Chief Of Branch, Programme, D1

UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction
  • Location
    Geneva, Switzerland
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
  • Posted
    Nov 21

Position description

Org. Setting and Reporting

Created in December 1999, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) is the designated focal point in the United Nations system for the coordination of efforts to reduce disasters and to ensure synergies among the disaster reduction activities of the United Nations and regional organizations and activities in both developed and less developed countries. Led by the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction (SRSG), UNDRR has over 120 staff located in its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, and in regional offices. Specifically, UNDRR guides, monitors, analyses and reports on progress in the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, supports regional and national implementation of the Framework and catalyzes action and increases global awareness to reduce disaster risk working with UN Member States and a broad range of partners and stakeholders, including civil society, the private sector, parliamentarians and the science and technology community.

This position manages the Intergovernmental Processes, Interagency Cooperation and Partnerships Branch, and reports to the UNDRR Director.


Within delegated authority, the incumbent will be responsible for the following duties:

  • Drafts the work programme of the Branch, determining priorities, and allocates resources for the completion of outputs and their timely delivery, for final review and approval by the Director. Leads, supervises and carries out the work programme of the Branch under his/her responsibility. Co-ordinates the work carried out by different work units under the Branch and by other agencies and bodies of the United Nations system; provides programmatic/substantive reviews of the drafts prepared by others. Ensures that the outputs produced by the Branch maintain high-quality standards; ensures those reports are clear, objective and based on comprehensive data. Ensures that all outputs produced by the Sections under his/her supervision meet required standards before completion to ensure they comply with the relevant mandates;
  • Reports to intergovernmental bodies on budget/programme performance or on programmatic/ substantive issues, as appropriate, particularly those presented in biannual and/or annual reports. Co-ordinates and oversees the preparation of reports for presentation to intergovernmental bodies such as the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budget Questions, Committee for Programme Coordination, Economic and Social Council, the General Assembly and other policy-making organs, as appropriate. Provides substantive backstopping and policy advice on disaster risk reduction issues to Member States in the context of negotiations of relevant resolutions of United Nations governance bodies, such as the General Assembly and ECOSOC. Drafts and coordinates the preparation of the Secretary General’s report on the implementation of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction and provides inputs to other relevant reports and documents;
  • Coordinates and monitors the implementation of the UN Plan of Action for Disaster Risk Reduction for Resilience, including coordination with the members of the UN system at global, regional and national levels to advance integration of disaster risk reduction in the strategic plans and programmes throughout the UN system. Ensures the integration of disaster risk reduction policies through cooperation with the UN resident coordinator system and UN country teams, in particular in relation to preparation and review of UNDAFs and other key planning instruments. Enhances coordination and collaboration among disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation (CCA) players;
  • Identifies opportunities for partnerships and coordination with and among key partners such as multilateral and bilateral donors, the European Commission, regional development banks and the World Bank to advance disaster risk reduction. Leads and fosters strategic engagement and partnerships with multiple stakeholders engaged in disaster risk reduction, such as parliamentarians, private sector, civil society and community organizations. Develops and implements a clear partnership engagement strategy, fosters synergies and coherence through working groups, networks, meetings and joint initiatives;
  • Leads and supervises the organization of meetings, seminars, etc. on substantive issues. Provides substantive inputs and co-ordinates the organization of meetings of the UN Senior Leaders Group, chaired by the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Disaster Risk Reduction, chairs the meetings and coordinates the work of the UN Focal Points for Disaster Risk Reduction to implement the UN Plan of Action and to monitor the progress in achieving the results outlined in the results framework;
  • Represents UNDRR in inter-governmental and inter-agency processes and meetings, provides substantive and programmatic advice as required and ensures that disaster risk reduction is reflected in the outcome of these processes. Participates in international, regional or national meetings and provides programmatic/substantive expertise on an issue or holds programmatic/substantive and organizational discussions with representatives of other institutions, as requested. Contributes to the overall management of UNDRR through participation in the Senior Leadership Team and to other internal committees, as requested;
  • Undertakes or oversees the programmatic/administrative tasks necessary for the functioning of the Branch, including preparation of budgets, reporting on budget/programme performance, evaluation of staff performance , interviews of candidates for job openings, evaluation of candidates and preparation of inputs for results-based budgeting. Recruits staff, taking due account of geographical and gender balance. Manages, guides, develops and trains staff under his/her supervision, including staff members in geographically dispersed locations. Fosters teamwork and communication among staff in the Branch and across organizational boundaries;
  • Actively contributes to mobilizing financial resources and in-kind resources from donors and partners to carry out the work programme of the Branch and of UNDRR.


  • Professionalism: Knowledge of the substantive field of work in general and of specific areas being supervised. Ability to produce reports and papers on technical issues and to review and edit the work of others. Ability to apply UN rules, regulations, policies and guidelines in work situations. 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. 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;
  • 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;
  • 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.

Managerial Competencies:

  • Vision: Identifies strategic issues, opportunities and risks. Clearly communicates links between the Organization’s strategy and the work unit’s goals. Generates and communicates broad and compelling organizational direction, inspiring others to pursue that same direction. Conveys enthusiasm about future possibilities;
  • 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.


  • An advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent degree) in Social Sciences, Natural and Environmental Sciences, International Relations, Government, Public Administration, Public Policy, Social Policy, Social Development, Community Development, Risk Management or other related disciplines is required. 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 fifteen (15) years of progressively responsible experience in international programme/project management, inter agency coordination, inter-governmental processes, and building strategic alliances and partnerships is required;
  • Experience related to disaster risk reduction is required;
  • Experience in supervising geographically dispersed teams in an international organization is desirable;
  • A minimum of seven (7) years of experience at the international level in the United Nations Common system or similar international organizations is desirable;
  • Experience in data analytics or a related area is desirable.


  • English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this position, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of French is desirable. Knowledge of another UN official language is desirable.

Application instructions

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