Through USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (USAID/BHA), the United States sponsors qualified U.S. citizens for employment in the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) the Junior Professional Officer (JPO) Program. These fully funded JPO positions strengthen the humanitarian coordination capacity of UNOCHA. They further encourage U.S. citizens to become active members of the international community. After completing their JPO assignments, a number of JPOs successfully compete for positions at UNOCHA, and in other international and non-governmental organization.
II. General Information
- Title: JPO in Humanitarian Affairs
- Organization/Office: United Nations / OCHA
- Duty Station: Yangon, Burma
- Date Required: As soon as possible
- Duration: 1 year (with possible extension for another year)
- Title of Supervisor: Head of Coordination Support Section
- Content and methodology of supervision: Establishment of a Work Plan- During the first month of the assignment, the Junior Professional Officer (JPO) will work jointly with his/her direct supervisor to finalize an agreed upon work plan. The final work plan will be discussed and mutually agreed to by the JPO and his/her supervisor.
- Evaluation: The United Nations Performance Evaluation System (e-performance) will serve as a primary platform to evaluate of the JPO’s performance.
1) Induction to the position by supervisor and colleagues in the office; (2) development of work plan, including travel and training, with incumbent, based on his/her background and expertise; and (3) regular evaluation of progress made and areas of improvement. Supervision of work will be overseen by Head of the Coordination Support Section; guidance to be given by colleagues in the office.
IV. Duties, Responsibilities, and Output Expectations
The incumbent will be expected to contribute to the overall work of the OCHA office, including facilitating and coordinating humanitarian response, missions to field locations, contingency planning exercises, monitoring and information gathering/analysis for advocacy and information products: More specifically, the incumbent is expected to assume the following duties and responsibilities:
- Research, analyze and present information gathered from diverse sources on assigned issues.
- Contribute to the preparation of various written documents, e.g. drafts sections of studies, background papers, policy guidelines, correspondence and presentations, as required.
- Assist in the production of appeals and resource mobilization for international humanitarian assistance
- Support the Coordination Support Section to carry out OCHAs core coordination activities including convening meetings, providing technical assistance on field missions, supporting disaster assessment and other activities.
- Contribute, in cooperation with other country office staff, to strengthening natural disaster and emergency response preparedness and capacity of the Government, Humanitarian Country Team, Inter-cluster Coordinators Group, NGOs and humanitarian partners. This will include participating in and/or helping to prepare for technical assistance activities (e.g. contingency planning and simulation exercises, and other training events).
- Assist in the implementation of the Inter-Cluster Coordination Group (ICCG) work plan including ICCG contribution to the use of cash transfer modalities in emergencies, accountability to affected people (AAP), protection from sexual exploitation and abuse (PSEA), sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) and making protection central to humanitarian action.
- Assist in the organization of meetings, conferences, workshops and other coordination and advocacy events. Attend and prepare detailed reports on meetings of relevance to OCHA.
- Prepare for and accompany visiting UN and donor missions.
- Performs other duties as required.
V. Qualifications and Experience
- Education: Completed advanced university degree (Master’s Degree) in political and/or social science, international relations, public administration, law, economics, engineering, earth sciences or related fields.
- Experience: Two years of relevant professional experience in humanitarian affairs, emergency preparedness, crisis/emergency relief management, rehabilitation, development, monitoring and evaluations or other related areas. Proven abilities in information analysis and strong English drafting abilities. Ability to work with multi-cultural teams and international professionals. Knowledge of international agencies’ operations related to humanitarian assistance and familiarity with the UN system. Able to travel and live in complex environment. Ability to work with limited supervision and under stressful conditions.
- Languages: Excellent spoken and written English required. Knowledge of additional regional languages is an asset.
- Other skills: Computer literacy
- UN Competencies:
- Professionalism: Advanced knowledge of the use of information management to improve the delivery of humanitarian assistance; ability to analyze and articulate the information management requirements of complex situations requiring a coordinated UN response; demonstrated problem-solving skills and ability to sue sound judgment to ensure the effective and timely completion of complex tasks; ability to work under extreme pressure, on occasion in a highly stressful environment (e.g. civil strife, natural disasters and human misery); very good knowledge of institutional mandates, politics and guidelines pertaining to humanitarian affairs and sound knowledge of the institutions of the UN system;
- Teamwork: Excellent interpersonal skills, including ability to operate effectively across organizational boundaries; ability to establish and maintain effective partnerships and working relations in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity.
