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Job Title:
Department/ Office:
Duty Station: NEW YORK
Posting Period:
28 March 2011-27 May 2011
Job Opening number:
11-HRA-ocha-18718-R-NEW YORK
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity

The position is located in the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in New York. The incumbent reports to the Section Chief of the Asia-Pacific Section.


The incumbent of the post acts as Desk Officer for a particular region/set of countries. Under the overall supervision of the Chief of the Asia-Pacific Section, he/she is responsible for the following duties: - Collect and analyze information on current and potential complex emergencies in order to advise the Under-Secretary-General/Emergency Relief Coordinator (ERC) on measures required to mitigate existing or impending humanitarian crises in their assigned region/countries; - Advise the ERC and senior management on policy issues relating to the effective provision of humanitarian assistance and the interface of humanitarian, political and peacekeeping activities of the United Nations; - Support UN Resident/Humanitarian Coordinators (Humanitarian Coordinators) in establishing appropriate coordination mechanisms, facilitating allocation of responsibilities among agencies, analysing the humanitarian situation and development of humanitarian strategies. -Undertake field missions as required including deploying on short notice to serve as part of OCHA surge capacity for emerging and intensifying crisis; - Represent the Section in inter-agency needs assessment missions, task forces and meetings, including at the senior level; - Liaise, consult, and exchange information with the other Secretariat departments, to ensure the necessary synergy between the work of OCHA and these departments; with United Nations agencies, NGOs headquartered in North America, other operational agencies, donor governments and Member States. – Liaise, build relationships and strengthen partnerships with a broad range of humanitarian actors and stakeholders including the Permanent Missions of Member States. –Support OCHA field offices in facilitating good humanitarian coordination including the four pillars of humanitarian reform, working closely with relevant OCHA sections and branches. -Assist in the organization of appeal launches and brief coordinating mechanisms such as Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC), InterAction , Executive Committee on Humanitarian Affairs (ECHA) and Executive Committee on Peace and Security (ECPS); - Prepare and review briefs, reports and oral statements on emergency situations and natural disasters for the Security Council, General Assembly, Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and other inter-governmental bodies, as well as the IASC, and other coordinating bodies. Draft notes, briefing and talking points for OCHA senior management. - Communicate the humanitarian concerns of the Humanitarian Coordinators and the United Nations operational agencies to the Secretariat departments, the Office of the Secretary-General and political organs of the United Nations; develop positions and strategies for humanitarian advocacy related to specific disaster and emergency situations; respond to queries from individuals and organizations concerning the work of OCHA and the United Nations. - Assist the Chief of Section in undertaking activities of a managerial nature (preparation of work plans, development of staff training plans, Performance Appraisal System etc.) and carry out tasks delegated to him/her (including being Officer-in-Charge of the Section) at the request of the Chief of Section.


- Comprehensive knowledge of, and exposure to, a wide range of humanitarian experiences, emergency relief and related human rights issues;
- Conceptual and strategic analytical capacity, to include ability to analyze and articulate the humanitarian dimension of issues which require a coordinated response;
- Demonstrated problem-solving skills and strong research skills;
- Very good knowledge of region or country of assignment, including the political, economic and social dimensions;
- Ability to work under pressure; very good knowledge of institutional mandates, policies and guidelines pertaining to humanitarian affairs.
- Demonstrated ability to synthetize information and formulate clear recommendations and action points; and understanding of the roles of, and first hand experience from working with, different humanitarian organizations, including non-UN humanitarian organizations.
- Knowledge of institutional mandates, policies and guidelines pertaining to humanitarian principles and humanitarian law; Sound knowledge of the institutions of the UN system.

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

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.

Serves as a role model that other people want to follow: empowers others to translate vision into results; is proactive in developing strategies to accomplish objectives; establishes and maintains relationships with a broad range of people to understand needs and gain support; anticipates and resolves conflicts by pursuing mutually agreeable solutions; drives for change and improvements; does not accept the status quo; shows the courage to take unpopular stands. Provides leadership and takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work; demonstrates knowledge of strategies and commitment to the goal of gender balance in staffing.

Judgement/ Decision-making:
-Identifies the key issues in a complex situation, and comes to the heart of the problem quickly
-Gathers relevant information before making a decision
-Considers positive and negative impacts of decisions prior to making them
-Takes decisions with an eye to the impact on others and on the Organization
-Proposes a course of action or makes a recommendation based on all available information
-Checks assumptions against facts
-Determines that the actions proposed will satisfy the expressed and underlying needs for the decision
-Makes tough decisions when necessary


Education Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in international relations, public administration, development, law, social science or related field. A first level university with a relevant combination of academic qualifications and experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of seven years of progressively responsible professional experience in humanitarian affairs, emergency preparedness or crisis/emergency relief management, gained with the United Nations humanitarian system, preferably with OCHA, and/or the humanitarian community. Experience in the field is required. Experience with humanitarian reform including the cluster approach is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post advertised, excellent English (both written and spoken) is required. Knowledge of a second official UN language is highly desirable.

United Nations Considerations

The United Nations shall place 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. (Charter of the United Nations - Chapter 3, article 8). The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.

Assessment Method

A competency-based interview and/or other form of assessment will be used to evaluate applicants.

Special Notice

- 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.

No Fee


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