Job Overview

Hardship Level



Family Type

Non Family


Family Type

Non Family


Residential location (if applicable)






Staff Member / Affiliate Type

National Professional Officer



Regular > Regular Assignment


Remote work accepted



Target Start Date



Job Posting End Date

December 5, 2023


Standard Job Description

Assistant Education Officer


Organizational Setting and Work Relationships
The Assistant Education Officer will support the roll-out of Refugee Education 2030, the UNHCR Refugee Education Strategy, in line with the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR), which calls on States and relevant Stakeholders to contribute resources and expertise, to expand and enhance the quality and inclusiveness of national education systems, to facilitate access by refugee and host community children and youth to primary, secondary and tertiary education. Providing inclusive and equitable quality education is central to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and the Assistant Education Officer will ensure UNHCR’s programming is in line with the SDGs, in particular SDG 4.

Leveraging the growing global momentum, UNHCR is working to translate the objectives of the GCR into impactful results, including through follow-up on pledges made through the 2019 Global Refugee Forum. Contributing to this global roll-out of the GCR, the Assistant Education Officer, in collaboration with the Education Section in the Division of Resilience and Solutions (DRS), will provide technical support to UNHCR Country Office(s) and partners to advocate for and implement the objectives of Refugee Education 2030:

1. Promote equitable and sustainable inclusion in national education systems for refugees, asylum seekers, returnees, stateless and internally displaced persons
2. Foster safe enabling environments that support learning
3. Enable learners to use their education toward sustainable futures

The incumbent will provide direction and technical support for UNHCR regarding education and advocate on all issues related to education programmes and strategic directions. S/he will maintain close contact with Country Office(s) on the overall education policy direction of UNHCR and on the adaptation of Refugee Education 2030 to the particular country context, as well as providing technical support (on early childhood, learning achievement, primary education, accelerated education, secondary education, non-formal education, scholarships and tertiary education, education in emergencies etc.) to all staff, including senior management, as well as to those representing education issues on behalf of UNHCR.

This will require maintaining close contact with other Country Offices in the region and Divisions, particularly the DRS, on the overall education policy direction of UNHCR, on monitoring and assessing impact, on provision of external technical assistance, and on liaising with partner agencies. The incumbent is normally supervised by the Senior Protection Officer, Protection Officer, Senior Programme Officer, Programme Officer or a higher grade Education Officer, depending on the office context.

The incumbent will ensure that consistent and technically sound advice/recommendations are given within the Area of Responsibility (AoR), including through drafting of guidelines and supporting the training of staff, in collaboration with the Education Section at HQ. S/he will also ensure active exchange of information and best practices within the AoR. The incumbent must be an authority on technical issues relating to education and will also provide specialist advice for other sectors such as child protection, livelihoods/economic inclusion, shelter, and water and sanitation as relates to education. The Assistant Education Officer may also act as focal point/coordinator/advisor for staff at all levels in Country Office(s), including senior management, as well as Policy and Development staff.

Externally, the Assistant Education Officer will help promote the inclusion of refugees and other persons of concern into national education systems through effective partnerships and advocacy with relevant government line ministries, development actors, private sector, UN agencies, international organisations and NGOs, research institutions and universities, both at the regional and country levels. This includes supporting or leading coordination with regional and global education networks and keeping abreast with international developments in education, where necessary this may include representation with international and regional organizations through, for example, UNICEF, UNESCO, the Global Partnership for Education and the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE). Representation with NGOs, academic institutions, and the private sector may also be required. The incumbent is regularly called upon to train staff and partners, including Government authorities, to provide/negotiate drafting advice, to give presentations, to participate as a member of expert groups on education, to represent UNHCR and to ensure UNHCR’s direct involvement in numerous settings designed to promote increased access to quality education at all levels to both refugee and host communities, in line with the GCR.

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.

– Translate global education objectives and strategic directions into regional or national guidance, strategies and priorities, in collaboration with the supervisor and the Education Section in HQ, to ensure coherence with UNHCR’s education policy and strategy.
– Engage, promote and foster partnerships/collaboration with national education stakeholders and bodies in line with GCR.
– Provide technical advice and support on all issues related to UNHCR education programmes and strategic directions, in line with UNHCR education policy and regional priorities, including through remote support and field missions.
– Support and provide technical advice to senior management and Policy and Development staff allowing for advocacy activities with States and international organisations on all issues related to UNHCR education programmes and strategic directions, including supporting national planning processes, such as the development of SDG4 plans at national levels and ensuring inclusion of refugee, returnee, asylum seeking, internally displaced and stateless children and youth in SDG4 plans and Education Sector Analyses and Plans.
– Participate in national humanitarian and development sector working groups to support that all refugee education support programming at country level is extended, amplified and reported against sector development goals and humanitarian partners and funding serves system strengthening.
– Assist the Country Office(s) to elaborate and implement strategies to address issues related to education access, quality and data, in cooperation with other UN agencies (UNICEF, UNESCO, WFP, etc.) and other key education stakeholders.
– Undertake direct dialogue at the national level on the implementation of education programmes in line with strategic directions, integrated with SDG4 and Education Sector Plans, including with Ministries of Education/Higher Education, education partners and coordination networks (Global Partnership for Education, Education Cannot Wait (ECW) and Local Education Groups, etc.).
– Foster inter-sectoral linkages and coordination with child protection, GBV, gender, community services, livelihoods/economic inclusion and health, among others, and provide specialist advice for other sectors, to ensure that they fully integrate education related concerns in their planning.
– Assist the supervisor in monitoring the implementation of education programmes and provide guidance on orientation.
– Support the supervisor in monitoring the implementation of Global Refugee Forum pledges within the AoR.
– Assist in the planning and coordination of UNHCR’s role concerning education, represent UNHCR at national consultations, and represent UNHCR’s education strategy and policy to other UN bodies, NGOs, interlocutors, institutions and organisations.
– Train UNHCR staff, sister UN agency staff, NGOs, and Ministry of Education officials on refugee education priorities and identified topics.
– Assist with the development and dissemination of relevant tools to support UNHCR staff and partners within the AoR.
– Support active exchange of information and that best practices are identified, documented and disseminated both within the AoR and beyond.
– Join joint assessment missions in emergencies to minimise the time refugee children and youth spend out of education (ideally a maximum of three months after arrival).
– Prepare and draft education input in key internal and external documents and reports.

