Regional Staff Counsellor, Panama City

Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund

Country: Panama

City: Panama City

Office: UNICEF Panama

Closing date: Wednesday, 29 September 2021

Regional Staff Counsellor, (P-4), FT, LACRO, Panama City #00117052

Job no: 541350

Position type: Fixed Term Appointment

Location: Panama Division/Equivalent: Latin America and Caribbean Regional Off

School/Unit: Regional Services Div (LACR), Panama

Department/Office: Office of the Reg Director, Panama

Categories: Human Resources, Operations and Business Management

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential.

Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone.

And we never give up.

For every child, care

How can you make a difference?

Purpose for the job:

The Regional Staff Counsellor P-4 is expected to provide expertise to UNICEF management and staff of the regional office and country offices in the region; to support the overall well-being of UNICEF staff and their families, as well as teams in UNICEF offices in the region.

The post will contribute towards the development of a corporate framework for Staff Well-Being and promote its implementation at the regional level. The framework will identify activities aimed at raising awareness about healthy work practices; improving the work-life balance of UNICEF staff; facilitating the provision of assistance to staff/family experiencing work-related and/or personal problems; facilitating the provision of immediate support following a traumatic incident and related tasks.

The Regional Staff Counsellor will coordinate and work in collaboration with the network of UN counsellors regionally. Frequent field missions and close collaboration with Country Offices are required.

The position is office-based, located in the regional office and reports to the Regional Director, is technically supervised by the Chief of Staff Wellbeing NYHQ and works in close collaboration with the Chief of HR.

Summary of key functions/accountabilities:

1. In collaboration with the Regional Director, the Staff Wellbeing Chief (NYHQ), Regional Human Resources Chief and colleagues, facilitate the development, implementation and coordination of a corporate framework aiming at improved Staff Well-Being regionally and where required globally: a) Assist in developing the framework; b) Develop strategies for implementing the framework in the region; c) Monitor the impact of the framework on regional and country levels; d) Lobby and provide input for improvement.

2. Facilitate the provision of effective psycho-social support to staff leadership, managers and individual staff prioritizing emergency locations with the aim to mitigating stress and boost protective factors by: a) Providing support and advice to the leadership and managers in offices on healthy work practices and approaches on how to effectively support staff and encourage resilience. Recommend suitable staff support strategies to managers during and following emergencies and other crises; b) Providing staff with individual and/or group counselling as needed (i.e. assessment, short-term intervention, referral); c) Facilitating the treatment of psychiatric disorders primarily through referrals, including to the medical services division, and through guidance to supervisors and senior management, where appropriate; d) Contributing to identification of creative ways of extending a network of external mental health providers available to provide services to staff around the world; e) Coordinating the regional network of Peer Support Volunteers (PSVs), including selection, training and technical supervision; f) Coordinate with UNDSS, agency counsellors and PSVs, to ensure the provision of adequate psychosocial support during emergencies; g) Assess and monitor psycho-social needs and issues affecting the wellbeing of staff.

3. Provide Critical Incident Stress Management to groups-and/or individual staff following critical incidents, employing a holistic which may include services such as practical support. Psycho-education, psychological first aid, strategic advice to leadership, family support and individual or group interventions by: a) Contacting the affected staff member(s) and offering information about typical stress reactions, support and referral information; b) Facilitating appropriate traumatic stress interventions, following a critical incident or traumatic event; c) Recommending and arranging for individual and/or group follow-up support to staff and their dependents.

4. Training and awareness raising on Staff Well-Being related topics: a) Explore and contribute to the development of new modalities, such as e-learning and webinars, which make awareness raising material available and attractive to all staff; b) Cooperate with Regional and Country Offices to integrate subjects such as health work practices, managing stress and trauma, building resiliency, etc., into learning strategies, in consultation with and guidance by the Regional Director.

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have...

Advanced University degree in counselling, clinical psychology or related mental health profession. Additional training or certification in staff support and traumatic/critical incident stress as well as a broad range of related fields, such as alcohol/substance abuse, family counselling, training, stress management.

Minimum eight years of national and especially international professional experience in staff support, mental health, cross cultural communications, counselling, and related areas, preferably gained within the UN system or international development/humanitarian aid sector.

Track record showing resourcefulness and keen social awareness and sound judgement pertaining to common counselling caveats, e.g. overzealous client advocacy, burnout, the need for self-care and personal counselling. An empathic non-judgmental clinical approach with tact and confidentiality.

Evidence of previous experience in adhering to professional boundaries, e.g. administrating only those services for which supervised training has been administered.

Fluency in English and Spanish is required. Proficiency in French and/or Portuguese is highly desirable. Knowledge of another UN language is an asset.

For every Child, you demonstrate...

UNICEF’s values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA) and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.

The UNICEF competencies required for this post are...

Core competencies skills

Demonstrates Self Awareness and Ethical Awareness (1)

Works Collaboratively with others (1)

Builds and Maintains Partnerships (1)

Innovates and Embraces Change (1)

Thinks and Acts Strategically (1)

Drives to achieve impactful results (1)

Manages ambiguity and complexity (1)

To view our competency framework, please visit here.

Click here to learn more about UNICEF’s values and competencies.

UNICEF 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.

UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.


Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.

Advertised: Aug 02 2021 Eastern Daylight Time Application close: Sep 28 2021 Eastern Daylight Time

Link to the organization’s job offer: