Org. Setting and Reporting
These positions are located in the Operations and Advocacy Division, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which is part of the United Nations Secretariat responsible for bringing together humanitarian actors to ensure a coherent response to emergencies. 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. OCHA also ensures there is a framework within which each actor can contribute to the overall response efforts.
The Humanitarian Affairs Officers are based in the Regional Office for West and Central Africa in Dakar, Senegal, with significant travel throughout the region, including at short notice to provide emergency surge capacity to the region and beyond, as required. The positions report to the Head of the Preparedness, Coordination and Response Unit.
Within delegated authority, the Humanitarian Affairs Officer will be responsible for the following duties:
•Provide support to humanitarian operations in countries under the remit of the Regional Office for West and Central Africa, including through the undertaking of extended field missions. Deploy rapidly and on short notice, as required, to provide emergency support and technical expertise to countries with OCHA offices, as well as to other countries in support of Resident Coordinators and UN Country Teams.
•Monitors, analyzes and reports on humanitarian developments, disaster relief/management or emergency situations in the country as well as supervises work related to assessments and community engagement/accountability to affected people.
•Organizes and prepares reports 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 and ensures the implementation of recommendations.
•Leads and/or 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; leads and support access analysis and civil military coordination, drafts situation reports to the international community, apprising of situation to date and specifying unmet requirements.
•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.
•Establishes and maintains contacts with e.g. government officials at national and subnational level, other UN agencies, nongovernmental organizations, diplomatic missions, etc. Ensures appropriate mechanisms to facilitate collaboration and exchange of information both in and outside the UN system, including on early warning and contingency planning, 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.
•Leads and/or contributes as appropriate 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 and/ or reviews and provide advice on specific topics or policy-related issues, including on safeguarding humanitarian principles and humanitarian access, civil military coordination’s and ensuring the effective delivery of humanitarian assistance, keeping abreast of latest developments, liaises with other humanitarian organizations; ensures appropriate monitoring and reporting mechanisms; and provides information and advice on a range of related issues.
•Assists in the production of appeals for international assistance; ensures the proper use and spending of donor contributions channeled through OCHA.
•Performs other duties as required.
•PROFESSIONALISM: Knowledge of wide range of humanitarian assistance, emergency relief and related human rights issues. Knowledge and experience of working with humanitarian coordination mechanisms, including Humanitarian Country Teams, Inter Cluster Coordination Groups and Clusters. Knowledge of humanitarian delivery considerations, including ensuring accountability to affected people and cash. Conceptual and strategic analytical capacity, to include ability to analyze and articulate the humanitarian dimension of complex issues that require a coordinated UN response. Demonstrated problem solving skills and judgment in applying technical expertise to resolve a wide range of complex issues/problems. Knowledge of region or country of assignment, including the political, economic and social dimensions. Ability to negotiate and to influence others to reach agreement. 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 pertaining to humanitarian affairs and knowledge of the institutions of the UN system. Demonstrated ability to complete in-depth studies and to formulate conclusions/recommendations. Ability to relate humanitarian affairs issues and perspectives, including gender issues, to political, economic, social and human rights programmes in affected country/region. 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.
•ACCOUNTABILITY: Takes ownership of all responsibilities and honors commitments; delivers outputs for which one has responsibility within prescribed time, cost and quality standards; operates in compliance with organizational regulations and rules; supports subordinates, provides oversight and takes responsibility for delegated assignments; takes personal responsibility for his/her own shortcomings and those of the work unit, where applicable.
•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.
•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, international studies, public administration, economics, or a related field is required. A first-level university degree in combination with an additional two (2) years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
A minimum of seven (7) years of progressively responsible experience in humanitarian affairs, emergency preparedness, crisis/emergency relief management, rehabilitation, development, or other related area is required.
Three (3) years of experience in humanitarian affairs or related area at the international level is required.
Humanitarian experience in the field (actual setting where a mission or project is being implemented) in emergency situations (complex emergency or natural disaster) is required.
Experience in the UN Common System or other international organization is desirable.
Experience in West and Central Africa region is desirable.
French and English are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in written and verbal English and French 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.
These positions are funded for a finite period of one year. Extension of the appointment is subject to extension of the mandate and the availability of the funds. Staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-general and to assignment by him or her. In this context, all staff are expected to move periodically to new functions in their careers in accordance with established rules and procedures. The United Nations Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for these positions. An impeccable record for integrity and professional ethical standards is essential.
United Nations Considerations
According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. Candidates will not be considered for employment with the United Nations if they have committed violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law, sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, or sexual harassment, or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have been involved in the commission of any of these acts. The term “sexual exploitation” means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. The term “sexual abuse” means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions. The term “sexual harassment” means any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offence or humiliation, when such conduct interferes with work, is made a condition of employment or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, and when the gravity of the conduct warrants the termination of the perpetrator’s working relationship. Candidates who have committed crimes other than minor traffic offences may not be considered for employment.
Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. The United Nations places no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.
Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the Manual for the Applicant, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.
The evaluation of applicants will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations including the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of the General Assembly, the Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications according to the instructions provided in inspira to be considered for the current job opening. No amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to reference checks to verify the information provided in the application.
Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at 11:59 p.m. (New York time) on the deadline date.
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