Org. Setting and Reporting
This position is located in the Office of the Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs (OASG) and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator (ASG/DERC) in the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in New York. 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 effort. 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.
The incumbent reports to the Programme Adviser in OASG.
Within delegated authority, the Humanitarian Affairs Officer/Special Assistant will be responsible for the following duties:
• Assists the ASG/DERC in all activities related to OCHA, including coordination, advocacy, information management, humanitarian finance and policy development.
• Assists the Programme Adviser in the day-to-day management and mission planning of the front office and the ASG/DERC, including of correspondence flow, daily scheduling, drafting of correspondence, and ensuring the timeliness, substance and quality of documents for clearance by the ASG/DERC. Assists in the preparation of communication material for the ASG/DERC, including press briefings and statements to the Security Council.
• Participates in large, complex organizational and inter-agency projects, participates in mission planning, and accompanies the ASG/DERC when appropriate. Supports the timely preparation of, and quality review of, mission files, briefing books and background documents by the relevant branches and units.
• Monitors, analyzes and reports on humanitarian developments, disaster relief/management or emergency situations in assigned country/area or other substantive portfolios.
• Organizes and prepares studies on humanitarian, emergency relief and related issues; organizes follow-up work, including interagency technical review meetings to support policy development work and decision-making on important issues.
• Partners with other humanitarian agencies to plan and evaluate humanitarian and emergency assistance programmes and help ensure that latest findings, lessons learned, policy guidelines, etc. are incorporated into these activities, including gender-related considerations.
• Supports the production of appeals for international assistance; ensures the proper use and spending of donor contributions channeled through OCHA.
• Organizes and prepares briefs on humanitarian, emergency relief and related issues; organizes follow-up work and supports decision-making on important issues, including gender-related considerations.
• Assists in the coordination of international humanitarian/emergency assistance for complex emergency/disaster situations and in ensuring the necessary support (e.g. staff, funding, specialized equipment, supplies, etc.); drafts analysis and short situation reports to the ASG/DERC, apprising him/her of situations to date and specifying unmet requirements of stricken countries.
• Establishes and maintains contacts with government officials, other UN agencies, non-governmental organizations, diplomatic missions, media, etc.
• Undertakes and provides support to technical assistance and other field missions, e.g. participates in field trips with ASG/DERC to undertake in-depth reviews of specific country coordination mechanisms.
• Prepares or contributes to the preparation of various written reports, documents and communications, e.g. drafts sections of studies, background papers, policy guidelines, parliamentary documents, briefings, case studies, presentations, correspondence, etc.
• Serves as the primary focal point on specific topics or policy-related issues; keeps abreast of latest developments, liaises with other humanitarian organizations, donors, etc., ensures appropriate monitoring and reporting mechanisms; provides information and advice on a range of related issues.
• Reviews and provides advice on policy issues related to safeguarding humanitarian principles and ensuring the effective delivery of humanitarian assistance.
• Organizes and participates in work groups, meetings, conferences, consultations with other agencies and partners on humanitarian and emergency relief-related matters. Provides guidance to, and may supervise, new/junior staff, particularly in the front office and to other special assistants within OCHA.
• Performs other duties as required.
• Professionalism: Knowledge of a range of humanitarian assistance, emergency relief and related human rights issues, including approaches and techniques to address difficult problems. Analytical capacity and in particular the ability to analyze and articulate the humanitarian dimension of issues which require a coordinated UN response. Ability to identify issues and judgment in applying technical expertise to resolve a wide range of problems. Ability to conduct research, including ability to evaluate and integrate information from a variety of sources and assess impact on the humanitarian rights situation in assigned country/area. Ability to work under extreme pressure, on occasion in a highly stressful environment (e.g. civil strife, natural disasters and human misery); ability to provide guidance to new/junior staff. Ability to write, communicate and analyze in an excellent manner. 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.
• 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; shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.
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 five years of progressively responsible experience in humanitarian affairs, emergency preparedness, crisis/emergency relief management, rehabilitation, development, or other related area is required.
Relevant experience in drafting and editing official reports and correspondence is required.
At least two years within the last five years of international field experience within the context of humanitarian or development affairs is desirable.
Relevant experience working in a senior UN (or comparable organization) official’s front office is desirable.
Experience in the United Nations Common System or another similar International Organization is desirable.
Experience with a large field-based humanitarian operation, a United Nations special political or peacekeeping mission is desirable.
English and French are the working languages of the UN Secretariat. Fluency in English (both oral and written) is required. Fluency in another UN official language is desirable.
Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by competency-based interview.
This position is funded for a finite period of one year. Extension of the appointment is subject to extension of the mandate and 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.
An impeccable record for integrity and professional ethical standards is essential.
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.