Senior Humanitarian Affairs Officer/Advisor [Temporary]
Org. Setting and Reporting
This position is located in the Front Office of the Coordination Division, in the Office of the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Geneva. OCHA is the 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 for the rights of people in need; promote preparedness and prevention and facilitate sustainable solutions.
The Senior Humanitarian Affairs Officer/Advisor reports to the Head and Representative of OCHA Geneva and Director of Coordination Division.
Within delegated authority, the Senior Humanitarian Affairs Officer/Advisor will be responsible for the following duties:
• Provides authoritative technical and policy advice to Head and Representative of OCHA Geneva/Director of Coordination Division and other agencies in the UN system, Member State officials, international and regional organizations on programmes, projects and issues of significant impact on humanitarian, emergency relief and disaster response/management efforts.
• Monitors the performance of the institution’s humanitarian mandate; influences the development and evolution of the UN approach to humanitarian affairs; designs and implements significant policy and programme changes to address country, regional, global humanitarian affairs issues, including gender considerations; conceptualizes the linkages with the political and peacekeeping functions in the Secretariat.
• Develops and supports the implementation of strategies of engagement and relationship building with non-donors members states and member state groups (G77, G20 etc) and NGO consortia in Geneva; oversees engagement Regional Groups/Organizations including European Union; liaison interface with UNOG and the Office of the Director General, on the OCHA presence in Geneva and Coordinates the partnership and relations with host country Switzerland.
• Leads on building of greater synergies between OCHA Geneva and NY-based entities by ensuring regular information flow and follow-up on key action points and is focal point for overall liaison with offices of the USG and the ASG. Organizational focal point for overall oversight of the decentralization exercise.
• Participates in international, regional or national meetings and provides programmatic/substantive expertise on an issue, or hold programmatic/substantive and organizational discussions with representatives of other institutions.
• Leads capacity building initiatives; identifies bottlenecks and gaps and develops proposals to improve response systems and mechanisms, to include technical assistance in the design of specific coordination and other systems/mechanisms; organizes and participates as trainer/resource person in national and international training seminars.
• Serves as primary liaison with non-UN entities, including senior host government officials, donor representatives, NGO officials, the media, etc., in emergency situations.
• Establishes overall work plan and budget.
• Leads and directs a team of staff; may oversee activities for a discrete work section or equivalent; plans and allocates work assignments; coaches, mentors and evaluates staff; participates in recruitment, selection and training of new staff and in the development of training programs.
• Organizes and/or chairs inter-agency and other international meetings, conferences, task forces; presents views and policies of the unit/institution.
• Initiates, supervises and finalizes position papers and related submissions; prepares diverse reports, papers, policy guidelines, parliamentary documents, statements, presentations, etc. for senior management.
Professionalism: Knowledge of full range of humanitarian and emergency relief assistance and related human rights issues. Ability to advise senior management and other senior officials on approaches and techniques to address highly complex/sensitive issues. Demonstrated capacity for intellectual leadership; conceptual and strategic analytical capacity and ability to thoroughly analyze and evaluate critical matters pertaining to a broad spectrum of humanitarian and emergency relief issues/problems. Demonstrated capacity for original and creative thinking, independent judgment and discretion in advising on and handling major policy, project and other issues/problems. Ability to negotiate and ability to influence others to reach agreement on difficult issues. 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 related to humanitarian affairs and seasoned knowledge of the institutions of the UN system. 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.
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 the audience. Demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.
Teamwork: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals. Solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others. Places team agenda before personal agenda. Supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position. Shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.
Leadership: Serves as a role model that other people want to follow. Empowers others to translate vision into results. Is proactive in developing strategies to accomplish objectives. Establishes and maintains relationships with a broad range of people to understand needs and gain support. Anticipates and resolves conflicts by pursuing mutually agreeable solutions. Drives for change and improvement; does not accept the status quo. Shows the courage to take unpopular stands. Provides leadership and takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work; demonstrates knowledge of strategies and commitment to the goal of gender balance in staffing.
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 that the actions proposed will satisfy the expressed and underlying needs for the decision. Makes tough decisions when necessary.
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 ten years of progressively responsible experience in humanitarian affairs, emergency preparedness, crisis/emergency relief management, rehabilitation, development, or other related area is required.
At least two years of experience advising and supporting senior public officials is required.
Experience managing budgets and recruitments for international organizations is required.
A minimum of four years of international field experience in the last ten years in aid operations is desirable.
Experience working in a Front Office is desirable.
Management experience in multicultural settings, including coordination of interdisciplinary teams is desirable.
Experience working within the United Nations Common system or with a comparable international organization in support of/or in a field operation is desirable.
English and French are the working languages of the UN Secretariat. Fluency in English (both oral and written) is required; knowledge of French is desirable. Knowledge of another UN official language is desirable.Assessment
Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by competency-based interview.Special Notice
• The appointment/assignment is until 31 December 2022, with the possibility of extension, subject to availability of funds and mandate extension. The selected candidate is expected to start as soon as possible.
• Please note that the appointment/assignment of the successful candidate will be subject to visa issuance.
• 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.
• 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.
• Retirees above the mandatory age of separation who wish to be considered for the current temporary job opening must indicate the reason for their last separation as "retirement." Such retirees shall not be employed by the Organization, unless (a) the operational requirements of the Organization cannot be met by staff members who are qualified and available to perform the required functions; and (b) the proposed employment would not adversely affect the career development or redeployment opportunities of other staff members and represents both a cost-effective and operationally sound solution to meet the needs of the service.
• Subject to the funding source of the position, this temporary job opening may be limited to candidates based at the duty station.
• 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
• Staff members of the United Nations common system organizations who will reach the mandatory age of separation or retirement within the duration of the current temporary need period are not eligible to apply.
• Staff members are not eligible to apply for the current temporary job opening if they are unable to serve the specified duration of temporary need before reaching the mandatory age of separation. Submitting an application or selection for the current temporary job opening does not delay or increase the mandatory age of separation.
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.