UN Women, grounded in the vision of equality enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, works for the elimination of discrimination against women and girls; the empowerment of women; and the achievement of equality between women and men as partners and beneficiaries of development, human rights, humanitarian action and peace and security.

The East and Southern Africa region suffers from multiple threats driven by climate induced disasters (floods/cyclones/drought) that have resulted to high levels of food insecurity & destruction of livelihoods; conflict both protracted and emerging leading to internal displacement (IDPs) and external (refugees); pandemics as well as pests invasion. The scale and magnitude of these disaster causing hazards are likely to increase in the foreseeable future. The impacts of these disasters often affect women and girls much more due to pre-existing negative gender norms and practices that contributes to their vulnerability before a crisis strikes and are highly deepened during disaster situations.

In ESAR UN Women’s overall focus on Humanitarian Action and Disaster Risk Reduction is to support gender responsive humanitarian and DRR interventions through coordination of gender, capacity development on gender for stakeholders including women led organizations, gender responsive livelihoods & resilience building measures and as well as knowledge management. 

The scope of work of the Humanitarian Specialist substantive experience and in-depth understanding of gender equality and women’s empowerment across the humanitarian, disaster risk reduction and resilience building nexus. Experience in engaging and building strategic partnerships with regional entities, development partners, UN agencies, INGOs as well as women led organizations in support of gender equality and empowerment of women across the region.

Reporting to the Policy Advisor – (Humanitarian and WPS), the Humanitarian and DRR Specialist will position UN Women Humanitarian and DRR work in the region. She/he will engage in high level policy dialogues to influence and advocate for gender, provide programmatic and technical support to operationalize UN Women’s Humanitarian and DRR global and regional priorities; build capacities, coordinate and support gender mainstreaming efforts with relevant stakeholders; establish and strengthen partnerships, and develop relevant knowledge products in Humanitarian and DRR sectors.

Deberes y responsabilidades

Oversee the development of programmes on Humanitarian and DRR to Country Office/ Multi Country Office/ Programme Presence teams:

  • Oversee the development of regional programme documents, cross border initiatives on DRR & humanitarian action;
  • Provide technical inputs to programme proposals from country offices, RO and MCO;
  • Provide advice on contextualizing/ localizing DRR and Humanitarian programme documents, country strategies, and knowledge products;
  • Coordinate proper monitoring and reporting for DRR and humanitarian action in collaboration with programme teams.

Provide technical and capacity building support to Country Office/ Multi Country Office/Programme Presence teams and partners:

  • Provide substantive technical and policy support to country office, multi-country office programme presence programme teams in developing and strengthening projects/ programmes;
  • Develop, implement and monitor capacity building initiatives on Gender in Humanitarian Action and DRR;
  • Provide technical support to partners on implementation of humanitarian action and DRR work;
  • Provide technical policy advice and guidance to programme/ project managers/ specialists in the CO, MCOs, programme presence countries;
  • Support in the establishment and training of UN Women ESAR surge capacities for deployment during crisis.

Establish and strengthen strategic partnerships with stakeholders, regional/ international actors and development partners:

  • Build and maintain alliances and strategic partnerships for the advancement of humanitarian action and DRR work;
  • Build and maintain close liaisons with relevant development partners and other actors supporting efforts towards humanitarian action and DRR interventions;
  • Produce periodic updates and briefs on regional/country development situation to be used by stakeholders, CO and HQ;
  • Maintain close contact with relevant staff in UN Women HQ and Geneva.

Manage the resource mobilization strategy for humanitarian action and DRR in the region:

  • Participate in implementation, monitoring and periodic updating of the resource mobilization strategy on humanitarian action and DRR in the region;
  • Provide technical support to Country Offices in mobilizing resources for the implementation of humanitarian action and DRR interventions;
  • Research and analyze information on donors; identify opportunities and prepare substantive briefs on possible areas of cooperation.

Oversee the design of humanitarian action and DRR in the region and the development of relevant knowledge products:

  • Provide policy recommendations and guidance to strategic planning and positioning on humanitarian action and DRR;
  • Research, develop and present analytical reports, research papers, briefing notes, background papers, summaries, correspondence, and knowledge products on humanitarian and DRR;
  • Identify promising practices, technical expertise, and strategic opportunities in humanitarian and DRR;
  • Identify and support in documentation of best practices in the region.

Oversee the advocacy of humanitarian action and DRR through inter-agency coordination:

  • Work closely with and provide advice to regional/ national bodies and interagency groups that influence national policies related to humanitarian action & DRR and where necessary represent UN Women in key forums;
  • Represent and Lead UN Women in key Humanitarian and DRR forums to advocate and support gender mainstreaming;
  • Lead specific efforts in mainstreaming gender and protection in disaster preparedness, response and recovery efforts of other clusters and relevant working groups, including inclusion and participation of under-represented groups in accordance with Commitments on Accountability to Affected Populations and IASC guidelines.

Oversee advocacy and communication of humanitarian action:

  • During emergency response, develop and implement communication and advocacy messages and strategies on key gender and protection concerns;
  • Develop information, education and communication (IEC) materials, press releases, situation reports, alerts and contribute gender and protection-related inputs to documents prepared by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Oversee knowledge building and sharing for humanitarian action:

  • Identify and disseminate lessons learnt and good practices in collaboration with country offices;
  • Ensure technical skills and knowledge are shared within and among MCO/ COs and HQ.

Key Performance Indicators:

  • Timely and quality technical advice and support;
  • Leadership in area of expertise in the region;
  • Quality reports and other strategic documents drafted and submitted in a timely manner;
  • Strong relationships with various partners and stakeholders;
  • UN Women is well represented in important meetings on topics related to expertise;
  • Contributions to resource mobilization;
  • Timely and quality knowledge products.


Core Values:

  • Respect for Diversity
  • Integrity
  • Professionalism

Core Competencies:

  • Awareness and Sensitivity Regarding Gender Issues
  • Accountability
  • Creative Problem Solving
  • Effective Communication
  • Inclusive Collaboration
  • Stakeholder Engagement
  • Leading by Example

Please visit this link for more information on UN Women’s Core Values and Competencies:

Functional Competencies:

  • Substantive knowledge and experience related to current policies and practices in the fields of gender equality, protection and humanitarian action, including humanitarian coordination and DRR;
  • Strong knowledge of the region;
  • Excellent networking skills;
  • Ability to interact with donors, identify and analyze trends, opportunities and threats to fundraising;
  • Ability to perform qualitative and quantitative policy research;
  • Ability to advocate and provide policy advice;
  • Excellent analytical skills;
  • Ability to write policy papers, speeches, briefings;
  • Strong knowledge of programme development, implementation, results based management and reporting.

Habilidades y experiencia requeridas

Education and certification:

  • Master’s degree or equivalent in human rights, gender, international relations, international development, international law or other social science fields is required;
  • A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.


  • At least 7 years progressively responsible experience in designing and managing humanitarian programmes, with a particular focus on gender and protection in emergencies;
  • Substantive and technical experience in inter-agency coordination, preferably protection cluster coordination, and/or ProCap/GenCap in a natural disaster setting;
  • Experience in policy analysis and strategic planning;
  • Experience working with, and building partnerships with governments, donors and civil society organizations internationally and in the field;
  • Experience working with the UN is an asset; and
  • Experience working in the region is an asset.

Language Requirements:

  • Fluency in English is required;
  • Knowledge of the other UN official working language is an asset;


All applications must include (as an attachment) a completed UN Women Personal History form (P-11) which can be downloaded from

Please note that the system will only allow one attachment and candidates are required to include in the P-11 form links for their previously published reports and articles completed within the last two years. Applications without the completed and signed UN Women P-11 form will be treated as incomplete and will not be considered for further assessment.


In July 2010, the United Nations General Assembly created UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. The creation of UN Women came about as part of the UN reform agenda, bringing together resources and mandates for greater impact. It merges and builds on the important work of four previously distinct parts of the UN system (DAW, OSAGI, INSTRAW and UNIFEM), which focused exclusively on gender equality and women's empowerment.

Diversity and inclusion:

At UN Women, we are committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment of mutual respect. UN Women recruits, employs, trains, compensates, and promotes regardless of race, religion, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, ability, national origin, or any other basis covered by appropriate law. All employment is decided on the basis of qualifications, competence, integrity and organizational need.

If you need any reasonable accommodation to support your participation in the recruitment and selection process, please include this information in your application.

UN Women has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UN Women, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to UN Women’s policies and procedures and the standards of conduct expected of UN Women personnel and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. (Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.