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Job Opening

Posting Title: Chief of Section, P5
Job Code Title: Chief of Administration
Department/Office: United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction Secretariat
Duty Station: GENEVA
Posting Period: 30 November 2017 - 29 December 2017
Job Opening Number: 17-Administration-UNISDR-89214-R-Geneva (X)
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Org. Setting and Reporting

Created in December 1999, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) is the designated focal point in the United Nations system for the coordination of efforts to reduce disasters and to ensure synergies among the disaster reduction activities of the United Nations and regional organizations and activities in both developed and less developed countries. Led by the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction (SRSG), UNISDR has over 100 staff located in its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, and in regional offices. Specifically, UNISDR guides, monitors, analyses and reports on progress in the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, supports regional and national implementation of the Framework and catalyses action and increases global awareness to reduce disaster risk working with U.N. Member States and a broad range of partners and stakeholders, including civil society, the private sector, parliamentarians and the science and technology community.

The position is located in the UNISDR office in Geneva. The incumbent reports to the Director of UNISDR.


Strategic oversight:
Provides authoritative advice and support for the senior management in all areas related to human and financial management, resource planning and monitoring, correct operational modalities and related administrative policies/procedures, etc. Formulates strategic direction and evaluates strategic options, particularly in terms of resource implications. Collaborates closely with the Resource Mobilization Unit, in particular with regard to project and budget formulation at the concept stage. Assumes the lead role in monitoring and supporting the execution of these strategies to achieve maximum impact. Leads the development and implementation of the administrative and financial framework of UNISDR; Monitors compliance with a set of sound procedures, standards and tools that are consistent with UN policy and practice in all areas related to Administration, in order to ensure the sound management of the Department’s human and financial resources. Ensures effective knowledge sharing and support to all key staff across the department in the implementation of these policies and procedures. Contributes to the overall sound management of UNISDR through participation in the Senior Management Team, chairing the Programme Management Oversight Committee (PMOC) and participating in other internal committees as required. Participates, on behalf of the Department, in task forces of the Secretariat on human resources, finance and administrative matters.

Prepares the work programme of the Section in collaboration with the finance, human resources and administration teams - determining priorities, and allocating resources for the completion of outputs and their timely delivery. Together with team leaders, plans, organises and implements support services, setting clear targets and indicators for the Section, and monitors performance of the Section against these targets. Ensures that the outputs produced by the Section maintain high-quality standards and reflect a strong client orientation. Gathers and documents regular and systematic feedback from clients, and proposes corrective action to address identified gaps and challenges. Carries out programmatic/administrative tasks necessary for the functioning of the Section, including preparation of budgets, assigning and monitoring of performance parameters and critical indicators, reporting on budget/programme performance, preparation of inputs for results-based budgeting, evaluation of staff performance (PAS), interviews of candidates for job openings and evaluation of candidates. Oversees recruitment of staff for the Section taking due account of geographical and gender balance and core institutional values. Manages, guides, and provides regular feedback on performance of staff under his/her supervision. Effectively develops staff under his/her supervision and ensures there are documented and well-supported plans in each staff member’s e-PAS across the Section, for their on-going learning and development. Fosters teamwork and communication across teams and among staff in the Section and with staff members and teams across the organization. Promotes a culture of innovation, agility, learning, accountability and transparency among staff members carrying out the work of the Section. .

Planning, monitoring and reporting
Leads the development of UNISDR strategic framework and work programme, in close collaboration with all sections and office across the Office. Oversees the design and implementation of the planning and monitoring framework of the Department to ensure fully transparent and results focused management. Chair the Programme Management Oversight Committee (PMOC), ensures all Office’s activities are aligned with the targets identified in the annual work plan and that progress is appropriately monitored. Oversees the production of the monthly dashboards and quarter reports and provides analysis of the dashboards and report to the senior management. Alerts senior management and management team in case of major deviations and proposes corrective action. Leads the reporting to intergovernmental bodies on budget/programme performance or on programmatic/substantive issues, particularly those presented in biannual and/or annual reports. Oversees the preparation of internal financial reports and responses to Internal and External Audit observations in compliance with the Financial Rules and Regulations.

Finance and budget management
Oversees the development and implementation of an overall resource allocation and planning system to support the implementation of UNISDR mandate, within the overall financial context and based on the funding forecast, ensuring adequate cost recovery from earmarked activities for core activities of the department and in line with the result-based management framework adopted by the Department; ensures the effective monitoring of expenditures and provides major/complex reports, including on the allocation/availability of budget resources to senior staff, highlighting any areas of concerns and proposing corrective action. Oversees all procurement processes within delegated authority.

Administrative management
Oversees all activities related to the set up and closing of UNISDR offices, facilities management, property and inventory control, travel and the set up and management of large meetings and conferences. In particular, ensures that official and legal documents including MoUs, host-level country agreement and service level agreement are established and maintained in accordance with the UN rules and regulations and good practices.

Human resources management
Supports the Director in the development and management of a strategic approach to human resources management within the department, including in staff development and performance management. Ensures good HR practices across personnel administration, recruitment, performance management, staff development including on-boarding and exit protocols. Oversees the development and maintenance of staffing table records; Builds a positive engagement and partnership with managers, supervisors and staff members across the organization and including the Staff Representative in support of effective staff management relations and sound human resources management.


-Knowledge of the substantive field of work in general and of specific areas being supervised.
-Ability to produce reports and papers on technical issues and to review and edit the work of others.
-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;

-Takes ownership of all responsibilities and honours 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

-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 improvement; 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.

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


Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in business or public administration, financial and resource planning, accounting, law, or a related area. A first-level university degree in combination with at least two years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible experience in administration, budget, finance, human resources management or related field. Experience supervising a team is required. Experience supporting decentralised offices is desirable. Experience in leading results-based management processes in international organisations such as the United Nations is desirable. A minimum of 5 years experience in providing strategic financial analysis, planning and monitoring and human resources reports is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in English is required; knowledge of French is desirable. Knowledge of another UN official language is an advantage.


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

Special Notice

Extension of the appointment is subject to Extension of the mandate and/or the availability of the funds.

Staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and to assignment by him or her. In this context, all staff are expected to move periodically to new functions in their careers in accordance with established rules and procedures.

Staff members of the United Nations Secretariat must fulfill the lateral move requirements to be eligible to apply for this vacancy. Staff members are requested to indicate all qualifying lateral moves in their Personal History Profile (PHP) and cover note.

The United Nations Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.

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, 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 or violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law.

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 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 the inspira account-holder homepage.

The screening and 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, including but not limited to, their education, work experience, and language skills, according to the instructions provided on inspira. Applicants will be disqualified from consideration if they do not demonstrate in their application that they meet the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations. Applicants are solely responsible for providing complete and accurate information at the time of application: 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 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.

No Fee


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