Shelter Associate

Job Overview

Hardship Level (not applicable for home-based)

Family Type (not applicable for home-based)


Non Family


Staff Member / Affiliate Type


Target Start Date



Job Posting End Date

November 20, 2022


Terms of Reference

Operational Context:
The Duhok Sub-Office is one of three UNHCR offices in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and covers operations in Duhok Governorate and Zakho Independent Administration. The area hosts some 90,000 refugees and asylum seekers, mostly from Syria (93%), with 60% residing in four refugee camps (and 1 transit facility), and 40% in out-of-camp locations. There are also over 325,000 persons, mostly Ezidis, who were internally displaced from Ninewa in 2014 and who are settled in 15 camps (40%) and urban locations.

As the displacement situation is becoming increasingly protracted and in line with the humanitarian community’s transition efforts, UNHCR’s interventions are aimed at promoting longer‐term solutions and enhancing the social and economic inclusion of displaced populations in public systems and development programmes. This includes the implementation of strategic infrastructure projects under UNHCR’s Area-Based Programming for Protection and Solutions (A2PS), which aim at supporting government institutions in their delivery of quality public services in areas of displacement.

The Shelter Associate will work as part of the technical unit, under the overall supervision of the Assistant Shelter Officer and in coordination with colleagues from other units, particularly field, protection, community-based protection, supply and programme. In addition to supporting the monitoring of the implementation of shelter, the incumbent will also cover functions in the areas of infrastructure, and construction management support in and out of camps.

Given the context, the ideal candidate should have considerable experience in tendering process, conducting technical assessments (including infrastructure design and BoQ development) and monitoring the implementation of shelter and infrastructure projects. Also, familiar with the rules and regulations of the Iraqi engineering standards. Besides, s/he will have regular contact with refugees, IDPs, host communities, NGO partners, and government counterparts and as such effective communication, interpersonal and planning skills are key to the position. The candidate should have previous working experience in a demanding environment, be technologically savvy, with good experience in engineering software (AutoCAD, Civil 3D, etc..) and capability of multitasking. In addition, has a good knowledge of the project cycle from assessment, preparation of technical documents, and implementation of the project (instalments, daily reports, laboratory tests procedure, etc.)

– Shortlisted candidates will be required to attend an eliminatory written test, only successful candidates in the test will be invited for an oral interview.
– Recruitment as a UNHCR staff member and engagement under a UNHCR affiliate scheme or as an intern is subject to proof of vaccination against Covid-19. 

