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Humanitarian Affairs Officer

OCHA: United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

United States United States (New York)Deadline: May 28, 2022full time


Org. Setting and Reporting

The position is located in the Humanitarian Financing Strategy and Analysis (HFSA) Unit, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in New York. OCHA is 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. The Humanitarian Affairs Officer reports to the Head of HFSA, under the overall guidance of the Director of the Humanitarian Financing and Resource Mobilization Division (HFRMD).


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

  • Serves as a senior policy officer; advises on overall policy direction on specific issues; and, more generally, reviews and provides advice on a diverse range of policy issues related to safeguarding humanitarian principles and ensuring the effective delivery of humanitarian assistance and the linkages with other related areas (e.g. human rights).
  • Prepares policy position papers for review.
  • Assists in the production of appeals for international assistance; ensures the proper use and spending of donor contributions channeled through OCHA.
  • Initiates and coordinates activities related to technical cooperation and technical assistance projects in disaster response and disaster response preparedness; formulates project proposals and relevant project documents; provides technical support to field work; reviews and clears project reports for submission to governments.
  • Analyzes and assists in introducing new technologies for disaster warning/management.
  • Organizes and prepares studies on humanitarian, emergency relief and related issues; organizes follows-up work, including interagency technical review meetings to support policy development work and decision-making on important issues; and ensures the implementation of recommendations emanating from relevant studies.
  • Assists or leads, as appropriate, in the preparation of OCHA reports, studies, background papers, policy guidelines, correspondence, presentations, background papers, policy guidelines, parliamentary documents, etc.; with respect to the latter, takes the lead in providing support and information to relevant councils or other entities on specific issues.
  • Partners with other humanitarian agencies to plan and evaluate complex humanitarian and emergency assistance programmes; helps ensure that latest findings, lessons learned, policy guidelines, etc. are incorporated into these activities, including gender-related considerations. In particular, aggregates, analyzes and disseminates best practices and innovations in humanitarian financing, strengthening the evidence base and collective understanding of the scope and scalability of early action and anticipatory approaches in humanitarian response.
  • Establishes and maintains contacts with government officials, other UN agencies, non-governmental organizations, diplomatic missions, media, international financing institutions, academia, and private sector, etc.; ensures appropriate mechanisms to facilitate collaboration and exchange of information both in and outside the UN system, including on early warning and contingency planning, linked with the use of innovative financing and the application of anticipatory approaches to crisis response.
  • Serves as the primary focal point on specific topics or policy-related issues; keeps abreast of latest developments, liaises with other humanitarian organizations, donors, etc., ensures appropriate monitoring and reporting mechanisms; provides policy advice and technical support to OCHA and partners with the design and application of humanitarian financing pilots and experiments and supports the quantitative and qualitative analysis and definition of strategies aiming at closing the financing gap for humanitarian response; provides information and advice on a range of related issues.
  • Organizes and participates in work groups, meetings, conferences, consultations with other agencies and partners on humanitarian and emergency relief-related matters, and supports organizational outreach, engagement, and facilitation of policy platforms, knowledge networks, and communities of practice in the humanitarian financing space.
  • May participate in planning and preparation of unit budget and work program.
  • Provides leadership and work direction to assigned work team, and/or mentors and supervises the work of new/junior officers.
  • Performs other duties as required.


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 is required. A first-level university degree in combination with qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of seven (7) years of progressively responsible experience in humanitarian affairs, emergency preparedness, crisis/emergency relief management, rehabilitation, development, or other related area is required.

Experience in pooled funds and/or humanitarian financing is required.

A minimum of three (3) years in the last seven (7) years of relevant international field experience is desirable.

Experience in anticipatory action and disaster risk financing, including anticipatory insurance is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the UN Secretariat. For this position, fluency in English (both oral and written) is required. Knowledge of other UN official languages is desirable.


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by competency-based interview.

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