UN-OCHA - Humanitarian Affairs Officer Deputy Head of Office Jobs in Kenya

UN-OCHA - Humanitarian Affairs Officer Deputy Head of Office 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.


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

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

    • Deploys on humanitarian surge and support missions in Southern and Eastern Africa as requested, including to lead and 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 humanitarian response and developments, disaster relief/management programmes or emergency situations in assigned areas of Southern and Eastern Africa; develops and maintains a “watch list” of countries with potential for humanitarian crisis within the region.

    • Leads and/or participates in large, complex projects, to include disaster assessment or other surge and support missions; 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.

    • Leads 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, including through field missions to relevant countries in the region; 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; 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.

    • Partners with other humanitarian agencies and cluster coordinators 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.

    • Oversees the delivery and quality assurance for the offices standard products including, bulletins, snapshots, dashboards, internal communications with OCHA on emerging humanitarian issues,

    • Supports, upon request, inter agency meetings -including the Regional Humanitarian Partnership Team (RHPT) for the Great Lakes and Horn of Africa and the Regional Inter-Agency Standing Committee for Southern Africa- and ensures that inter sectoral work is implemented and aligned to the agreed regional priorities.

    • Liaises with regional bodies, including IGAD and SADC, on humanitarian issues.

    • Establishes and maintains contacts with government officials, other UN agencies, non-governmental organizations, diplomatic missions, media, 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 in relation to safeguarding humanitarian principles, humanitarian access, and ensuring the effective delivery of humanitarian assistance; keeps abreast of latest developments, liaises with other humanitarian organizations, donors, etc., provides information and advice on a range of related issues.

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

    • Provides leadership and work direction to ROSEA Unit Heads, Humanitarian Advisory Teams, 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 wide range of humanitarian assistance, emergency relief and related humanitarian issues. 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 political, economic and social dimensions. Ability to negotiate and to influence others to reach agreement. Ability to work under extreme pressure, on occasion in a highly stressful environment (e.g. civil strife, natural disasters and human misery). Knowledge of institutional mandates, policies and guidelines pertaining to humanitarian affairs and knowledge of the institutions of the UN system. Demonstrated ability to complete in-depth studies and to formulate conclusions/recommendations. Ability to relate humanitarian affairs issues and perspectives, including gender issues, to political, economic, social and human rights programmes in affected country/region. Shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations. Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.

  • Communication: Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; tailors language, tone, style and format to match audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.

  • 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.


  • Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in political science, social science, public administration, international studies/law, economics, or a related field. 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.

  • At least three (3) years 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 desirable.

  • Previous experience within the UN common system or other international organisation is desirable.

    How to Apply

  • For more information and job application details, see; UN-OCHA - Humanitarian Affairs Officer Deputy Head of Office Jobs in Kenya

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