Standard Job Description

Shelter Associate Organizational Setting and Work Relationships The Shelter Associate provides support in carrying out comprehensive sectoral needs assessments in liaison with other relevant sectors such as protection, programme, community services, public health, WASH, administration and supply. To ensure the most effective response, both quantitative and qualitative data should be gathered on the profile/needs and living conditions of both the displaced population and host community. The incumbent will assist in the day to-day operations of all construction and general infrastructure projects within the Area of Responsibility (AoR) to ensure that works proceed as designed and comply with established standards and procedures for the full project cycle. Close and regular contact is maintained with technical and non-technical staff of shelter sector members, national and international NGOs and Government Authorities. The Shelter Associate normally reports to a more senior shelter colleague. The incumbent assists the supervisor in ensuring that shelter & infrastructure responses within the AoR evolve according to the changing nature of the situation, progressively working towards more durable solutions and drawing from sustainable local building practices and materials. S/he provides technical assistance in general infrastructure planning, design and construction monitoring. Within an urban context, it is essential that shelter responses take into consideration urban planning strategies, including an analysis of residential areas, housing affordability and availability. In addition, regardless of the context, shelter assistance should at all times minimize the risk of harm, eviction, exploitation and abuse, overcrowded living conditions, limited access to services and unhygienic conditions. Special attention must be given to the environment and low carbon approaches, attention to material selection through sustainable means to ensure a green approach to shelter delivery. 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. Duties Technical Guidance – Assist in carrying out shelter needs assessments while liaising with other relevant sectors such as protection, programme, community services, WASH, administration and supply. – Work with the relevant stakeholders to ensure that the shelter beneficiary selection process prioritises the needs of the most vulnerable Persons of Concern (PoC). – Assist the supervisor in developing and updating shelter strategies to reflect evolving situations and ensure alignment with national and global level policies and guidelines including: Global Compact on Refugees, Sustainable Development Goals, Relevant Global Strategies and Policies. – Provide support in the daily management of all construction and infrastructure projects within the AoR ensuring that works are carried out in compliance to established UNHCR and national standards/best practices for the full project cycle. – Follow up the design and construction of infrastructure (schools, health centres, reception centres, drainage and roadworks etc) to confirm these are approved by the relevant authorities, technically sound, supplemented with accurate drawings, detailed BQs and specifications and implemented according to plans, completed within designated timelines, budget and ensure that this information is shared with relevant colleagues. – Work closely with other relevant sectors such as WASH, education and health so that shelter and infrastructure implementation is synchronised and coordinated. – Assist implementing partners on sound technical shelter and settlement issues while ensuring compliance with national and global standards, national and operational strategies and guidance. – Coordination – Provide technical support in the field of shelter, construction and infrastructure development within the AoR to best meet the needs of PoC. – Assist in coordination and management of UNHCR¿s shelter and infrastructure interventions in a timely, cost-effective, inter-sectoral manner. Work with the government and relevant authorities and counterparts to ensure strong coordination and partnership. – Participate, as technical focal point within the AoR for shelter/infrastructure, in coordination meetings with various stakeholders including Government counterparts to ensure UNHCR¿s interests and those of the PoC are adequately reflected and disseminate information to all stakeholders in a timely, efficient manner. Collaboration – Assist Programme in reviewing technical components of the Project Partnership Agreements that contain any construction and infrastructure projects. – Actively work with Programme as a member of the Multi-Functional Team in the Operation and regularly participate in multi-sectoral activities to ensure protection and assistance needs of the population are met. – Provide support in the preparation of bid documents for all construction and infrastructure projects including technical specifications, BoQs, drawings, etc. – Assist in the technical evaluation of received bids as well as in the review/inspection of the quality of shelter and infrastructure products/works. – Perform other related duties as required. Minimum Qualifications Years of Experience / Degree Level For G6 – 3 years relevant experience with High School Diploma; or 2 years relevant work experience with Bachelor or equivalent or higher Field(s) of Education Not applicable. (Field(s) of Education marked with an asterisk* are essential) Certificates and/or Licenses Civil Engineering; Architecture (Certificates and Licenses marked with an asterisk* are essential) Relevant Job Experience Essential Knowledge of SPHERE standards and the ability to use basic survey equipment, digital cameras, and computer equipment. Experience in developing shelter and settlement need assessments and undertaking gap analysis for development of shelter programs. Desirable Knowledge of UNHCR shelter standards, as well as standards related to protection, environment and land use. Knowledge of a range of shelter assistance options, including sensitivity to cultural and gender specific needs to ensure that the social and cultural background of PoC is taken into account while designing and developing shelter options. Knowledge of computer graphics, AutoCAD and mapping software as well as the capacity to use mapping tools (GPS), and digital photographic equipment, and related software (map info etc.). Functional Skills SP-CAD 3D modeling for Settlement Analysis (eg. Infraworks, Civil 3D) CO-Drafting and Documentation SP-Shelter and Infrastructure Coordination IT-Computer Assisted Design Software (e.g. AutoCAD) (Functional Skills marked with an asterisk* are essential) Language Requirements For International Professional and Field Service jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English. For National Professional jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English and local language. For General Service jobs: Knowledge of English and/or UN working language of the duty station if not English. All UNHCR workforce members must individually and collectively, contribute towards a working environment where each person feels safe, and empowered to perform their duties. This includes by demonstrating no tolerance for sexual exploitation and abuse, harassment including sexual harassment, sexism, gender inequality, discrimination and abuse of power. As individuals and as managers, all must be proactive in preventing and responding to inappropriate conduct, support ongoing dialogue on these matters and speaking up and seeking guidance and support from relevant UNHCR resources when these issues arise. This is a Standard Job Description for all UNHCR jobs with this job title and grade level. The Operational Context may contain additional essential and/or desirable qualifications relating to the specific operation and/or position. Any such requirements are incorporated by reference in this Job Description and will be considered for the screening, shortlisting and selection of candidates.

Required Languages



Desired Languages


Additional Qualifications




Architecture – Other, Civil Engineering – Other

Work Experience


Other information

– Recruitment as a UNHCR staff member and engagement under a UNHCR affiliate scheme or as an intern is subject to proof of vaccination against Covid-19.This position doesn’t require a functional clearance


More Information