Assistant Innovation Officer

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

Panama City, Panama

Experience: 0 to 3 Years

Skill Required: Accounts and Finance

The UNHCR Innovation Service has a mandate to provide a platform for UNHCR teams throughout the organisation to foster innovation, developing community-driven approaches to address challenges by utilising innovative tools, processes, and methodologies. The Service operates multiple decentralised programmes, and in alignment with UNHCR's regionalisation strategy, it has team members stationed in various Regional Bureaux to enhance the delivery of Service-wide programmes in the respective regions.

In the Americas, the Service has been actively pursuing programme objectives related to digital inclusion for several years and is now expanding its footprint to make broader contributions in the field of Digital Innovation, as well as advancing other initiatives in the region. Presently, the Innovation Service is collaborating closely with colleagues in the region on environmental, data, innovation learning, and digital innovation-related initiatives through dedicated thematic funds and programmes.

This Associate Innovation Officer position is home-based and will support the existing Innovation Officer at the Regional Bureau of the Americas in strengthening ongoing collaboration opportunities with Regional Bureaux and country offices. It will also involve identifying key areas in the Americas region where support from the Innovation Service can be extended.

Purpose and Scope of Assignment:
The Assistant Innovation Officer will offer cross-functional support to the diverse Innovation workstreams in the Americas. The following list highlights some of the activities that require support to improve programme delivery and maximise institutional learning outcomes.

Support to UNHCR-led Innovation Funds:
  • Assist programme leads and selected operations in launching their 2024 projects by providing the necessary administrative and programmatic support, as well as facilitating connections at the regional and global levels.
  • Support the oversight of the sponsored projects by collaborating with colleagues at the regional and global levels to identify needs and liaising with relevant team members to provide optimal support during the implementation phase.
  • Conduct follow-ups on previously supported initiatives through the Funds and assist operations in finalising end-of-project reports.
  • Provide assistance with processes that may require support from Regional Bureau units to progress.
Support to UNHCR´s Refugee-led Innovation Fund:
Assist the Programme lead and grantee organisations in the required project planning, guidance, documentation and reporting to effectively implement their initiatives.
Americas Innovation communications:
  • Assist in the organisation of regional lessons learned / info-sharing webinars
  • Identify comms opportunities for all the Innovation workstreams and pitch them to global Innovation team. Collaborate in the production of comms materials such as blog posts, videos, webstories and liaise with regional bureau comms colleagues as required.
Monitoring and Progress Controls:
  • The incumbent will report directly to Erika Perez Iglesias, Innovation Officer. On a weekly basis, the incumbent will participate in weekly bilateral with the supervisor, setting agreed-upon deliverables and deadlines for the week. Additionally, in order to help support the Digital Innovation programme, the incumbent will join a team meeting held on a weekly basis with the Digital Innovation team in order to align and coordinate efforts on projects within the workstream. The staff member will join other programme meetings as / when appropriate.
Qualifications and Experience:
  • Undergraduate degree (essential) or graduate degree (desired) in a related discipline (Politics, Human Rights, International Protection, Communication and Development, Social Sciences, Telecommunications, Innovation, Technology, Engineering etc.)
Work Experience:
  • Minimum of 2 years of previous job experience working in a humanitarian aid or development context with prior experience or interest in issues relating to digital innovation, technology and telecommunications - with a focus on engaging with communities through digital platforms.
  • Knowledge of existing guidance pertaining to the application of social media and digital tools in humanitarian contexts - including Data Protection, Data Privacy and Online.
  • Strong experience in coordination and project management required, with experience in the UN system a distinct advantage.
  • Prior experience working on issues of digital inclusion desired.
  • Prior experience in a supporting function to humanitarian country operations (particularly strategy design and implementation pilot projects designed for scaling).
  • Prior experience working in forced displacement contexts desired.