Humanitarian Affairs Specialist

United Nations Children's Fund

New York, United States of America

Experience: 5 to 10 Years

Skill Required: HR and Admin

As a member of the EMOPS Humanitarian Policy Section and the team focusing on complex and high-threat environments, provide support to UNICEF Field, Country, and Regional Offices, as well as relevant HQ divisions on navigating complex humanitarian policy issues in emergency settings, with the aim to establish, sustain and improve the quality of humanitarian assistance and protection to children in hard-to-reach areas, through a principled approach.

Support the Section:

  • Developing, planning, preparing for, and implementing strategies and initiatives to strengthen humanitarian leadership of key UNICEF staff to stay and deliver for children living in complex and high-threat environments.
  • Developing, planning, preparing for, and implementing initiatives to strengthen humanitarian access capacities across functional profiles in UNICEF.
  • Developing and disseminating operational policy and guidance on key humanitarian policy issues prevalent in complex and high threat environments (including humanitarian access, engagement with ANSAs, program criticality, civil-military coordination, and sanctions/counterterrorism), through: (1) capacity building; (2) knowledge management; (3) inter-agency coordination; and (4) project management.

Summary of Key Functions/Accountabilities:

Capacity building:

  • Develop, support, and deliver in-person and virtual training modules on humanitarian access and related humanitarian policy issues relevant to complex and high threat environments, with a view to disseminating UNICEF and inter-agency policy and guidance and enabling UNICEF staff and partners to apply and put these in practice on the ground, observing humanitarian principles, institutional decision-making processes, and the overall humanitarian normative framework.
  • Initiate inter-active, innovative approaches to advanced adult learning that assist staff and partners in “learning and applying.”
  • Support, substantively and practically, the Humanitarian Policy Section’s contribution to EMOPS ongoing and planned initiatives to strengthen humanitarian leadership of UNICEF staff working in complex and high threat environments.

Knowledge management: 

  • Assist EMOPS and the Humanitarian Policy Section with knowledge management initiatives in relation to current and emerging workstreams relevant to complex and high threat environments, including humanitarian access, humanitarian civil-military coordination, program criticality, engagement with ANSAs, and capacity building/humanitarian leadership.
  • In particular, maintain a repository of Program Criticality Assessments and their status; Access strategies and their status; ANSA engagement strategies and their status; regularly update, according to a systematic methodology, data on situations considered complex and high threat environments; and develop a compendium of good practices, templates, and tools relevant to humanitarian access and related humanitarian policy issues – for institutional memory and peer-to-peer sharing at country and global levels.

Inter-agency coordination:

  • Assist EMOPS and the Humanitarian Policy Section in its active participation in and contribution to UN and other humanitarian inter-agency coordination processes for the development and dissemination of shared policy and guidance relevant to principled humanitarian action and reaching persons in need in hard-to-reach areas, including for instance the Global Access Working Group, the UN-CMCOORD working group, the Civil-Military Advisory Group, the Program Criticality Steering Group, and the IASC Task Force on Humanitarian Space.-Help ensure adequate participation in these inter-agency initiatives – with a view to UNICEF being an active contributor, UNICEF’s views and positions being considered, and inter-agency policy and guidance being consulted within and shared with relevant UNICEF staff.

Project management: 

  • Assist EMOPS and the Humanitarian Policy Section in the conceptualization and implementation of in-depth analysis, policy, and guidance processes – including both internal to UNICEF and based on institutional partnerships – touching upon the various workstreams relevant to complex and high-threat environments.
  • This includes supporting the Humanitarian Policy Section’s consultancy projects on key questions around humanitarian policy and practice relevant to UNICEF, as well as partnership initiatives with UN and other humanitarian organizations on joint initiatives around analysis, capacity building, good practices, and guidance development.
  • Support the Humanitarian Policy Section in devising a way forward for information management in relation to the implementation of the UNICEF Guidelines on engagement with ANSAs.

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…

  • An advanced university degree (Master’s or higher) in International Relations, Political Science, Social Sciences, Humanities, Public Administration, International Law, Human Rights, or other relevant fields related to the work of UNICEF.
  • A minimum of 5 years of relevant professional experience at the international level in humanitarian affairs, of which at least 2 years relevant experience with a United Nations humanitarian agency. Previous experience with providing support to the field is required. Prior experience with UNICEF is an asset.
  • Demonstrated and progressive knowledge of the humanitarian normative framework and its application to humanitarian operations and complex humanitarian policy issues. Versed in the application of humanitarian principles, international humanitarian law, and children’s rights.
  • Strong understanding of the United Nations and humanitarian architecture. Familiar with United Nations inter-Governmental processes, and with United Nations inter-agency coordination platforms relevant to the promotion of principled humanitarian action.
  • Prior exposure to humanitarian policy areas such as humanitarian access; humanitarian civil-military coordination; engagement with State and non-State parties to the conflict; sanctions/counterterrorism and principled humanitarian action, program criticality, and similar topics, is a requirement.
  • Proven skills in technical competencies such as knowledge management; project management/support to consultancy projects; and development and implementation of advanced learning strategies and strategies for the dissemination of institutional policy and guidance.
  • Practical experience with innovative approaches to capacity building and training of staff and partners on humanitarian policy issues and their practical application on the ground, including from a development, delivery, and evaluation perspective.
  • Fluency in English required. Working-level knowledge of French is an advantage.