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Senior Ombuds Officer & Mediator, P5

Italy (Italy)

  • Organization: UN WFP - World Food Programme
  • Location: Italy (Italy)
  • Grade: P-5, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Senior level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Ombudsman and Ethics
  • Closing Date: 2021-05-23

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WFP seeks candidates of the highest integrity and professionalism who share our humanitarian principles.

Selection of staff is made on a competitive basis, and we are committed to promoting diversity and gender balance.



The United Nations World Food Programme is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide.  The mission of WFP is to help the world achieve Zero Hunger in our lifetimes.  Every day, WFP works worldwide to ensure that no child goes to bed hungry and that the poorest and most vulnerable, particularly women and children, can access the nutritious food they need.



Education: Advanced University degree in alternative dispute resolution (ADR), Administration, Organizational Behaviour, Human Resources, Psychology, Counselling or other social sciences or First University degree with additional years of related work experience and/or training/courses in alternative dispute resolution or conflict management. 


Language: Fluency (level C) in English language. Intermediate knowledge (level B) of a second official UN language: Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, Spanish, and/or WFP’s working language, Portuguese.



This job is located in Headquarters (HQ) and the incumbent reports to the Ombudsman and Director, Office of the Ombudsman and Mediation Services.



To formulate integrative strategies for the various areas of substantive specialization within the Office which serves as a pillar for the internal system of justice, with specific emphasis on the incorporation of Mediation Services as a conflict resolution tool; to optimize the impact of the services of the Office on individual and team levels and on policies relevant to cultural change; to provide input to policies relevant to prevention and management of conflicts; to strategize the Office’s regional presence and the global WFP awareness about its services. 

The Senior Ombuds Officer and Mediator will work according to the International Ombuds Association Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics. 

KEY ACCOUNTABILITIES (not all-inclusive)


Within delegated authority and under the direction and guidance of the Ombudsman and Director, Office of the Ombudsman and Mediation Services, the Senior Ombuds Officer and Mediator will be responsible for the following duties:


  • Take the lead in developing the Office programme of work and identify priority areas herein and oversee its implementation WFP-wide.
  • Design policies and activities to incorporate Mediation Services as integral part of the WFP internal system of justice.
  • Formulate integrative strategies and approaches across WFP that create awareness about the positive impact of conflict resolution services in the workplace on productivity and innovation, while ensuring that gender equality and anti-racism perspectives are appropriately included and addressed.
  • Ensure appropriate mediation services are provided in response to requests within the organization and oversee the network of mediators. 
  • On behalf of the Ombudsman, develop and maintain relations with a range of interlocutors, including senior managers, country directors, division directors and stakeholders from HR, Wellness, the Office of the Inspector General, Legal and Ethics, and advise them on conflict resolution issues as well as on gaps in policies and recommends ways of addressing them; and serve as the representative of the Ombudsman, including in high level meetings.
  • Ensure the flow of information regarding conflict resolution issues within the Office and provide early warning and upward feedback on critical corporate and workplace issues to the management of the Regional Bureaux, the Country Offices, HQ Divisions and other WFP Offices. 
  • Facilitate regular consultation with the Ombuds Officers of the office, conferring on existing and proposed policies and systemic issues.
  • Coordinate and lead the preparation of the Annual Report and of the briefings of the Ombudsman to the Executive Board and Audit Committee.  
  • Oversee the day-to-day management of the Office including budget and administrative matters concerning the Office and its employees.
  • Travel regularly to Regional Bureaux and Country Offices to provide Ombudsman and Mediation services and engage with management on strategic workplace issues. 
  • Manage the learning and capacity development of the various substantive specialists in the Office, and act as mentor or coach.
  • Perform other related duties as required.




Capability Name Description of the behaviour expected for the proficiency level


Informal Conflict Resolution


Has a thorough understanding of and significant experience in mediation and dispute resolution. Demonstrates problem-solving skills and the ability to act impartially, independently and with complete confidentiality and integrity in the informal settlement of employment-related disagreements or conflicts. Shows persistence and calm when faced with challenging and stressful situations.



Management and People Management


Displays leadership, good management and people management skills, including the ability to identify and prioritize resources for completing tasks and the ability to build cohesive teams. 



Client Orientation


Establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect. Has the ability to understand their needs, to identify workable solutions with them, and to support implementation of these solutions where appropriate or required.



Outreach and Stakeholder Management



Promotes collaboration and inclusion. Is committed to working together with internal stakeholders and able to develop and cultivate productive relationships throughout the organization. 





  • At least 11 years of progressively responsible professional experience, of which at least 4 years in an international humanitarian or development context;
  • A proven track record as a dispute resolution practitioner and/or mediator;
  • In-depth knowledge of conflict resolution;
  • Significant experience in managing an office and leading a multicultural team;
  • Readiness to regularly travel to WFP Country Offices including hardship and emergency locations.



  • Prior ombuds experience
  • Working experience within the UN 
  • Field experience.


Non-Rotational Nature: mobility is and continues to be a core contractual requirement in WFP. This position is however classified as “non-rotational” which means the incumbent shall not be subject to the regular reassignment process unless the position is reclassified as rotational.

WFP offers an attractive compensation and benefits package, including basic salary, post adjustment, relocation entitlement, travel and shipment allowances, 30 days’ annual leave, home leave, an education grant for dependent children, pension plan and medical insurance.


Sunday, May 23rd 2021


Female applicants and qualified applicants from developing countries are especially encouraged to apply

WFP has zero tolerance for discrimination and does not discriminate on the basis of HIV/AIDS status.

No appointment under any kind of contract will be offered to members of the UN Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), International Civil Service Commission (ICSC), FAO Finance Committee, WFP External Auditor, WFP Audit Committee, Joint Inspection Unit (JIU) and other similar bodies within the United Nations system with oversight responsibilities over WFP, both during their service and within three years of ceasing that service.

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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