United Nations Humanitarian Affairs Officer Jobs in Kenya

United Nations Humanitarian Affairs Officer Jobs in Kenya

Org. Setting and Reporting

  • This position is located in the Operations and Advocacy Division, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which 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.

  • 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.

  • This position is located in the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the Regional Office for Southern and Eastern Africa, Nairobi, Kenya. The Humanitarian Affairs Officer (Analysis & Operations) reports to the Head of the Emergency Response and Preparedness Unit.

  • This position will require regular surge deployments within and potentially outside the region. Candidates are expected to be available and willing to surge for up to three months at a time.


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

    • Deploys on humanitarian surge and support missions in Southern and Eastern Africa as requested, including to facilitate: humanitarian operational coordination (e.g. chairing inter-cluster meetings); humanitarian financing proposals (e.g. CERF applications); implementation of preparedness actions (e.g. contingency plans); development of humanitarian needs overviews and appeals; and humanitarian needs assessments.

    • Monitors, analyzes and reports on trends and developments, that may affect the humanitarian situation and related operations, disaster relief/management programmes or emergency situations in assigned region; develops and maintains a “watch list” of countries with potential for humanitarian crisis in assigned areas of Southern and Eastern Africa; develops and maintains strong situational awareness and analysis to support humanitarian policy and decision-making, based on thorough knowledge and research into a wide range of issues and through a diverse network in the region.

    • Leads and/or participates in large, complex projects, to include disaster assessment or other missions to countries in the region; deploys on surge to coordinate international humanitarian/emergency assistance for complex emergency/disaster situations; ensures necessary support (e.g. staff, funding, specialized equipment, supplies, etc.); prepares situation reports to the international community, apprising of situation to date and specifying unmet requirements of stricken countries.

    • Assists in the production of appeals for international assistance- including Humanitarian Needs Overviews and Humanitarian Response Plans - in the region; ensures the proper use and spending of donor contributions channeled through OCHA.

    • Assists member states in capacity-building for handling emergency situations; develops country-specific indicators for countries of concern in collaboration with area experts and ensures the subsequent monitoring of these indicators; recommends actions based on the analysis of pertinent information.

    • Analyzes and assists in introducing new technologies for disaster warning/management.

    • Organizes and prepares updates and reports on humanitarian, emergency relief and related issues in assigned country/area; organizes follows-up work, including interagency technical review meetings to support information-sharing and decision-making on important issues; and ensures the implementation of recommendations emanating from relevant studies.

    • Partners with other humanitarian agencies to plan and coordinate complex humanitarian and emergency assistance programmes including through deployment on surge if required; helps ensure that latest findings, lessons learned, policy guidelines, etc. are incorporated into these activities, including gender and protection related considerations.

    • Establishes and maintains contacts with government officials, other UN agencies, non-governmental organizations, diplomatic missions, , 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, etc.

    • Serves as the primary focal point on specific humanitarian
    topics or policy-related issues, including safeguarding humanitarian principles and ensuring the effective delivery of humanitarian assistance; keeps abreast of latest developments including through liaising with other humanitarian organizations, donors, etc.,; provides information and advice to senior management on a range of operational issues.

    • Organizes and participates in working groups, meetings, conferences, consultations with other agencies and partners on humanitarian and emergency relief-related matters in the region.

    • 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 , and surge assignments, as required.


    • Professionalism: Knowledge of a wide range of humanitarian assistance, emergency relief and related human rights issues, including humanitarian principles and humanitarian coordination architecture and processes. Ability to work under extreme pressure, including during deployment in a highly stressful environment (e.g. to coordinate humanitarian response to civil strife, natural disasters and human misery). Conceptual and strategic analytical capacity, to include ability to analyze and articulate the humanitarian dimension of complex issues that require a coordinated UN response.

  • Demonstrated problem-solving skills and judgment in applying technical expertise to resolve a wide range of complex issues/problems, including under difficult conditions and/or when deployed to remote locations. Knowledge of region or country of assignment, including the humanitarian, political, economic and social dimensions. Ability to negotiate and to influence others to reach agreement.

    • 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.


  • Advanced university degree (Master's degree or equivalent) in political science, social science, international studies, public administration, economics, engineering, earth sciences or a related field. A first-level university degree in combination with an additional two (2) years of 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.

  • A minimum of four (4) years of relevant experience at the international level is required.

  • A minimum of three (3) years of humanitarian experience in the field (actual setting where a mission and/or project is being implemented) in emergency situations (complex emergency or natural disaster) is required.

  • Experience in emergency response in the Southern and/or Eastern Africa region is required.

  • Experience in the UN Common System is desirable.


  • French and English are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, 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 Humanitarian Affairs Officer Jobs in Kenya

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