Junior Professional Officer (JPO) in Humanitarian Affairs

NGO Jobs / UN Jobs Vacancy

Country: United States of America
Organization: US Agency for International Development
Closing date: 30 Oct 2020

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

How to apply:

The JPO Program selection process is carried out jointly by USAID/BHA and the UNOCHA. You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply. To apply please send the following,

  1. completed UN Personal History Statement (P11) (see link below),
  2. resume (CV) and;
  3. cover letter to explain your interest in this position

to JPOCoordinator@ofda.gov . Please state which position you are applying for in the subject line of your email. If you wish to apply for multiple positions, please complete a Personal History Statement (P11) for each position and submit these to us in separate emails with the appropriate subject heading.

Application Details

Please complete the UN Personal History Statement (P11) thoroughly. The P11 provides the opportunity to include all required information in one document, including your professional work experience and references. Please attach a cover letter to explain your interest in the position and interest in working with the UN, along with a general resume. The P11 has instructions on how to complete the profile; however, please be sure to also follow the additional instructions below:

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