SPECIAL ASSISTANT – United Nations – القاهرة

UNRWA, the largest United Nations operation in the Middle East with over 30,000 staff working across five areas of operation, is looking for highly committed personnel wishing to make a change.

If you are looking for a rewarding opportunity to make a tangible difference for one of the most vulnerable communities in the world, UNRWA would like to hear from you.

The Special Assistant reports to the Chief, Representative Office in Cairo.


– Keeps abreast of key political and other developments related to UNRWA’s work in Egypt and advises the Chief, Representative Office in Cairo (CHROCA) accordingly; undertakes research and prepares draft briefings, presentations, correspondence, and other documents on a range of topics; assists the CHROCA in gathering intelligence and keeping donors and partners informed; proactively follows up on all issues related to the running of the Cairo Office to ensure timely deliverables; attends meetings and prepares meeting notes; represents CHROCA/the Agency as requested;

  • Coordinates with the Relief and Social Services Department, the national authorities, Palestinian Embassy, Egyptian Red Crescent, IOM, UNHCR and other relevant parties on Palestine refugee issues; responds to refugees’ queries and needs through appropriate action or referrals, and identifies services in line with Agency guidelines;

  • Liaises with relevant UNRWA HQs, Field Offices and Representative Offices on policy, planning, internal reporting and other organizational matters and prepares related deliverables;

  • Organizes high-level visits to Egypt, ensuring protocol matters and logistical arrangements related to such visits are addressed; receives and greets high ranking officials/visitors; facilitates supervisor’s interaction with various external partners through written, verbal and electronic communication, and through collaborative and proactive relationships with counterparts and colleagues in partner offices;

  • Liaises with United Nations Country Team (UNCT), Operations Management Team (OMT), other inter-agency groups and individual UN agencies in Egypt on matters relevant to the CHROCA and ensures that the Agency interests are served, and input required delivered;

  • Undertakes translation of documents, reports and correspondence from Arabic to English and vice-versa for internal and external use; coordinates with Headquarters on the translation of official documents as necessary; provides interpretation at external meetings and other official functions as necessary;

  • Assists CHROCA in managing the Representative Office in Cairo in terms of the administrative, human resources and procurement functions by:

  • Proactively following up on administrative, human resources and procurement related issues to

ensure the smooth running of office operations;

  • Preparing the annual budget in coordination with the Finance Department and Executive Office and

handling imprest fund with related cash and debit card payments;

  • Handling transactions with suppliers and contractors, including approvals using the REACH system,

and liaising with other interlocutors such as banks and treasury as appropriate;

  • Preparing contracts, terms of reference, and temporary assistance requests; monitoring implementation

and renewals, ensuring timely delivery of services.


UN Core Values of Integrity, Professionalism and Respect for Diversity, and Core Competencies of Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results apply by default.

  • Planning and Organizing
  • Coping with Pressure and Setbacks
  • Persuading and Influencing
  • Analyzing
  • Learning and Researching
  • Outstanding diplomatic skills and the ability to utilize tactful but firm approaches to maintaining excellent working relationships

with senior staff and people from diverse backgrounds

  • Positive attitude and proven ability to exercise the initiative and resourcefulness necessary to solve emerging issues
  • Detail-oriented, reviewing outputs for compliance with quality standards in terms of content and presentation

For guidance on how to prepare for competency-based interviews:


– A university degree from an accredited educational institution in International Relations, Business or Public Administration, International law, Political Science, Communication, Journalism or a related field;

  • Experience in the use of computer applications and software packages such as Microsoft Office;

  • Master’s degree from an accredited educational institution in a related discipline (Desirable).

Work Experience

– At least five years of progressively responsible and relevant experience in communications/public relations and conducting research in an international or governmental organization (Required);

  • Knowledge of contemporary issues relating to the Middle East (Desirable);

  • Experience with SAP system (Desirable);

  • A university degree from an accredited educational institution is required in International Relations, Business or Public Administration, International law, Political Science, Communication, Journalism or a related field .

  • Experience in the use of computer applications and software packages such as Microsoft Office (Required);

  • Master’s degree from an accredited educational institution in a related discipline (Desirable).


