Regional Disaster Response Associate

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Panama

Skill Required:, HR and Admin
Preferred Experience: 
3 to 10 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
24th September, 2017

Job Description


This position is in the United Nations for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA) Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean (ROLAC). The Regional Disaster Response Associate reports to the Head of the Emergency Preparedness and Response (EPR) Unit.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Within delegated authority, the Regional Disaster Response Associate will be responsible for the following duties:
  • Support the Regional Disaster Response Advisor:
  • Collect and compile relevant information and guidelines for the preparation and drafting of reports, reviews, powerpoint presentations, matrixes and other documents.
  • Extract and select relevant documents for the preparation of training material, WebEx training, meetings and workshops.
  • Monitor on-going emergencies in the region and request updated information from focal points and partners.
  • Communicate guidelines on the use of OCHA tools and services to United Nations Resident Coordinators (UNCRCs) and focal points.
  • Brief the Head of the Emergency Preparedness and Response (EPR) Unit on specific on-going events in the region including updates on the latest disaster-related situations.
  • Support and follow-up financial requests i.e Financial Authorization (FA), Action Plans, Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) and Emergency Cash Grant (ECG) from disaster affected countries.

Ensure timely flow of information within ROLAC and HQs.

  • Liaise with OCHA staff, both at HQs and in the field Humanitarian Affairs Advisors (NDRA) and Redhum Representatives, as well as with focal points and communicate regularly for updates on humanitarian situation during times of natural disaster.
  • Performs other related duties as required by the Head of the EPR Unit or any other tasks necessary for the overall functioning of the office in compliance with ROLACs workplan objectives.
  • Support emergency operations by collecting information and providing up-to-date inputs to partners in LAC region.

Emergency Preparedness and Response Unit:

  • Compile and collect relevant data and guidelines for preparation and drafting of reports, powerpoint presentations, matrixes and other working documents/or extract and select documents for preparation training materials.
  • Organize and assist in the planning and coordination of regional seminars and workshops.
  • Liaise frequently with ROLAC staff members, both at Headquarters and in the field, and communicate regularly with OCHA field offices, NDRA, and focal points for updates on the humanitarian situations during times of natural disaster.
  • Collect regular and periodical reports and documentation from focal points and other partners.
  • Monitor that activities/tasks related to the EPR United are completed on time.
  • Provide support to meetings and events as required.
  • Performs other related duties as required by the Regional Disaster Response Advisers or any other tasks necessary for the overall functioning of the office in compliance with ROLACs workplan objectives.
  • Risk, Emergency and Disaster (REDLAC), Regional Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Taskforce for the Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) Region:
  • Convoke, organize, and arrange for regional inter-agency meetings (REDLAC) regular monthly and ad-hoc meetings.
  • Collect inputs and topics of interest in coordination with REDLAC members for preparation of agenda. Prepare agenda and disseminate vía e-mail prior to meetings.
  • Draft meeting minutes and disseminate to all members along with relevant documentation.
  • In coordination with the RDRA, provide follow-up of agreed actions and pending tasks.

Collect, compile and disseminate information related to disasters/emergencies in the region e.g. situation reports, maps for information sharing, electronic distribution and dissemination to regional UN and non-UN partners and provide follow-up actions whenever they are required.

Actively support REDLAC´s role in emergency situations: before, immediately after impact and during the emergency, in accordance with members agreed decisions.

Organize annual workplan meetings and contribute to the preparation and follow-up of the annual work plan activities.

Assist in the organization and development of products and activities.

Other EPR Unit Programme Support:

  • Translation and editing of documents. Draft presentations, reports, information bulletins and other necessary office reports, etc.
  • May be responsible for guiding, training and supervising the work of more junior General Service staff in various administrative capacities.
  • Monitor the maintenance electronic and physical files, particularly of disaster related events.
  • Perform other related duties as assigned.

Work implies frequent interaction with the following: Staff internal to OCHA ROLAC, officers and staff within OCHA, OCHA staff in the region, Redhum Representatives, consultants, government authorities, corporate partners, NGOs, donors, Regional UN agencies and other key international partner organizations.

Results expected: Works with minimum amount of supervision; independent provision of accurate reports and/or records in the areas of work programming, information management, and other programmatic functions. He/She is proactive in identification of needs and opportunities related to the goals of the disaster section and communicates in a professional, precise, and timely manner with OCHA staff and other partners.


  • Professionalism: Demonstrate professional competence and mastery of subject matter. Is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results. Show persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges. Remain calm in stressful situations.
  • Planning and Organizing: Develop clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies. Allocate appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work. Foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning. Uses time efficiently.
  • Commitment to continuous learning: Keep abreast of new developments in his/her own occupation and profession. Actively seeks to develop oneself professionally and personally. Contribute to the learning of colleagues and subordinates.
  • Technological Awareness: Keep abreast of available technology. Understand applicability and limitations of techology to the work of the office. Actively seeks to apply technology to appropiate tasks. Show willingness to learn new such decisions may not entirely reflect own position.

Required Skills and Experience

Education and Experience:

  • Candidates with high school diploma, a minimum of six years of progressively responsible experience in administration, human resources, programme support or related field is required.
  • Candidates with bachelor´s degree in social sciences, communication, international or political studies, administration or related fields, a minimum of three years of progressively responsible experience in administration, human resources, programme support or related fields is required.
  • Experience within the UN system, humanitarian or related organizations will be an asset. Language:
  • Fluency in oral and written English and Spanish is required; knowledge of additional official UN languages, in particular French or Portuguese, is desirable.

Other skills: Ability to work productively under pressure an cope with the tight and unforeseen deadlines typical of emergency operations is critical.


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