Assistant Governmental Liaison Officer

UNHCR , Baghdad, Iraq
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Job Summary

Job Description


The Associate Government Liaison Officer is usually located in country operations. S/he plays a crucial role in ensuring UNHCR’s approach to the Government is consistent, strategic and coherent. UNHCR assists the Government on coordination, response delivery and protection issues. Typically, this involves joint coordination arrangements, partnership with various government departments in service delivery, and regular dialogue at all levels on refugee protection issues. The main aim is to ensure that UNHCR can fulfil its role to support the Government to lead the refugee response ensuring the protection of refugees and - in line with the GCR - promote the inclusion of refugees into national systems by coordinating with other actors - including development actors at the early stages of a refugee response and in mixed situations supporting the Government to prevent, respond to and resolve internal displacement while complementing and reinforcing national response efforts. This should be done in line with UNHCR’s Mandate, the Global Compact for Refugees, the IDP policy, and agreed inter-agency commitments. More specifically, the incumbent advises the senior management on issues and processes concerning the relationship with the Government and related positioning, coordination, advocacy, information, resource allocation, fundraising, reporting, and communication with other UN agencies, NGOs, civil society actors, private sector, media and other relevant actors through strong engagement in humanitarian inter-agency processes, but also with a focus on development processes as they impact on UNHCR. The overall goal of the position is to strengthen and enhance the effectiveness of UNHCR’s leadership roles and responses to situations affecting people of concern to UNHCR (refugees, asylum-seekers, IDPs, stateless persons, returnees, host communities) through an open and transparent partnership approach with the Government.
The incumbent is expected to have excellent communication skills in both English and Arabic. S/he will be expected to interpret at meetings, including with high-level government officials, to keep minutes of meetings, to draft and finalise official correspondence in English and in Arabic, and support with drafting of reports and other official documents as needed.
The incumbent needs to show of evidence of being organised, prompt and responsive. S/he will need to organise the Representative’s schedule, in close cooperation with other key colleagues, will be expected to follow up on pending issues without being asked and will need to establish and maintain a close and trusting relationship with key government and UN interlocutors. S/he may be required to actively participate and take notes in substantive meetings if needed, including, for example, PWGs and other inter-agency fora. The incumbent will also need to provide support to other UNHCR senior colleagues and ensure a good working relationship with them. Finally, the incumbent will be required to promptly provide updates of any key political or cultural developments in Iraq which may impact on UNHCR’s activities and programmes.


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.

  • Participates in formulating and communicating UNHCR positions on Government-related matters on protection, assistance and inclusion of refugees, providing suggestions for briefing notes, talking points and issues papers for relevant discussions with the Government.
  • Provides suggestions for promoting UNHCR's policies and liaising with Government authorities on issues related to latest humanitarian and development processes.
  • Assists in establishing and coordinating country-specific coordination mechanisms for situations co-led by UNHCR and the Government. Where applicable, assists in supporting the development of country-specific refugee response plans (or refugee and migration response plan and refugee and resilience plan) and comprehensive responses.
  • Assists in ensuring the coherence of the work of the Multi-sector group (MSG) in accordance with the Government.
  • Assists in organizing and implementing capacity-building seminars or training programmes for target groups (government officials, etc.).
  • Responds to queries from Government Officials, NGOs, individuals, etc. and provides the information required or appropriately refers the queries elsewhere.
  • Assists the supervisor in preparation of statements that represent UNHCR's overall policies and which highlight specific area of concern, ensuring that the supervisor is prepared for meetings/missions by providing relevant information and establishing contacts.
  • Perform other related duties as required.


  • Education & Professional Work Experience:
    Years of Experience / Degree Level:

  • Minimum 3 years relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or 2 years relevant experience with Graduate degree; or 1-year relevant experience with Doctorate degree.

  • Degree in Political/Social Science, Economics, Law/International Law, Business Administration or another relevant field.
    Relevant job Experience

  • Desirable

  • Experience in liaising with governments and/or the donor community. Thorough understanding of UNHCR's protection mandate and core mission. Thorough understanding of humanitarian coordination processes and/or development coordination.

  • Experience in Inter-agency coordination role.

  • Proven experience in UNHCR and / or another UN agency will be an advantage.

  • Degree in Political Science, Law/International Law is strongly desirable.
    Functional Skills:

  • MS-Drafting, Documentation, Data Presentation;

  • MG-Negotiation;

  • TR-Training and Capacity Building of Governments/Implementing Partners/Refugees

  • Preparation of key messages/talking points/speeches*
  • CL-Multi-stakeholder Communications with Partners, Government & Community*
  • Coordination*
  • MS-Networking*
  • Innovation*
  • Situational Judgement*
  • Meeting Facilitation*
    (Functional Skills marked with an asterisk* are essential)
    Language Requirements:
  • Knowledge of English and Arabic Languages is required.
    Core Competencies:
  • Accountability
  • Communication
  • Organizational Awareness
  • Teamwork & Collaboration
  • Commitment to Continuous Learning
  • Client & Result Orientation
    Managerial Competencies:
  • Empowering and Building Trust
  • Judgement and Decision Making
    Cross-Functional Competencies:
  • Negotiation and Conflict Resolution
  • Political Awareness
  • Stakeholder Management
    (Functional Skills marked with an asterisk* are essential)