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Libyan Newswire

Africa: Associate Community Services Officer – Zwedru, Liberia

Application Deadline: March 20th 2015

Applications must be emailed to by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Savings Time on the date indicated in order to be considered. Thank you.

How to Apply:

Please note that PRM-sponsored JPO positions are open to U.S. Citizens only.

Applicants must submit a completed United Nations Personal History form (UN P-11) via email to by the deadline noted above. The UN P-11 form is available for download from the UNHCR website at PRM will accept the UN P-11 form without a signature. If desired, you may also submit a resume or curriculum vitae and letter of interest. Please specify the position for which you are applying in the Subject line of the email (i.e. Associate Protection Officer – Kabul, AFGHANISTAN). You must send a separate email and application for each position for which you are qualified and wish to be considered. For more information, please see the Frequently Asked Questions on the PRM website.

PRM Notes:

• For more information about UNHCR’s operations at this post, please visit the UNHCR website at

• University degree in Social Sciences, preferably in Social Work but alternatively in Sociology, Anthropology or related fields.

• Minimum of 2 years relevant professional experience in field work or human rights. Experience in the social work, knowledge of interviewing techniques, interpersonal skills, and previous work experience with refugees would be an asset.

• Strong working knowledge of French is highly desirable for this position. A second UN language (Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, French, or Russian) in addition to English is always preferred for participation in the JPO program.

• The JPO job description and related information attached are provided by UNHCR.

• JPO contracts are initially issued for one (1) year and then renewed. American JPOs are expected to serve a complete (2) two-year JPO term.

• NOTE: this is a non-family duty station.

Associate Community Services Officer
Zwedru, Liberia
Job Description (JPO)


Title: Associate Community Services Officer (JPO)

Sector: Protection Unit

Location: Zwedru, Liberia

Duration of the assignment: 1 Year renewable (total of 2 years)


Supervisor: Head of Sub Office, Christopher Raymond

Title of other international staff members in same duty station: Field Safety Advisor

Content and methodology of the supervision:

The Associate Community Services Officer (ACSO) will be based in the Sub Office Zwedru and operate as a middle level manager. While the incumbent will be supervised directly by the Head of Sub Office, the Senior Protection Officer, BO Monrovia will provide overall technical supervision.

In line with the overall protection strategy for the Liberia operation, yearly objectives for the incumbent will be guided and approved both by the Head of Sub Office and the Senior Protection Officer, BO Monrovia.

Together with the Head of Sub Office, monthly planning schedules will be made based on the operational direction and priorities.

The incumbent (depending on experience) may supervise one national staff in the Community unit. She /he will be expected to provide community services guidance and build capacities to CS staff and other protection colleagues.

The work of the ACSO requires coordination of quality and timely Community Based Interventions (CSI) for the Persons of Concern (POC). He/she will ensure the mainstreaming of CSI within all sectors of the operation. In the execution of these, she/he will use a community based approach with a multifunctional team working with partners, UNHCR colleagues and the refugees in making decisions that affect refugees in all aspects of protection and assistance delivery. In order to achieve this, the ACSO will need to build a strong and effective network with all stakeholders to ensure the mainstreaming of protection in all aspects of the refugee program.


1. Assist and ensure a Community Based Approach in programming by:

– Conducting regular participatory assessments using a multifunctional team approach, to articulate the protection needs of the refugee population. .

– Working actively with the refugee community in defining and seeking community based solutions to their problems.

– Identifying training needs among staff and partners from different functional units and sectoral teams on the community development approach, situation analysis and gender and age mainstreaming.

2. Ensuring a Rights Based in handling issues relating to Women and Children and Persons with Specific Needs by :

– Working with refugees and partners in the camp to ensure the identification and proper documentation of vulnerable groups.

– Addressing the protection needs and concerns of vulnerable groups such as women and children single head of household;

– Creating an effective network with refugees and partners on monitoring and reporting for timely response. Using BIA/BID to develop appropriate response to and foster care management system for UAMs/SC in the camp under the banner of Child Protection.

– Promoting access to education for refugee children with a focus on Girl Child education.

– Promotion on empowerment of women and access to adult education programs in the camp.

– Collaborating with all stakeholders to ensure coordinated prevention and response referral system on all SGBV cases

3. Assist the Programme and Protection Units in the development of suitable plans and interventions by:

– Ensuring protection needs and risks faced by girls, boys, women and men – including older refugees and other individuals and groups with specific needs – are identified and addressed in a timely and effective manner in all sectoral activities and budgets.

– Providing inputs to the development and monitoring (including review of statistics and reports) of programmes and budgets.

– Providing inputs to the development of protection strategies and activities.

– Initiating together with implementing and operational partners and the refugee and local communities specific activities to address the social, psychological, cultural, health, organisational and livelihood concerns of refugee communities, and support community initiatives in these areas.

4. Capacity building Initiatives:

– Provide training to implementing partners and UNHCR protection/ community services staff in the field on identification of EVIs, monitoring and reporting, and other overlapping themes in protection such as SGBV, Child Protection, and Confidentiality.

– Coaching and mentoring Community Services and field based staffs in the operation.

5. Perform other duties as required


– The protection of populations of concern is achieved through the application of International and National Law, relevant UNHCR protection standards and principles.

– The protection strategy incorporates a thorough age, gender and diversity (AGD) analysis and reflects the Organization’s global, regional and country level priorities.

– The Participation of persons of concern is assured through continuous assessment and evaluation using participatory, rights and community based approaches.

– Community Services incidents are immediately identified and addressed.

– Durable solution is achieved for the largest number of population of concern through voluntary repatriation in line with protection standards.


– Negotiate locally on behalf of UNHCR with prior approval of supervisor/head of office.

– Decide priorities for reception, interviewing and counseling for groups or individuals in liaison with Supervisor.

– Enforce compliance of staff and implementing partners with global protection policies and standards of professional integrity in the delivery of protection services.

– Enforce compliance with, and integrity of, all protection standard operating procedures.


Essential minimum qualifications and professional experience required:

– University degree in Social Sciences, preferably in Social Work but alternatively in Sociology, Anthropology or related fields.

– Minimum of 2 years relevant professional experience in field work or human rights. Experience in the social work, knowledge of interviewing techniques, interpersonal skills, and previous work experience with refugees would be an asset.

– Strong analytical and communication skills and computer skills; ability to translate theory into practice; good drafting skills; The incumbent should also have good interpersonal skills, and be culturally sensitive, particularly in light of the fact that he/she will be required to live in an environment requiring continuous interaction with a small group of colleagues of very diverse cultural background, without outside amenities/entertainment..

– Excellent knowledge of English and a working knowledge French or another UN language.

REQUIRED COMPETENCIES, which illustrate behaviors that are essential to achieving deliverables described above, and that are critical to successful performance. All jobs require the staff to abide to the Values and Core competencies of UNHCR.

– Empowering and Building Trust (M001)

– Managing Performance (M002)

– Judgement and Decision Making (M003)

– Strategic Planning and Vision (M004)

– Leadership (M005)

– Managing Resources (M006)

– Analytical Thinking (X001)

– Innovation and Creativity (X002)

– Technological Awareness (X003)

– Planning and Organizing (X005)

– Change Capability and Adaptability (X009)


Training components:

– Protection Learning Programme/Protection Induction Programme.

– Locally organized topical training sessions

– On-the-job learning through practical experience, self-learning, and coaching/mentoring by senior colleagues

– Organized briefing session on local context and protection strategies and priorities.

Learning elements:

By the end of her/his assignment, the incumbent will have acquired all-round Community Services competencies, including, Child Protection, SGBV/, refugee caseload management, participatory assessment, AGDM mainstreaming on gender and child rights, social, psychological, cultural, health, organizational and livelihood concerns of refugee communities, basic negotiation and advocacy skills in the UNHCR context. These will be assessed on the basis of the quality of the reports and assessment produced, appropriateness of the interventions/demarches made.


UNHCR Liberia currently comprises of the Branch Office based in Monrovia, 1 Sub-Office in Zwedru and 2 Field Offices in Saclepea (Nimba) and Maryland Counties. The Sub-office is responsible for coordinating the activities of the refugee protection and assistance delivery in the camps in Grand Gedeh County as well as the activities of the 2 Field Offices. The operation hosts mainly Ivorian refugees with a very small number of other nationals.

The Monrovia-based Country Representative is the overall manager of the Liberia programme. He is assisted by a Deputy Representative in charge of operations. The Sub-Office is headed by Head of Sub-Office who has supervisory responsibility over the 2 head of Field Offices. Field Protection Officer heads the Protection Section in the Sub-Office and has technical supervisory responsibility for protection activities in the camps. The overall technical supervisory responsibility rests with the Senior Protection Officer based in Monrovia. Protection section at all locations includes registration unit, protection delivery unit, and community services unit. There are a number of national staff and some international staff working under these protection-related units.