– Support the identification and management of risks and seek to seize opportunities impacting objectives in the area of responsibility. Ensure decision making in risk based in the functional area of work. Raise risks, issues and concerns to a supervisor or to relevant functional colleague(s).
– Perform other related duties as required.

Minimum Qualifications
Education & Professional Work Experience
Years of Experience / Degree Level
For P1/NOA – 1 year relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or no experience with Graduate degree; or no experience with Doctorate degree

Field(s) of Education
Education; Social Sciences;
or other relevant field.
(Field(s) of Education marked with an asterisk* are essential)

Certificates and/or Licenses
Not specified
(Certificates and Licenses marked with an asterisk* are essential)

Relevant Job Experience
– Strong inter-personal skills in collaboration and coordination.
– Excellent analytical skills and drafting skills.
– Strong communications/presentations skills.
– Demonstrated capacity to work with minimum supervision.
– Experience with educational research, teaching or education administration.

– Field experience in education programme implementation and coordination in humanitarian and/or development contexts.
– Experience working with Governments, Ministry of Education and other line Ministries.
– Demonstrated work experience in refugee education programmes.
– Knowledge and experience of UNHCR policies and standards.
– Experience in the area of child protection.
– Demonstrated work experience in education programmes.

Functional Skills
*PR-Refugee Protection Principles and Framework
PR-Community-based Protection – Planning, implementing and analysing surveys/assessments
ED-Education programming design and quality assurance
ED-Global EiE standards and implementation
ED-Technical support to education programmes and proposals
TR-Training Design and Material Preparation
PR-Convention on the Rights of the Child / International Legal Framework
TR-Training – Virtual and face to face
(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.


Desired Candidate Profile

The Assistant Education Officer is a member of the Protection Coordination team in Erbil and will report to the Education Officer covering the countrywide Education portfolio. S/He would be responsible for assisting with coordination of Refugee Education activities in the country, supported by a team of national staff in the field offices.

Iraq generously hosts some 298,000 refugees and asylum seekers, mostly Syrians. Over 252,000 of them are residing in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KR-I), with limited immediate return prospects. KR-I hosts roughly 93% of Iraq’s Syrian refugee population across three governorates: Erbil, Duhok, and Sulaymaniyah. Of them, nearly 72,000 school-age refugee children (ages 6-17) reside in KR-I, with roughly 46,000 enrolled in primary and secondary schools.
Through UNHCR’s focused engagement with other UN agencies, partners, and the Education Sector, in 2022, the MoE Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has implemented the Refugee Education Integration Policy (REIP), for the integration of refugee children (grades 1-4) into the national education system. The REIP has been extended to grade five in 2023 and is expected to be gradually extended per grade every academic year.

The incumbent is required to work closely with the Department of Educational Planning of the MoE KRG and the Education actors to take forward the implementation of the Refugee Education Integration Policy (REIP), which will also require active communication with affected communities.

S/He is required to demonstrate an in-depth understanding of Education planning in areas related to access to formal and non-formal education, support education activities, including catch-up classes, technical/ vocational education training, and early childcare development while working with a diverse refugee population. Interagency coordination and stakeholder management is integral to the position. Familiarity with tertiary education programmes such as DAFI, partner programming, and reporting is essential for the position.

Fluency in English, Arabic, and Kurdish is required.

Important Notes:

– When completing the application, candidates are required to list all of their language skills – including their mother tongue. The three broad levels are A1/A2 (“Basic User”), B1/B2 (“Independent User”), and C1/C2 (“Proficient User”) 

Required languages (expected Overall ability is at least B2 level):





Desired languages




Operational context

Occupational Safety and Health Considerations:


Nature of Position:


Living and Working Conditions:



Additional Qualifications



ED-Education programming design and quality assurance, ED-Global EiE standards and implementation, ED-Technical support to education programmes and proposals, PR-Community-based Protection – Planning, implementing and analysing surveys/assessments, PR-Convention on the Rights of the Child / International Legal Framework, PR-Refugee Protection Principles and Framework, TR-Training Design and Material Preparation, TR-Training – Virtual and face to face 


Bachelor of Arts (BA): Education, Bachelor of Arts (BA): Social Science 



Work Experience


Accountability, Analytical thinking, Client & results orientation, Commitment to continuous learning, Communication, Organizational awareness, Planning & organizing, Policy research & development, Teamwork & collaboration

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Additional Information

Shortlisted candidates will be invited for an eliminatory written test and only successful candidates will be interviewed. 

Functional clearance

This position doesn’t require a functional clearance