Humanitarian Affairs Officer
United Nations, Geneva, Switzerland
Closing Date for Applications:
Org. Setting and Reporting
This position is located in the Pooled Fund Management Branch, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). OCHA is the part of the United Nations Secretariat responsible for bringing together humanitarian actors to ensure a coherent response to emergencies. OCHA also ensures there is a framework within which each actor can contribute to the overall response efforts. OCHA's mission is to mobilize and coordinate effective and principled humanitarian action in partnership with national and international actors in order to alleviate human suffering in disasters and emergencies; advocate the rights of people in need; promote preparedness and prevention and facilitate sustainable solutions.
The position is in New York. The Humanitarian Affairs Officer reports to the Chief of Branch.
Within delegated authority, the Humanitarian Affairs Officer will be responsible for the following duties:
- Monitors, analyzes and reports on humanitarian developments, disaster relief/management or emergency situations in assigned country/area.
- Reviews and provides advice on humanitarian funding trends and donor policies related to emergency response.
- Provides advice and support to the development of humanitarian communications material including donor reports and social media.
- Organizes and prepares studies on humanitarian, emergency relief and related issues; organizes follow-up work, including interagency technical review meetings to support policy development work and decision-making on important issues.
- Participates in large, complex projects, to include disaster assessment or other missions; assists in the coordination of international humanitarian/emergency assistance for complex emergency/disaster situations and in ensuring the necessary support (e.g. staff, funding, specialized equipment, supplies, etc.); drafts situation reports to the international community, apprising of situation to date and specifying unmet requirements of stricken countries.
- Partners with other humanitarian agencies to plan and evaluate humanitarian and emergency assistance programmes and help ensure that latest findings, lessons learned, policy guidelines, etc. are incorporated into these activities, including gender-related considerations.
- Manages the production of appeals for international assistance; ensures the proper use and spending of donor contributions channeled through OCHA.
- Assists in the production of appeals for international assistance; ensures the proper use and spending of donor contributions channeled through OCHA.
- Establishes and maintains contacts with government officials, other UN agencies, non-governmental organizations, diplomatic missions, media, etc.
- Undertakes and provides support to technical assistance and other field missions, e.g. participates in field trips to undertake in-depth reviews of specific country coordination mechanisms.
- Prepares or contributes to the preparation of various written reports, documents and communications, e.g. drafts sections of studies, background papers, policy guidelines, parliamentary documents, briefings, case studies, presentations, correspondence, etc.
- Serves as the primary focal point on specific topics or policy-related issues; keeps abreast of latest developments, liaises with other humanitarian organizations, donors, etc., ensures appropriate monitoring and reporting mechanisms; provides information and advice on a range of related issues.
- Reviews and provides advice on policy issues related to safeguarding humanitarian principles and ensuring the effective delivery of humanitarian assistance.
- Organizes and participates in work groups, meetings, conferences, consultations with other agencies and partners on humanitarian and emergency relief-related matters.
- Provides guidance to, and may supervise, new/junior staff.
- Performs other duties as required.
- Professionalism: Knowledge of a range of humanitarian assistance, emergency relief and related human rights issues, including approaches and techniques to address difficult problems. Analytical capacity and in particular the ability to analyze and articulate the humanitarian dimension of issues which require a coordinated UN response. Ability to identify issues and judgment in applying technical expertise to resolve a wide range of problems. Ability to conduct research, including ability to evaluate and integrate information from a variety of sources and assess impact on the humanitarian rights situation in assigned country/area. Ability to work under extreme pressure, on occasion in a highly stressful environment (e.g. civil strife, natural disasters and human misery); ability to provide guidance to new/junior staff. Shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations. Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.
- Communication: Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; tailors language, tone, style and format to match audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.
- Teamwork: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others; places team agenda before personal agenda; supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.
- Planning & Organizing: Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; uses time efficiently.
- Client Orientation: Considers all those to whom services are provided to be “clients” and seeks to see things from clients’ point of view; establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect; identifies clients’ needs and matches them to appropriate solutions; monitors ongoing developments inside and outside the clients’ environment to keep informed and anticipate problems; keeps clients informed of progress or setbacks in projects; meets timeline for delivery of products or services to client.
- Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in political science, social science, public administration, international studies, economics, engineering, earth sciences or a related field is required. A first-level university degree in combination with qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
- A minimum of five years of progressively responsible experience in humanitarian affairs, emergency preparedness, crisis/emergency relief management, rehabilitation, development, or other related area is required.
- Humanitarian experience in the field (actual setting where a mission and/or project is being implemented) in emergency situations (complex emergency or natural disaster) is desirable.
- Experience in humanitarian financing and pool funding is desirable.
- Experience with developing and/or managing humanitarian emergency appeals is desirable.
- English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in English (both oral and written) is required. Fluency in another UN official language is desirable.