Donor and External Relations Officer

UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
  • Location
    Brussels, Belgium
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    May 01

Position description

Org. Setting and Reporting

The post is based in Brussels and is located in the Donor and External Relations Section (DEXREL), External Outreach Service (EOS) of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Geneva. The incumbent will be under the supervision of the Chief of Section.


Under the supervision of the Chief of Section, the Donor and External Relations Officer will be responsible for the following duties: 

Develops and maintains key strategic partnerships with donors (governments, intergovernmental organizations, in particular the European Commission) in order to achieve a broad donor base for OHCHR by:
a) Developing an in-depth understanding of assigned donors’ (governments and intergovernmental organizations) human rights, development and humanitarian policies and analyzing opportunities for enhanced cooperation with OHCHR; 
b) Developing and implementing fundraising and outreach strategies for governments and intergovernmental organizations; 
c) Organizing and participating in donor briefings; meeting with interlocutors in relevant Ministries/Directorates or partners as appropriate. 

Contributes to ensuring an office-wide consistent and coherent approach to fundraising by:  
a) Providing advice to the High Commissioner, the Deputy High Commissioner, the ASG – New York Office as well other senior managers in Divisions/Branches and field offices on office-wide fundraising policies, strategies and approaches. Keeping assigned donor profiles updated. Accompanying the Chief of Section and senior management as appropriate on their missions to State capitals or relevant donor headquarters for fundraising purposes; 
b) Preparing various written outputs like briefing notes, strategic and position papers for the senior management as requested. Drafting correspondence for donors; researching, compiling, maintaining and updating information on donor relations; 
c) Ensuring, in cooperation with the Administrative Section and other relevant units that UN rules and procedures are duly respected; 
d) Providing technical support to programme managers, in particular Regional and Country offices in raising funds for OHCHR; 
e) Monitoring the use of contributions in order to provide accurate and relevant information to donors. Informing donors in writing or orally about implementation of ongoing projects and future planned needs in order to ensure maximum funding stability for OHCHR activities. Undertaking missions to the field offices in order to meet with the community of donors and coordinate fundraising activities with relevant staff members in the offices. 

Works on a portfolio of donors (governments and intergovernmental organizations, in particular the EC) to generate and encourage the highest level of contributions by: 
a) Negotiating contributions and funding arrangements with assigned donors governments and intergovernmental organizations: preparing funding submissions; coordinating the presentations of strategies and programmes to the donors with OHCHR Divisions/Branches and field offices as appropriate, including during annual consultations; 
b) Reviewing and following-up of funding agreements with all donors; 
c) Traveling to capitals to discuss with interlocutors in the relevant Ministries or Headquarters of partners. 

Contributes to the organizational effectiveness of OHCHR by: 
a) Representing the Chief of Section in relevant meetings, when requested; 
b) Participating in the planning and preparation of Section’s annual budget and work programme; 
c) Assists the Chief of Section in any of her/his tasks as required.


PROFESSIONALISM: Knowledge of external and donor relations including the donor community; knowledge of programme management; knowledge of international affairs and the UN system especially regarding Financial Rules and Regulations; knowledge of and exposure to human rights/humanitarian or development issues and international affairs. Knowledge of OHCHR's mandates and activities. Ability to identify issues, analyse and participate in the resolution of issues/problems. Capacity to analyse and assess as well as the skills to conduct independent research and analysis, including familiarity with and experience in the use of various research sources, including electronic sources on the Internet, intranet and other databases. Ability to apply judgment in the context of assignments given, plan own work and manage conflicting priorities. Outstanding drafting skills in English are essential. Shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of the 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.

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; share credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.

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 degree) in social science, political science, public administration, business administration and management, economics, international relations, or related fields. A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of five years of professional experience in the field of human rights, humanitarian or development work, out of which four years of experience in donor relations and resource mobilization, including partnership building, with governments and donors is required.
Experience in donor relations with the European Commission is desirable.
Experience in international affairs and working within the United Nations common system is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in English and knowledge of French are required. Knowledge of another UN official language is also desirable.


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which will be followed by competency-based interview.

Special Notice

Extension of the appointment is subject to extension of the mandate and/or 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 this position.

Pursuant to section 7.11 of ST/AI/2012/2/Rev.1, candidates recruited through the young professionals programme who have not served for a minimum of two years in the position of their initial assignment are not eligible to apply to this position.


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.

Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at 11:59 p.m. (New York time) on the deadline date.

Application instructions

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