United Nations Senior Humanitarian Affairs Officer Jobs in Kenya

United Nations Senior 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 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.

  • This job opening is being advertised for the position of Senior Humanitarian Affairs Officer / Deputy Head of Office and is located in the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Nairobi, Kenya. The Senior Humanitarian Affairs Officer/Deputy Head of Office reports to the Head of OCHA’s Regional Office for Southern and Eastern Africa (ROSEA).


    Within delegated authority, the Senior Humanitarian Affairs Officer / Deputy Head of Office will be responsible for the following duties:

    • Acts as Deputy Head of Office and supports the Head of Office in the day-to-day management of the Office, including in strategic planning, preparation of the annual work plan, performance framework and cost plan of the Office, as well as in related monitoring and reporting.

    • Provides authoritative technical and policy advice to senior management in OCHA and other agencies in the UN system, Member State officials, international and regional organizations on programmes, projects and issues of significant impact on humanitarian, emergency relief and disaster response/management efforts.

    • Monitors the performance of the institution’s humanitarian mandate; influences the development and evolution of the UN approach to humanitarian affairs; designs and implements significant policy and programme changes to address country, regional, global humanitarian affairs issues, including gender, protection and prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse (PSEA) considerations; conceptualizes the linkages with the political and peacekeeping functions in the Secretariat.

    • Develops/ensures implementation of coherent humanitarian/disaster response strategies and procedures.

    • Manages the production of appeals for international assistance—including Humanitarian Needs Overviews and Humanitarian Response Plans—in the region; mobilizes resources from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) for response to emergencies in the region, as and when appropriate; engages with donors to galvanize funding for humanitarian response in the region; ensures the proper use and spending of donor contributions channeled through OCHA.

    • Assists humanitarian partners, member states and inter-governmental organizations in the region to enhance their operational readiness for emergency situations; identifies bottlenecks and gaps and develops proposals to improve humanitarian response systems and mechanisms, to include technical assistance in the design of specific coordination and other systems/mechanisms; organizes and participates as trainer/resource person in national and international training seminars.

    • Serves as primary liaison with non-UN entities, including senior host government officials, representatives of inter-governmental organizations, donor representatives, NGO officials, the media, etc., in emergency situations.

    • Works with the Head of Office to establish and oversee the overall work plan and budget. for the Regional Office for Southern and Eastern Africa (ROSEA).

    • Leads and directs the OCHA ROSEA team, together with the Head of Office; plans and allocates work assignments; coaches, mentors and evaluates staff; participates in recruitment, selection and training of new staff and in the development of training programs.

    • Organizes and/or chairs inter-agency and other international meetings, conferences, task forces on issues related to humanitarian /emergency /disaster readiness and response; represents the views and policies of the Office in various forums.

    • Initiates, supervises and finalizes position papers and related submissions; prepares diverse reports, papers, policy guidelines, parliamentary documents, statements, presentations, etc. for senior management.

    • Performs other duties, and surge assignments, as required.


  • Professionalism: Knowledge of full range of humanitarian and emergency relief assistance and related humanitarian issues. Ability to
    advise senior management and other senior officials on approaches and techniques to address highly complex/sensitive issues. Demonstrated capacity for intellectual leadership. Conceptual and strategic analytical capacity and ability to thoroughly analyse and evaluate critical matters pertaining to a broad spectrum of humanitarian and emergency relief issues/problems.

  • 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.

  • 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; does not accept the status quo; shows the courage to take unpopular stands.

  • Judgement/decision-making: Identifies the key issues in a complex situation, and comes to the heart of the problem quickly; gathers relevant information before making a decision; considers positive and negative impacts of decisions prior to making them; takes decisions with an eye to the impact on others and on the Organization; proposes a course of action or makes a recommendation based on all available information; checks assumptions against facts; determines the actions proposed will satisfy the expressed and underlying needs for the decision; makes tough decisions when necessary.


  • Advanced university degree (Master's degree or equivalent degree) in political science, social science, public administration, international studies, economics, engineering, earth sciences, or a related field. 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 ten (10) 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 five (5) years of relevant experience at the international level is required.

  • Experience at the management level is required.

  • A minimum of four (4) years of humanitarian experience in an emergency field setting (where a mission and/or project is being implemented in a setting impacted by a complex emergency or natural disaster) at the international level in the last 10 years is desirable.

  • Experience leading and coordinating humanitarian relief operations in complex emergency situation is desirable.

  • Experience in a humanitarian context within the UN Common System or a comparable international organization is desirable.


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

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