Humanitarian Affairs Officer (Deputy Head of Office) at Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
This position is 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 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.
This temporary job opening is being advertised for the position of Humanitarian Affairs Officer/Deputy Head of Office (DHoO) and is located in the Regional Office for Southern and Eastern Africa (ROSEA) of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Nairobi, Kenya. The Humanitarian Affairs Officer/Deputy Head of Office reports to the Head of Office, OCHA ROSEA.
Within delegated authority, the Humanitarian Affairs Officer/Deputy Head of Office will be responsible for the following duties:
• Acts as Deputy Head of Office and support the Head of Office in the day-to-day management of the Office, including in strategic planning, preparation of the annual strategy / work plan of the Office and cost plan, as well as in related monitoring and reporting.
• Deploys on humanitarian surge and support missions in Southern and Eastern Africa as requested, including to lead and facilitate: humanitarian operational coordination (e.g. chairing inter-cluster meetings); humanitarian financing proposals (e.g. CERF applications); implementation of preparedness actions (e.g. contingency plans); development of humanitarian needs overviews and appeals; and humanitarian needs assessments.
• Monitors, analyzes and reports on humanitarian response and developments, disaster relief/management programmes or emergency situations in assigned areas of Southern and Eastern Africa; develops and maintains a “watch list” of countries with potential for humanitarian crisis within the region.
• Leads and/or participates in large, complex projects, to include disaster assessment or other surge and support missions; deploys on surge to coordinate 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 unmet requirements of stricken countries.
• Leads the production of appeals for international assistance – including Humanitarian Needs Overviews and Humanitarian Response Plans – in the region; ensures the proper use and spending of donor contributions channeled through OCHA.
• Assists member states in capacity-building for handling emergency situations, including through field missions to relevant countries in the region; develops country-specific indicators for countries of concern in collaboration with area experts and ensures the subsequent monitoring of these indicators; recommends actions based on the analysis of pertinent information.
• Analyzes and assists in introducing new technologies for disaster warning/management.
• Organizes and prepares updates and reports on humanitarian, emergency relief and related issues; organizes follows-up work, including interagency meetings to support information-sharing and decision-making on important issues; and ensures the implementation of recommendations emanating from relevant studies.
• Partners with other humanitarian agencies and cluster coordinators to plan and coordinate complex humanitarian and emergency assistance programmes, including through deployment on surge if required; helps ensure that latest findings, lessons learned, policy guidelines, etc. are incorporated into these activities, including gender- and protection-related considerations.
• Oversees the delivery and quality assurance for the offices standard products including, bulletins, snapshots, dashboards, internal communications with OCHA on emerging humanitarian issues,
• Supports, upon request, inter agency meetings -including the Regional Humanitarian Partnership Team (RHPT) for the Great Lakes and Horn of Africa and the Regional Inter-Agency Standing Committee for Southern Africa- and ensures that inter sectoral work is implemented and aligned to the agreed regional priorities.
• Liaises with regional bodies, including IGAD and SADC, on humanitarian issues.
• 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 as the primary focal point on specific humanitarian topics or policy-related issues; including in relation to safeguarding humanitarian principles, humanitarian access, and ensuring the effective delivery of humanitarian assistance; keeps abreast of latest developments, liaises with other humanitarian organizations, donors, etc., provides information and advice on a range of related issues.
• Organizes and participates in working groups, meetings, conferences, consultations with other agencies and partners humanitarian and emergency relief-related matters.
• Provides leadership and work direction to ROSEA Unit Heads, Humanitarian Advisory Teams, assigned work team, and/or mentors and supervises the work of new/junior officers.
• Performs other duties, and surge assignments, as required.
PROFESSIONALISM: Knowledge of wide range of humanitarian assistance, emergency relief and related humanitarian 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.
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.
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.
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.
Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in political science, social science, public administration, international studies/law, economics, or a related field. A first-level university degree in combination with 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.
– At least three (3) years 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 required.
– Experience in emergency response in the Southern and/or Eastern Africa region is desirable.
– Previous experience within the UN common system or other international organisation is desirable.
English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post 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 a competency-based interview.
• This temporary position is intended to fill the functions for the duration of 364 days with the possibility of extension. The selected candidate is expected to start as soon as possible.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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.
• Please note that candidates will be required to meet the requirements of Article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter as well as the requirements of the position. The United Nations is committed to the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity for all its human resources, including but not limited to respect for international human rights and humanitarian law. Candidates may be subject to screening against these standards, including but not limited to whether they have committed, or are alleged to have committed criminal offences and/or violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law.
• For information on special post allowance, please refer to ST/AI/1999/17. For more details on the administration of temporary appointments please refer to ST/AI/2010/4/Rev.1.
• The Staff Regulations, Staff Rules and administrative issuances governing staff appointments can be viewed at: http://www.un.org/hr_handbook/English.
• Candidates will be required to meet the requirements of Article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter as well as the requirements of the position. The United Nations is committed to the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity for all its human resources, including but not limited to respect for international human rights and humanitarian law. Candidates may be subject to screening against these standards, including but not limited to whether they have committed, or are alleged to have committed criminal offences and/or violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law.
• Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, Inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the At-a-Glance on “The Application Process” and the Instructional Manual for the Applicants, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of Inspira account holder homepage.
• Applications are pre-screened by the system according to the published requirements of the job opening on the basis of the information provided in the application. In relation to the requirements of the job opening, applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their qualifications, including their education, work experience, and language skills. Each applicant must bear in mind that submission of incomplete or inaccurate applications may render that applicant ineligible for consideration for the job opening. Initial screening and evaluation of applications will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted. Applications cannot be amended following submission. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to a reference-checking process to verify the information provided in the application.
• Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at midnight (New York time)on the deadline date.
• Candidates found suitable and not selected for the announced duty station, may be selected for deployment to other duty stations. The selection will be for similar functions with similar requirements at the same level.
Please note that due to the ongoing situation with COVID-19 and the travel restrictions imposed by national authorities, selected candidates may be required to start the assignment/appointment remotely, in agreement with the hiring manager, and until further notice.
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.
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