Organization: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Closing date: 15 Mar 2018
Org. Setting and Reporting
This position is located in the Regional Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in West and Central Africa, based in Dakar, Senegal. The Humanitarian Affairs Officer reports to The Head of Office, and works within the Preparedness, Coordination and Response Unit (PCR). The Humanitarian Affairs Officer will be required to travel and surge in the region. OCHA is the part of the United Nations Secretariat responsible for bringing together humanitarian actors to ensure a coherent response to emergencies.
Within delegated authority, the Humanitarian Affairs Officer, will be responsible for the following duties:
Monitors, analyzes and reports on humanitarian response and developments, disaster relief/management programs or emergency situations in the countries of coverage.
Leads and/or participates in large, complex projects, including disaster assessments, preparedness and DRR.
Provides senior surge support to coordination of international humanitarian/emergency assistance for complex emergency/disaster situations; 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 gaps and unmet requirements.
Leads regional coordination mechanisms to promote coherent and effective responses at the local level, with special focus on interagency coordination of preparedness and response initiatives.
Assists in the production of appeals for international assistance; ensures the proper use and spending of donor contributions channeled through OCHA.
Assists national government counterparts in capacity-building for handling emergency situations; develops country specific indicators in collaboration with area experts and ensures the subsequent monitoring of these indicators; recommends actions based on the analysis of pertinent information.
Initiates and coordinates activities related to technical cooperation and technical assistance in disaster response and disaster response preparedness; formulates project proposals and relevant project documents; provides technical support to field work; reviews and clears project reports for submission to donors.
Analyzes and assists in introducing innovative technologies and approaches for early warning and early action, as well as for analysis of risks, vulnerability and capacities.
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; and ensures the implementation of recommendations emanating from relevant studies.
Assists or leads, as appropriate, in the preparation of OCHA reports, studies, background papers, policy guidelines, correspondence, presentations, background papers, policy guidelines, parliamentary documents, etc.
Partners with other humanitarian agencies to plan and evaluate complex humanitarian and emergency assistance programmes; helps ensure that latest findings, lessons learned, policy guidelines, etc. are incorporated into these activities, including gender-related considerations.
Establishes and maintains contacts with government officials, other UN agencies, non-governmental organizations, diplomatic missions, media, 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.
Serves focal point on specific topics or policy-related issues, including in relation to safeguarding humanitarian principles, preparedness and DRR, and ensuring the effective delivery of humanitarian assistance; 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.
Organizes and participates in work groups, meetings, trainings, conferences, consultations with other agencies and partners in preparedness, DRR and response related matters.
Provides leadership and work direction to assigned work team, and/or mentors and supervises the work of new/junior officers.
Travels and provides surge supports in the region.
Performs other duties as required.
PROFESSIONALISM: Knowledge of wide range of humanitarian assistance, emergency relief and related human rights issues. 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.
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.
CREATIVITY: Actively seeks to improve programmes or services; Offers new and different options to solve problems or meet client needs; Promotes and persuades others to consider new ideas; Takes calculated risks on new and unusual ideas; thinks “outside the box”; Takes an interest in new ideas and new ways of doing things; Is not bound by current thinking or traditional approaches.
ACCOUNTABILITY: Takes ownership of all responsibilities and honours 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.
An 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 seven 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 or project is being implemented) in emergency situations (complex emergency or natural disaster) is highly desirable. Experience in the UN Common System or another international organization is desirable. Experience in West and Central Africa is desirable.
English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in both 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.
• The temporary position is intended to fill the functions of short-term duration of six months with possibility of extension.
• The duration of the appointment is subject to the availability of funds.
• Candidates should have no expectation of any fixed-term appointment possibility after the end of this temporary assignment. If the selected candidate is an internal staff member of the UN Secretariat, the selection will be recorded as a temporary assignment.
• Subsequent to the initial temporary appointment, new and successive temporary appointments may be granted for service in the same office or in a different office any number of times, for any duration, provided that the length of service does not exceed the period of 364 calendar days.
• Upon separation from service, including, but not limited to, expiration or termination of, or resignation from, a fixed-term, continuing or permanent appointment, a former staff member will be ineligible for re-employment on the basis of a temporary appointment for a period of 31 days following the separation. In the case of separation from service on retirement, a former staff member will be ineligible for re-employment for a period of three months following the separation. This equally applies, mutatis mutandis, with respect to a former or current staff member who has held or holds an appointment in another entity applying the United Nations Staff Regulations and Rules and who applies for a temporary position with the Secretariat.
• A current staff member who holds a fixed-term, permanent or continuing appointment may apply for temporary positions no more than one level above his or her current grade. However, a current staff member who holds an appointment at the G-6 or G-7 level may also apply to temporary positions in the Professional category up to and including the P-3 level, subject to meeting all eligibility and other requirements for the position.
• A staff member holding a temporary appointment shall be regarded as an external candidate when applying for other positions, and may apply for other temporary positions at any level, subject to section 5.7 below and staff rule 4.16 (b) (ii). Therefore, a staff member holding a temporary appointment in the General Service or related categories may only apply to positions within those categories. For full information on eligibility requirements, please refer to section 5 of ST/AI/2010/4Rev.1 on Temporary Appointments. In its resolution 66/234, the General Assembly further “stressed that the Secretary-General should not recur to the practice of temporarily filling posts in the Professional and higher categories with General Service staff members who have not passed the General Service to Professional category examination other than on an exceptional basis, and requests the Secretary-General to ensure that temporary occupation of such posts by the General Service staff shall not exceed a period of one year, effective 1 January 2013…” Consequently, eligible candidates in the General Service or related categories for temporary job openings in the Professional category that have not passed the competitive examination may be selected only on an exceptional basis endorsed by the Office of Human Resources Management where no other suitable candidate could be identified.
• While this temporary assignment may provide the successful applicant with an opportunity to gain new work experience, the selection for this position is for a limited period and has no bearing on the future incumbency of the post. An external candidate selected for this position is bound by the prevailing condition of the staff selection system under ST/AI/2010/3, as amended, and ST/AI/2010/4/Rev.1. A staff member holding a temporary appointment who is recruited in the Professional and above categories on a temporary appointment, and placed on a position authorized for one year or longer may not apply for or be reappointed to his/her current position within six months of the end of his/her current service. This provision does not apply to staff members holding temporary appointments and placed on positions authorized for one year or more in duty stations authorized for peacekeeping operations or special political missions.
• The expression “Internal candidates”, shall mean staff members who have been recruited after a competitive examination under staff rule 4.16 or after the advice of a central review body under staff rule 4.15.
• For more details on the administration of temporary appointments please refer to ST/AI/2010/4/Rev.1.
• For information on special post allowance, please refer to ST/AI/1999/17. The Staff Regulations, Staff Rules and administrative issuances governing staff appointments can be viewed at: http://www.un.org/hr_handbook/English
United Nations Considerations
The United Nations shall place 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. (Charter of the United Nations – Chapter 3, article 8). The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.
THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CHARGE A FEE AT ANY STAGE OF THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS (APPLICATION, INTERVIEW MEETING, PROCESSING, TRAINING OR ANY OTHER FEES). THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CONCERN ITSELF WITH INFORMATION ON BANK ACCOUNTS.
How to apply: