UNHCR Education Officer (System strengthening) Jobs in Kenya

UNHCR Education Officer (System strengthening) Jobs in Kenya

General Background and Context

  • Despite significant gains in enrolment at all levels, almost half of school-age refugees are still out of school. The gap in enrolment widens with progression through the levels. One-third of refugees have access to secondary education in Kenya, and less than one-sixth have access to tertiary education, including technical and vocational education and training. Barriers to school enrolment include supply issues as well as socio-economic factors, cultural norms and traditions, many of which are shared by the communities that host refugees and asylum-seekers in Kenya.

  • While refugees and asylum-seekers follow the Kenyan national curriculum and sit for national examinations, camp-based learning institutions have been managed and financed by UNHCR and the international community for almost three decades. Although the Government of Kenya has made a considerable contribution to the education of refugees and asylum-seekers over the past thirty years, the governance and management of learning institutions by the international community has led to an alternative system of service delivery that is less sustainable and does not adequately respond to the needs of refugees, asylum seekers and their host communities.

    In line with the Global Compact for Refugees, UNHCR Kenya promotes the inclusion of refugees and asylum-seekers in the national education system, while responding to their immediate needs by:

    ● Fostering an enabling environment that supports learning as well as psychosocial, socio-emotional and physical well-being.

    ● Adopting an area-based approach, supporting both refugees and asylum-seekers, and the communities that host them to access education and training, including through the use of technology, in their respective locations and which is protective, accredited and government-led.

    ● Investing in the national system to enable it to expand to provide quality education and training for refugees and asylum-seekers, and their host communities beyond the emergency phase, facilitating the transition from humanitarian response to durable solutions.

    ● Promoting opportunities for earning and for the use of education toward jobs, economic inclusion, community development, and self-reliance, benefitting both refugees, asylum-seekers and their host communities.

    Accountability (key results that will be achieved)

  • Support is provided to stakeholders to align investments to support national standards, priorities and plans including:

  • Development of effective technical working relationships with Government counterparts;

  • Processes, tools and guidelines developed to provide technical support for effective implementation;

  • Training and/ or capacity development carried out;

  • Advocacy carried out for the inclusion of refugees with Government, donors and other education stakeholders;

  • Effective reporting internally and externally with an emphasis on documenting programmatic recommendations and lessons learnt.

    Responsibility (processes and functions undertaken to achieve results)

    Under the supervision of the Education Officer, the Education Officer (System strengthening) will;

  • Support national planning processes, ensuring inclusion of refugee and asylum seeking and stateless children and youth in SDG4 plans and Education Sector Analyses and Plans.

  • Engage, promote and foster partnerships/collaboration with Government, education stakeholders, donors and the private sector.

  • Develop processes, tools and guidelines to provide technical support for effective implementation of inclusion.

  • Support the country teams to develop technical working relationships with Ministry and government contacts to identify ways to extend national initiatives/ align investments with national standards/ priorities/ plans sustainably.

  • Participate in humanitarian and development sector working groups to ensure 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.

  • Foster inter-sectoral linkages
    and coordination with child protection, SGBV, 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.

  • Contribute to internal and external planning and reporting processes (including UNHCR Kenya strategic directions) at the national and sub-national levels

  • Contribute to the monitoring implementation of education programmes.

  • Support active exchange of information and that best practices are identified, documented and disseminated.

  • Support other activities in the Education sector as needed.

  • Some travel to Kakuma and Dadaab, as well as urban areas hosting refugees (Nairobi, Nakuru, Mombasa and Eldoret) should be expected.

    Essential Minimum Qualifications and Experience

  • University degree in Education, Social Sciences or other relevant field.

  • 6 years relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or 5 years relevant experience with Graduate degree; or 4 years relevant experience with Doctorate degree


  • At least 6 years of experience in progressively responsible functions in education.

  • Field experience in education programme implementation and coordination in humanitarian and/or development contexts, in refugee settings is a distinct advantage.

  • Excellent advocacy, influencing and strategy skills.

  • Good understanding of the key issues, dynamics and evolution of the education sector in Kenya.

  • Experience working with Governments, Ministry of Education and other line Ministries.

  • Strong inter-personal skills in collaboration and coordination.

  • Strong external communications/presentations skills.

  • Demonstrated capacity to work with minimum supervision.

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English are essential.


  • Knowledge and experience of UNHCR policies and standards.

  • Experience in training/ capacity development.

  • Experience in teacher management, professional development.

  • Experience in the area of child protection.

  • Experience with educational research, teaching or education administration

    Desirable Qualifications & Competencies

  • Knowledge and Experience in Development Arena – Translates technical and cross-country knowledge into practical applications and contributions to country and sector strategies; interacts with clients at the policy level.

  • Education Knowledge and Experience – Possesses experience in working on challenging education projects, and policy-relevant analytical work

  • Integrative Skills – Understands relevant cross-sectoral areas how they are interrelated; able to undertake cross-sectoral work in lending and non-lending operations.

  • Deliver Results – Achieves results and identifies mission-driven solutions for the client.

  • Collaborate Within Teams and Across Boundaries – Initiates collaboration across boundaries and broadly across UNHCR and brings differing ideas into the forefront.

  • Create, Apply and Share Knowledge – Creates, applies and shares knowledge from across and outside UNHCR to strengthen internal and/or external solutions.



  • Integrity

  • Professionalism

  • Respect for Diversity

    Core Competencies

  • Accountability

  • Teamwork & Collaboration

  • Communication

  • Commitment to Continuous Learning

  • Client & Results Orientation

  • Organizational Awareness

    Candidates may also be tested on relevant managerial and cross function competencies. Examples are listed below: -

    Managerial Competencies

  • Empowering & Building Trust

  • Managing Performance

  • Judgement & Decision Making

  • Managing Resources

    Cross – Functional Competencies

  • Analytical Thinking

  • Innovation & Creativity

  • Planning & Organizing

    How to Apply

  • For more information and job application details, see; UNHCR Education Officer (System strengthening) Jobs in Kenya

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