- Planning and organizing: Ability to coordinate the work of others, work to tight deadlines and other handle multiple concurrent projects/activities.
- Technology awareness: Fully proficient computer skills and use of relevant software and other applications, e.g. word processing, spreadsheets, internal databases, internet, etc.
VI. Learning Elements
On completion of the assignment, the JPO will have/be able to:
- Prepare appropriate, high quality information and analytical products for use by various entities within the UN system.
- Keep abreast of relevant humanitarian information and convey pertinent facts on developments to decision makers within the UN system. Provide coordination support in disaster/emergency situations.
- Provide support for the Humanitarian Country Team strategic and response preparedness planning and to the Inter Cluster Coordination Group technical and operational response and planning processes.
- Fully understand the OCHA mandate and areas of comparative advantage within the international humanitarian community.
- As part of the UN system, all UN staff are required to complete a list of mandatory training programs
VII. Background Information
OCHA is the part of the United Nations Secretariat responsible for bringing together humanitarian actors to ensure a coherent response to emergencies. OCHA’s mission is to coordinate the global emergency response to save lives and protect people in humanitarian crisis advocating for effective and principled humanitarian action by all and for all. OCHA core functions are:
- Coordination: Coordinate humanitarian response to expand the reach of humanitarian action, improve prioritization and reduce duplication, ensuring that assistance and protection reach the people who need it most.
- Advocacy: Raise awareness of forgotten crises, promote respect for international humanitarian law (IHL), bring the voices of crisis-affected people to the forefront, and help people obtain access to humanitarian assistance.
- Policy: Support setting the agenda for humanitarian sector reform and effectiveness in response to a shifting global landscape, new global frameworks, and increased capacities of national Governments and local actors.
- Humanitarian Financing: Mobilize and engage the full range of financing instruments, mechanisms and partners to ensure that growing humanitarian needs are met and the large array of global humanitarian financing mechanisms are complementary among themselves and coherent with development funding.
- Information Management: Provide information management services to the humanitarian community to inform a rapid, effective and principled response.
OCHA’s country office in Myanmar was established on 2008 to respond to cyclone Nargis. The overall aim of the office is assist humanitarian action undertaken by the Humanitarian Country Team, which comprises UN agencies, international and national non-governmental organizations, and observers (i.e. Red Cross Red Crescent Movement, donors). OCHA Myanmar has three sub-offices – one in Rakhine State in Sittwe and one in Kachin State located in Myitkyina and one in north of Shan State in Lashio.
OCHA’s purpose in Myanmar is to facilitate the delivery of principled, timely and effective humanitarian action. Humanitarian needs in Myanmar remain high, with over 240,000 conflict-affected displaced people remaining in camps; approximately 215,000 other vulnerable people in crisis-affected areas still in need of humanitarian assistance; close to half a million Rohingya Muslims continuing to face institutionalized discrimination and a wide range of human rights abuses that increase their vulnerability and in many cases dependency on humanitarian aid. Besides, over 360,000 people were temporarily displaced by the floods in 2018, resulting in additional demand for humanitarian assistance and putting an enormous strain on the Government and partners.
How to apply
The JPO Program selection process is carried out jointly by USAID/BHA and the UNOCHA. You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply. To apply please send
- completed UN Personal History Statement (P11),
- resume (CV) and;
- cover letter to explain your interest in this position to BHA.JPOCoordinator@usaid.gov .
Please state which position you are applying for in the subject line of your email. If you wish to apply for multiple positions, please complete a Personal History Statement (P11) for each position and submit these to us in separate emails with the appropriate subject heading. Application Details
Please complete the UN Personal History Statement (P11) thoroughly. The P11 provides the opportunity to include all required information in one document, including your professional work experience and references. Please attach a cover letter to explain your interest in the position and interest in working with the UN, along with a general resume. The P11 has instructions on how to complete the profile; however, please be sure to also follow the additional instructions below:
- The P11 must be completed in English only.
- You may leave the signature/date sections blank at this time. If selected for one of the positions, you will then need to submit a signed version.
- Do not submit a photograph.
- Incomplete applications will not be considered;
- Application deadline: November 30, 2020, 5:00 PM Eastern Time
- For more information please consult the Frequently Asked Questions–