Promoting access to quality, safe, and relevant education for all persons affected by crisis

Job Posting with UNHCR

Connected Learning Specialist
25 February 2018


To support UNHCR operations to effectively leverage technology to enhance and extend tertiary educational access. The Connected Learning Education Specialist will act as focal point for staff at all levels in country offices, including senior management.

Technical advice and support will be provided to all partners support Connected Education, as well as to UNHCR’s education, protection and programming staff and other staff with management responsibilities in education, and as needed to those representing education issues on behalf of UNHCR, including senior management. That support will cover a range of inter-connected and inter-sectoral issues as they relate specifically to Connected Education, including but not limited to protection considerations in programme planning and implementation, community-based design, technologies for education, and safe learning environments.


Established in 1950, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is mandated to lead and coordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide. In more than five decades, UNHCR has helped more than 50 million people restart their lives. Today, UNHCR staff in more than 120 countries continue to help and protect millions of refugees, returnees, internally displaced and stateless people.

Education is an integral part of protection for persons of concern to UNHCR, over 50% of whom are children. The Education Unit in UNHCR’s Division of Resilience and Solutions (DRS) provides operational support, policy direction, and strategic guidance to field operations. The provision and expansion of access to higher education for refugees is among the protection priorities for the UNHCR. However only 1% of refugees have access to tertiary education compared to 36% worldwide.

UNHCR seeks to increase access to tertiary education institutions through so called ‘Connected Learning’ programmes. UNHCR uses the term “Connected Learning” (CL) to describe internationally accredited learning programmes that are assisted through the use of information technology, and that enable certifiable learning not bound by geographical limitations. To date, Connected Learning initiatives are providing access for refugees to accredited university courses in 9 countries.

In partnership with universities, organisations and donors, UNHCR also founded the “Connected Learning in Crisis Consortium” (CLCC) to promote and coordinate the scale up of programmes that utilize information technology while ensuring academic achievement through dedicated learner support. To date, these initiatives have provided accredited programs for over 6500 students.



1) To represent UNHCR as a co-coordinator of the Connected Learning in Crisis Consortium; 

2) To provide technical support to UNHCR’s education/protection/programme staff in order to expand Connected Learning programming.


• Addressing all technical issues related to research, project planning, implementation and reporting on all related programming;

• Supporting countries in the development and expansion of Connected Learning Programmes in alignment with UNHCR’s policies and programming;

• Ensuring that the growth of Connected Learning aligns with Programming for Protection protocols, and UNHCR’s broader Protection and Solutions Strategy; 

• Ensuring the sustainable expansion of Connected Learning Partners to expand refugee access to higher education;

• Representing UNHCR at relevant fora related to tertiary education and Connected Learning;

• Ensure that consistent and technically sound advice and recommendations are given globally, including through drafting of guidelines and specialized training of staff;

• Provide technical advice and support on Learning Education programming, including how to ensure protective applications of technology within educational provision;

• Advise field operations on new advances in Connected Learning, and on how to effectively plan, monitor and report on Connected Learning programme activities;

• Share lessons learned from other UNHCR operations and governmental, UN and NGO responses elsewhere in the world with global, regional and field colleagues.;

• Ensure active exchange of information and best practices among countries;

• Foster and ensure inter-sectoral linkages with child protection, SGBV, gender, community based protection, comprehensive solutions and livelihoods, among others;

• Conduct field missions as requested by the supervisor.


a. Education

- University degree in Technology, Education, Refugee Studies or a related field;

- At least 8 years of experience in progressively responsible functions in education (6 years with Advanced University degree).

b. Work Experience

- Field experience in education programme implementation and coordination;

- Knowledge of Ed Tech programming;

- Familiarity with INEE standards and implementation;

- Training and coaching skills/facilitation of learning, and in particular of Human-CenteredDesign;

- Experience supporting tertiary education programming for vulnerable populations.

c. Key Competencies

- Knowledge of refugee protection principles and framework;

- Good knowledge of the UN system, its operational procedures and exposure to provision of support services in an International Organization;

- Excellent computer skills and knowledge of MS applications.

d. Language Skills

- Excellent knowledge of English (written/oral/comprehension); 

- Excellent drafting and writing skills in English.


Qualified and interested applicants should submit the required documents listed below by e-mail to referring in the subject to – Connected Learning Specialist – 05/EDU/DIP/2018

  •  Letter of motivation;
  • Completed UN Personal History Form (P11) signed, including testimonials/degrees/certificates.

The UN personal History Form is mandatory: