Associate Shelter Officer At UN High Commissioner for Refugees

Associate Shelter Officer

Aden, Yemen

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is offering a UNOPS position in our Sub Office in Aden, Yemen. UNHCR is a global organisation dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights and building a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people. Every year, millions of men, women and children are forced to flee their homes to escape conflict and persecution. We are in over 125 countries, using our expertise to protect and care for millions.

Title: Associate Shelter Officer

Duty Station: Aden, Yemen

Duration: As soon as possible until 31 December 2021 (renewal is subject to satisfactory performance and budget availability)

Contract Type: UNOPS International ICA1

Closing date: 12 April 2021

Start date: as soon as possible

Organisational context

Yemen remains the world’s largest humanitarian crisis and aid operation. The crisis is the result of a brutal armed conflict that escalated six years ago, which remains unresolved to date. The continued military confrontations have killed and injured tens of thousands of civilians, causing immense suffering for the Yemeni people.

In 2020, the conflict intensified, the number of frontlines increased from 33 to 49, bringing the number of Internally Displaced People (IDPs) to over 4 million. Based on the 2021 HNO analysis, 20.7 million people – 66 percent of the entire population – are estimated to be in need of humanitarian assistance, while 12.1 million people are estimated to be in acute need of assistance. These people are facing crisis or worse levels of severity of needs, in obtaining the necessities of life, maintaining their health and wellbeing, and the coping strategies employed just to stay alive. IDPs, refugees, asylumseekers, migrants and people with disabilities are likely to remain in extremely vulnerable situations.

The situation is expected to deteriorate further, and the severity of needs is expected to increase unless there is conflict de-escalation and an improvement in the economy and funding. UNHCR has a strong operational footprint across Yemen with the Country Office in Sana’a and three field offices in Hodeidah, Sa’ada and Ibb in the North, as well as in the Sub-Office 2 Aden in the South of the country with a field presence in the frontline area of Marib. UNHCR’s IDP programmes in Yemen are guided by its global leadership in Protection, Shelter/NFI and CCCM clusters. The interventions include cash assistance programme, which is one of the largest within UNHCR globally. Within its budgetary parameters for 2021 (OP requirements of USD 271 M vs the the current OL budget of USD 95.4 M), UNHCR is in the process of setting a robust presence in Marib that hosts one-fourth of all IDPs and reinforcing its field offices in the North that hosts more than two-third of all IDPs in the country. UNHCR will also continue to exercise its refugee mandate, in particular in assisting de-facto authorities in resuming the registration process in the North and exploring a limited set of durable solutions.

The position

The position will be based in Aden and the incumbent will be covering the South.

