Senior Education Officer (Youth Education)

  • G02 Zero hunger
  • G03 Good Health and Well Being
  • G04 Quality education
  • Copenhagen, Denmark
  • November 17, 2018

Website unhcr UNHCR

The UN Refugee Agency

JOB TITLE: Senior Education Officer (Youth Education)


DUTY STATION: Copenhagen, Denmark



CONTRACT TYPE: Temporary Appointment



Education is an integral part of protection for refugees, 52% of whom are under the age of 18. UNHCR promotes a rights and community-based approach to education access, with a strong emphasis on inclusion of refugees and other persons of concern within national education systems and services.

The New York Declaration of September 2016 and the development of the Global Compact for Refugees (GCR) have established a framework for the international community for a holistic approach to supporting and sustainably strengthening refugee-hosting communities and service provision. UNHCR’s refugee education strategy emphasizes the importance of lifelong learning with safe access, quality and sustainability of accredited education service provision. Refugee inclusion within existing programmes and strengthened partnerships to support this to the benefit of both refugee and host community children and youth is part of this direction, which provides a protective environment for refugee children and youth within the community and supports quality education within existing systems. Insufficient access to continuous education and other skills training opportunities for refugee youth is a major protection concern and a potential impediment to solutions in refugee-hosting countries.

In order to address the chronic needs that refugee youth are facing in education and in accessing other skills training opportunities, UNHCR launched a multi-year Youth Education Programme (2017-2021) seeking to address the needs of over 232,000 youth in Kenya, Pakistan, Rwanda and Uganda. The programme aims to build strong linkages between post-primary education, skills training and employment, coupled with support systems such as mentorship, social networks and youth engagement for both in and out-of-school youth, paying particular attention to girls and young women. The programme builds on existing and innovative approaches, including the use of digital technology, and works directly with refugee youth to increase education programme relevance and sustainability.

The Senior Education Officer, within the Education Section, will provide strategic guidance and operational support to education expansion for refugee youth as well as to life and work skills training in line with UNHCR’s strategic directions and UNHCR’s education policy. Extensive collaboration with field teams and Bureaux is foreseen to support the development and implementation of a clear direction for refugee youth education within UNHCR’s protection and solution programming, monitoring adherence to this on country level. One of the central responsibilities for this position is to lead and step up the activities in the multi-year Youth Education Programme in the four programme countries and scale this programme to other refugee hosting countries. This support for research that will inform how UNHCR can work directly with refugee youth to increase the youth education programme’s relevance and sustainability and to develop an evidence base on programming that best protects and supports resilience and solutions for and with refugee youth. This position will strengthen UNHCR’s country teams to engage with education and government partners at the country level to advocate for and implement education programmes and work and life skills training. It will also support engagement at the global level with humanitarian and development partners and private sector to mobilise action and funding for refugee youth education, in collaboration with Private Sector Partnerships (PSP). Missions to support country offices, including with capacity building, are foreseen. The position will foster and ensure close inter-sectoral linkages across UNHCR teams including with livelihoods/economic inclusion, child protection/youth, CRRF, SGBV, gender, community-based protection, and health.

The Education Section is situated in the Division of Resilience and Solutions (DRS), and is based in Copenhagen, Denmark. The position will be supervised by the Senior Education Advisor, Head of the Education Section.



In coordination and collaboration with teams in the Division for Resilience and Solutions, with other Divisions and Regional Bureaux in Headquarters, and UNHCR country offices, the position is responsible for:



  • Strengthen the approach and activities of the Youth Education Programme in the four programme pilot countries.
  • Scale the approach and activities of the Youth Education Programme to other country operations.
  • Document and disseminate evidence on programming that best protects and supports solutions for refugee youth.
  • Improve girls and young women’s access, retention and completion of post-primary education and skills training.
  • Strengthen national education services for refugee youth and youth in host communities, in collaboration with relevant partners.
  • Enable country operations to develop and implement multi-year youth education and skills training plans that are gender sensitive, building this into their education strategy as part of a broader protection and solutions strategy.
  • Integrate refugee youth access to education and skills training early on into partners’ regional and country level strategies with education actors including government, UN agencies, and national and international partners, focusing on access to quality education and skills training.
  • Develop clear monitoring and evaluation frameworks for the Youth Education Programme.



Strategic Direction and Coordination

  • Promote inclusive country level/national education programming that is responsive to the needs of refugee and host community youth with particular attention to girls and young women.
  • Take forward the Youth Education Programme in compliance with the Global Compact for Refugees and UNHCR’s strategic approach to refugee youth empowerment, protection and economic inclusion.
  • Support participation of refugee youth in decisions and initiatives relevant to their own education and skills training through continuous assessments using participatory, rights and community based approaches.
  • Support post-primary education research that includes youth participation in its design.
  • Collaborate and coordinate closely with relevant UNHCR teams at Headquarter level, in the regions and in the country offices to increase education and training opportunities for youth in particular girls and young women.
  • Collaborate closely with country level, regional and global partners in mobilising financial support, action and implementation of strategies that meet the education and training needs of refugee youth and youth in the host communities focusing on girls and young women.
  • Collaborate and connect with global youth initiatives within and outside of the UN, ensuring that support for refugee youth education is included.

