Org. Setting and Reporting
This position is located in the Operations and Advocacy Division, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which 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 the rights of people in need; promote preparedness and prevention and facilitate sustainable solutions.
This position is located in the Operations and Advocacy Division (OAD) of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The Senior Humanitarian Affairs Officer/Chief of Section reports to the Director of the Division.
Within delegated authority, the Senior Humanitarian Affairs Officer/Chief of Section will be responsible for the following duties:
- Provides authoritative technical and policy advice to senior management in OCHA 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/ensures implementation of coherent humanitarian/disaster response strategies and procedures;
- Conceptualizes, formulates and manages major projects; leads and directs a multi-agency team in carrying out disaster assessment or other missions; initiates, mobilizes and coordinates international humanitarian/emergency assistance for exceptionally complex situations or major disasters; 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;
- Manages the production of appeals for international assistance; ensures the proper use and spending of donor contributions channeled through OCHA;
- 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;
- Support annual strategic results-planning, budgeting and monitoring for operations, including developing, monitoring and reporting on the OAD annual work plan and advising on the life-cycle of operations; contribute to annual corporate planning and budgeting relating to operations, including supporting hearings before relevant oversight bodies; and provide inputs on operations for annual reports and ad-hoc reports, back-ground notes and other material for donors;
- Support and facilitate audits and evaluations of operations by relevant oversight bodies, in consultation with EO and other parts of OCHA; review audit and evaluation reports, and contribute to the development of management responses; and ensure effective implementation of all relevant recommendations in a timely manner;
- Serve as focal point on cross-divisional issues; ensure effective information-sharing and collaboration within the division and with other parts of OCHA; ensure timely response to division-wide inquiries and taskings; and perform other functions as required.
- 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. Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work;
- Planning& 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.
- 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 improvements; 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 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;
- A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of 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;
- Humanitarian experience in the field (actual setting where a mission or project is being implemented) in emergency situations (complex emergency or natural disaster) is required;
- A minimum of four (4) years of relevant field experience in the last 10 years is desirable;
- Management experience at a senior level is desirable;
- Experience in the UN Common System or any comparable international organization is desirable;
- Experience of supporting strategic planning and budgeting is desirable;
- Experience of supporting and following up on audits and evaluations 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.
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