UNRWA - United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

UNRWA in Gaza, occupied Palestinian territory

Posting Title: Deputy Director of UNRWA Affairs (Programmes), P5

Job Code Title: Deputy Director of UNRWA Affairs (Progs)

Department/Office: United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA)

Duty Station: FO West Bank

Posting Period: 14 November 2022 – 11 December 2022

Job Opening Number: 22-Administration-UNRWA-195264-R- (R)

United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity

Organisational 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.

UNRWA Field Offices generally have two Deputy Directors reporting directly to the Director of UNRWA Affairs. The Deputies will each manage a substantive portfolio of programme or operations responsibilities. A programme portfolio will typically involve management and oversight of the Agency’s programmes of education, health, relief & social services, infrastructure and camp improvement and microfinance (as applicable) at Field level. The operations portfolio will typically require management and oversight of finance, human resources, procurement, logistics, IT, etc. Depending on field specificity, the Director of UNRWA Affairs may split the portfolios in varying configurations to meet field needs. The Deputy Director will contribute to the Field’s strategic and operational plans and budgets, guide and direct specialist staff, respond to emerging needs, manage staff performance and ensure optimal use of resources. Deputy Directors will liaise with external interlocutors including UN country teams, host government representatives, the refugee community and others. Deputy Directors may be assigned as Acting Director of UNRWA Affairs during the absence of the Director of UNRWA Affairs and, as such, assume full responsibility and accountability for the management of the Field.


– Is responsible for the management of the Field programme cluster which includes education, health, relief and social services, infrastructure and camp improvement and microfinance (where applicable) and is the principal adviser to the Field Director on these functions; depending on field specificity, the Director of UNRWA Affairs may split the portfolios in varying configurations to meet field needs;

  • In close collaboration with other senior staff in the Field, ensures the development, preparation, coordination and monitoring of Field Plans (Strategic and Annual Operational) and Budget, Medium-Term Strategy for the programmes and/or operations functions in his/her Field, ensuring integrated approach to the management of programmes and exercising decision-making authority over human and financial resources and capital assets of the Field, in line with UNRWA regulatory framework and SPARE principle;
  • Provides support and advice to the Director of UNRWA Affairs in implementing the Agency’s reform plans; 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 promotes integration of cross-cutting issues into the field programme;
  • Provides guidance and support to senior programme and/or administrative staff in his/her own area; mentors and evaluates for training purposes, as necessary;
  • Liaises with government and local authorities to ensure their cooperation in facilitating the Agency’s operations; assists the Director of UNRWA Affairs in managing and promoting inter-agency and donor relations;
  • As assigned, acts for the Director of UNRWA Affairs during his/her absence, with full responsibility for the management of the Field, 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, where available;

  • Undertakes relieving assignments and performs other related duties as may be required by the Director of UNRWA Affairs.


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.

  • 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.
  • Leadership: Strong managerial/leadership skills; demonstrated flexibility in leadership by performing and/or overseeing the analysis of complex human resources, financial, administrative or management policy and programme issues; proven record of building and managing teams and creating an enabling environment, including the ability to effectively lead, supervise, mentor, develop and evaluate staff and design training/skills enhancement initiatives to ensure effective transfer of knowledge/skills; tact in negotiating skills; good judgment and decision-making skills; demonstrated ability to provide leadership and commitment to the goal of achieving gender balance in staffing.
  • 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 tasks 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.
  • Vision: Identifies strategic issues, opportunities and risks; clearly communicates links between the Organization’s strategy and the work unit’s goals; generates and communicates broad and compelling organizational direction, inspiring others to pursue that same direction; conveys enthusiasm about future possibilities.
  • Communications: 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.
  • Technology Awareness: Keeps abreast of available technology; understands applicability and limitations of technology to the work of the office; actively seeks to apply technology to appropriate tasks; shows willingness to learn new technology.
  • Teamwork: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others; places team agenda before personal agenda; supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts; joint responsibility for team shortcomings.

For guidance on how to prepare for competency-based interviews: (link)?viewtype=AYI


Advanced university degree from an accredited educational institution in one of the Agency’s programme academic fields (such as political science, social science, public or business administration or international relations) supplemented by studies in management.

Work Experience

At least 10 years of progressively responsible relevant experience in programme management is required.

At least 6 years of relevant work experience managing large-scale, multi-sector programmes at managerial level in a large governmental or international commercial organization, working at international level outside one’s home country is required.

Unless already serving as an international staff member in the UN Common System, at least 2 continuous years of relevant international experience outside UNRWA, and outside the country(s) of citizenship, is required.

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

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

Knowledge of activities of UNRWA operations and services is desirable.


Excellent command of spoken and written English.

Working knowledge of Arabic is desirable.


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.

The Deputy Director of UNRWA Affairs (Programmes) will be required to travel frequently throughout the Agency’s area of operations in the Middle East.

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.

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

Equivalency: 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 unacceptable combination.

UNRWA welcomes applications from qualified candidates with disabilities.

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: (link)

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.

Tags: capital assets, donor relations, financial resources, gender parity, human development, human resources, human rights, humanitarian law, international relations, logistics, microfinance, middle east, palestine refugees, political science, procurement, programme management, refugees, risk management, social services, west bank