Response and Advice

  • Provide direct field support to deliver more aligned, coherent and sustainable education responses to refugee and host community youth together with humanitarian and development partners.
  • Provide and facilitate technical advice and expertise to country operations in youth education, life skills, vocational training, livelihoods and other post-primary education options for refugee and host community youth, particularly girls and young women.
  • Support country teams and Bureaux on education planning and longer-term strategy that includes refugee youth education, as well as life and work skills training, with an emphasis on opportunities for girls and young women.
  • Work directly with youth to ensure their meaningful participation in programmes relevant for their education and skills training.
  • Support monitoring and evaluation of Youth Education Programme activities.
  • Strengthen existing and innovative approaches including the use of digital technology in country activities and in developing an evidence base on programming that best protects and supports solutions for refugee youth.
  • Provide in-country support as necessary through tailored technical support missions.

Advocacy, Information Management and Research

  • Advance the implementation of the Youth Education Programme in line with the Global Compact for Refugees and promote it as part of UNHCR’s strategic approach to refugee youth empowerment, protection and economic inclusion.
  • Support the Youth Education Programme research activities, building an evidence base on programming that best protects and supports solutions for refugee youth
  • Contribute expertise and knowledge to relevant networks and coordination groups and initiatives, with a view to advance quality of and access to education for refugee youth, particularly girls and young women, in keeping with UNHCR’s authority and mandate for protection.
  • Contribute to communications and presentations that generate external support for education rights and access for refugee youth.
  • Support country teams to develop stronger partnerships with national government partners, civil society groups and community-based youth organisations promoting access to education and training opportunities for refugee and host community youth.
  • Work with youth and local actors to identify or create platforms that enable refugee and host community youth to contribute to the design of local educational solutions that also support inclusion in national systems.

Capacity Building

  • Facilitate cross-regional learning, documentation and information sharing on refugee youth education and skills training, highlighting opportunities for girls and young women.
  • Facilitate capacity assessments of refugee youth programmes and platforms to support address issues of governance, programming and accountability.
  • Work with staff to build awareness and understanding of approaches to enable youth to play a more active role in decision making and in the co-design and monitoring of education related activities.
  • Work directly with refugee and host community youth, in particular girls and young women, to support participation and skills development.
  • Work with implementing partners to support their work and engagement on refugee youth programmes and support for opportunities for girls and young women.
  • Support government at both national, district or regional/ local level with refugee and host community youth engagement and programming.



  • Represent UNHCR in meetings with external counterparts, including senior level government officials and regional entities, on issues relating to quality of and access to youth education and skills training as part of the broader mandate to protect and find solutions for refugees.
  • Represent UNHCR and actively participate in inter-agency groups and processes related to the areas of work. Ensure organisational interests are well articulated in these processes and/or entities.
  • Make recommendations with respect to protection priorities and programme orientation in respect of youth education and skills training in countries and at the regional or situation level and analyse/make recommendations on resource allocation and prioritization.
  • Monitor and promote compliance by staff and partners with UNHCR protection and education policies and standards.



  • Advanced University degree (equivalent of Masters) in Social Sciences, Public Policy or Education with a minimum of 8 years of job experiences relevant to the function of which at least 5 in an international capacity managing education projects in a humanitarian or development context.
  • Experience in /knowledge of education sub-sectors in humanitarian or development contexts.
  • Developing country field experience in programme design, implementation and coordination, including in multi-partner settings.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of refugee protection and humanitarian principles
  • Strong inter-personal skills in collaboration and coordination.
  • Excellent analytical skills and English drafting skills.
  • Strong and demonstrated communications/presentation skills in English.
  • Proficiency in a second UN language is required.
  • Demonstrated capacity to work with minimum supervision.



  • Understanding of UNHCR Education policy as it is expressed in the 2012-2016 Education Strategy
  • Experience with educational research, teaching or education administration.
  • Experience in the area of child and youth protection.
  • Work with youth and adolescents in emergency and humanitarian contexts.
  • Demonstrated expertise in community-based protection, community 
development/organization, social work, social surveys/ assessment.
  • Familiarity with results-based management, programming as well as monitoring is an 



Interested candidates should submit their application to the Non-Specific Profile (ID 13233), highlighting in the Letter of Interest that they are applying to the Senior Education Officer (Youth) Temporary Appointment.

Deadline for applications: 17 November (midnight Geneva time).

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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