– Excellent command of spoken and written English and Arabic.


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by competency-based interview.

Special Notice

Type of Contract: Fixed Term Appointment

Duration of Contract: 3 years including 1 year probation period, with the possibility of further extension, subject to the availability of funds, satisfactory performance and continuing need.

This vacancy notice is open to internal and external candidates. Only candidates residing in Cairo, and within commuting distance of the duty station with authorization to work in the duty station at the time of application are eligible to apply. The Agency will not assume responsibility or accountability to support or facilitate the issuance of work permit in Egypt, and without a valid work permit, the appointment may be rescinded.

Preference will be given to registered Palestine refugees and candidates assisting the Agency to meet its commitment to gender parity. UNRWA welcomes applications from qualified candidates with disabilities.

A roster may be created from the selection exercise, and successful candidates may become eligible for appointment to the same post or a similar post.

Only applications that have been fully completed in UNRWA’s online e-recruitment system inspira will be considered and no late applications will be accepted. The PHP should be completed with full relevant work experience under the experience tabs as per the requirements in the Job Opening. All acquired university degrees must also be stated, if applicable. Applicants applying to positions for Grades 12 to 20 must submit a cover letter/motivational statement in order to be considered. Additionally, providing incorrect or misleading information on an application will result in the immediate disqualification of a candidate.

For UNRWA internal staff, they are required to specify and include their current UNRWA grade level. To do so applicants should select under “Category” RLG, scroll down to see all categories, then select their local grade.

Equivalency may apply for this post.
NB: Work experience alone or formal qualifications with no relevant work experience are not considered an acceptable combination.

Advertisements published only in English will only accept applications in English, and Arabic submissions will not be considered.

The Agency may disqualify applicants whose name appears on the UN Sanctions List or a UN database of staff separated for reason of misconduct or of staff who separated whilst misconduct processes were pending.

UNRWA shares investigation and misconduct information with other UN Agencies, and past and prospective employers, about staff members who have been separated for misconduct, or who have separated whilst an investigation and/or disciplinary process for misconduct is underway; and such persons may be prohibited from employment with the United Nations.

The Agency will immediately disqualify applicants who are ineligible for any reason in accordance with the Agency regulatory framework.

UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions from UN member states, regional bodies, business foundations and individual contributions. The mission of UNRWA is to help Palestine refugees achieve their full potential in human development under the difficult circumstances in which they live.

For more details on UNRWA, please visit:

United Nations Considerations

Staff members are subject to the authority of the Commissioner-General of UNRWA and to assignment by him or her.

UNRWA is committed to achieving gender parity at all levels of staffing under the current UN-wide gender agenda and strongly encourages applications from qualified applicants from under-represented groups.

At UNRWA, the paramount consideration in the recruitment and employment of staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity, with due regard to geographic diversity. All employment decisions are made on the basis of qualifications and organizational needs. UNRWA is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment of mutual respect. Reasonable accommodation for applicants with disabilities may be provided to support participation in the recruitment process when requested and indicated in the application.

UNRWA Considerations

UNRWA staff are expected to uphold the highest standards of efficiency, competence, neutrality, impartiality and integrity. This includes respect for and commitment to human rights, diversity and non-violent means of dealing with all kinds of conflict. Only persons who fully and unconditionally commit to these values should consider applying for UNRWA jobs. Candidates will not be considered for employment with UNRWA if they have committed violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law, sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, or sexual harassment, or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have been involved in the commission of any of these acts. Candidates who have committed crimes other than minor traffic offences may not be considered for employment. The Agency may disqualify applicants who have separated for reason of misconduct, who left a UN Agency while misconduct processes were pending, or who appear on the UN Sanctions List.
UNRWA is a non-smoking work environment.

Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the Manual for the Applicant, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.

The evaluation of applicants will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations including the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of the General Assembly, the Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications according to the instructions provided in inspira to be considered for the current job opening. No amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to reference checks to verify the information provided in the application.

Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at 11:59 p.m. (New York time) on the deadline date.

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