HUMANITARIAN AFFAIRS OFFICER (WORLD HUMANITARIAN SUMMIT SECRETARIAT)

Location : New York, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Application Deadline :01-Dec-13
Additional CategoryDemocratic Governance
Type of Contract :FTA International
Post Level :P-3
Languages Required :
English   French  

Background

Organizational Setting and Reporting Relationships:

The position of ‘P3, Humanitarian Affairs Officer – World Humanitarian Summit’ will be located in the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) Secretariat of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The Humanitarian Affairs Officer will report to the Chief of the World Humanitarian Summit Secretariat.

Background on the WHS:

The landscape of humanitarian action has changed since 1991, when a landmark resolution of the United Nations General Assembly established the international humanitarian response system as it is known today. Growth in the scope and diversity of humanitarian needs, and a more complex operating environment, have created new risks. There are also new opportunities: a wider range of actors and inter-operating networks are involved, and innovations improve service delivery in each response. This is why preparations are under way for the first World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) in 2015. The United Nations Secretary-General has requested that the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) organize the summit, to help a changing humanitarian community work together better to serve people in need. It is a unique opportunity to take stock and adapt. The summit will be the highlight in a process of change that begins now, but lasts well beyond the event itself. It will set the agenda for work beyond 2015 to make humanitarian action more inclusive, global and effective – and overall, fit for the future.

The Summit will focus on a few core themes to set the agenda. Four broad categories have emerged from recent policy discussions.

These are:

  • 1) Aid effectiveness;
  • 2) How to better serve people in conflict;
  • 3) Reducing vulnerability and managing risk;and
  • 4) Innovation.

For more information on the background to the Summit (Location, Timing, Themes, Consultation Process etc.), please visit: www.worldhumanitariansummit.org. Please find also the document WHS at a Glance attached to the Terms of Reference as an integral part of them.

Duties and Responsibilities

Responsibilities:

Within delegated authority, the Associate Humanitarian Affairs Officer will be responsible for the following duties: 

  • Monitors, analyzes and reports on WHS related developments;
  • Organizes and prepares studies on topics related to the themes of the WHS and related issues; organizes follow-up work, including preparations for meetings to support the conceptual and organizational development work and decision-making on important WHS issues;
  • Supports the Chair of the WHS Steering Group in organizing the WHS Steering Group meetings, preparing background documentation, taking notes and minutes of these meetings;
  • Maintains an updated contact database of ley members in the various consultative processes (Task Teams, high-level Champions Group, WHS Steering Group and partners);
  • Establishes and maintains contacts with government officials, other UN agencies, non-governmental organizations, diplomatic missions, media on the topic of the WHS;
  • Undertakes and provides support to missions of the Chair of the WHS Steering Group, and might participate in these travels;   
  • Prepares or contributes to the preparation of various written reports, documents and communications, e.g. drafts sections of studies, background papers, briefings, case studies, presentations, correspondence related to the WHS;
  • Keeps abreast of latest WHS developments, liaises with other humanitarian organizations, donors, etc.; provides information and advice on a range of WHS related issues;
  • Organizes and participates in work groups, meetings, conferences, consultations with other agencies and partners on WHS related matters;
  • Provides guidance to, and may supervise, new/junior staff;
  • Performs other duties as required.

Work implies frequent interaction with the following:

  • Staff at all levels within OCHA both in New York and Geneva;
  • Humanitarian Coordinators and their staff in the field;
  • Representatives of other UN humanitarian agencies and other member organizations in the Inter-Agency Standing Committee;
  • UN Resident Coordinators in disaster-prone developing countries;
  • UN Mission and Member State personnel with responsibility for humanitarian issues, and non-governmental organization representatives and the academic community.

Results Expected:

Provides sound analytical inputs and advice on how to guarantee a successful, inclusive agenda setting process leading up to the World Humanitarian Summit that will contribute to more create a more inclusive, effective and interoperable humanitarian system. Takes action to identify WHS-related issues/problems and develops creative approaches to problem resolution. Provides timely delivery of assigned outputs. Develops partnerships and interacts effectively with colleagues internally and externally.

Competencies


Core Competencies:
  • Demonstrating/safeguarding ethics and integrity;
  • Demonstrate corporate knowledge and sound judgment;
  • Self-development, initiative-taking;
  • Acting as a team player and facilitating work;
  • Managing conflict;
  • Learning and sharing knowledge and encourage the learning of others;
  • Informed and transparent decision making. 
Functional Competencies:
Professionalism:
  • Knowledge of a range of humanitarian assistance, emergency relief and related human rights issues, including approaches and techniques to address difficult problems;
  • Analytical capacity and in particular the ability to analyze and articulate the humanitarian dimension of issues which require a coordinated UN response;
  • Ability to identify issues and judgment in applying technical expertise to resolve a wide range of problems.
  • Ability to conduct research, including ability to evaluate and integrate information from a variety of sources and assess impact on the humanitarian rights situation in assigned country/area;
  • Ability to work under extreme pressure, on occasion in a highly stressful environment (e.g. civil strife, natural disasters and human misery); ability to provide guidance to new/junior staff;
  • 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.

Communication:

  • 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.
Teamwork:
  • 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.

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.
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.
Creativity:
  • Actively seeks to improve programmes or services;
  • Offers new and different options to solve problems or meet client needs;
  • Promotes and persuades others to consider new ideas;
  • Takes calculated risks on new and unusual ideas;
  • Thinks “outside the box;
  • Takes an interest in new ideas and new ways of doing things;
  • Is not bound by current thinking or traditional approaches.

Client Orientation:

  • Considers all those to whom services are provided to be “clients” and seeks to see things from clients’ point of view; Establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect;
  • Identifies clients’ needs and matches them to appropriate solutions;
  • Monitors ongoing developments inside and outside the clients’ environment to keep informed and anticipate problems; Keeps clients informed of progress or setbacks in projects;
  • Meets timeline for delivery of products or services to client.

Commitment to Continuous Learning:

  • Keeps abreast of new developments in own occupation/profession;
  • Actively seeks to develop oneself professionally and personally;
  • Contributes to the learning of colleagues and subordinates;
  • Shows willingness to learn from others;
  • Seeks feedback to learn and improve.

Technological Awareness:

  • Keeps abreast of available technology;
  • Understands applicability and limitation of technology to the work of the office; actively seeks to apply technology to appropriate tasks;
  • Shows willingness to learn new technology.

Required Skills and Experience

Education: 

  • 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 7 years qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Experience:

  • A minimum of five years of progressively responsible experience in humanitarian affairs, emergency preparedness, crisis/emergency relief management, rehabilitation, development, or other related area. 

Language:

  • Fluency in one of the working languages of the UN Secretariat, English or French, (both oral and written) is required; Knowledge of the other is desirable. Knowledge of another UN official language is an advantage.  
Other: 
  • Expertise in conference management and organization with a wide array of different humanitarian and development stakeholders (NGOs, Member States, Affected Population) will be an asset.
 

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