Associate Protection Officer (Community-Based)UNOPS




Define the role of the position within the team, describing its leadership role, if any, it’s external/internal work relationships or contacts, the contextual environment in which it operates and the scope of supervision received, and where applicable, exercised by the incumbent.
Eight years into the Syria crisis, Lebanon remains the country hosting the largest number of refugees per capita, with nearly 950,000  Syrian refugees registered with UNHCR, about 20,000 refugees of other origins - mostly Iraqi - and Palestine refugees under UNRWA’s mandate.  There are no formal camps for Syrian refugees in Lebanon, and refugees are living in hundreds of communities and locations across the country. 

The refugee response is led by the Government and UNHCR and UNDP, supported by the international community. As the designated lead agency in the refugee response, UNHCR has established a sector-based structure in Beirut and in the field. The structure brings together over 150 UN agencies, national and international NGO partners [over 150 actors, including UN agencies, national and international NGOs and Ministries] in identifying and agreeing on the strategic priorities to address the needs of Syrian refugees and vulnerable Lebanese communities. The Lebanon Chapter of the Response Plan falls under the Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan (3RP), whereby UNHCR guides the refugee response and UNDP facilitates the resilience and stabilization component.

The UNHCR operational response in Lebanon is one of the largest for the organization. Media attention and the frequency of influential high-profile visitors is high. The Office has grown substantially in the past years and is currently operating with around 650 staff. Aside from the country office in the capital city of Beirut, UNHCR has field offices in Mount Lebanon, Qobayat, Tripoli, Tyre and Zahle.

There are currently over 1 million Syrian refugees registered with UNHCR in Lebanon, which makes Lebanon the highest refugee-hosting country per capita in the world. There are no approved camps in the country and refugees are spread over 1,750 localities. The refugee response is led by the Government and local actors, supported by the international community. As the designated lead agency in the refugee response, UNHCR has established a sector-based structure in Beirut and in the field to support the Government. 

The structure brings together 13 UN agencies, 60 national and international NGO partners in identifying and agreeing on the strategic priorities to address the needs of Syrian refugees and other affected populations. The Lebanon national response falls under the Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan (3RP), whereby UNHCR guides the refugee response while UNDP facilitates the resilience and stabilization component. 

Through inter-agency coordination mechanisms, 9 sectors have been established in Lebanon, with UNHCR leading or co-leading the Protection, Basic Assistance, Shelter, and Health sectors. UNHCR is also providing information management support to all. The Office has grown substantially in the past years. Aside from the Branch Office in the capital city of Beirut, UNHCR has two sub-offices in Zahle and Tripoli and two field offices in Mt Lebanon, Tyr (South), and one field unit in Qobayat under the Tripoli Sub-Office. 

The Associate Protection Officer (Community-Based/SGBV) is part of the Community Services Unit in the Country Operation, which is an integral part of the Protection team. The incumbent normally reports to the Head of Unit. The Community Services role, broadly described, is to act as a critical interface between UNHCR and communities of concern, providing an AGD sensitive analysis of community risks and capacities that form the essential foundations to all UNHCR work in a given country context. Under the overall direction of the Protection Unit, and in coordination with other UNHCR staff, government, NGO partners and other stakeholders, Community Services staff work directly with communities to leverage their capacities for community based protection. 

To fulfill this role, the Associate Protection Officer (Community-Based), and all Community Services staff, are required to spend a substantial percentage of their time working outside of the office, building and maintaining networks within communities of persons of concern. The Associate Protection Officer (Community-Based/SGBV) will be based in UNHCR's Branch Office in Beirut with regular visits to the field.


