Innovation Officer (Protection), Global Protection Cluster

from UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Closing date: 22 Sep 2017

Organisation : UNHCR

Job Title : Innovation Officer (Protection), Global Protection Cluster

Duty Station : Home-based/Geneva-based

Duration : 12 months – As of 01 November 2017

Contract Type : International Individual Contractor Agreement (IICA)

Contract Level : IICA - 2

Closing date : 22 September 2017


The gap between the rhetoric of protection and how protected people feel by humanitarian action is still as great as it has ever been. It is increasingly likely that more emphasis will be placed on the role of national and local actors, including communities themselves, as duty-bearers. In this scenario, the maintenance of international standards on the protection of rights in conflict and disasters, to which the sector has so far devoted much time and effort, becomes a live question. The Global Protection Cluster (GPC) will use innovation methodologies, and approaches to address:

a. Challenges associated with generating timely, relevant, and actionable information, and with moving that knowledge to action in the design of context-relevant protection programs and strategies;

b. Challenges associated with practicing protection in the contemporary humanitarian environment, particularly around localizing protection and difficulties stemming from the use of remote-based management practices in insecure environments; and

c. Challenges associated with mobilizing tools and resources for improved protection outcomes, particularly those stemming from obstacles to aligning local needs with thematic approaches, and difficulties encountered in effective coordination among cluster actors.[1]

The Protection Lab will run as a joint initiative of the GPC and the UNHCR Innovation Service, and requires dedicated staff to take it forward. The GPC seeks a suitably qualified person to launch the GPC Protection Lab by, inter alia, operationalizing the GPC Strategic Framework for a Protection-oriented Innovation Lab. The project will benefit from the work of the GPC Operations Cell and its on-going collaboration with UNHCR Innovation Service on a Community of Practice, Innovation Challenges, and collaboration with 36 field clusters as well as the vast network of the GPC partners. The convening power of the GPC will be exerted to ensure the widest possible inclusion of relevant international and local actors and, as the apex of the cluster system, protection clusters in the field.



· Innovative, creative, and effective support is provided to the Global Protection Cluster to help operationalize the GPC’s Protection Lab strategic framework in order to enhance the GPC’s capacities in effectively delivering on its mandated functions with a view to achieving better protection outcomes;

· GPC’s capacity to help address key protection challenges is strengthened and enhanced through design thinking and innovation process methodologies;

· Existing partnerships are strengthened and new expertise sought to address identified field level challenges through innovative approaches;

· Learning is well-documented, made accessible, and actively shared with relevant stakeholders to strengthen collective practices;

· Protection of populations of concern is maximized through research, advocacy and effective consultative and feedback mechanisms;

· AGD sensitive analysis, and the participation of Persons of Concern is assured through participatory, rights and community-based approaches.


· Work with 36 field protection clusters/other protection coordination mechanisms in developing a Protection Lab while implementing the GPC Protection Lab Strategic Framework;

· Seek to leverage technological and non-technological solutions to rapidly establish multiple, inclusive channels of communication in protection cluster operations;

· Ensure that innovative solutions build upon/strengthen existing local capacities, including community representation and coordination structures;

· Actively build appropriate partnerships with national, regional and global actors, including the private sector, academia, and other non-traditional actors, to leverage expertise, and harness required skills and appropriate resources at the field level;

· Contribute to building the protection capacity of national and local government, partners and civil society to assume their responsibilities vis-à-vis all persons of concern through protection training, mainstreaming and related activities;

· Ensure that all new approaches are coherently designed and contribute to the operation’s protection strategy, improving protection outcomes;

· Work with cluster operations to strengthen buy-in, commitment, and resourcing for activities, ensuring sustainability and/or scalability of innovations;

· Strengthen protection coordination at the field level through establishing/strengthening appropriate structures for coordination of community based initiatives, and engaging in global level discussions concerning coordinated mechanisms;

· Strengthen capacity of the GPC, field protection clusters, partners, and local communities to support innovation initiatives;

· Stay abreast of political, social, economic and cultural developments that have an impact on the protection environment;

· Keep abreast of new innovation approaches and technologies;

· Develop and share guidance and tools, based upon field testing, to provide practical support to humanitarian actors;

· Ensure that AGD sensitive analyses, rights, and community-based approaches inform human-centred design processes;

· Liaise internally with key stakeholders including DIP, DPSM, DESS, and the Innovation Service

· Provide technical guidance to Innovation Fellows, particularly those with a specific focus on Protection activities;

· Perform other duties as required.



· Master's degree (law, international law, international human rights law, international relations, humanities or other related degree);

· Education in innovation management or equivalent.


  • A minimum of 6 years of relevant professional experience working in a humanitarian context, out of which at least 3 years in field operations;
  • Demonstrated work experience in application of innovation approaches;
  • Previous work experience in a cluster setting is desirable.


· Experience driving innovation within humanitarian contexts;

· Good knowledge of International Humanitarian Law, International Refugee and Human Rights Law;

· Demonstrable field experience utilizing high-tech, low-tech, and no-tech innovations to strengthen protection outcomes;

· Demonstrable experience forging partnerships and collaborative working with inter alia the private sector, development actors, civil society, and constituents to address key challenges;

· Solid knowledge of innovation theory, as well as principles, established approaches and evidence concerning effective innovation and programme design;

· Solid experience of assessing and adapting multiple stakeholder’s views to ensure informed protection strategies and response planning

· Excellent interpersonal and communication skills: the ability to successfully and effectively communicate with people in a multi-cultural environment;

· Demonstrated organizational skills: the ability to work independently and productively in a fast-paced environment while handling requests or issues as they arise;

· Excellent analytical skills: data analysis skills including the capacity to collect and analyse qualitative and quantitative data from various sources to produce meaningful analysis for strategic planning, programing, advocacy and other needs.

· Excellent skills in latest MS Office environment (Office 365), Adobe Creative Cloud and other web & design software.


· Excellent knowledge of English;

· Good working knowledge of another UN language (preferably French) desirable.

[1] Global Protection Cluster Protection Lab Scoping Project “Strategic Framework for a Protection-oriented Lab: Holding Innovation to Account for Improved Protection Outcomes”, available on the GPC Website:

How to apply:


Interested applicants should submit the required documents listed below by e-mail to referring to Vacancy Number DIP/POSS/031/2017:

· Letter of motivation, addressing each of the personal requirements in the vacancy notice;

· Completed UN Personal History Form (P11) signed, including testimonials/degrees/certificates.

  • The UN personal History Form is mandatory;

  • P 11 forms are available on

  • All application received without a P 11 will not be considered