United Nations Head of Office, Humanitarian Affairs Jobs in Ethiopia

United Nations Head of Office, Humanitarian Affairs Jobs in Ethiopia

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 the rights of people in need; promote preparedness and prevention and facilitate sustainable solutions.


  • Within delegated authority, under the overall leadership and direction of the Director of the Operations and Advocacy Division (OAD) of OCHA, and supporting the UN RC/HC, the Head of Office will discharge and be responsible for the following functions:

    Humanitarian Policy:

    • Serve as senior policy advisor to the UN RC/HC, the UN Country Team (UNCT) and the humanitarian country team on humanitarian principles and initiatives;

    • Develop and maintain contacts with the international community in order to raise awareness and advocate for issues of humanitarian concerns;

    • Act to strengthen cooperation among the humanitarian community on policy issues of interagency concern and serve as a key interlocutor with relevant Government partners;

    • Advise, promote and provide guidance to the UN RC/HC, the UNCT and the humanitarian county team on humanitarian reform initiatives including cluster coordination, humanitarian financing, etc.

    Humanitarian Programming I Coordination:

    • Provide strategic support to the UN RC/HC in the preparation, implementation and monitoring of the work plan of the humanitarian community, soliciting and negotiating inputs with relevant authorities, UN agencies, NGOs, etc.;

    • 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 efforts, including the provision of specialized international assistance to respond to ongoing as well as new and /or emerging emergencies;

    • Develop, reinforce and maintain effective coordination mechanisms with the humanitarian county team and other key humanitarian stakeholders;

    • Establish / manage information management systems to effectively map areas of humanitarian needs and response activities in support of coordination efforts;

    • Foster and reinforce linkages between field monitoring, information management and coordination efforts;

    • Support inter-agency efforts to build in-country UN 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 and lead contingency planning processes in close cooperation with UNDMT and Regional Disaster Reduction Advisers (RDRA) as applicable;

    • Develop joint initiatives on disaster management with other UN and (if applicable) regional actors; including early warning mechanisms;

    • 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 / OCHA Representation:

    • Serve as the OCHA Head of Office in 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;

    • Lead work planning and budgeting process, support resource mobilization and ensure sound financial management;

    • Ensure regular and effective supervision of OCHA staff, particularly by leading, managing, developing, and training staff; foster teamwork and communication amongst 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.

    • Ensure the Office produces timely, high-quality outputs including comprehensive workplans , concise and factual situation reports,
    analytical papers, comprehensive and factbased information products, etc.;

    • Perform other duties as requested by the UN RC/HC and / or Director of OAD.


    • Professionalism: Expert knowledge of complex, multifaceted humanitarian affairs issues with wide exposure to humanitarian and emergency relief operations; ability to advise the UN RC/HC as well as the OCHA’s senior management team on tactical approaches and techniques to address complex and sensitive humanitarian issues; conceptual and strategic analytical capacity to thoroughly analyze and evaluate critical matters pertaining to a broad spectrum of humanitarian and emergency relief issues; ability to effectively handle major policy and project development and its implementation; ability to work under pressure including in insecure environments, while maintaining productivity and effectiveness;

    • 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.

    Managerial Competencies:

    • 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; where necessary, is prepared to not accept the status quo and show the courage to take an unpopular stand.

    • Judgement/decision-making: Identifies the key issues in a complex situation, and quickly finds the heart of the problem; gathers relevant information before making a decision; considers positive and negative impacts of decisions prior to making them; takes decisions with consideration the impact on others and on the Organization; proposes a course of action or makes a recommendation based on all available information and clear risk management; checks assumptions against facts;


  • Advanced university degree (Master's degree or equivalent degree) in business or public administration, finance, accounting, law, social sciences, international affairs, political science or related area 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.

    Work Experience

  • A minimum of fifteen (15) years of progressively responsible experience in disaster relief coordination, humanitarian assistance, protection, human resources management, administration, logistics, financial management, budget or related field is required.

  • Five (5) years of experience at the international level is required.

  • Two (2) years of field experience in emergency situations (complex emergencies or natural disasters) is required.

  • Experience leading and coordinating humanitarian relief operations in complex emergency or natural disaster situation is required.

  • Experience at the senior management level (e.g. P-5 and above) is required.

  • Experience within the UN common system or other comparable international organization is desirable.


  • English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this position, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another UN official language is desirable.

    How to Apply

  • For more information and job application details, see; United Nations Head of Office, Humanitarian Affairs Jobs in Ethiopia

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