Duties and responsibilities

  • Conduct the entire cycle of construction process – survey, design, tendering and supervision of construction works in all IDPs sites, refugee camp and Urban areas and all areas of UNHCR interventions including camp, reception centres and elsewhere.
  • Coordinate with respective technical sections at HQ level on UNHCR standards and norms for given situation, update shelter team and Senior Field Coordinator in Aden on the progress in planning, designs and construction phases in qualitative and quantitative terms.
  • Supervise Technical Team staff, external consultants, Partner’s Technical staff and contractors, in regards of technical project management; from design to construction supervision. Ensure that necessary technical input is provided in all phases of UNHCR project cycle.
  • Ensure that construction management is carried out in compliance with the Bye-Laws applicable in country and that design codes are considered in designs, tendering and construction of buildings, water system and other technical matters.
  • Constantly review the progress and identify any improvement needs. Report immediately in case of slow pace of progress as opposed to planned /scheduled work plan or on any irregularities.
  • Prepare tender documents, conduct competitive bidding for implementation of construction activities through most competitive contractor / individuals and supervise and monitor all construction activities running in all IDPs sites and refugee areas including the ones in Kharaz camp and field Offices in Mukalla, Al-Turbah, Mareb, registration centers and elsewhere.
  • Ensure proper administrative procedures to follow up and report on project progress, output and impact related to objectives,
  • Provide technical support for urban infrastructure/self-reliance activities and programs, especially solid waste managements in Aden; suburb Basateen. This issue includes 3 construction, operation and maintenance of the necessary facilities, technical capacity building of implementing partners, beneficiaries and other stakeholders, and permanent dialogue and cooperation with local authorities, and other UNHCR units.
  • Assist in operation and maintenance and further development of the water/sanitation setup in Kharaz camp and the surrounding villages, in order to ensure precautious use of available resources, and development of sustainable usage and water-sharing schemes.
  • Prepare detailed designs, Bills of Quantities and specifications for all other constructions, conduct appropriate bidding process and supervise implementation in close collaboration within UNHCR and other stakeholders (competent local authorities and implementing partners).
  • Participate in negotiations with suppliers and IP’s, and liaise with public utilities: water, electricity, sewerage etc. – Undertake field missions on regular basis to identify the challenges faced by the implementers/contractors during the construction phase and share progress reports.
  • Provide technical advice to Shelter/NFI/CCCM Clusters including technical designs and recommendation; ensure that close coordination with IDP Field Unit and Shelter/NFI/CCCM Clusters is exercised.
  • Provide technical guidance in the process of improving the emergency shelter response and Transition shelters in the IDPs hosting sites.
  • Ensure that guarantee of construction work is provided before endorsing payments, and that each work is technically cleared through issuance of work completion certificate.
  • Advise the supervisor/UNHCR management on all matters concerning claims from the contractors and make recommendations thereof during the cycle of the projects
  • And other duties as required.

Essential minimum qualifications and professional experience required

The ideal candidate will:

• Possess Undergraduate/Graduate/Doctorate Degree in relevant field of Education (Architecture; Civil Engineering; Structural Engineering; Construction Management; or other relevant field)

• Have 3 years of relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or 2 years relevant experience with Graduate degree; or 1 year relevant experience with Doctorate degree

• Possess certificate in Shelter Coordination Training

• Have excellent communication skills with strong interpersonal and negotiation skills.

• Be fluent in English, with advanced writing and editing skills.

Additional languages are desirable, but not essential.


Prior experience of implementing shelter and infrastructure projects in humanitarian context and large scale emergencies coordinating with operational partners governmental technical departments.

Prior experience in designing and implementing a shelter strategy, including host family situations, collective shelter and camp settings, in emergency while considering the transition to more sustainable solutions.

Project formulation, planning, supervision and management skills.

Knowledge of AutoCAD and other tools forming a part of the UNHCR settlement planning toolkit.

Previous involvement in implementation processes (including development of bill of quantities, analysis of local capacity and local markets, cost estimations, etc.).

Experience of construction management (including site supervision, monitoring, quality control, evaluation etc.) including application of participatory approaches to facilitate active participation of communities into the project cycle and into the construction process.

Experience in developing shelter and settlement need assessments and undertaking gap analysis for development of shelter programmes.

Experience in building on existing local capacity and transfer knowledge as appropriate.


Knowledge of UNHCR shelter standards, as well as standards related to protection, WASH, environment and land use.

Knowledge of a range of shelter assistance options, humanitarian infrastructure, including sensitivity to cultural and gender specific needs to ensure that the social and cultural background of the refugees is taken into account while designing, developing and implementing shelter options.

Familiarity with and considerable Field exposure to UNHCR programme planning and implementation and on humanitarian operations.

Ability making the linkages to rehabilitation and development programmes will be an added advantage


The successful candidate will be based in Aden.


The assignment is until 31 December 2021 (renewal is subject to satisfactory performance and budget availability). It is a full-time role with working hours starting from 8.00 am to 4.00 pm Sunday to Wednesday and from 8.00am to 2.30pm on Thursday.

How to apply

To learn more and to apply, visit .

Closing date: 12 April 2021.

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.

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