Location: Thailand (Bangkok)
Closing date: 10 Apr 2008
Job Description

Date of issue: 27 March 2008
Post title and level: Humanitarian Affairs Officer, L-3
Duty station: Bangkok, OCHA Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (ROAP)
Duration: 9 months
Vacancy Notice number: OCHA/G/58/2008
Deadline for applications: 10 April 2008
Date of entry: asap

United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for diversity

1) Background

Evaluations of humanitarian practice, including the recent Cluster Evaluation, have identified the urgent need to improve the basis on which relief actors analyze situations and make decisions on the prioritization and allocation of resources. Several initiatives, including by different Clusters, are underway to improve assessments and overall analysis as to who is most vulnerable and why. OCHA has been requested to harmonize and improve comparability among these initiatives, in consultation with all relevant stakeholders. This involves a multi-year, Assessment and Classification of Emergencies (ACE) project to develop, pilot and secure the adoption of a set of common humanitarian definitions and indicators to gauge the vulnerability level of population groups, and use these to build and pilot a common humanitarian classification system (CHCS).

In Year 1 at the global level, will involve (1) mapping of existing indicators and definitions to build on what is already available and identify any gaps and inconsistencies, (2) conducting a review of ongoing needs assessment and humanitarian classification initiatives to develop a common, multi-sectoral approach, (3) launching a dedicated consultative process with key stakeholders, including an Advisory Group (AG) of experts, prior to an inter-agency meeting on this topic; and (4) mobilizing support from diverse donors for the remaining years. In addition, work will be undertaken to develop a rapid tool for determining the severity of crises for internal use within OCHA. This will be drafted and vetted by a working group made up of representatives from a number of different branches (e.g. PDSB, CRD and AIMB) and regional offices.
At the regional level, Bangkok has undertaken a number of related efforts. These include the ‘Data Preparedness’ initiative to establish a minimum set of information standards, tools, sources, actors, forums and platforms in selected countries to enable effective information management in the event of an emergency, the Global Focus Model which ranks the relative hazards, vulnerability and response capacity of different countries, and development of a concept paper to use proxy indicators to assess impacts in sudden-onset disasters. A number of NGO-led initiatives to develop common assessment tools are also underway. Finally, work has been completed or is underway in a number of ROAP countries to develop an Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC), which could serve as a model for a common humanitarian classification system. These initiatives also need to be reviewed and strategically linked to improve emergency preparedness, assessment and classification activities. This will require travel in the region, to enable working closely with colleagues in the UN, IOs and NGOs, as well as government, technical and academic institutions.

2) Organizational Setting and Reporting Relationships

The Humanitarian Officer will work under the overall guidance of the Project Advisor, Assessment and Classification of Emergencies (ACE) Project in the Disaster and Vulnerability Policy (DVP) Section of OCHA Geneva, and under the direct supervision of the Head of Office, ROAP.

3) Accountabilities

The Humanitarian Officer, ACE will be responsible for the following duties:
- Serve as the primary focal point in the region on common assessment and classification exercises, including assisting with coordination of relevant cluster/sector meetings, training and awareness raising, and coordinating and participating in missions to pilot new or review previous (e.g. IPC) classification exercises;
- Prepare or contribute to reports documenting lessons learned and best practices regarding CHCS pilots;
- Prepare or contribute to development of a standardized, summary reporting format for use by agencies/NGOs which distils key information from assessments;
- In consultation with a dedicated working group representing interested OCHA branches/sections, assist in developing and applying a rapid situation analysis tool for internal OCHA use to determine the relative severity of crises;
- Support ROAP's data preparedness initiative on development of tools to collect, manage and analyse baseline data in emergencies; and
- Perform other duties as required.

4) Results Expected:

- Support to various OCHA units, IASC working groups or NGOs involved in the initiative.
- Provide sound analytical inputs and advice that contribute to improving institutional capacity and articulate policy on relevant humanitarian and relief assistance issues.
- Take action to identify humanitarian affairs and related issues/problems and develops creative approaches to problem resolution.
- Provide timely delivery of assigned outputs, in accordance with overall objectives and policies.
- Develop partnerships and interact effectively with colleagues internally and externallyto help meet organization’s objectives with respect to the project.

5) UN Core Competencies

Professionalism: Knowledge of a range of humanitarian assistance, emergency relief and related human rights issues, including approaches and techniques to address difficult problems. Analytical capacity and in particular the ability to analyze and articulate the humanitarian dimension of issues which require a coordinated UN response. Ability to identify issues and judgment in applying technical expertise to resolve a wide range of problems. Ability to conduct research, including ability to evaluate and integrate information from a variety of sources and assess impact on the humanitarian rights situation in assigned country/area. Ability to work under extreme pressure, on occasion in a highly stressful environment (e.g. civil strife, natural disasters and human misery); ability to provide guidance to new/junior staff. 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.

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& 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.

Creativity: Actively seeks to improve programmes or services; offers new and different options to solve problems or meet client needs; promotes and persuades others to consider new ideas; takes calculated risks on new and unusual ideas; thinks “outside the box”; takes an interest in new ideas and new ways of doing things; is not bound by current thinking or traditional approaches.

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.

Commitment to Continuous Learning: Keeps abreast of new developments in own occupation/profession; actively seeks to develop oneself professionally and personally; contributes to the learning of colleagues and subordinates; shows willingness to learn from others; seeks feedback to learn and improve.

Technological Awareness: Keeps abreast of available technology; understands applicability and limitation of technology to the work of the office; actively seeks to apply technology to appropriate tasks; shows willingness to learn new technology.


Education: Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in political science, social science, nutrition, international studies, economics, engineering, earth sciences, information management, geographical information systems, or other related field. A first-level university degree in combination with qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Experience: A minimum of five (5) years of progressively responsible professional experience in needs assessments, vulnerability analysis, information management, or geographical information systems, including experience at the international level. Experience in humanitarian affairs (complex emergencies / natural disaster response and preparedness) and field experience, especially within the region, an advantage. Solid understanding of the UN system and of the work of humanitarian agencies; knowledge of current trends and policies regarding assessment and/or classification of emergencies.

Language: Fluency in English (both oral and written) is required.

Other Skills: Proven skills in analysis, negotiations and leadership; excellent inter- personal and communications skills; proven ability to function within a multi-cultural environment.

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.
OCHA retains the right to offer to suitable candidates similar positions at the same level in other duty stations, as and when required. For OCHA internal candidates, this is valid for posts at the same level only.

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/58/2008) 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
Vacancies Contact
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