Humanitarian Affairs Officer

OCHA, Geneva, Switzerland

Skill Required:, Project/ Programme Management
Preferred Experience: 
5 years
Closing Date for Applications: 
7th July, 2020

Job Description

These two positions are located in the Coordination Division, Assessment, Planning & Monitoring Branch, Monitoring and Tools Section, Office for 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 the rights of people in need; promote preparedness and prevention and facilitate sustainable solutions.
The Humanitarian Affairs Officers report directly to the Financial Tracking Service (FTS) Manager.


Within delegated authority, the Humanitarian Affairs Officers will be responsible for the following duties:

  • Communicate with humanitarian organizations to obtain information on humanitarian funding and maintain regular reporting arrangements with Financial Tracking Service (FTS), directly and regularly contacting (by telephone or e-mail) OCHA field offices, NGOs, donors and UN agencies. This includes maintain/develop contacts with and obtain contribution information from regular reporting contacts and other humanitarian donors or recipients that do not regularly report to FTS (focusing on largest humanitarian NGOs); in close collaboration with OCHA Humanitarian Financing & Resource Mobilisation Division (HFRMD) support the FTS Manager to develop contacts with major contributors in the private sector to humanitarian action and reaching out to a broader array of UN Member States to obtain accurate funding updates to be posted on FTS; collaborate with managers ( at HQ or field offices if required) of OCHA-managed country specific pooled funds to accurately depict on FTS funding movements in and out of the pooled funds, and to support pooled fund grant management and visibility.
  • Provide FTS user support and training (by telephone, email or in person), including develop and update FTS helps tools; conduct training and presentations as needed, train OCHA field staff using FTS for humanitarian programme cycle management.
  • Contribute to the production of humanitarian response plans (HRPs)/appeals and flash appeals. This includes obtaining contribution information relating to HRPs and FAs; establishing/maintaining reporting relationships with relevant stakeholders, overseeing financial aspects of new appeal document publication and related follow up; deploying to the field to support appeal development or upstream training.
  • Contribute as needed to technical development of FTS database and website, including usability testing of new features and reviewing/analyzing users feedback that can feed into the site future development.
  • Prepare and review financial analyses and reports, including narrative analysis and financial tables.
  • Monitors, analyzes and reports on humanitarian developments, disaster relief/management or emergency situations in assigned country/area.
  • 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.
  • Participates in large, complex projects, to include disaster assessment or other missions; 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 situation reports to the international community, apprising of situation to date and specifying unmet requirements of stricken countries.
  • 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.
  • Manages the production of appeals for international assistance; ensures the proper use and spending of donor contributions channeled through OCHA.
  • Assists in the production of appeals for international assistance; ensures the proper use and spending of donor contributions channeled through OCHA.
  • 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 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.
  • Performs other duties as required.



Sound knowledge of and exposure to a range of humanitarian assistance issues. In-depth knowledge of humanitarian financial tracking and of the interagency appeal system; proficiency in mathematical or statistical analysis and in data base operation and development; proven conceptual, strategic, analytical, advocacy and communication capacity; ability to identify issues and use sound 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. 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. 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.


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.
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.

Client Orientation:

Considers all those to whom services are provided to be “clients” and seeks to see things from clients’ point of view; establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect; identifies clients’ needs and matches them to appropriate solutions; monitors ongoing developments inside and outside the clients’ environment to keep informed and anticipate problems; keeps clients informed of progress or setbacks in projects; meets timeline for delivery of products or services to client.


Advanced university degree (Master's degree or equivalent) in political science, social science, international studies, public administration, economics, engineering, earth sciences or a related field. A first-level university degree in combination with an additional two years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of five (5) years of progressively responsible experience in humanitarian affairs, emergency preparedness, crisis/emergency relief management, rehabilitation, development, or other related area is required.
Three years (3) of recent field experience in development or humanitarian context is desirable.
A minimum of two (2) years of experience with humanitarian financial tracking or pooled fund mechanisms, humanitarian response plans, and humanitarian appeals within UN Common System or International Organizations or donor agency is desirable
A minimum of one (1) year of experience in database development and management is desirable.


French and English are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of French is desirable.


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