Location: Kenya (Eldoret)
Closing date: 25 Apr 2008
Job Description

Date of issue: 18 April 2008
Post title and level: Humanitarian Affairs Officer, L-4
Duty station: Eldoret, OCHA-Kenya
Duration: 12 months
Vacancy Notice number: OCHA/G/71/2008
Deadline for applications: 25 April 2008
Date of entry: asap

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

1. Background

Post-election violence triggered by the announcement on 30 December 2007 of presidential elections led to the displacement of over 500,000 people in Kenya to camps and/or camp like situations and host families particularly in Nyanza, Rift Valley, Coast, Western, Central and Nairobi Provinces. There are a further estimated 250,000 - 300,000 IDPs who were displaced prior to the current crisis including by violence in 1992 and 1997, cattle raids, and competition over limited resources, floods, drought and other natural disasters.

Although the violence was triggered by disputed election results there was a clear ethnic dimension to the violence with members of specific groups targeted. It has also become evident that there the underlying historical, political and social-economic factors including land grievances contributed considerably to the violence patterns and intensity.

The signing of the Peace Accord on 28 February 2008 between the two opposing parties; the Party of National Unity (PNU) and the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) has created the space to start discussions on outstanding issues. To partly implement the Peace Accord, the government has drafted a National Reconciliation and Emergency Social and Economic Recovery Strategy which sets out the broad parameters for the return of IDPs in the coming three months. In coordination with the government and the Kenya Red Cross, the humanitarian agencies have revised an Emergency Humanitarian Response Plan appealing for USD 189 million through 2008.

In early January 2008 eleven sector/clusters were adopted to organize the international humanitarian response in Kenya. The sectors/clusters currently operational are; Health, Wash, Education, Food, Nutrition, Shelter & NFIs, Logistics, Protection, Camp Management & Coordination Emergency Telecoms and Early Recovery.

OCHA supports the Humanitarian Coordinator with coordination of humanitarian action and supports the sectors with the necessary common services and tools for effective cross-sector collaboration in the areas of Information Management, Advocacy/Resource Mobilization and Disaster Preparedness and Response efforts to ensure more inclusive, comprehensive and well-prioritized coordination.
Effectively collecting, compiling, analyzing and disseminating timely and relevant information is one of the primary challenges for humanitarian organizations in any response. In Kenya in particular, accurate information is a prerequisite to implementing effective relief operations, as well as addressing other longstanding acute and chronic vulnerabilities and as an advocacy tool for improvements of the humanitarian situation.

2. Accountabilities / Duties

The incumbent, based in Eldoret, will be reporting on a daily basis to the Head of Office. In particular, the incumbent will be responsible for the following tasks:

1. Analyze, prepare position reports and provide advice on a range of policy issues related to safeguarding humanitarian principles and ensuring the effective delivery of humanitarian assistance;

2. Prepare regular situation reports highlighting relevant operational factors affecting the humanitarian situation and response efforts;

3. Support and facilitate the development and implementation of inclusive, field level humanitarian coordination mechanisms, including managing working relationships between funding and implementing agencies of the UN, NGOs and other humanitarian partners in line with the Humanitarian Reform agenda.

4. Support the preparation, implementation and monitoring of the county’s humanitarian work plan (usually expressed through the Common

5. Humanitarian Action Plan (CHAP)/Consolidated Appeal Process (CAP)), soliciting and negotiating inputs with relevant authorities, UN agencies, NGOs, etc.;

6. Facilitate substantive linkages between emergency response, preparedness/prevention, rehabilitation and recovery programs; as well as with other related areas such as peace building, human rights, etc;

7. Facilitate / participate in interagency assessment missions to build consensus on sector and geographic priorities;

8. Assist in matters related to natural disasters and new emergencies including monitoring and reporting; supporting United Nations Disaster Assessment Coordination (UNDAC) missions; preparation, monitoring and reporting on appeals, elaborating costs plans, initiating lessons learned, etc.;

9. Consult UN agencies, NGOs, the diplomatic community and non-state actors in order to develop strategies to identify and track information required for early warning of potential conflict and conflict-related vulnerability.

10. Liaise with humanitarian partners on the collection of information to effectively map areas of humanitarian needs and response activities in support of coordination efforts;

11. Foster and reinforce linkages between field monitoring, information management and coordination efforts;

12. Support inter-agency contingency planning efforts, ensuring linkages between various contingency plans, adequate pre-positioning of stocks as required, etc.;

13. Support advocacy initiatives on issues impacting humanitarian needs and response efforts through the collection of information, liaison with humanitarian partners, government officials, and media, development of appropriate strategies, etc.;

14. Support the Head of Office in the day to day management of field and sub-offices as relevant, including assisting in the work planning and budgeting process, resource mobilization, financial, administrative and security (MOSS / MORSS) management, etc;

15. Manage day-to-day activities of the OCHA sub-office in the field duty station, providing oversight for all substantive/programmatic, logistics, administrative, and security issues;

16. Support human resources planning and management in field and/or sub-offices including: recruitment, supervision and support of field staff;

17. Provide leadership and work direction to a team and mentor/supervise the work of new/junior officers.

18. Take lead in the planning and budgeting process, support resource mobilization and ensure sound financial management.

19. Oversee and monitor human resource requirements of the sub-office including planning and overseeing the selection of field staff as well as supporting the overall development of field staff, fostering teamwork and communication amongst field staff, and promoting linkages between field staff and relevant regional and headquarters colleagues.

20. Ensure the Office produces timely, quality outputs including comprehensive work plans, concise and factual situation reports, analytical papers, comprehensive and fact-based information products, etc.

21. Perform other duties, as required.
Work implies frequent interaction with the following
OCHA staff in the field office, relevant regional office and headquarters; Country-level humanitarian partners, in particular with the Office of the UN R/HC, UN Red Cross and relevant NGO staff, etc. Government officials at the district and national levels; Representatives of the media at the national, regional, and international levels; Visiting representatives of UN, donor countries/organizations and the donor community;

3. The United Nations organizational/core and managerial competencies include:
(Core) Accountability; Client Orientation; Communication; Commitment to Continuous Learning; Creativity; Planning and Organizing; Teamwork; and Technological Awareness; (Managerial) Building Trust; Empowering Others; Managing Performance; Leadership; Judgment/Decision-making; and Vision;

However, for this particular post, the candidate will be tested for the following core and managerial competencies:

Sound knowledge of and exposure to a range of humanitarian assistance, protection and human rights issues, strong 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 to use sound judgment in resolving a wide range of problems; including ability to evaluate and integrate information from a variety of sources to assess the impact of the humanitarian situation in assigned country/area; ability to work under pressure, including in insecure environments; solid understanding of institutional mandates, policies and guidelines related to humanitarian affairs and of the institutions of the UN system, in particular, the mandate and core polices of OCHA.

Planning and Organizing:
Ability to plan own work and coordinate the work of others, manage conflicting priorities and work under pressure and / or with limited supervision.

Excellent spoken and written communication skills, including the ability to draft/edit a variety of reports and communications and to articulate ideas in a clear, concise style.

Very good interpersonal skills with the ability to establish and maintain effective partnerships and working relations in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity.

Managing Performance:
Ability to delegate appropriate responsibilities, to monitor progress against milestones and deadlines, proven skills to plan, coordinate and monitor subordinates’ workloads and match task to skills; ability to support creativity and initiative.

4. Qualifications / Experience

An advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) preferably in political science, business or public administration, sociology, law, international relations, economics, management, or related area of studies. A combination of extensive relevant professional experience with at least a first-level university degree (i.e. Bachelor’s degree or equivalent) in one of the academic disciplines listed above, may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Successful candidate(s) must have, at least, a minimum of seven (7) years of progressively responsible professional experience in the field of humanitarian affairs, disaster management and response, inter-agency coordination, or in a related area of expertise. The required professional experience must include at least three (3) years of international experience. Professional field experience (actual setting where a mission and/or project is being implemented) in emergency situations (complex emergency and/or natural disaster) is highly desirable.

Excellent command (i.e. mastery of verbal and written) of English is a requirement.
Knowledge of a second UN language is desirable.

Knowledge of institutional mandates, policies and guidelines pertaining to humanitarian assistance. Knowledge of the institutions of the UN system. Relevant experience in the region an asset.

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/71/2008) 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