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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Archivist (Reference). UNHCR, Geneva. Open until 3 January 2012

Job Title:
Archivist (Reference)

Job ID:
Geneva, Switzerland
APA Location:
Geneva, Switzerland

Salary Grade: P3
Hardship Level: H
Family Type Location: Family

Eligible Applicants
UNHCR staff members who meet the eligibility criteria in accordance with the Policy and Procedures on Assignments may apply for this position. In addition, for positions at the P-2 and P-3 levels, candidates who have been accepted on the UNHCR International Professional Roster may express their interest by submitting an application.
Procedures and Eligibility
Before submitting an application, UNHCR staff members intending to apply to this Job Opening are requested to consult the IOM-FOM issued for this Compendium / Fast Track exercise, as well as the Policy and Procedures on Assignments (IOM/FOM/33/2010 refers).
Duties and Qualifications
Archivist (Reference)

The Archives of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees exists to make the experience of UNHCR, as embodied in its records and related materials, available to guide and assist the Organization in planning and conducting its activities, and to provide information to meet the research needs of the persons of interest to UNHCR, the scholarly community, and the general public. Established in 1996, the UNHCR Archives includes material from more than half a century of field operations around the world as well as material from headquarters, predecessor agencies and from individual donors. It occupies about 10 kilometres of shelving space on two basement floors in Geneva's headquarters. Electronic archives, comprising some 8 million documents, are stored and managed in a document management system accessible to authorized staff through Internet.

The UNHCR Archives is committed to promoting the knowledge of UNHCR history, and to making research materials available not only to internal users, but also to external users while balancing researchers' need for access with the needs for confidentiality of persons and institutions whose activities are reflected in the records.

Under the supervision of the Senior Archivist, the Archivist (Reference) is responsible for the appraisal, accession, preservation, arrangement and description of UNHCR archives, the reference services for both staffers and external researchers and the promotion of the Archives contents.

The incumbent of this position supervises one general services staff member and coordinates archival projects with partners, interns and volunteers.

UNHCR documentary evidence of past activities and decisions is preserved, protected, and made available to UNHCR and its global workforce and to external stakeholders.


- Adapt international standards and best practices to UNHCR Archives.
- Appraise UNHCR permanent records and ensure that they are transferred to the corporate Archives at Headquarters for custody.
- Ensure proper preservation of archival materials in all type of formats.
- Arrange and describe UNHCR Archival materials.
- Provide internal and external researchers with access to UNHCR archival records.
- Promote the knowledge and use of UNHCR Archives, internally and externally.
- Collaborate with other services in the Division of External Relations, in the development and organization of outreach activities.
- Liaise with other Divisions, stakeholders and information providers (i.e. Refworld) for a consolidated access and preservation approach for UNHCR archival records.
- Be UNOG Library Focal Point.
- Develop content for learning programmes for internal researchers related to archives.
- Advise on UNHCR's access policy.
- Work closely with the Archivist (Records Management) for a coordinated, systematic management of semi-active and inactive paper and electronic records, including implementation of records schedules.

- Develop and implement strategies, policies, procedures and guidelines for archives.
- Develop content for learning programmes related to archives management.
- Implement records disposition and destruction schedules.
- Advise on the appraisal of UNHCR permanent records.
- Provide access to UNHCR records to internal and external researchers.

Advanced university degree in archival management; or in history or related discipline with additional training as provided by universities and/or professional archival associations.

Experience: At least six years of experience in progressively responsible functions in relation to Archives. Of the six years, minimum of three years of experience should be in an international environment in the same functional area directly relevant to the current position.

- Knowledge of archival principles, functions, techniques, methods, and standards.
- Experience in arrangement and description, appraisal, disposition and preservation of records in all types of media (e.g. electronic records, films and videos, photos and traditional paper files.
- Experience in organizing outreach activities.
- Experience in archives reference and consultation services.
- Familiarity with current trends in archival research.
- Knowledge of moderns trends on long term preservation on all types of media.

Languages: Excellent knowledge of English (written/oral/comprehension).

- Working knowledge of French and/or other UN languages.

- Knowledge of records management principles.

- Knowledge of enterprise content management suites.

- Familiarity with audio-visual archives.

- Experience with digitalization projects.

Position Competencies
C001L3 - Accountability Level 3
C002L3 - Teamwork & Collaboration Level 3
C003L3 - Communication Level 3
C004L3 - Commitment to Continuous Learning Level 3
C005L3 - Client & Result Orientation Level 3
C006L3 - Organizational Awareness Level 3
M002L3 - Managing Performance Level 3
M003L3 - Judgement and Decision Making Level 3
M004L3 - Strategic Planning and Vision Level 3
X001L3 - Analytical Thinking Level 3
X003L3 - Technological Awareness Level 3
X005L3 - Planning and Organizing Level 3

Operational Context
Experience in Historical Archives: the incumbent is expected to have experience in accession, arrangement and description, reference services and outreach activities. Although he/she is not expected to be a preservation or conservation specialist, the incumbent should have a general knowledge on preservation issues and conditions for different types of archival medial e.g. paper, audio-visual, graphic materials, digital records. Understanding of the challenges of digital archives and its preservation is also important.

Records Management: the incumbent should be familiar with the management of records during their complete life cycle, from creation, capture and management in records management, appraisal, destruction, accession, preservation and access. The incumbent will be expected to participate in users support.

Multi-task and capacity to organize and prioritize archival work: the post requires a person with a capacity to prioritize and multi-task, and be able to find the right balance between the different activities to be performed: outreach activities, replying to concurrent information requests, arrangement and description projects, training, and covering work of the other Archivists.

Project Management: The incumbent is expected to manage projects with volunteers, consultants, interns, and partners (i.e. researchers, units).

Training and Communication Skills: The incumbent is expected to present projects, train researchers, and promote the Archives in formal and informal ways. The incumbent would train colleagues, researchers and support staff.

Field work: The incumbent should be ready to participate in appraisal missions alone, and be ready to work in warehouses, containers, and rooms full of paper files in any country in the world.

Team work: the incumbent will be part of a team of four archivists, each one with its own specific area of expertise but at the same time very closely interlinked. The incumbent is expected to be ready to share, discuss, train and learn with the colleagues in the search for solutions adapted to UNHCR needs.

Closing Date
Please note that the closing date for Addendum 1 to the September 2011 Compendium is Monday 12 December 2011 for internal vacancies and Tuesday 3 January 2012 for external vacancies (closing date Geneva midnight).

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