The refugee field operation in Liberia currently has within its operation a total population of 38,428 Ivorians settled in four different camps in three different counties namely, Nimba County, Grand Gedeh County and Maryland & River Gee Counties. Nimba County has a total population of 5,700 individuals; Grand Gedeh County has 20,036, Montserrado County has 587 and Maryland and Rivee Gee manages 12,105 individuals. Other nationalities are Sierra Leoneans 375, mixed nationality 92, other persons of concern 1,540 and 69 asylum seekers. This brings to a total of 40,204 persons of concern to UNHCR in Liberia. Overwhelming majority of the caseload arrived in Liberia in 2010, as a result of the post-election crises which followed the 2010 presidential elections in Cote D’Ivoire. Part of the population, are also residing in a number of host communities in the various locations.

UNHCR and partners with the support of the Liberian government provide protection and mixed solutions in the camps. In consideration of improvements in the security situation in Cote D’Ivoire, the governments of the two countries together with UNHCR have established a tripartite commission to oversee the repatriation of refugees who are willing to return voluntarily to their homes. At this stage, UNHCR and the Liberian Government are facilitating the voluntary repatriation process and also consolidating refugee camps through relocation to designated refugee camps.

Liberia is a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention and the 1969 OAU Convention and has its own 1993 Refugee Act. All Ivorian refugees are recognized on prima facie basis while other national asylum seekers undergo an individual status determination conducted by the asylum Committee of Liberia. The government supports the operation of UNHCR through the Liberian refugee repatriation and resettlement Commission (LRRRC), which is also responsible for camp management.

In 2015 the joined strategic direction plan will enable LRRRC to engage the Government of Cote d’Ivoire in discussions on the resumption of voluntary repatriation for Ivorian refugees from Liberia. Continue to collaborate in preparation for the possible local integration of Ivoirian refugees in 2016. Revisit the Sierra Leonean caseload both the residual caseload of refugees who opted for local integration and the exempted refugee caseload. Review feasibility of sustainable livelihood projects that will promote self-reliance for urban refugees, preferably agricultural activities. In view of the 2014 Ebola outbreak, it is necessary to continue anti-Ebola campaigns and the implementation of preventive measures in the refugee camps and host communities.


Liberia is a post-conflict country. The country is generally safe, with the exception of petty crimes especially in the cities. The United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNML) maintains a strong presence, including a large deployment of military personnel throughout Liberia. It is mandatory to complete the following courses: Basic Security in the Field and Advance Security in the Field. The current UN security level for Liberia is Level 2. In the recent July 2014 second outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease, the Ebola safety and security stages for UN Liberia is at stage 3 in Monrovia, Nimba and Grand Gedeh at stage 2 while Maryland is at stage 1.

Upon arrival in the country, all UN staff receives security briefing from UNDSS and UNMIL Security section. Staff must familiarize themselves with circulars from the Staff Health and Welfare Service.

Liberia has serious infrastructural challenges. There is no running water, electricity and sanitation. Water is provided by water tankers while power is exclusively by generator. In Monrovia, apartment-type accommodation can be found in areas such as Mamba Point area. These are of various standards and usually come furnished with water and electricity and security guards, in compliance with UN security requirements. Prices are negotiable. There are other areas for residence such as the Sinkor and Congo Town suburbs of Monrovia. In the latter area, rent would generally be less expensive.

There are two (2) commercial airlines officially recognized by UN System and operating in Liberia: Royal Air Maroc and Air Brussels complemented by the UNMIL flights to Accra twice a week and also available to move towards UN operation areas in the country. Travel on Rest and Recuperation (R&R) is every 6 weeks.

The US dollar is widely used and accepted everywhere and can be easily exchanged into the Liberian Dollar, the official currency. Credit cards and travelers checks are not accepted in Liberia; but cash machines/ ATMs are available.

UNMIL has well equipped medical facilities (with pharmacies) located in Monrovia and all upcountry sector headquarters, supporting all mission personnel with basic medical care. WHO/UNDP runs an enhanced medical facility for UN agency staff. In making a selection of things to bring, take in consideration that Liberian can get hot and humid. It is therefore advised to come with light clothing that is easy to wash (most accommodations do not have facility for washing machines). Mobile phones (GSM) work in Liberia. Any Liberian sim-card is bought at the Airport or in Monrovia for between US$1-5.

January 2015