The United Nations is an intergovernmental organization to promote international co-operation. A replacement for the ineffective League of Nations, the organization was established on 24 October 1945
Organisation, Setting and Reporting
This position is located in the Operations and Advocacy Division, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which 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 principles 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 Senior Humanitarian Affairs Officer will report to the Deputy Director for Eastern & Southern Africa in the Operations & Advocacy Division.
Within delegated authority, the Senior Humanitarian Affairs Officer will be responsible for the following duties:
- Provides authoritative technical and policy advice to senior management in OCHA and other agencies in the UN system, Member State officials, international and regional organizations on programmes, projects and issues of significant impact on humanitarian, emergency relief and disaster response/management efforts.
- Monitors the performance of the institution’s humanitarian mandate; influences the development and evolution of the UN approach to humanitarian affairs; designs and implements significant policy and programme changes to address country, regional, global humanitarian affairs issues, including gender considerations; conceptualizes the linkages with the political and peacekeeping functions in the Secretariat.
- Develops/ensures implementation of coherent humanitarian/disaster response strategies and procedures.
- Conceptualizes, formulates and manages major projects; leads and directs a multi-agency team in carrying out disaster assessment or other missions; initiates, mobilizes and coordinates international humanitarian/emergency assistance for exceptionally complex situations or major disasters; ensures necessary support (e.g. staff, funding, specialized equipment, supplies, etc.); prepares situation reports to the international community, apprising of situation to date and specifying unmet requirements of stricken countries.
- Leads capacity building initiatives; identifies bottlenecks and gaps and develops proposals to improve response systems and mechanisms, to include technical assistance in the design of specific coordination and other systems/mechanisms; organizes and participates as trainer/resource person in national and international training seminars.
- Initiates, supervises and finalizes position papers and related submissions; prepares diverse reports, papers, policy guidelines, parliamentary documents, statements, presentations, etc. for senior management.
Knowledge of full range of humanitarian and emergency relief assistance and related humanitarian issues. Ability to advise senior management and other senior officials on approaches and techniques to address highly complex/sensitive issues. Demonstrated capacity for intellectual leadership. Conceptual and strategic analytical capacity and ability to thoroughly analyze and evaluate critical matters pertaining to a broad spectrum of humanitarian and emergency relief issues/problems. Demonstrated capacity for original and creative thinking, independent judgment and discretion in advising on and handling major policy, project and other issues/problems. Ability to negotiate and ability to influence others to reach agreement on difficult issues. Ability to work under extreme pressure, on occasion in a highly stressful environment (e.g. civil strife, natural disasters and human misery). Knowledge of institutional mandates, policies and guidelines related to humanitarian affairs and seasoned knowledge of the institutions of the UN system. 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.
PLANNING AND 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.
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.
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.
- Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent degree) in political science, social science, public administration, international studies, economics, engineering, earth sciences or a related field. A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
- A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible experience in humanitarian affairs, emergency preparedness, crisis/emergency relief management, rehabilitation, development, or other related area is required.
- Experience from the Horn of Africa is required.
- Experience from Ethiopia is desirable.
- English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the posts advertised, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another UN official language is desirable.
- Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by competency-based interview.