UN Missions

Head of Office (Political Affairs)

UN Missions

Job Description

This post is located in the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), based in Goma. The Head of Office, reports to the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General (DSRSG) for Protection and Operations.


Within delegated authority, the Head of Office, will be responsible for the following duties: Management of the DSRSG Office: •Leads, directs and coordinates the personnel and activities of all components of the DSRSG Office, in line with the strategic guidance provided by the DSRSG, as well as applicable principles, rules and regulations; Acts as a strategic subject matter expert and Adviser for the DSRSG on political components.

•Manages the flow of information to the DSRSG and supports a swift and transparent decision-making process.

•Plans, coordinates and manages programmes, projects and activities of the DSRSG office and coordinates with other components of the Mission and external to the Mission as required.

•Ensures that the works of all Mission components at the regional level, including civil affairs, DDR, Child Protection, justice support, are in accordance with the overall guidance from the DSRSG and the political strategy of the Mission.

•Monitors and analyzes information and data, manages, coordinates and supervises the preparation of analytical materials and assessments for the DSRSG’s attention related to political, civil, social, economic and other developments in the region related to the implementation of the mandate.

•Supervises, mentors, and evaluates staff within the SRSG office; participates in selection of new staff for the office; coordinates the activities and personnel of all civilian Mission components at the regional and subregional level.

•Manages the formulation of the programme of work of the regional office.

Analysis, Advice and reporting: •Identifies emerging issues at the regional level pertaining to the mandate; analyzes implications and makes recommendations to the DSRSG on possible strategies and measures; proposes plans of action for immediate and long range solutions to issues of concern in the region.

•Provides input for the regional office for the Secretary-General 's reports to the Security Council on the activities of the Mission as well as briefings to the Security Council and other such documents.

•Ensures regular, timely and high quality reporting to the DSRSG on pertinent developments and issues; Manages the Preparation of various written materials, such as analytical reports, statements, notes on meetings, speeches, briefing notes and draft code cables for the DSRSG.

•Oversees the preparation of contextual information materials, such as background notes and profiles; Ensures an effective system of information management designed to guarantee accessibility and utility of information.

•Provides political advice to other components of the Mission working in the region.

Liaison and Coordination: •Consults and collaborates with institutional partners to increase understanding of issues and develop strategies and plans of action to address challenges, in pursuit of shared objectives; Monitors, evaluates and reports on implementation; •Provides good offices on behalf of the DSRSG at the regional level, as appropriate.

•Develops and maintains productive relations at the regional and municipal levels with governmental officials, political actors and leaders of the civil society, as well as regional actors and organizations and the wider UN system and other national and international partners on coordination and policy matters.

•Supports and/or facilitates visits to the AoR by Mission delegations and/or other partners and stakeholders.

•Performs other related duties as requested by the DSRSG.


Professionalism: Shows pride in work and in achievements. Demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter. Is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results. Is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns. Shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations. Provides leadership and takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work; demonstrates knowledge of strategies and commitment to the goal of gender balance in staffing.

Communication: Speaks and writes clearly and effectively. Listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately. Asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication. Tailors language, tone, style and format to match the audience. Demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.

Planning and organizing: Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies. Identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required. Allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work. Foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning. Monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary. Uses time efficiently.

Managing performance: Delegates the appropriate responsibility, accountability and decision-making authority. Makes sure that roles, responsibilities and reporting lines are clear to each staff member. Accurately judges the amount of time and resources needed to accomplish a task and matches task to skills. Monitors progress against milestones and deadlines. Regularly discusses performance and provides feedback and coaching to staff. Encourages risk-taking and supports creativity and initiative. Actively supports the development and career aspirations of staff. Appraises performance fairly.

Judgement/decision making: Identifies the key issues in a complex situation, and comes to the heart of the problem quickly. Gathers relevant information before making a decision. Considers positive and negative impacts of decisions prior to making them. Takes decisions with an eye to the impact on others and on the Organization. Proposes a course of action or makes a recommendation based on all available information. Checks assumptions against facts. Determines that the actions proposed will satisfy the expressed and underlying needs for the decision. Makes tough decisions when necessary.


Advanced University Degree (Master's degree or equivalent) in Political Science, International Relations, Social Science, Law or a related field. A first level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of 15 years of progressively responsible experience in political affairs, civil or humanitarian affairs, human rights, international relations, programme management, or a related field is required.

A proven track record of leadership in multi-cultural settings, including management and coordination of multi-disciplinary teams, and direct advice and support to senior UN officials is required.

Excellent and proven political awareness and management skills are required.

Excellent and proven communication and drafting skills as well as diplomatic skills are required.

Extensive experience in political outreach, facilitation, analysis, advice, management of personnel, planning and reporting is required.

Experience working in a United Nations Common System field operation (inclusive of peacekeeping, political missions and UN agencies, funds, and programmes) -or similar international organization or non-governmental organization - In a conflict or post-conflict setting is required.

A minimum of two years of experience working in a UN Peacekeeping Operation or Special Political Mission or a UN agency in the field is desirable.

Experience working in two or more different substantive areas covered by UN Field Operations is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this position advertised, fluency in both English and French is required.


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by competency-based interview.

Special Notice

• This position is temporarily available. If the selected candidate is a staff member from the United Nations Secretariat, the selection will be administered as a temporary assignment.

• While this temporary assignment may provide the successful applicant with an opportunity to gain new work experience, the selection for this position is for a limited period and has no bearing on the future incumbency of the post.

• Subject to the funding source of the position, the eligibility for this temporary job opening may be limited to candidates based at the duty station.

• The United Nations Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.

• This temporary job opening may be limited to “internal candidates,” who have been recruited through a competitive examination administered according to staff rule 4.16 or staff selection process including the review of a central review body established according to staff rule 4.15.

• Staff members of the United Nations common system organizations who will reach the mandatory age of separation or retirement within the duration of the current temporary need period are not eligible to apply.Submitting an application or selection for the current temporary job opening does not delay or increase the mandatory age of separation.

• Retirees above the mandatory age of separation who wish to be considered for the current temporary job opening must indicate the reason for their last separation as "retirement." Such retirees shall not be employed by the Organization, unless (a) the operational requirements of the Organization cannot be met by staff members who are qualified and available to perform the required functions; and (b) the proposed employment would not adversely affect the Career Development or redeployment opportunities of other staff members and represents both a cost-effective and operationally sound solution to meet the needs of the service.

United Nations Considerations

According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. Candidates will not be considered for employment with the United Nations if they have committed violations of International Human Rights law, violations of international humanitarian law, sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, or sexual harassment, or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have been involved in the commission of any of these acts. The term “sexual exploitation” means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. The term “sexual abuse” means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions. The term “sexual harassment” means any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offence or humiliation, when such conduct interferes with work, is made a condition of employment or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, and when the gravity of the conduct warrants the termination of the perpetrator’s working relationship. Candidates who have committed crimes other than minor traffic offences may not be considered for employment.

Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. The United Nations places no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.

The paramount consideration in the appointment, transfer, or promotion of staff shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. By accepting an offer of appointment, United Nations staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and assignment by him or her to any activities or offices of the United Nations in accordance with staff regulation 1.2 (c). In this context, all internationally recruited staff members shall be required to move periodically to discharge new functions within or across duty stations under conditions established by the Secretary-General.

Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the Manual for the Applicant, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.

The evaluation of applicants will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations including the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of the General Assembly, the Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications according to the instructions provided in inspira to be considered for the current job opening. No amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to reference checks to verify the information provided in the application.

Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at 11:59 p.m. (New York time) on the deadline date.

No Fee


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