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Shelter Officer Jobs, NGO Jobs In Kenya, UNHCR Jobs

Position: Senior Shelter Officer

Location: Nairobi

Job description

The Senior Shelter Officer leads the shelter, infrastructure and NFI activities of UNHCR and also ensures strong cross sectoral synergies with other sectors including WASH, Public Health, Nutrition, Cash, Energy and Environment. The incumbent acts as focal point for maintaining effective coordination with any established shelter sector working group. In addition, s/he is responsible for the strategic management and monitoring of construction related implementing partners and contractors, and for collaboration with Administration, Finance and Programme on all programmatic issues within the Area of Responsibility (AoR). S/he shall be working closely with other sections on shelter and general infrastructure related activities and provides functional shelter and infrastructure guidance to the team as well as to the shelter experts in the Field.

The Senior Shelter Officer should ensure the operation is conducting the most effective shelter and general infrastructure response possible by ensuring comprehensive sectoral needs assessments in liaison with other relevant sectors are available. This implies the gathering of both quantitative and qualitative data on the profile/needs and living conditions of both the displaced population and host community, taking into account the current situation, projected population planning figures and the expected scale of returns.

In the absence of a settlement planner, the Senior Shelter Officer will be responsible for negotiations with local government authorities regarding land acquisition and site development works. Specialized functions to be dealt with by the incumbent in this post include shelter (Incl. NFI) and infrastructure activities throughout the project lifecycle including construction management and monitoring, which imply that the person should have a strong academic qualification in civil engineering or architecture or other appropriate technical qualification.

The Senior Shelter Officer ensures that the development of shelter strategies taking into account the local context, age and gender, culture, climate, environmental protection, available resources and skills. In addition, the incumbent ensures that shelter and infrastructure responses evolve according to the changing nature of the situation, progressively working towards more durable solutions and drawing from local building practices and materials.
Within an urban context, it is essential that shelter responses take into consideration urban planning strategies, including an analysis of residential areas, housing affordability and availability. In addition, regardless of the context, shelter assistance should at all times minimize the risk of eviction, exploitation and abuse, overcrowded living conditions, limited access to services and unhygienic conditions.

In the UNHCR Country Offices the Senior Shelter Officer works closely with the Field Coordinator as well as with the team leaders on the ground, and normally reports to the Deputy Representative of the Country Operation. The incumbent will have direct supervisory responsibility and should remain in close contact with the shelter and settlement section at HQ.

The Senior Shelter Officer supports UNHCR¿s efforts during an emergency and ensures that international Shelter and Infrastructure standards are met.¿

All UNHCR staff members are accountable to perform their duties as reflected in their job description. They do so within their delegated authorities, in line with the regulatory framework of UNHCR which includes the UN Charter, UN Staff Regulations and Rules, UNHCR Policies and Administrative Instructions as well as relevant accountability frameworks. In addition, staff members are required to discharge their responsibilities in a manner consistent with the core, functional, cross-functional and managerial competencies and UNHCR¿s core values of professionalism, integrity and respect for diversity.


  • Coordinate, manage and support UNHCR¿s shelter and settlements team in a timely, cost-effective, inter-sectoral manner providing adequate delivery of technical interventions and services to support operational needs.
  • Review, identify and assess progress of UNHCR Shelter programs and initiate responses to address the gaps in collaboration and coordination with key UNHCR technical staff, operational partners and authorities as required.
  • Participate, as technical focal point for shelter/settlement, in coordination meetings with various stakeholders including Government counterparts to ensure UNHCR¿s interests and those of the POCs are adequately reflected and disseminate information to all stakeholders in a timely, efficient manner.
  • Support the Operation with the development and periodically updating of appropriate shelter / settlement strategy and take into consideration the local context, age and gender, culture, climate, environmental protection and the availability of local resources,   including materials, capacities and existing infrastructure.
  • Support with HR planning and management to establish and maintain an efficient and skilled technical workforce that is capable of supporting on-going operations.
  • Manage the review, update and dissemination of internationally accepted standards and environmental guidelines within UNHCR and among partners.
  • Together with UNHCR’s implementing partners, compile, analyse and map available information on shelter options in country taking into account relevant policies adopted by the Government. When planning infrastructure works, ensure that the technical component reflects UNHCR minimum standards for the provision of emergency and other types of shelter assistance and is within the budgetary requirements. Due consideration should be given to standards in other relevant sectors such as water and sanitation.
  • Coordinate technical specialists to ensure adequate monitoring so that UNHCR¿s technical interventions are produced in a technically sound and standardized manner and establish monitoring tools to ensure that works are implemented according to plans and completed within the designated timeframe.
  • Coordinate with Programme and Supply to advise on matters related to the procurement of sector related responses or equipment, including the development of technical specifications, BQ¿s etc. for bid documents, technical evaluation of bids, review/inspection of the quality of products/works.
  • Work in close coordination with all functional Units in UNHCR (Protection, Programme, Community Services, Field, Administration, and Supply) for all issues related to protection, population of concern figures and assistance.
  • Work in close collaboration with all relevant stakeholders including local authorities, relevant partners and affected communities on issues related to the shelter and settlement programme.
  • Ensure technical information is available on the SIP (settlement information portal), ensure shelter dashboards are populated with relevant data, prepare mission reports and debrief.
  • Maintain regular contact with the SSS/DPSM Section in Geneva and support regular technical updates.
  • Decide priorities in the designing of implementation plan.
  • Advise of implementing partners’ selection.
  • Enforce compliance with and integrity of all shelter/infrastructure standard operating procedures.
  • Perform other related duties as required.


  • 9 years relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or 8 years relevant experience with Graduate degree; or 7 years relevant experience with Doctorate degree
  • Architecture Engineering; Civil Engineering;
  • or other relevant field.
  • (Field(s) of Education marked with an asterisk* are essential)
  • Solid management ability to guide a specialist team under tense emergency situations. Previous similar job experience in the shelter / infrastructure sector, including 5 years in an international technical managerial role. Knowledge of technical drawing software and an ability to produce technical plans and conduct training.
  • IT-Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
  • PG-Results-Based Management
  • MG-Strategic Planning
  • SP-Design tools such as Global Positioning System (GPS)
  • SP-Site/Physical Planning
  • SP-Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) activities
  • UN-UN Systems and Processes
  • (Functional Skills marked with an asterisk* are essential)
  • For International Professional and Field Service jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English.
  • For National Professional jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English and local language.
  • For General Service jobs: Knowledge of English and/or UN working language of the duty station if not English

Position Competencies

  • 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
  • X007L3 Political Awareness Level 3
  • X004L3 Negotiation and Conflict Resolution Level 3
  • X008L3 Stakeholder Management Level 3

 How to Apply

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