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close this bookHandbook for Emergencies - Second Edition (UNHCR, 1999, 414 p.)
close this folder20. Administration, Staffing and Finance
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentEmergency Staffing
View the documentBudget and Finance
View the documentNon-Expendable Property and Office Supplies
View the documentOffice Premises
View the documentOfficial Transport
View the documentOffice Organization
View the documentKey References
View the documentAnnexes

Office Premises

(Checklist section on Premises)

62. The order of priority for obtaining offices is:

i. Rent-free from the government;

ii. In common UN premises;

iii. Government-provided offices against reimbursement by UNHCR and

iv. Commercial rent.

63. Interim arrangements may be necessary, but the early establishment of the UNHCR presence in a convenient location will be of obvious importance to the success of the operation.

64. Office space per person should not exceed about 14m2, but an approximate addition of 30% is needed to allow for a reception area, interviewing room, meeting room, and services area (filing, copier, etc.) as appropriate to the scale of the operation.

65. Considerations in selecting office premises include:

Location (distances from ministries, implementing partners, bank, post office, airport, etc.);

Security (for authorized access to individual refugees and UNHCR staff, to prevent unauthorized access, and for the physical security of offices, files, etc.);

Parking facilities;

Utilities (electricity, water, heating, air-conditioning, wires for telephone, toilets, simple kitchen facilities, storage room, etc.);

Physical layout and orientation of the building. Ensure that the building and grounds are suitable for radio and satcom antennas and that there is no interference from neighbouring installations e.g. pylons;

Provides for a large enough meeting space for UNHCR to discharge its coordination responsibilities through coordination meetings;

Room for expansion; in emergencies the numbers of staff can fluctuate considerably;

The condition of the office.

66. The use of residential accommodation (e.g. a villa) as an office may be an option.

67. Once office premises have been selected, the government, diplomatic community, other UN agencies and NGOs should be informed accordingly, and the relevant information provided to neighbouring UNHCR offices and to Headquarters.