US Agency for International Development (USAID)

Junior Professional Officer (Humanitarian Affairs)

US Agency for International Development (USAID)

Job Description

I. Overview

Through USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (USAID/BHA), the United States sponsors qualified U.S. citizens for employment in the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) the Junior Professional Officer (JPO) Program. These fully funded JPO positions strengthen the humanitarian coordination capacity of UNOCHA. They further encourage U.S. citizens to become active members of the international community. After completing their JPO assignments, a number of JPOs successfully compete for positions at UNOCHA, and in other international and non-governmental organizations.

II. General Information

Title: JPO in Humanitarian Affairs Sector of Assignment: External Relations and Partnerships Organization/Office: OCHA / Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs/ External Relations and Partnerships Section Duty Station: New York City, NY, USA Date Required: As soon as possible Duration: 1 year (with possible extension for another year)

III. Supervision and Purpose of the job

Direct Supervision by Chief, External Relations and Partnerships Section Content and methodology of supervision: Establishment of a Work Plan: During the first month of the assignment, the Junior Professional Officer, (JPO) will work jointly with his/her direct supervisor to finalize an agreed upon work plan. The final work plan will be discussed and mutually agreed to by the JPO and his/her supervisor. Evaluation: The United Nations Performance Evaluation System (e-performance) will serve as a primary platform to evaluate of the JPO’s performance. The supervisor and incumbent will be in daily contact concerning all aspects of the work assignment. There will be a concerted focus on the learning aspects and training in specific qualities needed for an all-round Humanitarian Affairs Officer. The Associate Expert will be evaluated according to the UN’s standard Performance Appraisal System. The supervisor will give guidance and support to the Associate Expert on a daily basis.

IV. Duties, Responsibilities, and Output Expectations

Under the direct supervision of the Humanitarian Affairs Officer and overall guidance of the Chief of the External Relations, the incumbent will support the activities related to the implementation of the External Relations and Partnership Section workplan. He/she will be responsible for partnership building, relationship management, Event Management with various partners including Member States and Regional and Intergovernmental Organizations. Main duties include:
  • Contribute towards a more effective, efficient humanitarian system to help save lives and protect people in humanitarian crises

  • Support the humanitarian system, including through CERF and Country-based Pooled Funds.

  • Contribute to the planning and organization of initiatives at headquarters and at regional hubs around the world that aim to raise awareness and advocacy and foster debate about a more inclusive and better coordinated multilateral humanitarian system that meets the financial, operational and political challenges to come.

  • Support the planning and organization of outreach events including All Member State briefings, Humanitarian Liaison Working Group (HLWG), the OCHA Donors Support Group (ODSG), as well as other ad hoc outreach events.

  • Backstop the portfolios of other Officers and accept portfolio reassignment when required (e.g., during corporate emergencies)

  • Support the USG and ASG, Senior Management Team (SMT’s) and Regional Offices (RO’s) as required, including giving input to background notes, talking points and other briefing materials ensuring that the partnership perspective is well reflected in OCHA’s engagement with Member States.

  • Support the implementation of OCHA’s outreach in New York, including by leading/co-leading OCHA’s partnership outreach towards an assigned geographical region, in close coordination with other sections and branches.

  • Build and strengthen partnerships with a broad range of humanitarian actors, particularly Member States and Regional Organizations to ensure continued political support for coordinated, principle-based and accountable multilateral humanitarian system and for OCHA's pivotal mandate and role therein.

  • Contribute to enhancing OCHA’s strategic understanding of and engagement with Member States and Regional Organizations including through conducting stakeholder Analysis on specific crisis and drafting analytical and strategic partnership profiles.

  • Advise the Section Chief, Senior Managers and other OCHA Branches and Sections on policy issues of concern to partners in the context of OCHA’s Strategic Framework.

  • Provide support to OCHA managers and colleagues in evaluating and developing existing and potential partnerships for live saving activities.

  • Support OCHA outreach during high-level events including the UN General Assembly ministerial week, the annual CERF high level conference, ECOSOC HAS, the humanitarian week and Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) Launch events, among others.

V. Qualifications and Experience

Education: Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in international relations, political science, public Administration, development, law, social science or related field. A first level university with a relevant combination of academic qualifications and experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree. Experience: A minimum of two years of professional experience in humanitarian affairs, gender issues, Emergency management, rehabilitation and development, international policy & advocacy, or other related area is require. Languages: English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post advertised, excellent English (both written and spoken) is required. Knowledge of a second official UN language, particularly Arabic, is highly desirable. Other Skills: Good writing, organizational and inter-personal skills. UN Competencies:
  • Professionalism:
    • Conceptual and strategic analytical capacity, to include ability to analyze and articulate the humanitarian dimension of issues which require a coordinated response;

    • Demonstrated problem-solving skills and strong research skills;

    • Ability to work under pressure;

    • Demonstrated ability to synthetize information and formulate clear recommendations and action points

  • 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.

  • Client orientation:
    • Considers all those to whom services are provided to be "clients" and seeks to see things from clients' point of view

    • Establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect; identifies clients' needs and matches them to appropriate solutions

    • Monitors ongoing developments inside and outside the clients' environment to keep informed and anticipate problems

    • Keeps clients informed of progress or setbacks in projects

    • Meets timeline for delivery of products or services to client.

VI. Learning Elements

On completion of the assignment, the JPO will have/be able to:
  • Strong relations with key Member States and Regional Organizations

  • Advise on potential partnership opportunities with key Member States and Regional Organizations

  • Good knowledge of the humanitarian multilateral system, tools, mechanisms and process

  • Good knowledge of humanitarian affairs particularly pertaining to key countries of concern

  • Stronger writing, analytical, communication and organizational skills

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