Job Opening

Posting Title: Chief of Response Support Branch (D-1) [TJO], D1 (Temporary Job Opening)
Department/Office: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Duty Station: GENEVA
Posting Period: 08 October 2020 - 09 November 2020
Job Opening Number: 20-Humanitarian Affairs-OCHA-139801-J-Geneva (X)
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
Sorry, this job opening is no longer available.

Org. Setting and Reporting

This position is located in the Response Support Branch, Coordination Division, of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) based in Geneva.

OCHA is part of the United Nations Secretariat responsible for bringing together humanitarian actors to ensure a coherent response to emergencies. OCHA also ensures there is a framework within which each actor can contribute to the overall response efforts. OCHA's mission is to mobilize and coordinate effective and principled humanitarian action in partnership with national and international actors in order to alleviate human suffering in disasters and emergencies; advocate the rights of people in need; promote preparedness and prevention and facilitate sustainable solutions.

Within delegated authority, the Chief of Branch will be responsible for strengthening national and international disaster response and response preparedness capacities; facilitating initial disaster assessment and coordination through the timely deployment of appropriate staff resources and expertise; supporting effective international response efforts through the provision of civil–military coordination, logistical support, information technology expertise and emergency relief stocks; managing rosters and networks to ensure the availability of humanitarian specialists, environmental experts, and technical modules to support field operations; and working with partners to ensure appropriate international standards for response are constantly developed and updated, including in international urban search and rescue (INSARAG) activities, civil– military coordination, environmental emergencies response.

Provide management oversight of the Sections in the Branch, including the Emergency Response Section, and, the Civil Military Coordination Section. Enhance the integration of OCHA's response mechanisms (including surge capacity) into humanitarian policy and practice in countries affected by humanitarian emergencies. Ensure coherence and complementarity between disaster response and humanitarian coordination structures, mechanisms, partnerships, practice and policy. Grow and develop effective disaster response networks (e.g. UNDAC, INSARAG, International Humanitarian Partnership, Surge Capacity resource providers, Connecting Business Initiative) and other operational partnerships of strategic importance.

Ensure awareness and utilization of OCHA mechanisms and response tools, contributing to the advancement of a systematic approach to disaster response and response preparedness. Pro-actively strengthen coordination support and instruments for response to humanitarian emergencies, including natural and environmental disasters. Provide advice to the Director, Coordination Division in connection with OCHA's mandated actions in regard to natural disasters, environmental emergencies and technological accidents, and, the interface between these priority areas, and OCHA’s wider humanitarian response work.

As a member of OCHA's Core Management Team of the Coordination Division, the incumbent will assist in the overall management of the Coordination Division. As a member of the Global Management Team, the incumbent will contribute to the strategic management of OCHA as a whole.


Within delegated authority, the Chief of Branch will:

1.Ensure the day-to-day substantive management of the Response Support Branch; Develop a Branch work plan and establish a list of priority activities;
Supervise and provide guidance/support to the Branch's staff and to Section/Unit Chiefs in particular;
Initiate necessary substantive administrative and financial procedures/actions to support the activities of individual Section/Units;
Ensure adequate staffing of the Branch;
Ensure appropriate/equitable distribution of work-loads among the Branch's staff;
Hold regular meetings, including retreats, with the Branch's staff, for the purpose of sharing information, work planning, improvement of procedures, development of common standards and team-building;
Ensure adequate funding is made available to the Branch's Sections/Units.

2.Ensure the Branch is optimally equipped and organized as well as having all necessary instruments in order to mobilize and deploy the appropriate staff and resources when called upon to do so in the context of emergency/disaster response activities undertaken by OCHA; Oversee the development of effective networks, especially with operational partners, so as to ensure stand-by capacity is maintained and effectively utilized as/when appropriate;
Enhance the resources, the capacity and the development of the Branch's Sections that are of significant importance to the Office as it coordinates emergency/disaster relief activities in the field;
Elaborate universally adopted/endorsed "guidelines" and other instruments to formalize, facilitate and standardize the manner in which existing assets are deployed and utilized; Integrate information management functions into OCHA's response actions;
Lead individual response activities, when called upon.

