Protection Officer (SGBV) - International Specialist, UNOPS IICA-2 (equivalent to P3)

Closing date

Terms of Reference

Protection Officer (SGBV)

UNHCR Guyana

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is offering a full-time position within the UNHCR in our UNHCR Guyana team. The successful candidate will be based in UNHCR’s Office in Georgetown, Guyana. UNHCR is a global organization 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: Protection Officer (SGBV)
  • Duty Station: Georgetown, Guyana
  • Duration: initially till 31 December 2020 (with possibility of extension)
  • Contract Type: International Specialist, UNOPS IICA-2 (equivalent to P3)
  • Closing date: 4 June 2020
  • Start date: ASAP

Organizational context

In order to better equip UNHCR to effectively prevent and respond to sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) at the onset of an emergency, and given the high- number of humanitarian crises, UNHCR has prioritized the creation of positions to strengthen technical support to emergency operations.

The current crisis in Venezuela has led to large-scale population displacement, and strong indications of extensive SGBV prior and post displacement. SGBV is assumed to be happening and UNHCR's programmes to prevent, mitigate and respond are not dependent on incident reports or data. Reporting on SGBV is always a gap, particularly in the early phases of an operation, for a range of well-known but still complex reasons. Therefore, it is essential that SGBV programmes are initiated at the onset as core life- saving interventions. Emergency operations in the Caribbean to respond to the outflows of Venezuelans have started in 2018. Guyana as well as other parts of the Caribbean where SGBV prevention, mitigation and response programs are not yet fully or partially implemented, are in need of additional expert personnel to ensure that existing SGBV guidance is applied and that context-specific programming to address prevention, mitigation and response to SGBV is in place.

It is expected that through the deployment of dedicated SGBV staff, UNHCR’s engagement in Guyana will be reinforced with SGBV programming, thereby achieving the mutually reinforcing objectives of responding to the current emergency while developing the capacity of UNHCR staff to respond to future crises.

According to a 2018 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report by the US State Department: “Guyana is a source and a destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor.” In its 2019 release of the same Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report, the US Department of State highlights that victim assistance remains a concern in Guyana, especially in areas outside the capital and for Venezuelans. Despite the noticeable increase of victims from Venezuela, the Government lacked standard operating procedures for protecting foreign trafficking victims and does not provide adequate protection and shelter outside the capital. An Inter-Agency Rapid Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Assessment was conducted by the R4V Coordination Platform for Refugees and Migrants from Venezuela The findings confirmed that TIP, sexual violence, exploitation, harassment, and domestic violence are the most common types of violence faced by Venezuelan women in Guyana, and that SGBV incidents usually go unreported. No assessments were conducted so far with men, girls and boys.

The position

The SGBV Officer is a member of the Guyana Field Office based in Georgetown, Guyana and reports to the Senior Liaison Officer. This position is an integral part of the protection team, working closely with programme, protection and other team members to create multi-sectoral SGBV prevention and response mechanisms as a life-saving priority in Guyana.

The SGBV Officer supports the implementation of the operations’ efforts to fulfil UNHCR’s mandate and associated obligations on SGBV prevention, risk mitigation and response based on policy and guidance. The Protection Officer (SGBV) will also work closely with protection teams and partner organizations focusing on SGBV prevention and response programs in Guyana. The incumbent will maintain a close working relationship with the UNHCR Multi-Country Office in Washington for system- wide coherence.

The Protection Officer (SGBV) will play a hands-on role that is very country-operation specific to ensure that SGBV programming is prioritized from the outset in Guyana. The Protection Officer (SGBV) will also be tasked with reviewing the current SGBV prevention and response framework, case management, mapping of services, and development of Standard Operating Procedures for SGBV in Guyana in order to identify critical gaps to be filled within the R4V context (Refugees and Migrants from Venezuela). Furthermore, the deployed staff will be tasked with ensuring that SGBV- related responsibilities are fully incorporated into the existing protection staffing structure.

The Protection Officer (SGBV) will establish procedures and programmes over the course of his/her deployment.

S/he collaborates closely with the UNHCR management and the Protection team in the country and strengthens working relations with other agencies involved in SGBV prevention, risk mitigation and response. This will require setting up and/or leading coordination with interagency partners through the R4V platforms, government authorities, and persons of concern, including development of strategies, action plans, SOPs. Capacity development may be required, including leading SGBV workshops for a range of audiences.

Duties and responsibilities

Implementation of UNHCR’s Global Policies and Standards

  • Support and facilitate the effective and timely development, implementation and monitoring of a clear and coherent multi-year and multi-sectoral SGBV strategy as part of the operation’s broader Protection and Solutions Strategy;
  • Develop a SGBV strategy in partnership with R4V protection and programme leads in the country operation as part of the overall protection strategy, with particular emphasis on linkages with child protection and education. This includes a clear SGBV work plan with priority areas, focal points and timeframes;
  • Coordinate timelyreporting on progress including the documentation of promising practices;
  • Participate in the promotion of compliance with UNHCR’s SGBV policy, priorities and commitments (aligned with polices on age, gender, diversity (AGD) and accountability to affected populations (AAP), Child protection, gender equality, disability and youth empowerment.
  • Develop a Standard Operating Procedure for SGBV and PSEA, including an inter-agency SGBV SOP if required.

