Junior Professional Officer (JPO) in Humanitarian Affairs

NGO Jobs / UN Jobs Vacancy



Country: Burkina Faso
Organization: US Agency for International Development
Closing date: 30 Nov 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 organization.

II. General Information

  • Title: JPO in Humanitarian Affairs
  • Organization/Office: United Nations / OCHA
  • Duty Station: Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
  • Date Required: As soon as possible Duration: 1 year (with possible extension for another year)

III. Supervision

Title of Supervisor: Head of Office

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. The JPO will have regular (weekly) meetings with his/her direct supervisor to plan and monitor tasks and performance, and will also participate in regular staff meetings (every two weeks) and office planning retreats (biannual).

Evaluation: The United Nations Performance Evaluation System (e-performance) will serve as a primary platform to evaluate of the JPO’s performance.

IV. Duties, Responsibilities, and Output Expectations

Within delegated authority, the Junior Professional Officer (Humanitarian Affairs Officer) will be responsible for the following duties:

  • Monitors, analyzes and reports on humanitarian developments in Burkina Faso.
  • Supports the organization of Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) and Inter-Cluster Coordination Group (ICCG) meetings and other strategic coordination structures; organizes follow-up work, including drafting of meeting records, information sharing among members.
  • Organizes and prepares studies on humanitarian and related issues; organizes follow-up work, including interagency technical review meetings to support good practice documentation, policy development work and decision-making on important issues.
  • Supports large, complex projects, to include humanitarian assessment or other missions; assists in the coordination of international humanitarian assistance for complex emergency situations and in ensuring the necessary support (e.g. staff, funding, specialized equipment, supplies, etc.); drafts situation reports to the international community, apprising of situation to date and specifying unmet requirements.
  • Supports humanitarian agencies to plan and evaluate humanitarian programmes and help ensure that latest findings, lessons learned, policy guidelines, etc. are incorporated into these activities, including gender-related considerations. Participates in field missions, including provision of substantive and administrative support, data collection, etc.;
  • Supports the production of appeals for international assistance; monitors the proper use and spending of donor contributions channeled through OCHA.
  • Supports the Head of Office to establish and maintain professional contacts with key constituencies, including government officials, other UN agencies, non-governmental organizations, diplomatic missions, media, etc.
  • Undertakes and provides support to technical assistance and other field missions, e.g. participates in field trips to undertake in-depth reviews of specific country coordination mechanisms.
  • Prepares or contributes to the preparation of various written reports, documents and communications, e.g. drafts sections of studies, background papers, policy guidelines, parliamentary documents, briefings, case studies, presentations, correspondence, etc.
  • Prepares proposals for humanitarian donors, interim and final reports on use of donor funds.
  • Serves as the primary focal point on specific topics or policy-related issues; keeps abreast of latest developments, liaises with other humanitarian organizations, donors, etc., ensures appropriate monitoring and reporting mechanisms; provides information and advice on a range of related issues to internal and external stakeholders.
  • Reviews and provides advice on policy issues related to safeguarding humanitarian principles and ensuring the effective delivery of humanitarian assistance.
  • Organizes and participates in work groups, meetings, conferences, consultations with other agencies and partners on humanitarian and emergency relief-related matters.
  • Performs other duties as required.

V. Qualifications and Experience

  • Education: Advanced university degree (Master's degree or equivalent) in political science, social science, international studies, humanitarian studies, development studies, public administration, economics, engineering, earth sciences or a related field. A first-level university degree in combination with an additional two years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
  • Experience: A minimum of two years of progressively responsible experience in humanitarian affairs, emergency preparedness, crisis/emergency relief management, rehabilitation, development, or other related area. Humanitarian experience in the field (actual setting where a mission and/or project is being implemented) in emergency situations (complex emergency or natural disaster) is desirable. Experience in the UN Common System is desirable.
  • Languages: French and English are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in written and oral English and French is required.
  • UN Competencies:
    • Professionalism: 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
    • 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 honors 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.
    • 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:

  • Working knowledge of advances in humanitarian policy and practice and the role of the reporting and coordination functions in humanitarian settings.
  • Chair and facilitate coordination meetings, including strategic, operational and specialized thematic working groups.
  • Produce official UN documentation consistent with UN standards, including meeting records and mission reports, situation reports, policy briefs, donor reports, etc.
  • Organize assessment missions and write assessment reports.
  • Support the development of a humanitarian appeal and coordination of inter-agency programme monitoring and evaluation.
  • Assess project proposals

VII. Background Information

Since late 2018, Burkina Faso has seen the emergence of an unprecedented humanitarian and protection
crisis due to the unpredictable and volatile security situation characterized by the presence and
aggressive action of non-state armed groups in northern and eastern parts of the country, which has
provoked large-scale internal displacement. In early 2019, the United Nations recommended the rapid
scaling up of UN operations, including humanitarian capacities. OCHA took the decision to establish a
Country Office in the capital, Ouagadougou, with sub-offices in the most-affected regions of the country,
in view of the need to strengthen humanitarian and civil-military coordination, protect humanitarian space and enhance protection in the most crisis-affected parts of the country, as well as at national level, and to engage constructively in efforts to advocate for humanitarian action as well as cooperation amongst humanitarian, development, peacebuilding and prevention approaches. OCHA’s presence has supported UN agencies, NGOs, donors and other development partners and the Government of Burkina Faso to transition from a predominantly development to a humanitarian footing, including the establishment of a robust humanitarian coordination architecture to support the Humanitarian Coordinator function (activated in November 2019) through activation of the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) and the Cluster Approach at the national level. As of January 2020, OCHA has 14 staff (five international and seven national staff and two international UNVs) deployed in Burkina Faso, including dedicated information management, communications, humanitarian civil-military coordination and access officers, as well as humanitarian affairs officers responsible for strategic and operational coordination. The JPO position will provide support directly to the Head of Office and, through her, to the Humanitarian Coordinator, on strategic coordination and reporting.

How to apply:

VIII. Application Instructions

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

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

to BHA.JPOCoordinator@usaid.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:

  • The P11 must be completed in English only. .
  • You may leave the signature/date sections blank at this time. If selected for one of the positions, you will then need to submit a signed version.
  • Do not submit a photograph.
  • Incomplete applications will not be considered;
  • Application deadline: November 30, 2020, 5:00 PM Eastern Time
  • For more information please consult the Frequently Asked Questions– https://bhajobs.net/files/resources/FAQ_JPO.pd


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