3.Provide advice to the Director, Coordination Division in connection with OCHA's mandated actions in regard to Natural Disasters;
Maintenance of the relative importance and visibility of actions focused on OCHA's responsibilities vis a vis the coordination of the international community's response actions in the aftermath of natural disasters;
Enhance existing response instruments (and create complementary tools) to ensure more effective response actions;
Promote collaboration on the theme of natural disasters with primary partners, specifically UNDP and ISDR (thereby enhancing the links between disaster/risk reduction, disaster mitigation, response preparedness, response, post-disaster reconstruction and development), also in the aftermath of the Sendai Conference;
Promote system-wide (IASC) collaboration and integration of individual responsibilities as well as activities in regard to natural disasters;
Mainstream response preparedness within and outside OCHA;

Participate in appropriate fora on natural disasters on OCHA's behalf.

4.Manage the performance and contribute to the development of supervised staff; Effectively oversee and monitor the performance of staff of the Branch;
Implement PAS process with due attention being paid to individual staff concerns and interests;
Encourage staff to take advantage of existing training opportunities.

5.Demonstrate gender and cross-cultural responsiveness;
Work effectively, productively and harmoniously with all staff, irrespective of origin, gender, culture, religious belief, background or personal characteristics.

6.Maintain contacts and linkages with other organizational units within Coordination Division, ensuring thereby that the Director is not the only point of reference and that, in his absence uniformity of procedures is maintained.

7.Coordinate the preparation and review of the performance and cost planning process of all Geneva based entities under purview of the Director, including the Mid-Year Review, individual submissions for revision and budget neutral cost plan adjustments.


PROFESSIONALISM: Knowledge of humanitarian affairs' issues, including practical exposure to the full range of humanitarian and emergency relief assistance practices; ability to advise on methods and techniques to address emergency assistance issues; conceptual and strategic capabilities and ability to thoroughly analyze and evaluate critical matters related to humanitarian and emergency relief; ability to develop and implement projects in the area of disaster preparedness and response; ability to work under extreme pressure and at the same time be both productive and effective; in-depth knowledge of institutional mandates, policies and guidelines related to humanitarian affairs and expert knowledge of the Institutions of the UN system, in particular, the mandate of OCHA as well as its core policies and guiding principles in terms of humanitarian assistance and relief coordination; ability to review and edit documents and materials, as well as provide substantial inputs to the work of others.

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.

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.

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.

VISION: Identifies strategic issues, opportunities and risks; clearly communicates links between the Organization's strategy and the work unit's goals; generates and communicates broad and compelling organizational direction, inspiring others to pursue that same direction; conveys enthusiasm about future possibilities.


Advanced university degree (Master's degree or equivalent) in international relations, business or public administration, finance, accounting, law, social sciences or related field. A first-level university degree in combination with qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of fifteen (15) years of progressively responsible professional experience in the area of crisis management, international emergency, humanitarian assistance, and international disaster management and preparedness is required.
Of which, at least four (4) years of international field experience within the last 10 years is required.
Senior management experience leading and coordinating humanitarian relief operations in complex emergencies or natural disaster situations is required
Five (5) years of experience in leading and/or participating in international assessment and coordination teams is desirable.
Five (5) years of experience in building and maintaining partnerships and donor engagement is desirable.
Five (5) years of experience in interagency coordination is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the UN Secretariat; for this position, fluency in English (both written and oral) is required. Fluency in French is desirable. Knowledge of another UN official language is desirable.


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include a desk review of the applications, an assessment exercise and/or a competency-based interview.

Special Notice

• This temporary position is intended to fill the functions for the duration of 364 days with the possibility of extension. The selected candidate is expected to start as soon as possible.

• A staff member holding a temporary appointment shall be regarded as an external candidate when applying for other positions, and may apply for other temporary positions at any level, subject to section 5.7 below and staff rule 4.16 (b) (ii). Therefore, a staff member holding a temporary appointment in the General Service or related categories may only apply to positions within those categories. For full information on eligibility requirements, please refer to section 5 of ST/AI/2010/4Rev.1 on Temporary Appointments. In its resolution 66/234, the General Assembly further "stressed that the Secretary General should not recur to the practice of temporarily filling posts in the Professional and higher categories with General Service staff members who have not passed the General Service to Professional category examination other than on an exceptional basis, and requests the Secretary-General to ensure that temporary occupation of such posts by the General Service staff shall not exceed a period of one year, effective 1 January 2013…" Consequently, eligible candidates in the General Service or related categories for temporary job openings in the Professional category that have not passed the competitive examination may be selected only on an exceptional basis endorsed by the Office of Human Resources Management where no other suitable candidate could be identified.

