Job at The United Nations, Abuja for a Head of Office, Humanitarian Affairs

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We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Head of Office, Humanitarian Affairs (TJO)
Job Opening Number: 63474
: Abuja
Job Code Title: Head of Office, Humanitarian Affairs
Department/Office: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Job Description

  • The position is located in the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Abuja, Nigeria.
  • The Head of Office supports the UN Resident Coordinator/Humanitarian Coordinator (RC/HC) under the overall leadership of the Director of the Coordination and Response Division (CRD) of OCHA.

Within the limits of delegated authority, and under the overall leadership and direction of the Director of the Coordination and Response Division (CRD) of OCHA and supporting the UN RC/HC, the Head of Office will discharge and be responsible for the following functions:

Humanitarian Policy:

  • Serve as senior policy advisor to the UN RC/HC, the UN Country Team (UNCT) and the humanitarian country team on humanitarian principles and initiatives.
  • Act to strengthen cooperation among the humanitarian community on policy issues of inter-agency concern and serve as a key interlocutor with relevant Government partners.
  • Advise, promote and provide guidance to the UN RC/HC, the UNCT and the humanitarian county team on humanitarian reform initiatives including cluster coordination, humanitarian financing, etc.
  • Develop and maintain contacts with the international community in order to raise awareness and advocate for issues of humanitarian concerns.

Humanitarian Programming / Coordination:

  • Provide strategic support to the UN RC/HC in the preparation, implementation and monitoring of the work plan of the humanitarian community, soliciting and negotiating inputs with relevant authorities, UN agencies, NGOs, etc.
  • Consult on a regular basis with the RC/HC, Heads of UN Agencies and Programmes, NGOs heads of mission, the government and the donor community on all appropriate aspects of the implementation and delivery of humanitarian activities, to ensure that coordination structures at local, provincial and national levels operate in a coherent and cost-effective manner.
  • Support the planning, monitoring, and evaluation of humanitarian programs, facilitating incorporation of lessons learned, policy guidelines etc. into humanitarian response activities.
  • Promote best practices in humanitarian planning, response and evaluation.
  • Promote dialogue, regional alliances, sharing of knowledge and resources, among national and, as appropriate, regional humanitarian actors in disaster risk reduction, disaster/emergency preparedness and response.
  • Promote and lead contingency planning processes in close cooperation with UNDMT and Regional Disaster Reduction Advisers (RDRA) as applicable.
  • Develop joint initiatives on disaster management with other UN and (if applicable) regional actors; including early warning mechanisms.
  • Under the overall guidance of the Director of the CRD and in partnership with other branches of OCHA, work to reinforce regional networks and mechanisms for swift, effective response to emerging humanitarian situations.
  • Facilitate inter-agency resource mobilization efforts, including the provision of specialized international assistance to respond to ongoing as well as new and /or emerging emergencies.
  • Develop, reinforce and maintain effective coordination mechanisms with the humanitarian county team and other key humanitarian stakeholders.
  • Establish / manage information management systems to effectively map areas of humanitarian needs and response activities in support of coordination efforts.
  • Foster and reinforce linkages between field monitoring, information management and coordination efforts.
  • Ensure timely and appropriate assistance to the UN RC/HC and (if applicable) the United Nations Disaster Management Teams (UNDMT) in response to disasters and emergencies.
  • Support inter-agency efforts to build in-country UN capacity to manage natural disaster response.
  • Provide substantive support and leadership to government institutions and local humanitarian entities to build national capacity for emergency and/or disaster management.

Office Management / OCHA Representation:

  • Serve as the OCHA Head of Office in designated duty station, providing oversight of all programmatic/administrative tasks necessary for the efficient functioning of the OCHA office and any sub-offices, and being accountable for the use of resources and for the results obtained.
  • Lead work planning and budgeting process, support resource mobilization and ensure sound financial management.
  • Promote OCHA’s mandate, objectives and tools in the designated area through contacts with the government, diplomatic missions, UN entities, non-governmental organizations and the media.
  • Ensure the Office produces timely, high-quality outputs including comprehensive workplans, concise and factual situation reports, analytical papers, comprehensive and fact-based information products, etc.
  • Ensure regular and effective supervision of OCHA staff, particularly by leading, managing, developing, and training staff; foster teamwork and communication amongst staff; and strengthen linkages between the staff in field, regional and headquarters offices.
  • Perform other duties as requested by the UN RC/HC and / or Director of CRD.


  • PROFESSIONALISM: Expert knowledge of complex, multi-faceted humanitarian issues with wide exposure to humanitarian and emergency relief operations; Ability to advise the UN Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator as well as OCHA’s senior management team on tactical approaches and techniques to address complex and sensitive humanitarian issues; Ability to produce reports and papers on technical issues and to review and edit the work of others.Excellent understanding of institutional mandates, policies and guidelines related to humanitarian affairs and of the institutions of the UN system, in particular, the mandate of OCHA as well as its core policies and guiding humanitarian principles;Knowledge of OCHA institutional mandate, its policies, and organizational procedures as well as understanding of the core UN policies and guiding principles pertaining to international humanitarian affairs. Ability to apply UN rules, regulations, policies and guidelines in work situations. 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.
  • JUDGEMENT/DECISION-MAKING: Identifies the key issues in a complex situation, and comes to the heart of the problem quickly; gathers relevant information before making a decision; considers positive and negative impacts of decisions prior to making them; takes decisions with an eye to the impact on others and on the Organization; proposes a course of action or makes a recommendation based on all available information; checks assumptions against facts; determines that the actions proposed will satisfy the expressed and underlying needs for the decision; makes tough decisions when necessary.
  • LEADERSHIP: Serves as a role model that other people want to follow: empowers others to translate vision into results; is proactive in developing strategies to accomplish objectives; establishes and maintains relationships with a broad range of people to understand needs and gain support; anticipates and resolves conflicts by pursuing mutually agreeable solutions; drives for change and improvements; does not accept the status quo; shows the courage to take unpopular stands. Provides leadership and takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work; demonstrates knowledge of strategies and commitment to the goal of gender balance in staffing.
  • 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 the audience; Demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.
  • 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.


  • An advanced university Degree (Master’s Degree or equivalent Degree) in Political Science, Business or Public Administration, Law, Social Sciences, International Relations, Economics, Management, or related area, is required. A first-level university Degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

  • A minimum of fifteen years of progressively responsible, disaster relief coordination, humanitarian assistance, human resources management, administration, logistics, financial management, budget or related field, is required. Five years of experience at the international level is desirable. Experience at the senior management level is desirable. Experience in coordinating relief/humanitarian response is desirable.


  • English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this post advertised, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another UN official language is an advantage.


  • Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by competency-based interview.


How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply 
Application Deadline  4th August, 2016.

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