
- Support inter-sectoral linkages with child protection, gender-based violence (GBV) prevention and response, livelihoods, environment, shelter and WASH among others.
- Advocate for the inclusion of refugees and other POC in national surveys such as demographic and health surveys, multi-indicator cluster surveys including where possible a separate sample/oversampling to include refugees thus allowing for comparisons and trend analysis over time.
- In line with policies for Accountability to Affected Populations (AAP) ensure POC have access to feedback and accountability mechanisms relating to education services including the collection and analysis of data on their satisfaction with regards to education services.
Data and Information Management
- Ensure that good practices are identified, documented and widely disseminated.
- Collaborate with relevant stakeholders to support the Government to strengthen the Education Management Information System (EMIS) regarding refugees’ education and support national education management information systems (EMIS) to disaggregate data by international protection status.
- Represent UNHCR in education and other relevant coordination meetings at regional and local levels.
- Ensure collection, analysis and dissemination of relevant education information for advocacy and programming purposes.
- In emergencies, identify key indicators against which response partners will report. Support or lead the analysis of data on the scope and coverage of the education response.
- In collaboration with education authorities, UNHCR education project partner, UNICEF and other relevant stakeholders at national level, contribute to strengthening education data management relating to refugee children and youth.
- Undertake and/or support capacity building needs assessments of UNHCR and Ministry of Education staff and partners and develop approaches to address capacity gaps including identifying internal and external training opportunities.
- Support capacity strengthening of UNHCR and its implementing partners to address education programming in a co-ordinated, multi-sectoral way and disseminate relevant guidelines and information materials.
Minimum Qualifications and Professional Experience Required:
- For P2/NOB – 3 years relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or 2 years relevant experience with Graduate degree; or 1 year relevant experience with Doctorate degree
- For P3/NOC – 6 years relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or 5 years relevant experience with Graduate degree; or 4 years relevant experience with Doctorate degree
- For P4/NOD – 9 years relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or 8 years relevant experience with Graduate degree; or 7 years relevant experience with Doctorate degree
- Education: Education or Social Sciences or a related field
- Essential Job Experience: Experience in refugee education programmes, including education in emergencies; demonstrated work experience in teaching, educational research or education administration; background in relevant education systems with good knowledge of relevant curricula; demonstrated expertise in education programming, community services, community development/organization, social work, counselling; expertise in facilitating training and capacity building including for PoC.
- Essential requirements: knowledge of refugee protection principles and framework; familiarity with INEE standards and guidance; very good knowledge in education systems, curricula and sectoral plans.
- Fluency in English is essential. Fluency in an additional UN language, particularly French, Spanish and Arabic is an asset.
How to apply:
Interested candidates are requested to apply on the UNHCR career page at www.unhcr.org/careers – by clicking on the Vacancies tab and entering job ID 15320.
To learn more about Talent Pool Profiles, please visit https://www.unhcr.org/talent-pools.html
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).
Please note that the closing date is Monday 6 December 2021 (midnight Geneva time).