• Upon separation from service, including, but not limited to, expiration or termination of, or resignation from, a fixed-term, continuing or permanent appointment, a former staff member will be ineligible for re-employment on the basis of a temporary appointment for a period of 31 days following the separation. In the case of separation from service on retirement, a former staff member will be ineligible for re-employment for a period of three months following the separation. This equally applies, mutatis mutandis, with respect to a former or current staff member who has held or holds an appointment in another entity applying the United Nations Staff Regulations and Rules and who applies for a temporary position with the Secretariat.

• While this temporary assignment may provide the successful applicant with an opportunity to gain new work experience, the selection for this position is for a limited period and has no bearing on the future incumbency of the post. An external candidate selected for this position is bound by the prevailing condition of the staff selection system under ST/AI/2010/3, as amended, and ST/AI/2010/4/Rev.1. A staff member holding a temporary appointment who is recruited in the Professional and above categories on a temporary appointment, and placed on a position authorized for one year or longer may not apply for or be reappointed to his/her current position within six months of the end of his/her current service. This provision does not apply to staff members holding temporary appointments and placed on positions authorized for one year or more in duty stations authorized for peacekeeping operations or special political missions.

• Staff members of the United Nations common system organizations who will reach the mandatory age of separation or retirement within the duration of the current temporary need period are not eligible to apply.

• Staff members are not eligible to apply for the current temporary job opening if they are unable to serve the specified duration of temporary need before reaching the mandatory age of separation. Submitting an application or selection for the current temporary job opening does not delay or increase the mandatory age of separation.

•The United Nations is Secretariat and is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for these positions. An impeccable record for integrity and professional ethical standards is essential.

• The expression "Internal candidates", shall mean staff members who have been recruited after a competitive examination under staff rule 4.16 or after the advice of a central review body under staff rule 4.15.

• Please note that candidates will be required to meet the requirements of Article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter as well as the requirements of the position. The United Nations is committed to the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity for all its human resources, including but not limited to respect for international human rights and humanitarian law. Candidates may be subject to screening against these standards, including but not limited to whether they have committed, or are alleged to have committed criminal offences and/or violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law.

• For information on special post allowance, please refer to ST/AI/1999/17. For more details on the administration of temporary appointments please refer to ST/AI/2010/4/Rev.1.

• The Staff Regulations, Staff Rules and administrative issuances governing staff appointments can be viewed at:

• Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, Inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the At-a-Glance on "The Application Process" and the Instructional Manual for the Applicants, which can be accessed by clicking on "Manuals" hyper-link on the upper right side of Inspira account holder homepage.

• Applications are pre-screened by the system according to the published requirements of the job opening on the basis of the information provided in the application. In relation to the requirements of the job opening, applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their qualifications, including their education, work experience, and language skills. Each applicant must bear in mind that submission of incomplete or inaccurate applications may render that applicant ineligible for consideration for the job opening. Initial screening and evaluation of applications will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted. Applications cannot be amended following submission. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to a reference-checking process to verify the information provided in the application.

• Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at midnight (New York time) on the deadline date.

•Please note that due to the ongoing situation with COVID-19 and the travel restrictions imposed by national authorities, selected candidates may be required to start the assignment/appointment remotely, in agreement with the hiring manager, and until further notice.

United Nations Considerations

According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. Candidates will not be considered for employment with the United Nations if they have committed violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law, sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, or sexual harassment, or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have been involved in the commission of any of these acts. The term “sexual exploitation” means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. The term “sexual abuse” means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions. The term “sexual harassment” means any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offence or humiliation, when such conduct interferes with work, is made a condition of employment or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, and when the gravity of the conduct warrants the termination of the perpetrator’s working relationship. Candidates who have committed crimes other than minor traffic offences may not be considered for employment.

Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. The United Nations places no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.

Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the Manual for the Applicant, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.

The evaluation of applicants will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations including the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of the General Assembly, the Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications according to the instructions provided in inspira to be considered for the current job opening. No amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to reference checks to verify the information provided in the application.

Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at 11:59 p.m. (New York time) on the deadline date.

No Fee


Sorry, this job opening is no longer available.
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