Assistant Community-Based Protection Officer


Standard Job Description

Assistant Community-Based Protection Officer

Organizational Setting and Work Relationships

The Assistant Community-Based Protection Officer is a member of the Protection Unit in a Country Operation and may report to the Protection Officer, Community-Based Protection Officer, or another more senior staff member in the Protection Unit. Under the overall direction of the Protection Unit, and in coordination with other UNHCR staff, government, NGO partners and other stakeholders, the Assistant Community-Based Protection Officer works directly with communities of concern to identify the risks they face and to leverage their capacities to protect themselves, their families and communities. The incumbent may have direct supervisory responsibility for part of the protection and/or support staff and supports the application of community-based protection standards, operational procedures and practices in community-based protection delivery at the field level. To fulfil this role the Assistant Community-Based Protection Officer is required to spend a substantial percentage of the workday outside the office, building and maintaining networks within communities of persons of concern (PoC). The development and maintenance of constructive relationships with PoC that measurably impact and enhance protection planning, programming and results form the core of the work of the incumbent. S/he also supports the designing of a community-based protection strategy by ensuring that it is based on consultation with PoC.

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.


  • Be fully informed about community structures and the protection and security situation of the PoC and develop strong links with a cross-section of members of refugee/IDP/stateless communities, using an AGD approach.
  • Through relationships with PoC and network of partners stay abreast of political, social, economic and cultural developments that have an impact on the protection environment and provide advice to senior management.
  • Ensure that the perspectives, capacities, needs and resources of the PoC are reflected in the protection strategy, planning processes and operations plan addressing the specific protection needs of women and men, children, youth and older persons, persons with disabilities, and marginalized groups.
  • Support a consultative process with government counterparts at local levels, partners and PoC to develop and implement integrated strategies that address the key protection priorities, including, for example, child protection, education and GBV, and solutions approaches.
  • Provide technical guidance and support to UNHCR and partners and implement and oversee Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) on all community-based protection related issues.
  • Support the design, implementation and evaluation of protection centred and solutions oriented programming with implementing and operational partners guaranteeing that community-owned activities are integrated.
  • Support communities in establishing representation and coordination structures
  • Promote confidence building and conflict resolution among PoC, authorities and host communities.
  • Maintain protection presence through regular field missions and reports, making direct contact with PoC, host communities, local authorities and partners. In operations applying the humanitarian cluster system, contribute the development of an AGD-compliant strategy on which the response of the Protection Cluster is grounded and covers all assessed and prioritized protection needs of the affected populations.
  • Support the Operation’s work to fully integrate the protection strategy into the Country Operations Plan, the UN Development and Assistance Framework (UNDAF), the Humanitarian Country Team’s common humanitarian action plan where applicable.
  • Contribute to the Protection team’s information management component which: provides disaggregated data on PoC and their problems; researches, collects and disseminates relevant protection information and good practices to enhance protection delivery and provide technical advice if necessary.
  • Support the inclusion of participatory, community-based protection and AGD approaches in strategies and plans in the Country Operation.
  • Support community understanding of UNHCR’s commitment to deliver on accountability and quality assurance in its response.
  • Support PoC to develop structures that enhance their participation and protection.
  • Contribute to the design of project submissions and the budget for endorsement by the supervisor.
  • Intervene with authorities on community-based protection issues.
  • Negotiate with local counterparts, partners and PoC.
  • 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

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

International Development, Cultural Studies, Human Rights,

International Social Work, Social Science, Political Science,

Anthropology, International Law

or other relevant field.

Certificates and/or Licenses

Not specified

Relevant Job Experience


Some professional working the areas of community services, social work (e.g., gender, GBV programs, women’s empowerment and protection, work with refugees) or/and human rights or related tasks in government, NGO or international organisation.


Proven communication skills, both oral and written. Demonstrated knowledge of community communication and engagement approaches. Understanding of and demonstrated competencies in forced displacement and protection, particularly GBV prevention and response, child protection, education, gender equality, and the application of the Age, Gender and Diversity Policy.

Functional Skills

PR-Refugee Protection Principles and Framework

IT-Computer Literacy

DM-Database Management

PR-Coordination in Forced Displacement situations

PR-Child Protection Prevention and Response Programming

PR-Gender Equality

PR-Age, Gender and Diversity (AGD)

PR-Gender Based Violence (GBV) prevention programming

PR-Gender Based Violence (GBV) response programming

(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

Operational Context

UNHCR was established on 14 December 1950 by the UN General Assembly. The agency is mandated to lead and co-ordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide. Its primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees. It strives to ensure that everyone can exercise the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another State, with the option to return home voluntarily, integrate locally or to resettle in a third country (

In Zambia, UNHCR supports the Government of Zambia to provide an enabling protection environment that allows asylum seekers, refugees and former refugees to be protected, be self-reliant and achieve durable solutions.

