UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

UNHCR HQ Geneva

Duties and Qualifications: Risk Management and Compliance Adviser / Officer Profile for the Talent Pool

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is mandated to lead and coordinate international action to protect and assist refugees and other persons of concern. It is constantly seeking talented, compassionate candidates with high integrity to strengthen its capacity to respond urgently to crises with the right skills. Given the nature of UNHCR’s work, it is essential that its workforce has the right mix of skills and qualities to fulfil its mandate.

In fulfilling its mandate, UNHCR operates in a variety of complex, uncertain and volatile environments. This gives rise to a wide range of risks that need to be effectively managed if UNHCR is to deliver protection, assistance and solutions to persons of concern.

In 2014, Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) was formally introduced in UNHCR to support the systematic identification, analysis and treatment of risks which could impact the achievement of UNHCR’s protection and solutions objectives. Since then, the increasing fragility and complexity of UNHCR’s operating environments has further underlined the importance of effective risk management, prompting the UNHCR High Commissioner to launch the Risk Management 2.0 initiative (2018-2020). A key feature of the initiative has been the establishment of an effective network of risk management practitioners to strengthen the risk culture across UNHCR. The RM 2.0 initiative will come to closure at the end of 2020, while the investments into risk management as a core function in the organization will continue.

The Chief Risk Officer, leads and coordinated the risk management network in UNHCR that is comprised of:

  • The ERM Service at headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland;
  • Senior Risk Management and Compliance Advisers (SRA) in seven regional bureaux;
  • SRAs based in high-risk and fragile operating environments who work closely with Representatives in these operations to proactively identify and manage risks;
  • Roving risk advisors based at Headquarters who provide broader risk management support through frequent, short-term support missions to operations.

In addition, there are some 300 risk focal points/ back-ups in all operations and headquarter divisions and entities. Their role is to support Representatives and Directors to ensure that risk management is carried out in a comprehensive, regular and inclusive manner. These focal points constitute a second, wider risk management network in the organization.

The risk network reflects a good balance of internally and externally recruited staff representing both organisational knowledge and fresh perspective. To maintain this balance, UNHCR continues to invite good and motivated professionals to apply to the Talent Pool. Candidates with the following skills are invited to apply for this function:

  • Technical skills to: o Develop and implement procedures to proactively identify and mitigate risks that could impact the delivery of the agreed objectives; and o Efficiently track and report on specific risks, trends and cross-cutting matters representing a high risk to the organization o Make recommendations as appropriate mitigate risks and assist operations management in their implementation – Strong analytical and problem-solving skills to develop solutions that address root causes of risk.
  • Strong collaboration, communication and interpersonal skills with the ability to deliver quality results on time.
  • Excellent training and capacity building skills, including organizing and facilitating trainings, assessments, risk management thematic events and meetings to raise awareness and build knowledge.
  • Excellent English and facilitation skills are a requirement, and knowledge of additional UN language – especially French, Spanish and/or Arabic – is a strong advantage.

For snr position, in addition to the skill already mentioned above, the candidates should have demonstrated skill:

  • Strong managers/professionals with diverse operational background and demonstrated field experience;
  • Excellent communication (written/oral) and people skills are sought for these positions.
  • Ability to actively engage directly with internal and external stakeholders including relevant Government offices, implementing and operational partners, donors, contractors and refugee/host communities

Typical functions may include position from P2-D1 level: P2 – P3 (Associate) Risk Management and Compliance Officer

  • Assist the operation/Bureau on risk management, compliance, and oversight matters, helping them in discharging their responsibilities and accountabilities to manage risks and comply with policies and procedures;
  • Support the integration of risk management, ethical and integrity considerations into decision making, planning, monitoring, evaluation, reporting and contingency activities in the Operation(s)/Bureau under the Area of Responsibility (AoR);
  • Promote the use of good risk management tools and approaches;
  • Support the operation/Bureau in the implementation of oversight recommendations to improve risk management, compliance and quality of outputs;
  • Work with internal and external oversight entities, develop and implement procedures to collect relevant data and efficiently track and report specific issues, trends and cross-cutting matters representing a high risk to the Operation(s) under AoR;
  • Prepare input to management reports to internal and external stakeholders;
  • Support the coordination and delivery of relevant trainings, workshops and other capacity building initiatives relevant to risk management and compliance;
  • Ensure that the risk register of the operation/Bureau is kept up to date and correctly reflected in the on-line tool;
  • Support the coordination and facilitation of the risk review exercises with functional experts and management to agree on the corporate risk register, and appropriate risk responses; facilitate, monitor and report on the implementation of agreed responses;
  • Analyse risk management, compliance, and oversight findings and recommendations. Prepare summary reports, with recommendations, on significant matters requiring management action or intervention, or changes to corporate level policies/procedures;
  • Monitor compliance against policies and procedures, advise management of areas of non-compliance and identify the root cause of this and appropriate corrective actions.
  • Perform other related duties as required.

