Duty station: Baghdad, Iraq
Duration: 12 months
Vacancy Notice number: OCHA/G/10/2008
Deadline for applications: 01 February 2008
Date of entry: asap


Iraq remains in a state of humanitarian crisis as a direct result of ongoing conflict including, violence (or threats thereof) inflicted upon the civilian population, impunity by all parties to the conflict, systematic abuses of human rights, fragmentation of national authority, and the massive constraints on humanitarian access which impedes the humanitarian community from providing adequate and timely humanitarian assistance.

Over 2.4 million Iraqis are internally displaced, of whom 1.2 million were displaced after following the spike in sectarian violence in February 2006. An estimated 2.4 million Iraqis have fled to neighbouring states (including 1.5 million in Syria, 800,000 in Jordan and 70,000 in Egypt). Freedom of movement is restricted both internally with several governorates closing their "boundaries" and externally as Iraqi civilians are increasingly unable to seek safety in other states. Protection concerns include denial of (and/or obstructed) access to basic services, shelter, and livelihoods; threats to physical safety; and forced return.

Mandated by the UN Security Council, the United Nations Assistance Mission to Iraq (UNAMI) maintains a presence in Iraq - presently limited to Erbil and the Green Zone in Baghdad - to ensure close and daily liaison with Government counterparts as well as other stakeholders such as donors, MNF-I and NGOs.

As a consequence of UNAMI's expanded mandate in Iraq (SCR 1770), efforts are underway to define an approach that better unifies humanitarian, reconstruction and development objectives. In order to meet the increased requirements for coordination support, information analysis, disaster preparedness and humanitarian advocacy, OCHA will require a presence in Iraq to ensure closer links with all relevant interlocutors and to provide adequate support to area-based operational coordination structures.

Organisational setting and reporting lines

OCHA is therefore planning to deploy a Humanitarian Affairs Officer (HAO – L-3) to the Baghdad in Iraq to support ongoing operations. The position is located in the Green Zone inside Baghdad, Iraq within UNAMI's Humanitarian, Development and Reconstruction department. The HAO will work closely with UNAMI's Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator and report to the OCHA Head of Office in Amman.

Duties and Responsibilities

Within the limits of delegated authority, the HAO will be responsible for the following duties:

* Advice the OCHA Iraq office in Amman on issues related to emergency response and disaster management pertaining to all areas of Iraq (except from the KRG areas - Kurdistan Regional Government.
* In collaboration with UNAMI, partner UN agencies and NGOs participate in developing strategies for emergency preparedness that involves the ability to rapidly respond to any humanitarian needs as a result of conflict (e.g. new population displacement) or natural disaster or epidemics (e.g. cholera, avian flu, etc.)
* Serve as a focal point for the collection, analysis and dissemination of information and data on emergency situations; and feed into appropriate inter-agency protection monitoring and reporting systems
* Partner with other UN humanitarian and operational agencies, NGOs, and local authorities, to plan and evaluate humanitarian and emergency assistance;
* Regularly monitor and analyze developments in the area and their impact on the humanitarian situation;
* Prepare situation reports and prepare/contribute to analytical reports, background papers, policy guidelines, case studies, presentations etc. highlighting social, political, economic and other relevant factors affecting the overall humanitarian situation; specifying unmet requirements, including information relevant to the protection situation and response;
* Assist in inter-agency contingency planning; to ensure that contingency plans for Iraq are consistent and well-coordinated, including availability of resources; maintain a watching brief on humanitarian risks;
* Participate in establishing and maintain strong working relationship with all humanitarian actors, the local communities, and the authorities and counterparts;

Expected results

* The effective coordination of emergency programmes with Iraq; ensuring the Iraqi Government, UN agencies, NGOs and local communities are ready to respond to emergencies in a coordinated, effective and timely manner,
* In collaboration with UNAMI's Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator, well-reasoned, innovative suggestions and approaches to deal with complex/policy/technical issues have been developed,
* Effective leadership and management of rapid assessments, trainings and timely delivery of outputs, in accordance with overall objectives and policies,
* Serve as an effective spokespersons internally and externally and form strong partnerships with relevant parties to help meet OCHA Iraq's objectives with respect to overall policy initiatives and coordination of humanitarian and emergency assistance,
* Humanitarian analyses for internal and external use have been planned, developed and implemented,
* Quality reports and information for internal and external dissemination have been produced,

Core Competencies

Professionalism – Comprehensive knowledge of and exposure to a wide range of humanitarian protection issues , emergency relief and related human rights issues; conceptual and strategic analytical capacity, to analyze and articulate the protection dimension of complex issues that require a coordinated UN response; demonstrated problem-solving skills and ability to use sound judgment in applying technical expertise to resolve a wide range of complex issues/problems; very good knowledge of region or country of assignment, including the political, economic and social dimensions; strong negotiating skills and ability 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); very good knowledge of institutional mandates, policies and guidelines pertaining to humanitarian protection 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 protection issues and perspectives, including gender issues, to political, economic, social and human rights programmes in affected country/region.
Communications – Excellent communication (spoken and written) skills including the ability to convey complex concepts and recommendations to staff at senior levels, both orally and in writing, in a clear, concise style.
Planning & Organizing – Ability to coordinate the work of others, work to tight deadlines and handle multiple concurrent projects/activities.
Teamwork – Excellent interpersonal skills, including ability to operate effectively across organizational boundaries; ability to establish and maintain effective partnerships and working relations in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity.


* Advanced university degree (Master's degree or equivalent) in political or social science, international relations, public administration or related field; or equivalent education and work experience in a related field. A combination of relevant academic background (at least a first level university degree id est Bachelor's degree or equivalent) and extensive relevant professional experience in a related area may be accepted in lieu of advanced university degree;
* A minimum of five (5) years of progressively responsible professional experience in humanitarian affairs, natural disaster response and preparedness, crisis/emergency relief management, rehabilitation and development, or other related area, of which at least two (2) years at the international level. An extensive professional filed-based experience in a related area would be a strong asset.
* Fluency in English with ability to write humanitarian-related reports clearly and concisely.

Please note that applications received after the deadline will not be accepted.

All posts are subject to availability of funds.

Applications from qualified female candidates and from nationals of non- and under-represented countries are particularly encouraged.

Diploma of completed University degree may be requested in due course.

Applicants will be contacted only if they are under serious consideration.

How to apply

All applicants are requested to email the following documents to the OCHA Human Resources Section/AO at ochavacancies@un.org:

1. Cover letter, explaining why you consider yourself qualified and motivated for this particular position
2. Completed Summarized Personnel Information Form
3. Completed P-11 and P-11 Supplementary Forms

All Application Forms can be found by clicking on the following link:

It would be appreciated your stating your full name and the OCHA vacancy notice number (OCHA/G/10/2008) as the subject in your e-mail application.

Please send one email application for every vacancy announcement.

Mailing address:
Palais des Nations
1211 Geneva 10
Fax: (+41 22) 917 0080
E-mail: ochavacancies@un.org