Org. Setting and Reporting
This position is located in the Operations and Advocacy Division, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which 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 for the rights of people in need; promote preparedness and prevention and facilitate sustainable solutions.
This job opening is being published for the position of Senior Humanitarian Affairs Officer/Head of the Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean (ROLAC) for OCHA in Panama City, Panama. The incumbent reports to the OCHA Director of the Operations and Advocacy Division (OAD).
Operating within the limits of delegated authority, and under the overall leadership of the OCHA Director of OAD and supporting UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinators (RC/HC) in the region, the Senior Humanitarian Affairs Officer/Head of Regional Office will discharge and be responsible for the following functions:
• Serve as senior policy advisor to the agencies in the UN system, Member State officials, and international and regional organizations on safeguarding the humanitarian principles, and initiatives to facilitate effective delivery of humanitarian assistance and protection;
• Develop and maintain contacts with the international community in order to raise awareness and advocate for issues of humanitarian concerns;
• Act to strengthen cooperation across humanitarian organizations on policy issues of interagency concern and serve as a key interlocutor with relevant Government partners;
• Advise, promote and provide guidance to the UN RCs/HCs, the UNCTs and the HCTs in the region on humanitarian affairs including cluster coordination, humanitarian financing, civil military coordination, humanitarian access, etc.
HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE / COORDINATION
• Provide strategic support to the UN RCs/HCs in the region in the preparation, implementation and monitoring of a coherent and comprehensive humanitarian needs overview and work plan for broader humanitarian responses (often expressed through an HNO/HRP), soliciting and negotiating inputs with relevant authorities, UN agencies, NGOs, etc.;
• Ensure that Regional Office staff are deployed for physical surge in support of operations in the region (as well as globally). All Regional Office staff are expected to be available to surge approximately two thirds of the time. Ensure also that there is strong coordination with RCs/HCs in the region to meet their surge requirements, utilizing all available mechanisms, such as UNDAC and INSARAG.
• Consult on a regular basis with the HCs, Heads of UN Agencies, Funds and Programmes (AFPs), NGOs, heads of mission, the government and the donor community in the region on all appropriate aspects of the implementation and delivery of humanitarian activities, to ensure that coordination structures at local, provincial and national levels operate in a coherent and cost effective manner, including supporting coordination reviews as appropriate;
• Support the planning, monitoring, and evaluation of humanitarian programs, facilitating incorporation of lessons learned, policy guidelines etc. into humanitarian response activities;
• Promote best practices in humanitarian planning, response and evaluation;
• Facilitate inter-agency resource mobilization in support of response efforts, including through humanitarian pooled funds, the UNCERF and other relevant mechanisms for ongoing as well as new and /or emerging emergencies;
• Develop, reinforce and maintain effective coordination mechanisms with the humanitarian county teams, UN country teams, and other key humanitarian stakeholders;
• Establish/manage information management systems to effectively map areas of humanitarian needs and response activities in support of coordination and response efforts, including support for cross coordination analysis to inform effective decision-making;
• Foster and reinforce linkages between field monitoring, information management, coordination efforts, operations and decision-making;
• Facilitate implementation of relevant IASC and UN commitments across the collective humanitarian response and within the OCHA operation on PSEA, GBV and Accountability to Affected People;
• Ensure timely and appropriate assistance to the UN RCs/HCs and (if applicable) the United Nations Disaster Management Teams (UNDMT) in response to disasters and emergencies;
• Support inter-agency efforts to build in-country UN, government and civil society capacity to manage natural disaster response;
• Provide substantive support and leadership to government institutions and local humanitarian entities to build national capacity for emergency and/or disaster management;
• Promote dialogue, regional alliances, sharing of knowledge and resources, among national and, as appropriate, regional humanitarian actors in disaster risk reduction, disaster/emergency preparedness and response;
• Promote and lead contingency planning processes in close cooperation with relevant entities;
• Develop joint initiatives on disaster management with other UN and (if applicable) regional actors, including early warning mechanisms;
• If applicable, and under the overall guidance of the Director of the OAD and in partnership with other branches of OCHA, work to reinforce regional networks and mechanisms for swift, effective response to emerging humanitarian situations.
OFFICE MANAGEMENT I OCHA REPRESENTATION
• Serve as the OCHA Head of Regional Office in the designated duty station, providing oversight of all programmatic/administrative tasks necessary for the efficient functioning of the OCHA office and any sub-offices, and being accountable for the use of resources and for the results obtained;
• Manage and support OCHA staff to ensure that all staff members are providing the necessary physical surge support to the field, noting that a key role of the regional office is to provide the first line of support to the field operations;
• Recruit staff, taking due account of gender and geographical balance.
• Represent the Office at international, regional (where delegated to do so) or national meetings, and lead and supervise the organization of meetings, seminars, etc. on substantive issues. Manage the substantive preparation and organization of such meetings or seminars.
• Ensure regular and effective supervision of OCHA staff, particularly by leading, managing, developing, and training staff; foster teamwork and communication among staff; and strengthen linkages between the staff in field, regional and headquarters offices;
• Promote OCHA’s mandate, objectives and tools in the designated area through contacts with the government, diplomatic missions, UN entities, non-governmental organizations and the media;
• Lead, formulate, supervise and carry out the work planning and budgeting process, support resource mobilization and ensure sound financial management;
• Ensure the office produces timely, high-quality outputs including comprehensive work plans, concise and factual situation reports, analytical papers, comprehensive and fact-based information products; ensures that all outputs produced by the units under his/her supervision meet required standards before completion to ensure they comply with the relevant mandates;
• Coordinate the work carried out by different work units under the office and by other agencies and bodies of the United Nations system and the humanitarian community, NGOs, the government and the donor community on all appropriate aspects of the implementation and delivery of humanitarian activities, to ensure that that coordination structures at local, provincial and national levels operate in a coherent and cost-effective manner;
• Undertake or oversee the programmatic/administrative tasks necessary for the functioning of the office, including preparation of budgets, reporting on budget/programme performance, evaluation of staff performance, interviews of candidates for job openings, evaluation of candidates and preparation of inputs for results-based budgeting.
• Ensure all staff have completed all mandatory trainings and certificates, and maintain a culture within the office.
• Perform other duties as requested by the UN RCs/HCs in the region, and Director of OAD.
• PROFESSIONALISM: Knowledge of full range of humanitarian and emergency relief assistance and related humanitarian issues. Ability to advise senior management and other senior officials on approaches and techniques to address highly complex/sensitive issues. Demonstrated capacity for intellectual leadership. Conceptual and strategic analytical capacity and ability to thoroughly analyze and evaluate critical matters pertaining to a broad spectrum of humanitarian and emergency relief issues/problems. Demonstrated capacity for original and creative thinking, independent judgment and discretion in advising on and handling major policy, project and other issues/problems. Ability to negotiate and ability to influence others to reach agreement on difficult issues. 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 related to humanitarian affairs and seasoned knowledge of the institutions of the UN system. 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.
• PLANNING AND 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.
• ACCOUNTABILITY: Takes ownership of all responsibilities and honours commitments; delivers outputs for which one has responsibility within prescribed time, cost and quality standards; operates in compliance with organizational regulations and rules; supports subordinates, provides oversight and takes responsibility for delegated assignments; takes personal responsibility for his/her own shortcomings and those of the work unit, where applicable.
• LEADERSHIP: 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 the actions proposed will satisfy the expressed and underlying needs for the decision; makes tough decisions when necessary.
Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent degree) in political science, social science, public administration, international studies, economics, engineering, earth sciences or a related field is required. A first-level university degree in combination with qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
- A minimum of ten (10) years of progressively responsible experience in humanitarian affairs, emergency preparedness, crisis/emergency relief management, rehabilitation, development, or other related area is required.
- A minimum of five (5) years of relevant experience at the international level is required.
- A minimum of two (2) years of humanitarian experience in an emergency field setting (where a mission and/or project is being implemented in a setting impacted by a complex emergency or natural disaster) is required.
- Experience leading and coordinating humanitarian relief operations in complex emergency or natural disaster situation is desirable.
- Experience at the management level is desirable.
- Experience in a humanitarian context within the UN Common System or other international organization is desirable.
- Experience in a humanitarian context in Latin America and the Caribbean is desirable.
English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in English and Spanish is required. Knowledge of another UN official language is an advantage.
Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by competency-based interview.
Appointment against this position is for an initial period of one year. Extension of the appointment is subject to extension of the mandate and/or the availability of the funds.
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.
Staff members of the United Nations Secretariat must fulfil the lateral move requirements to be eligible to apply for this vacancy. Staff members are requested to indicate all qualifying lateral moves in their Personal History Profile (PHP) and cover note.
Please note that due to the ongoing situation with COVID-19 and the travel restrictions imposed by national authorities, selected candidate may be required to start the assignment/appointment remotely, in agreement with the hiring manager, and until further notice.
The United Nations Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance and geographical diversity in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.
An impeccable record for integrity and professional ethical standards is essential.
At the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the recruitment and employment of staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity, with due regard to geographic diversity. All employment decisions are made on the basis of qualifications and organizational needs. The United Nations is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment of mutual respect. The United Nations recruits and employs staff regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, race, religious, cultural and ethnic backgrounds or disabilities. Reasonable accommodation for applicants with disabilities may be provided to support participation in the recruitment process when requested and indicated in the application.
United Nations Considerations
According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. Candidates will not be considered for employment with the United Nations if they have committed violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law, sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, or sexual harassment, or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have been involved in the commission of any of these acts. The term “sexual exploitation” means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. The term “sexual abuse” means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions. The term “sexual harassment” means any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offence or humiliation, when such conduct interferes with work, is made a condition of employment or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, and when the gravity of the conduct warrants the termination of the perpetrator’s working relationship. Candidates who have committed crimes other than minor traffic offences may not be considered for employment.
Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. The United Nations places 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. The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.
The paramount consideration in the appointment, transfer, or promotion of staff shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. By accepting an offer of appointment, United Nations staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and assignment by him or her to any activities or offices of the United Nations in accordance with staff regulation 1.2 (c). In this context, all internationally recruited staff members shall be required to move periodically to discharge new functions within or across duty stations under conditions established by the Secretary-General.
Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the Manual for the Applicant, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.
The evaluation of applicants will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations including the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of the General Assembly, the Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications according to the instructions provided in inspira to be considered for the current job opening. No amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to reference checks to verify the information provided in the application.
Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at 11:59 p.m. (New York time) on the deadline date.
THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CHARGE A FEE AT ANY STAGE OF THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS (APPLICATION, INTERVIEW MEETING, PROCESSING, OR TRAINING). THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CONCERN ITSELF WITH INFORMATION ON APPLICANTS’ BANK ACCOUNTS.
How to apply
Apply here https://careers.un.org/lbw/jobdetail.aspx?id=155193