P4 Snr Risk Management and Compliance Officer

  • Advise and support the operation/Bureau on risk management, compliance, and oversight matters, assisting them in discharging their responsibilities and accountabilities to manage risks comply with policies and procedures;
  • Ensure risk management, ethical and integrity considerations are integrated into decision making, planning, monitoring, evaluation, reporting and contingency activities in the Operation(s)/Bureau under the Area of Responsibility (AoR);
  • Promote collaboration of different functions within the operation/Bureau/divisions to address cross cutting risks and issues;
  • Support the operation/Bureau in the implementation of oversight recommendations to improve risk management, compliance and quality of outputs;
  • Work with internal and external oversight entities, develop and implement procedures to collect relevant data and efficiently track and report specific issues, trends and cross-cutting matters representing a high risk to the Operation(s) under AoR;
  • Prepare or review and input to management reports to external stakeholders;
  • With assistance from and in coordination with the ERM Unit, Global Learning Centre, and other Headquarter Services, as required, train UNHCR teams and partners to raise awareness of and skills in risk management, and to strengthen the culture of integrity and accountability;
  • Promote and disseminate policies, good-practices and guidance on risk management in the operation/region. Provide field based support and guidance jointly with Headquarters for corporate risk management developments and initiatives;
  • Provide regular updates to the Deputy/Assistant Representative or Senior Risk Management and Compliance Advisor on matters related to risk, compliance and quality, including on emerging risks and opportunities;
  • Coordinate and facilitate the risk review exercises with functional experts and management to agree on the corporate risk register, and appropriate risk responses; facilitate, monitor and report on the implementation of agreed responses;
  • Analyse risk management, compliance, and oversight findings and recommendations. In coordination with the Bureau and HQ, identify lessons learnt and root cause(s) of recurring systemic issues in the Operation. Prepare summary reports, with recommendations, on significant matters requiring management action or intervention, or changes to corporate level policies/procedures;
  • Monitor compliance against policies and procedures, advise management of areas of non-compliance and identify the root cause of this and appropriate corrective actions;

  • In consultation with the Chief Risk Officer, assess the methodology, tools and practices related to the implementation of risk management activities in the Operation to strengthen integrity identify root causes of risks, and propose mitigating measures with a focus on prevention.
  • Perform other related duties as required.

P5 – D1 Snr/Principal Management and Compliance Adviser

  • Advise and support the Representative/Bureau Director on risk management, integrity, compliance, and oversight matters, assisting him/her in discharging his/her responsibilities and accountabilities to manage risks and ensuring an effective implementation of UNHCR’s risk management strategy and policy and strengthening the risk culture in the operation(s) / bureau;
  • Ensure risk management considerations are integrated into decision making, planning, resource allocation, monitoring, evaluation, reporting and contingency activities across the operation(s) /bureau;
  • Assist the Representative / Bureau Director in maintaining and improving integrity and ethical conduct among UNHCR workforce and partners; improve detection of potential integrity related breaches;
  • Contribute to decision making processes in the operation(s) / bureau by providing risk perspectives and objective risk-based analysis and information, especially on high risk and key priority areas;
  • Promote collaboration between different functions within the operation(s) / bureau to ensure cross-cutting risks and issues are addressed effectively; elp review adequacy of the systems, structures, procedures and capacities in high risk areas;
  • Support the work with internal and external oversight entities, report on specific trends and cross-cutting matters; assist in the implementation of oversight recommendations to improve risk management, compliance and quality of outputs, and to ensure effective internal control framework in support of operational efficiency;
  • Support management in ensuring compliance and oversight with policies and procedures;
  • Represent UNHCR in relevant internal and external task forces / meetings on risk management, integrity and oversight matters; prepare / review and input to management reports to stakeholders; interact with counterparts in the UN/IO, NGO and the broader humanitarian community, as well as with government counterparts, on risk management matters;
  • Contribute to the development of the operations—- / bureau’s communication strategy by highlighting risks and opportunities; and identifying possible impacts of the overall communication and external relations strategy and its execution, with special attention to potential reputational risks; ensure regular and timely information flow within the operation on matters related to risk management, oversight and compliance;
  • With assistance from and in coordination with the ERM Unit, Global Learning and Development Centre, and other headquarter services, as required, build the capacity of UNHCR teams and partners by raising awareness of and skills in risk management, with the aim of strengthening the culture of integrity and accountability; provide advice and support to all personnel on matters related to risk management;
  • Promote and disseminate policies, guidance, good practices and lessons learnt related to risk management in the operation(s) / bureau and within the risk network; provide support and input for global risk management guidance, tools, methodologies and initiatives;
  • Provide regular updates / reports to the Representative(s), Bureau Director and Chief Risk Officer on matters related to risk, compliance and quality, including on emerging risks and opportunities; escalate risks, as required. Coordinate and facilitate periodic and ad-hoc risk reviews with functional experts and management to identify the key risks and opportunities to the operation, and to design appropriate risk responses; facilitate, monitor and report on the implementation of agreed responses; ensure the risk register is regularly updated;
  • Analyse risk management, compliance, and oversight findings and recommendations; in coordination with the regional bureau and ERM Unit, identify lessons learnt and root cause(s) of recurring systemic issues in the operation; prepare summary reports, with recommendations, on significant matters requiring management action or intervention, or changes to global level policies/procedures;