Describe the accountabilities, responsibilities and authorities associated with the position.
Responsibility (process and functions undertaken to achieve results) 
  • Be fully informed about community structures and the protection and security situation of the population of concern and develop strong links with a cross-section of members of refugee/IDP/stateless communities, using an AGD approach.
  • Through relationships with persons of concern and network of partners stay abreast of political, social, economic and cultural developments that have an impact on the protection environment and provide advice to senior management. Ensure that the perspectives, capacities, needs and resources of the persons of concerns are reflected in the protection strategy, planning processes and operations plan addressing the specific protection needs of women and men, children, youth and older persons, persons with disabilities, minority groups such as sexual minorities and persons living with HIV/AIDS.
  • Ensure through direct action and advocacy with more senior protection staff that the necessary resources are allocated to enable community work to identify and address protection and assistance gaps. 
  • Support a consultative process with government counterparts at local levels, partners and persons of concern to develop and implement integrated strategies that address the key protection priorities, with focus on SGBV including, for example, child protection, education and solutions approaches. 
  • Provide technical guidance and support to UNHCR and partners and implement and oversee Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) on all SGBV related issues
  • Establish links with inter-agency capacity building initiatives which promote participatory, community-based and AGD approaches. 
  • Establish systems, including those managed by communities, to ensure that individual cases identified at the field level are assessed, referred as appropriate, and followed up using ProGres or other established case management systems. 
  • Support the design, implementation and evaluation of protection centred and solutions oriented programming with implementing and operational partners guaranteeing that community-owned activities are integrated.  
  • Support communities in establishing representation and coordination structures
  • Promote confidence building and conflict resolution among populations of concern, authorities and host communities. 
  • Maintain protection presence through regular field missions and reports, making direct contact with persons of concern, host communities, local authorities and partners. In operations applying the humanitarian cluster system, contribute to ensuring that the response of the Protection Cluster is grounded in an AGD-compliant strategy which covers all assessed and prioritized protection needs of the affected populations.  
  • Support the Operation's work to ensure the protection strategy is fully integrated into the Country Operations Plan, the UN Development and Assistance Framework (UNDAF), the Humanitarian Country Team’s common humanitarian action plan where applicable.
  • Contribute to the Protection team's information management component which: provide disaggregated data on populations of concern and their problems; researches, collects and disseminates relevant protection information and good practices to enhance protection delivery and provide technical advice if necessary.  
  • Ensure participatory, community-based protection and AGD approaches are included in, strategies and plans in the country operation.
  • Ensure community understanding of UNHCR's commitment to deliver on accountability and quality assurance in its response.
  • Support persons of concern to develop structures that enhance their participation and protection.
Authority (decisions made in executing responsibilities and to achieve results)
  • Contribute to the design of the SGBV strategy, project submissions and budgets for endorsement by the Senior Protection Officer or the Representative.
  • Chair protection meetings with partners and represent UNHCR is interagency SGBV coordination group
  • Chair the SGBV mainstreaming taskforce
  • Intervene with authorities on SGBV issues.
  • Negotiate with local counterparts, partners and populations of concern.
Accountability (key results that will be achieved)
  • The country operation has systems in place to promote and undertake participatory and community-based protection activities which address the social, cultural, and livelihood needs of populations of concern. 
  • Evolving, AGD sensitive analysis of community risks and capacities provides the essential basis for all of UNHCR’s work. 
  • Effective and timely support is provided to the formulation of a clear and coherent protection and solutions oriented strategy, which incorporates a thorough age, gender and diversity analysis and reflects the Organization’s global, regional and country level priorities.
  • AGD sensitive analysis of community risks and capacities provides the essential basis for all of UNHCR’s work. 
  • The participation of persons of concern is assured through continuous assessment and evaluation using participatory, rights and community based approaches, which inform protection and assistance programming and ensure that UNHCR meets its commitments to accountability to persons of concern.
  • National protection capacities are improved through direct engagement, research and advocacy with all relevant external interlocutors. 
  • Protection incidents and needs are immediately identified and addressed through direct intervention, advocacy and public exposure


Define the educational background, the relevant job experience and the language(s) that are essential to perform the work of the position.
Undergraduate degree (equivalent of a BA/BS) in International Development, Cultural Studies, Human Rights, International Social Work, Social Science, Political Science, Anthropology, International Law or other clearly related disciplines plus minimum 3 years of  relevant professional experience, including in the areas of community based protection, community services, social work, and human rights. Graduate degree (equivalent of a Master’s) plus 2 years or Doctorate degree (equivalent of a PhD) plus 1 year of previous relevant work experience may also be accepted.


Describe any experience or knowledge that would be an asset, such as: UNHCR Learning Programmes, other training, additional languages, Field/HQs experience, etc.
  • Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English. Arabic is an asset.
  • Diverse field operational experience.
  • Good IT skills including database management skills.
  • Proven communication skills, both oral and written.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of community communication and engagement approaches.
  • Understanding of and demonstrated competencies in forced displacement and protection, particularly SGBV prevention and response, child protection, education, gender equality, and the application of the Age, Gender and Diversity Policy.
  • Knowledge of additional UN languages specifically Arabic.


Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.  UNHCR does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview meeting, processing, training or any other fees). UNHCR strongly encourage qualified female applicants for this position, applications form individuals with special needs are encouraged. Shortlisted candidates may be required to sit for the written test and/or oral interview.


  • Job Title: Associate Protection Officer (Community-Based)
  • Location: Beirut, Lebanon
  • Position Number: BEY087
  • Type of Contract: UNOPS
  • Grade: P2
  • Supervisor Position, Title & Grade: 10023692, Associate Protection Officer (Community-Based), NOB
  • Deadline for applications: 2019-07-25