National Local Governance Expert


Nov 8, 2019 (8 months ago) 0 Comments

Background Information

Ethiopia’s commitment to protect refugees is long-established and has been further strengthened in recent years. Following the adoption of the New York Declaration on Refugees and Migrants and the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF), the Government of Ethiopia (GoE) made nine pledges to improve access to rights and services by refugees. One of the nine pledges, referred to as the Out of Camp Pledge, focuses on the expansion of the 2010 Out of Camp Policy to benefit 10% of the current total number of refugees, regardless of their nationality. Ethiopia also officially became a CRRF roll-out country. A Roadmap for the implementation of the pledges and the application of the CRRF was published in 2017. More recently, the country’s House of People’s Representatives promulgated a new Refugee Proclamation (No. 1110/2019), which includes provisions on the right to work, freedom of movement and the right to property, amongst others. The implementation of the Proclamation will be further refined through the enactment of secondary legislation. The GoE has also drafted a National Comprehensive Refugee Response Strategy (NCRRS), which, once adopted, will be implemented through national and regional action plans. The NCRRS notes the aim to gradually move from a camp-based model of assistance to an out-of-camp oriented one within ten years.

Addressing a vast array of needs, the overall objective of these positive developments can be summarised as achieving durable solutions for refugees and easing the pressure on refugee hosting communities. These developments laid the foundation for increased support to the GoE to achieve this overall objective. One example of such support is the partnership between the Government of the Netherlands, World Bank, IFC, ILO, UNHCR and UNICEF (Partnership), which aims at the sustainable socio-economic integration of forcibly displaced populations in host communities through a four-year (mid 2019-2023) project in two geographic areas. The Partnership targets host communities, refugees and IDPs (especially youth and women) and its envisaged outcomes include: 1) increased job/self-employment for the target group; 2) transfer of skills to the target group for a successful transition to and engagement with jobs and livelihoods; and 3) the strengthening and expansion of the enabling environment for decent work, legal and social protection to build inclusion and reduce vulnerability of the target group.


While great progress has been made, this Study will produce detailed technical findings towards supporting the fulfilment of the various aforementioned commitments. This would also contribute to the design of pilot projects which align with the government’s development plans and could be implemented as part of the four-year Partnership. This Study proposes to focus on the housing, land and property (HLP) issues that may present obstacles or opportunities for the socio-economic integration of refugees.

For instance, while generally an out-of-camp approach contributes to self-reliance and, indeed, increases job and livelihood opportunities, initiatives aimed at creating livelihood and job opportunities inherently trigger questions around access to housing and/or land by its beneficiaries. For instance, in case job opportunities are offered at a significant distance from a refugee camp, is there sufficient, accessible and secure adequate housing available in the area of employment? What about the Rent to Income Ratio? How do we ensure that an influx of labourers does not result in significant rental fee increases in the area? In case of agricultural activities, how confident is a refugee that his/her access to land is secure enough to indeed invest resources in it?

The overall objective of the Study is to identify the HLP obstacles and opportunities for the socio-economic integration of refugees in host communities. The specific objectives of the Study are to: 1) enable evidence-based findings to inform the approach towards HLP-related issues in national/regional action plans; and 2) inform the design of two to three pilot projects to address identified HLP-related challenges/opportunities for the socio-economic integration of refugees.

To this end, UNHCR is seeking to engage a national Local Governance Expert as part of the study’s research team.

  • The national Local Governance Expert will be responsible for:
  • Identifying and analysing local governance related issues in and around selected camps in the context of possible future camp upgrading and transformation efforts, which may include government regulations and procedures; managerial and administrative issues; decision-making, planning, coordination and monitoring; capacity/expertise; quality and access issues; inclusiveness and responsiveness; networks, interactions and relations between local government and civil society, private sector etc;
  • Mapping of local authorities, institutions and informal actors that are relevant/ would be impacted and involved in camp upgrading and transformation (e.g. analyse roles and mandates of relevant local authorities such as specific line Bureaus, government at woreda/kebele level, city administrations, etc, review relevant budget allocation/financial procedures, examine gaps and opportunities for engagement;
  • Identifying and analysing the local governance related issues in regional or local efforts (or ongoing/planned development interventions) that (could) contribute to access land and adequate housing by host communities and potentially refugees in selected refugee hosting areas (Somali Region, Tigray and Afar);
  • Supporting the Land and Housing Expert with identifying and analysing relevant customary/traditional/informal practices of relevance to HLP in selected refugee hosting areas;
  • Assessing the capacity development needs of selected actors (refugee and host community populations, regional and local government, civil society, etc.) in the context of efforts to advance camp transformation and support to social housing and land allocation programmes. Making recommendations to address gaps in capacity;
  • Ensure linkages of actions and initiatives to local development plans and NCRRS Regional Action Plans;
  • Analysing the local governance consequences of proposed efforts aimed at transforming refugee camps into village-type settlements and at supporting existing social housing and land allocation programmes and providing recommendations to overcome possible challenges; and
  • Supporting the Land and Housing Expert, UNHCR’s urban team and possible partner organisations with the analysis of the implementation of the 2010 Out-of-Camp Policy by identifying and analysing possible governance challenges around access to adequate housing in Addis Ababa.

As a member of the study’s research team, the national Local Governance Expert will contribute to:

  • Drafting of the various tools to be used during the study, as well as the planning of research activities in Addis Ababa and selected refugee hosting regions (e.g. Key Informant Interviews, Focus Group Discussions);
  • Drafting of the study’s final report with sub-sections on the results of each of the activities conducted in Phase One of the study; and
  • Development of the proposals for the pilot projects in the selected areas of the Somali, Tigray and/or Afar regions.

The national Local Governance Expert will report progress on deliverables to the study’s Research Coordinator and designated UNHCR colleagues on a bi-monthly basis;


  • University degree (preferably Masters’ level) in public administration, governance or any other relevant field;
  • A minimum of seven years of relevant practical experience working on local governance issues in Ethiopia;
  • Prior experience in assessing (local) governance capacity is required;
  • Strong research skills (e.g. data collection, analytical and writing skills);
  • Strong communication and inter-personal skills;
  • Strong English and Amharic language skills - both written and spoken;
  • Somali, Tigrinya or other relevant local language skills;
  • Experience in working on housing and/or land administration and management;
  • Experience in working on urban planning in Ethiopia;
  • Experience in working on municipal financing;
  • Experience in working on displacement-related matters; and
  • Experience in project design.

Submission of Applications 

This vacancy is open for qualified Ethiopians only. Female candidates are encouraged to apply. 

UNHCR is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.


Applicants who wish to be considered for this position should send a motivation letter and the most recent fact sheets through the online application system. 

Candidates may be required to sit for a test. 

Due to the volume of applications only short-listed candidates will be invited for interview. 

Refugees – who cares?   We Do.