Minimum Qualifications and Professional Experience Required: For positions at the P2 level – Education: Degree in Accounting, Finance, Public or Business Administration, or related field OR degree in another field combined with a professional qualification in accounting or finance (CPA/CIA or equivalent).

  • Job experience: Minimum 2 years of relevant experience with graduate degree (equivalent of a Master’s), 3 years with undergraduate degree (equivalent of a BA/BS).
  • Language: Proficiency in English is required.

For positions at the P3 level – Education: Degree in Accounting, Finance, Business Administration in Finance, Project Management, External Audit, Risk Management OR degree in similar field combined with a professional qualification in accounting or finance (CPA/CA, DESG or equivalent), project management accreditation.

  • Good understanding of the workflows of major Enterprise Resource Planning financial modules (such as PeopleSoft, SAP or Oracle).
  • Good analytical and communication skills – Job experience: Minimum 5 years of relevant (international) job experience with graduate degree (equivalent of a Master’s), 6 years with undergraduate degree (equivalent of a BA/BS); at least 2 years in an intergovernmental organization.
  • Languages: Proficiency in English is required.

For positions at the P4 level – Education: Degree in Accounting, Finance, Business Administration in Finance, External Audit or related field OR degree in another field combined with a professional qualification in accounting or accreditation in finance (CPA/CA or equivalent), project management, fraud risk examiner.

  • Job experience: Minimum 8 years of relevant (international) job experience with graduate degree (equivalent of a Master’s), 9 years with undergraduate degree (equivalent of a BA/BS); at least 5 years in an intergovernmental organization.
  • Languages: Proficiency in English and knowledge of a second UN language (Arabic/ Chinese/ French/ Russian/ Spanish) at B2 is required.

For positions at the P5 level – Education: Undergraduate degree (equivalent of a BA/BS), Graduate degree (equivalent of a Master’s) or Doctorate Degree (equivalent of a PhD).

  • Job experience: Minimum 11 years of previous relevant work experience with graduate degree (equivalent of a Master’s), 12 years with undergraduate degree (equivalent of a BA/BS) or 10 years with a Doctorate degree (equivalent of a PhD).
  • At least 6 years of experience in a senior managerial/leadership position involving, amongst other things, responsibilities relating to risk management, compliance and/or quality of results.
  • Excellent judgement with proven ability to deal with complex interrelated issues and strong analytical and problem-solving skills to develop solutions that address root causes.
  • Excellent communicator with strong interpersonal skills.
  • Strong management skills in collaboration, team building, capacity development and with ability to deliver quality results on time.
  • Exposure to and experience in UN or humanitarian field operations and emergencies in various geographical locations.
  • Demonstrate high level of integrity, objectivity, impartiality and fairness.
  • Languages: Proficiency in English is required and knowledge of a second UN language (Arabic/ Chinese/French/Russian/Spanish) at B2 is required.

For positions at the D1 level – Education: Undergraduate degree (equivalent of a BA/BS), Graduate degree (equivalent of a Master’s) or Doctorate Degree (equivalent of a PhD).

  • Job experience: Minimum 16 years of relevant work experience with graduate degree (equivalent of a Master’s), 17 years with undergraduate degree (equivalent of a BA/BS) or 15 years with a Doctorate degree (equivalent of a PhD).
  • At least 8 years of experience in a senior managerial/leadership position involving, amongst other things, responsibilities relating to risk management, compliance and/or quality of results are an advantage.
  • Excellent judgement with proven ability to deal with complex interrelated issues and strong analytical and problem-solving skills to develop solutions that address root causes.
  • Excellent communicator with strong interpersonal skills.
  • Exposure to and experience in UN or humanitarian field operations and emergencies in various geographical locations.
  • Demonstrate high level of integrity, objectivity, impartiality and fairness.
  • Languages: Proficiency in English and knowledge of a second UN language (Arabic/ Chinese/ French/ Russian/ Spanish) at B2 is required.

The UNHCR workforce consists of many diverse nationalities, cultures, languages and opinions. UNHCR seeks to sustain and strengthen this diversity to ensure equal opportunities as well as an inclusive working environment for its entire workforce. Applications are encouraged from all qualified candidates without distinction on grounds of race, colour, sex, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity.

Tags: capacity development, enterprise resource planning, good practices, management development, oracle, peoplesoft, project management, refugees, risk management, senior manager, task forces, trainings