Planning / Programming

  • Support the development and implementation of programming for specialized SGBV prevention and response based on needs, risks and capacity assessments at the onset of an emergency and throughout all phases of displacement;

  • Support the country office in Guyana to conduct initial needs/gaps and capacity assessments on SGBV in close coordination with any on-going joint/common assessments being conducted in the early stages of emergency response;

  • Participate in conducting, consolidating and reporting on SGBV assessments including gender equality components at least once per year, linked to annual planning processes and participatory assessments and sharing strategic trends analyses,

  • Ensure that SGBV prevention and response mapping carried out, SGBV referral mechanisms are in place for essential response services including clinical management of rape and SGBV data collection and reporting;

  • More specifically, provide support in mapping existing services to address SGBV in the various affected areas, including identifying community capacities and structures for potential partnership;

  • Contribute to planning processes and advocate for adequate resource (re)allocation and mobilization.

  • Identify potential partners and coordinate with Programme and Protection sections to incorporate SGBV programming in sub-agreements,

  • Monitor SGBV programs implemented by UNHCR and partners (both implementing and operational) and adjust programming as required;

Capacity Development, Technical Support and Coordination

  • Provide technical guidance and support field colleagues to operationalise and comply with UNHCR’s corporate SGBV policy, priorities and commitments (aligned with policies on AGD and AAP, Child protection, disability, youth empowerment and gender equality);

  • Support and build capacity and systems for individual SGBV case management for survivors and persons at-risk of SGBV – set up core referral mechanism for response services through consultative development of basic Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and emergency SGBV strategy that is entrenched in the comprehensive emergency protection framework;

  • Ensure safe and ethical SGBV data collection and reporting is functioning and regular reporting is done on SGBV, including through PRIMES and protection monitoring processes. Promote the use of the SGBV module of PRIMES or another SGBV information management system that provides for safe and ethical data collection and analysis.


  • Support the capacity development of staff, partners and other stakeholders to address SGBV and to promote gender equality and the empowerment of displaced women and girls.

  • Support that community-based approaches are applied in SGBV programming and communities considered as key stakeholders;

  • Lead and/or represent UNHCR in high-level interagency fora related to SGBV including in R4V meetings (national and sub-regional) and advocate with R4V humanitarian actors to ensure prioritization of SGBV prevention and response as a life-saving response;

  • Lead planning, programming, and monitoring of budget and other resources dedicated to emergency SGBV programs under the supervision of the Snr. Liaison Officer and in consultation with Multi-Country Office Washington and DIP

  • Propose measures to ensure appropriate SGBV accountability measures in the Job descriptions and Performance management systems of key staff members;

  • Perform other related duties as required.

Essential minimum qualifications and professional experience required

The ideal candidate will have:

  • 6 years relevant experience with undergraduate degree in the areas of Human rights; Social Anthropology; Social Work; Law; International Development; Social Sciences; or other relevant field;
  • Excellent writing and analytical skills;
  • Fluency in English and Spanish is required
  • Strong interpersonal and cross-cultural communication skills
  • Previous work experience relevant to the function of SGBV in an international context, including in the field of SGBV prevention, mitigation and response, broader protection or social work involving empowerment of women and girls, gender, child protection, mental health, counselling and working with survivors, humanitarian and development issues.


  • Demonstrated understanding of critical issues around SGBV data and knowledge of safe and ethical data collection and analysis and conducting assessments.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of engagement with SGBV Interagency humanitarian architecture.
  • Knowledge and experience of participatory approaches to engaging with and mobilizing communities.
  • Good understanding of displacement and protection issues including, child protection, education and the application of the Age, Gender and Diversity Policy.
  • Demonstrated coordination and consensus building skills to manage multiple stakeholder consultation processes. Ability to work under significant time pressure and come up with innovative and creative solutions faced with fast-paced changing circumstances.
  • Completion of UNHCR learning programmes or specific training relevant to functions of position such as: Protection Learning Programme, Operations Management Learning Programme, Middle Management Learning Programme, SGBV and Gender Equality. Experience in a humanitarian context.


The successful candidate will be based with the team in Georgetown, Guyana.


It is a full-time role with working hours from 8.00 am to 5.00 pm, Monday to Thursday (37.5 hours per week, with 45 minutes break for lunch). On Fridays, the official working hours are from 8.00 am to 3:00pm. This job will require field missions throughout the country.

How to apply

To learn more and to apply, visit
Closing date for applicatons is 4 June 2020.

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.

UNHCR does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview meeting, processing, training or any other fees).