United Nations Humanitarian Affairs Officer Jobs in Kenya

United Nations Humanitarian Affairs Officer Jobs in Kenya

Org. Setting and Reporting

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

  • This position-specific job opening is being advertised for the position of Humanitarian Affairs Officer and is located in Nairobi, Kenya. Under overall supervision of the Deputy Head of Office, OCHA Regional Office for Southern and Eastern Africa (ROSEA), the incumbent reports to the Head of the Emergency Preparedness and Response Unit.


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

    • Undertakes humanitarian surge and support missions in the region as requested, including to facilitate and/or lead: 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 (HNO/HRP); and humanitarian needs assessments.

    • Monitors, analyzes and reports on trends and developments that may affect the humanitarian situation and related operations, disaster relief/management or emergency situations in assigned region, 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.

    • Leads and/or participates in large, complex projects, to include disaster assessment and response or other missions to countries in the region, and beyond if requested; coordinates international humanitarian/emergency assistance for complex emergency/disaster situations through surge/support missions and/or remote support; 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 gaps and unmet requirements.

    • 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.

    • 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 updates and reports on humanitarian, emergency relief and related issues in assigned geographic area; organizes follows-up work, including interagency meetings to support information-sharing 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 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, media, etc. in assigned geographic area; 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 topics or policy-related issues, including safeguarding humanitarian principles and ensuring the effective delivery of humanitarian assistance; keeps abreast of latest developments in assigned geographic area, liaises with other humanitarian organizations, donors, etc., ensures appropriate monitoring and reporting mechanisms; provides information and advice on a range of related issues.

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

    • 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.


  • Professionalism: Knowledge of wide range of humanitarian assistance, emergency relief and related human rights issues, including humanitarian principles and humanitarian coordination architecture and processes. 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. Knowledge of region or country of assignment, including the humanitarian, political, economic and social dimensions.

  • 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 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.


  • An 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 is required.

  • 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 three (3) years 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 the Southern and/or Eastern Africa region is desirable.

  • Experience in a humanitarian context within the UN common system or in a comparable international organization 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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