This position is located in the Humanitarian Financing Strategy and Analysis Unit, 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 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 Officer reports to the Head of the Humanitarian Financing Strategy and Analysis (HFSA) unit, and under the overall guidance of the Director of the Humanitarian Financing and Resource Mobilization Division (HFRMD).
Within delegated authority, the Humanitarian Affairs Officer will be responsible for the following duties:
- Provides advice on policy direction on specific issues; and, more generally, reviews and provides recommendation on a diverse range of policy issues related to safeguarding humanitarian principles and ensuring the effective delivery of humanitarian assistance, including anticipatory approaches, socio-economic analysis and humanitarian financing.
- Prepares policy position papers for review.
- Assists in the production of appeals for international assistance; ensures the proper use and spending of donor contributions channeled through OCHA.
- Initiates and coordinates activities related to technical cooperation and technical assistance projects in disaster response and disaster response preparedness; formulates project proposals and relevant project documents; provides technical support to field work; reviews and clears project reports for submission to governments.
- Analyzes and assists in introducing new technologies for disaster warning/management and anticipatory approaches.
- Organizes and prepares studies on humanitarian, emergency relief, socio-economic and related issues; organizes follows-up work, including interagency technical review meetings to support policy development work and decision-making on important issues; and ensures the implementation of recommendations emanating from relevant studies.
- Assists or leads, as appropriate, in the preparation of OCHA reports, studies, background papers, policy guidelines, correspondence, presentations, background papers, policy guidelines, parliamentary documents, etc.; with respect to the latter, takes the lead in providing support and information to relevant councils or other entities on specific issues.
- Partners with other humanitarian agencies to plan and evaluate complex humanitarian and emergency assistance programmes; helps ensure that latest findings, lessons learned, policy guidelines, etc. are incorporated into these activities, including gender-related considerations. In particular, aggregates, analyzes and disseminates best practices and innovations in humanitarian financing, strengthening the evidence base and collective understanding of the scope and scalability of early action and anticipatory approaches in humanitarian response.
- Establishes and maintains contacts with government officials, other UN agencies, non-governmental organizations, diplomatic missions, media, international financing institutions, academia, and private sector, etc.; ensures appropriate mechanisms to facilitate collaboration and exchange of information both in and outside the UN system, including on early warning and contingency planning, linked with the use of innovative financing and the application of anticipatory approaches to crisis response.
- 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 policy advice and technical support to OCHA and partners with the design and application of humanitarian financing pilots and experiments and supports the quantitative and qualitative analysis and definition of strategies aiming at closing the financing gap for humanitarian response; provides information and advice on a range of related issues.
- Organizes and participates in work groups, meetings, conferences, consultations with other agencies and partners on humanitarian and emergency relief-related matters, and supports organizational outreach, engagement, and facilitation of policy platforms, knowledge networks, and communities of practice in the humanitarian financing space.
- May participate in planning and preparation of unit budget and work program.
- Provides leadership and work direction to assigned work team, and/or mentors and supervises the work of new/junior officers.
- Performs other duties as required.
- Knowledge of wide range of humanitarian assistance, emergency relief and related human rights issues. Conceptual and strategic analytical capacity, to include ability to analyze and articulate the humanitarian dimension of complex issues that require a coordinated UN response. Demonstrated problem-solving skills and judgment in applying technical expertise to resolve a wide range of complex issues/problems. Knowledge of region or country of assignment, including the political, economic and social dimensions. Ability to negotiate and to influence others to reach agreement. 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 pertaining to humanitarian affairs and knowledge of the institutions of the UN system. Demonstrated ability to complete in-depth studies and to formulate conclusions/recommendations. Ability to relate humanitarian affairs issues and perspectives, including gender issues, to political, economic, social and human rights programmes in affected country/region. 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.
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. 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.
Experience in humanitarian financing, socio-economic analysis, statistics or social affairs is highly desirable.
Experience in anticipatory humanitarian action is desirable.
English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in English is required. Fluency in another UN official language is desirable.