Zambia has adopted a comprehensive refugee response approach as envisioned by the New York Declaration of 2016 and the Global Compact on refugees of 2018, which guide the country’s refugee and asylum response. The framework envisages an all-of-society approach with solid investment and support from the international community to meet both immediate life-saving humanitarian needs and long-term solutions through development action.

As of end of December 2023, Zambia hosts some 95,518 Forcibly displaced persons (72,414 Refugees; 5,554 Asylum seekers and 17,550 Former refugees – Others of Concerns) in three refugee settlements (Mayukwayukwa, Meheba and Mantapala) and other urban areas including Lusaka. The vast majority of them live in the three refugee settlements, namely Mayukwayukwa (25,264), Meheba (40,510), the newly established settlement in Mantapala (8,171), and in urban locations (21,573).

The Government of Zambia (GRZ) coordinates the asylum and refugee management through the Office of the Commissioner for Refugees (COR) in close collaboration with other government departments and the inter-governmental steering committee established for this purpose, with the direct support of UNHCR.

UNHCR in Zambia has two field offices (one in Solwezi and one in Kawambwa) and one Representational Office in Lusaka.

Desired Candidate Profile

The Assistant Community-Based Protection Officer should preferably have a Master’s degree in a field relevant to the functions, and must be familiar with community-based development approaches in general. Experience working with the forcibly displaced is desirable, as the position requires an understanding of forced displacement and protection issues. The candidate’s skill set must be complemented by demonstrated experience, including the ability to work collaboratively with government authorities and other stakeholders. The incumbent must have excellent English communication skills and be an effective and clear communicator both orally and in writing.

Nature of Position

The Assistant Community-Based Protection Officer is a member of, and reports to the Protection Officer in the Protection Unit at UNHCR’s Lusaka Branch Office. Under the overall direction of the Protection Officer, and in coordination with other UNHCR staff, government, project partners and other stakeholders, the Assistant Community-Based Protection Officer works directly with communities to help identify the risks they face and to leverage their capacities to protect themselves, their families and communities.

The incumbent will be supporting UNHCR’s Central Emergency Response Fund (Rapid Response) project implementation and will work together with government, UN and NGO members of the Protection Cluster as well as partners involved in implementing the project to support the delivery of the Government’s April 2024 Food Security Drought Response at national and sub-national level in the targeted locations. S/he will support a consultative process with protection cluster counterparts, partners and displaced communities at national and local levels to develop and implement integrated strategies that address the key protection priorities in the context of a drought response, including, for example, child protection and gender-based violence. To fulfil this role, the Assistant Community-Based Protection Officer will be required to undertake missions to the field, building and maintaining support networks for displaced communities.

Together with colleagues based in the UNHCR protection unit in Lusaka, s/he will support the implementation of the project through a coordinated approach. The existing community-based protection mechanisms will be boosted and strengthened (and further established where required) to mitigate protection risks arising from the impact of the drought, through awareness-raising and the identification of families or individuals whose problems suggest the need for protection case management, referral to social services and/or cash assistance. The strengthening of community-based protection mechanisms for the most vulnerable communities will enable UNHCR and protection partners to urgently assist persons with specific needs and survivors of gender-based violence, exploitation, and prevent the most vulnerable from resorting to harmful coping mechanisms.

UNHCR and the incumbent will also work to enhance the protection and safety of drought-affected populations through the provision of multi-purpose cash, and related community-sensitization activities involving the most vulnerable people, particularly pregnant and lactating women, children at risk, those at heightened risk of gender-based violence (GBV), older persons, people with disabilities and forcibly displaced persons. The individuals requiring assistance will be identified at the grassroots by the communities themselves and referred through existing mechanisms for formal protection case management. The incumbent is therefore expected to support with the targeting aspects of the cash provision exercise.

Functional Clearance

This position doesn’t require a functional clearance

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



Desired languages




Additional Qualifications

DM-Database Management, IT-Computer Literacy, PR-Age, Gender and Diversity (AGD), PR-Child Protection Prevention and Response Programming, PR-Coordination in Forced Displacement situations, PR-Gender Based Violence (GBV) prevention programming, PR-Gender Based Violence (GBV) response programming, PR-Gender Equality, PR-Refugee Protection Principles and Framework


Bachelor of Arts (BA): Anthropology, Bachelor of Arts (BA): Cultural Studies, Bachelor of Arts (BA): Human Rights, Bachelor of Arts (BA): International Development, Bachelor of Arts (BA): International Law, Bachelor of Arts (BA): International Social Work, Bachelor of Arts (BA): Political Science, Bachelor of Arts (BA): Social Science


Work Experience

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