Org. Setting and Reporting
The position is located in the Operations and Advocacy Division (OAD), Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). OCHA 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 position-specific job opening is being advertised for the position of Humanitarian Affairs Officer/ Head of Coordination and is located in Bujumbura, Burundi. The incumbent reports to the Head of Office (HoO).
Within delegated authority, the Humanitarian Affairs Officer/Head of Coordination will be responsible for the following duties:
- Serves as a senior policy officer; advise on overall policy direction on specific issues; and, more generally, reviews and provides advice on a diverse range of policy issues related to safeguarding humanitarian principles and ensuring the effective delivery of humanitarian assistance and the linkages with other related areas (e.g. human rights).
- Prepares policy position papers for review.
- Monitors, analyzes, and reports on humanitarian developments, disaster relief/management programmes, or emergency situations in the assigned country/area; develops and maintains a “watch list” of countries with potential for humanitarian crisis.
- Leads and/or participates in large, complex projects, to include disaster assessment or other missions; coordinates 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 a situation to date and specifying unmet requirements.
- Organizes and prepares the inter-cluster meetings and ensures that inter-cluster workplan is implemented and aligned to the (Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) priorities. Assists in the production of appeals for international assistance; ensures the proper use and spending of donor contributions channeled through OCHA. This includes supporting the development of CERF proposals.
- Assists Government counterpart 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 projects 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 governments.
- Analyzes and assists in introducing new technologies for disaster warning/management.
- 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 as the primary focal point on specific topics or policy-related issues; 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, conferences, consultations with other agencies and partners humanitarian and emergency relief-related matters.
- Participates in planning and preparation of a unit budget and work program.
- Provides leadership and work direction to the field coordination and/or mentors and supervises the work of new/junior officers.
- Performs other duties as required.
PROFESSIONALISM: Knowledge of a range of humanitarian assistance, emergency relief, and related humanitarian issues, including approaches and techniques to address difficult problems. Analytical capacity and in particular the ability to analyze and articulate the humanitarian dimension of issues which require a coordinated UN response. Ability to identify issues and judgment in applying technical expertise to resolve a wide range of problems. Ability to conduct research, including ability to evaluate and integrate information from a variety of sources and assess impact on the humanitarian rights situation in assigned country/area. Ability to work under extreme pressure, on occasion in a highly stressful environment (e.g. civil strife, natural disasters and human misery); ability to provide guidance to new/junior staff. 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.
ACCOUNTABILITY: Takes ownership of all responsibilities and honors commitments; delivers outputs for which one has responsibility within prescribed time, cost, and quality standards, including under extreme pressure; operates in compliance with organizational regulations and rules; supports subordinates and/or team members, provides oversight and takes responsibility for delegated assignments; takes personal responsibility for his/her own shortcomings and those of the work unit, where applicable.
JUDGEMENT/DECISION-MAKING: Identifies the key issues in a complex situation, and comes to the heart of the problem quickly; gathers relevant information before making a decision; considers positive and negative impacts of decisions prior to making them; takes decisions with an eye to the impact on others and on the Organization; proposes a course of action or makes a recommendation based on all available information; checks assumptions against facts; determines the actions proposed will satisfy the expressed and underlying needs for the decision; makes tough decisions when necessary.
An advanced university degree (Master's degree or equivalent) in political science, social science, international studies, public administration, economics, engineering, earth sciences, or a related field. 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.
- At least three (3) years of 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 a humanitarian context within the UN common system or in a comparable international organization is desirable.
- Experience in Inter-cluster coordination is desirable.
- Experience in the region (Central and Eastern Africa) is desirable.
- Experience managing teams in humanitarian operations is desirable.
French and English are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in French and English is required.
The evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by a competency-based interview.
This position is 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.
External candidates (including OCHA temporary appointees and OCHA national field staff) who are selected for a position in field duty stations may be strategically placed on a fixed-term appointment limited to a specific position or to a specific country office in accordance with paragraph 2.2 (b) of administrative instruction ST/AI/2013/1 on the administration of fixed-term appointment which provides that an FTA may be granted to individuals who are "(b ) Selected but not reviewed by a Secretariat review body for appointments limited to specific entities".
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.
The paramount consideration in the appointment, transfer, or promotion of staff shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. By accepting an offer of appointment, United Nations staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and assignment by him or her to any activities or offices of the United Nations in accordance with staff regulation 1.2 (c). In this context, all internationally recruited staff members shall be required to move periodically to discharge new functions within or across duty stations under conditions established by the Secretary-General.
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.
THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CHARGE A FEE AT ANY STAGE OF THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS (APPLICATION, INTERVIEW MEETING, PROCESSING, OR TRAINING). THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CONCERN ITSELF WITH INFORMATION ON APPLICANTS’ BANK ACCOUNTS.