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JPO, Associate Policy Officer





Title: JPO, Associate Policy Officer

Sectors of Assignment: Advocacy and Partnerships

Organization/Office: UNHCR – United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

Country and Duty Station: New York, USA

Duration of assignment: 2 years with possibility of extension for another year. The extension of appointment is subject to yearly review concerning priorities, availability of funds, and satisfactory performance.

Please note that for participants of the JPO-Programme two years work experience are mandatory! Relevant work experience can be counted. In order to assess the eligibility of the candidates, we review the relevant experience acquired after obtaining the first university degree (usually bachelor’s degree).


  • The JPO is reporting to the Senior Policy Advisor, and is part of the team of policy colleagues.
  • UNHCR New York is primarily involved in advocacy and partnership to ensure that UNHCR’s mandate and positions are expressed with key stakeholders in New York.

Matters of central concern to UNHCR are high on the agenda of the United Nations in New York and are also of prominent concern to civil society and the media.

UNHCR in New York also works closely with the Executive Office of the Secretary General (EOSG) and other parts of the UN Secretariat. UNHCR is appreciated as the agency that has the expertise as far as refugees are concerned and indeed in terms of the migration/ refugee movements notably confronting Europe, Middle East, Africa and South East Asia.

With increasing numbers of refugees, precipitated by new and unresolved conflicts, the Security Council is often engaged with matters of central importance to UNHCR and opportunities for the High Commissioner to address the Security Council may continue to increase. These matters often engage Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) as well as Department of Political Affairs (DPA) whose leadership role in integrated and mission settings coincide with some of the largest UNHCR operations globally.

Additionally, UNHCR Office in New York is frequently called upon to brief and partner with civil society, including academic institutions, regarding refugees and stateless persons. Moreover it is increasingly is the port of call for global media based in New York on issues pertaining to the UNHCR's global programmes and persons of concern.

The incumbent or this position is expected to interface frequently with counter-parts in the Office of the EOSG, DPA, DPKO, and DSS on matters of central protection and human rights concern. The incumbent is expected to provide regular and timely analysis of protection developments within the UN and their possible impact on UNHCR and its operations worldwide as well as feed into those processes. He or she is expected to interface frequently with protection and human rights counter-parts, maintain UNHCR’s involvement in the Rule of Law and 6th Committee, as well as ensure UNHCR’s involvement in the UN wide humanitarian policy initiatives and represent UNHCR in the counter terrorism discussions.

The incumbent is expected to provide guidance to the colleagues in NY and functional direction on UNHCR’s inputs into the UN human rights processes including the Regional Monthly Reviews and in regard to briefings and talking points for the Secretary General and his Deputy,and preparation for UNHCR inputs into the SDG's Deputies and Executive Committee meetings respectively. The incumbent is expected to liaise with members of civil society, NGOs and academic institutions on issues pertaining to UNHCR's global mandate.

2.1.      SUPERVISION:

The JPO will be under the direct supervision of the manager indicated under ‘Supervisor title and position number’. The supervisor will be responsible for the performance evaluation of the JPO. The manager will also ensure that the JPO is provided a thorough induction and orientation briefing, followed by on-the-job training as well as continuous guidance for training/learning opportunities throughout the assignment. In support to the manager, the JPO Unit provides the Supervisory Guidelines upon recruitment/reassignment of the JPO.




Health care


Educational facilities




Other (transports, banks, etc)





Exchange of information on strategic policy under the area of responsibility.

Analysis of key developments and advice related to humanitarian reform and high-level initiatives provided to UNHCR HQ, NY and field offices, to support operational effectiveness and inform UNHCR policies and positions.


Advocate for UNHCR policies; analyze the situation and propose strategies for an integrated and coordinated UN approach including UNHCR’s position; and communicate information on UNHCR’s mandate.

Interface is established and maintained at the decision making level with IASC agencies and partners, UN crisis/emergency management partners and Permanent Missions.

Policies and planning processes (particularly reform processes and plans for missions/operations) related to humanitarian (including emergency) response duly informed by UNHCR concern and input for these processes is appropriately facilitated.


  • Support UNHCR’s engagement with New York based development bodies and processes;
  • Gather and maintain up-to-date knowledge, analyse and report on significant developments with relevant New York based stakeholders and processes related to the humanitarian (including emergency) response, which may affect UNHCR's operations and activities;
  • Stay abreast of UNHCR’s global operations and policies and support engagement with relevant divisions at HQs to ensure a smooth flow of information and receive inputs on operational issues and policy positions in order to effectively  represent UNHCR;
  • Promote UNHCR’s objectives and the priorities of persons of concern to UNHCR through presentations, provision of written advice, and the participation in briefings and inter-agency meetings, with a view to influencing policy development, priorities and work progarmmes of the various NY based bodies and processes related to humanitarian  response;
  • Liaise with counterparts at the UN Secretariat, Agencies Funds Programmes and Departments on areas of responsibility (particularly  WFP, UNICEF, OCHA),  to advocate for UNHCR’s  position, to promote integration of principles in the broader UN framework, to identify common priority areas and positions so as to strengthen UNHCR's objectives, and to create linkages and opportunities for partnership
  • Enhance understanding of UNHCR’s mandate and operations amongst NY based stakeholders;
  • Ensure that UNHCR's interests and concerns are taken into accounting the UN and inter-agency position papers and policy statements impacting on UNHCR's operations and protection activities;
  • Enable  consistent  and comprehensive  UNHCR messaging and  interventions  through close  collaboration with the UNHCR NY office human rights/protection,
  • Development/solutions, political/security portfolios, as well as UNHCR HQ and field;

  • Evaluate opportunities and challenges in the pursuit of UNHCR’s strategic objectives; its positioning within the UN and IASC system and safeguarding of its unique protection mandate during periods of reform;
  • Assisting formulating the office's engagement strategy with NY based UN humanitarian and emergency partners and processes, in order to strengthen UNHCR's role and influence, and to enhance UNHCR's contributions to development and implementation humanitarian (including emergency) policies, with particular vigilance when related to reform of  the humanitarian architecture;
  • Support participation of UNHCR in relevant fora, including drafting of briefs, policy papers and talking points;
  • Cover any other thematic issues/geographical region from a policy perspective, as required; and
  • Undertakes other tasks as required.


Participate in meetings within UNHCR and with external partners at relevant level


Managerial Competencies

  • Empowering and Building Trust

Cross-Functional Competencies

  • Analytical Thinking
  • Policy Development and Research
  • Political Awareness


Education / Qualification:
Master’s Degree
in Law, Political Science, International Relations or a related field.

Work Experience:
Minimum of two years of relevant professional experience required.


  • Demonstrated ability to establish and maintains relationships with a broad range of partners to understand needs and gain support;
  • Proven capacity to develop clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies to identifies priority activities and adjust priorities as required;
  • Ability to negotiate and ability to influence others to reach agreement on issues;
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently using own initiatives, multi-task and deliver timely analysis under short deadlines;
  • Proven capacity to develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies to identifies priority activities and adjust priorities as required;
  • Ability to identify key issues in a complex situation, and  come to the heart of the problem quickly; and
  • Excellent report writing skills and computer literacy in MS Office.

Language Knowledge:

Essential: English,
Desirable: second UN language


  • Previous experience working in a multi-cultural environment, field operations or in a policy-related function would benefit the incumbent.

-           Experience with UNHCR or UN Secretariat/another UN agency would also be an advantage


Training components:

- Mandatory training courses:

1.   Basic Security in the Field (NB: needs to be retaken every 3 years)

2.   Advanced Security in the Field (NB: needs to be retaken every 3 years)

3.   Protection Induction Programme (PIP)

4.   UN Course on Harassment, Sexual Harassment and Abuse of Authority

5.   Orientation to IPSAS

- Recommended training courses

Fundamentals of Fraud and Corruption Awareness (Code of Conduct theme) United Nations Human Rights Responsibilities Course(HRuF)

UNHCR Protection Learning Programme

Learning elements:

The JPO will learn elements of UNHCR and UN New York structure and processes. The learning elements result from the tasks the JPO has to carry out during the assignment, such as knowledge of UNHCR policies, the UN system and its policies particularly in relation to humanitarian, political, peacekeeping, peacebuilding, development, human rights and rule of law issues.

Additionally, the JPO will strengthen her/his drafting skills as a result from daily reporting of meetings/events/developments; presentation and negotiation skills as the JPO will assist in advocating for the inclusion of UNHCR positions into UN policies having a direct impact on refugees, IDPs, and stateless persons.

The JPO assignment in New York provides an opportunity to raise political awareness and professional networking at an international level.

Bitte senden Sie Ihre JPO-Bewerbung direkt an das Büro Führungskräfte zu Internationalen Organisationen (BFIO)

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Büro Führungskräfte zu Internationalen Organisationen (BFIO)

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