Job Description

Org. Setting and Reporting

UNRWA, the largest United Nations operation in the Middle East with over 30,000 staff working across five areas of operation, is looking for highly committed personnel wishing to make a change.

If you are looking for a rewarding opportunity to make a tangible difference for one of the most vulnerable communities in the world, UNRWA would like to hear from you.

The Senior Deputy Director of UNRWA Affairs (Programmes) reports to the Director of UNRWA Affairs.


- Performs leadership, management and co-ordination tasks relating to the field’s programmes, ensuring optimal use of resources, streamlined processes, taking into account staff and refugee needs and responding to emerging circumstances.

- Guides and provides oversight as well as performance management, in accordance with the Agency’s regulatory framework, to the heads of the main programmes including Education, Health, Relief and Social Services, Infrastructure and Camp Improvement, Job Creation, and Microfinance.

- Guides and provides oversight on key cross -cutting initiatives, including protection and neutrality, gender mainstreaming and related initiatives; acts as the principal Adviser to the Director of UNRWA Affairs on these functions.

- Translates the Medium Term Programme Strategy into operational reality by developing and fine-tuning, in consultation with senior managers, the Field Plans and Budget; leads the implementation of pertinent reform initiatives in his/her organizational cluster; coordinates the work of cross-functional teams to achieve field-wide outcomes and the effectiveness of the field’s activities, services and commitments to constituencies in conjunction with HQ Directors ensuring an integrated approach to the management of programmes and exercising decision-making authority over areas under her/his responsibility.

- Provides guidance and support to Senior Programme and/or administrative staff in his/her own area and in the continuous improvement of programmes and services; mentors and evaluates for training purposes, as necessary.

- Provides leadership to the development of innovative and/or Change Management programmes.

- Liaises with government and local authorities to ensure their cooperation in facilitating the Agency’s programmes/operations; assists the Director of UNRWA Affairs in managing and promoting inter-agency and donor relations; coordinates with the Area Staff Union chairperson and Education, General Services and Manual Workers sector chairpersons to resolve issues and disputes between staff, the staff union and field management; Building consensus and inspiring others to form alliances for concerted actions.

- As assigned, acts for the Director of UNRWA Affairs during his/her absence, with full responsibility for the Field programmes/operations, and reporting to the Commissioner-General (USG) and/or Deputy Commissioner-General, (ASG).

- Where applicable, acts as the Field Security focal point and liaises with the Agency’s Director of Security and Risk Management and the Office of Security and Risk Management in the Field.


UN Core Values of Integrity, Professionalism and Respect for Diversity, and Core Competencies of Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results apply by default. Default managerial competencies may apply.

-- Planning and Organizing
- Relating and Networking
- Analyzing
- Leading and supervising
- Delivering Results

For guidance on how to prepare for competency-based interviews:


Advanced university degree (Master’s or equivalent) from an accredited educational institution in social sciences, political science, public or business Administration, international relations or economics, supplemented by studies in management, where applicable.

Work Experience

At least 15 years of progressively responsible and relevant professional experience is required.

At least eight years of professional work experience at international managerial level managing large-scale, multi-sector programmes in a large governmental or international organization, outside one’s home country is required.

Senior level experience in emergency planning and response and/or humanitarian operations; significant experience in managing large teams is required.

Unless already serving as an international staff member in the UN Common System, at least two continuous years of relevant international experience outside UNRWA and outside the country(s) of citizenship is required.

Knowledge of activities of UNRWA operations and services is desirable.

Knowledge of Middle Eastern geo-political realities and its socio-cultural implications is desirable.

Experience with United Nations administration/financial policies and practices is desirable.

Advanced university degree (Master’s or equivalent) from an accredited educational institution in social sciences, political science, public or business administration, international relations or economics, supplemented by studies in management, where applicable is required.


Excellent command of written and spoken English.

Working knowledge of Arabic.


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

Special Notice

Type of Contract and duration: 2 years, with the possibility of further extension.

Gaza is a non-family duty station.

The Senior Deputy Director of UNRWA Affairs will be required to reside in the field of assignment and to travel regularly inside and outside the Agency's area of operations.

Applicants have to complete the Personal History Profile (PHP) in inspira in order to be considered. The PHP should be completed with full relevant work experience as per the requirements in the Job Opening, in order to be considered.

UNRWA welcomes applications from qualified candidates with disabilities.

A roster may be created from the selection exercise, and successful candidates may become eligible for appointment to the same post or a similar post.

A first level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of an advanced university degree.
NB: work experience alone or formal qualifications with no relevant work experience are not considered an acceptable combination.

UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions from UN member states, regional bodies, business foundations and individual contributions. The mission of UNRWA is to help Palestine refugees achieve their full potential in human development under the difficult circumstances in which they live.

For more details on UNRWA, please visit:

United Nations Considerations

Staff members are subject to the authority of the Commissioner-General of UNRWA and to assignment by him or her.

UNRWA is committed to achieving gender parity at all levels of staffing under the current UN-wide gender agenda and strongly encourages applications from qualified applicants from under-represented groups.

At UNRWA, the paramount consideration in the recruitment and employment of staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity, with due regard to geographic diversity. All employment decisions are made on the basis of qualifications and organizational needs. UNRWA is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment of mutual respect. Reasonable accommodation for applicants with disabilities may be provided to support participation in the recruitment process when requested and indicated in the application.

UNRWA Considerations
UNRWA staff are expected to uphold the highest standards of efficiency, competence, neutrality, impartiality and integrity. This includes respect for and commitment to human rights, diversity and non-violent means of dealing with all kinds of conflict. Only persons who fully and unconditionally commit to these values should consider applying for UNRWA jobs. Candidates will not be considered for employment with UNRWA 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. Candidates who have committed crimes other than minor traffic offences may not be considered for employment. The Agency may disqualify applicants who have separated for reason of misconduct, who left a UN Agency while misconduct processes were pending, or who appear on the UN Sanctions List.
UNRWA is a non-smoking work environment.

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.

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