Humanitarian Affairs Officer/Head of Sub-Office (TJO), P4

Humanitarian Affairs Officer/Head of Sub-Office (TJO), P4

UNOCHA - United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

Kaya, Burkina Faso

Org. Setting and Reporting

This position is located in the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Kaya, Burkina Faso. The Humanitarian Affairs Officer heads the OCHA sub-office in Kaya and reports to the Head of Office in Ouagadougou. OCHA is the 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.

This temporary job opening is being published for the position of Humanitarian Affairs Officer/Head of Sub-Office in Kaya, Burkina Faso (subject to change depending on operational requirements). The incumbent reports to the Head of Office OCHA Burkina Faso.


Within delegated authority, the Humanitarian Affairs Officer will be responsible for the following duties:

  • Serves as a senior policy officer; advises on overall policy direction on specific issues; and, more generally, reviews and provides advice on a diverse range of policy issues related to safeguarding humanitarian principles and ensuring the effective delivery of humanitarian assistance and the linkages with other related areas (e.g. human rights); assists or leads, as appropriate, in the preparation of OCHA reports, studies, background papers, and policy guidelines.
  • Establishes and maintains contacts with government officials, other UN agencies, nongovernmental organizations, diplomatic missions, media, etc.; coordinates international humanitarian/emergency assistance for complex emergency/disaster situations; ensures appropriate mechanisms to facilitate collaboration and exchange of information both in and outside the UN system, including on early warning and contingency planning.
  • Partners with other humanitarian agencies to plan and evaluate complex humanitarian and emergency assistance programmes, helps ensure that latest findings, lessons learned, policy guidelines, etc. are incorporated into these activities, including gender-related considerations.
  • Provides senior support to the coordination of international humanitarian/emergency assistance throughout Burkina Faso as required; ensures necessary support (e.g. staff, funding, specialized equipment, supplies, etc.); prepares situation reports to the international community, apprising of situation to date and specifying gaps and unmet requirements; assists in the production of appeals for international assistance.
  • In consultation with the Head of Office and dedicated OCHA staff, supports humanitarian access monitoring and negotiation of operational access for humanitarian partners;
  • Establishes and maintains Humanitarian Civil-Military Coordination at the operational level.

Humanitarian Civil-Military Coordination

  • Conducts an assessment and analysis of the civil-military operating environment in order to formulate and implement an UN-CMCoord strategy and action plan, which should be fully integrated with the planning and activities of the OCHA office; continually evaluates the implementation and effect of the plan and revises it as appropriate;
  • Establishes and maintains a contact network with Senior Military Officers, military liaison officers and relevant civilian and governmental authorities, including in other UN Agencies and/or NGOs for civil-military coordination in the AOR;
  • Ensures that applicable civil-military coordination guidelines, country-specific guidance or generic guidelines are properly disseminated and understood by both the humanitarian actors and the military and/or police forces present as well as by local actors, as appropriate;
  • Promotes and advocates for adherence to the applicable Guidelines within the entire humanitarian community and advises on potential consequences if the guidelines are compromised or not coherently followed;
  • Advises and sensitizes military forces in responsibility on humanitarian principles and international humanitarian coordination mechanisms;
  • In consultation with the Head of Office, establishes a civil-military coordination mechanism with relevant civil and military stakeholders to raise civil-military coordination operational issues and report policy and strategic issues to the HCT through the Head of Office; serves as the primary focal point for all matters related to civil-military coordination and deconfliction in close consultation with partners;
  • Facilitates operational access for humanitarian partners; establishes and maintains communication with the military forces in the AOR and mechanisms to resolve operational issues and ensure appropriate mutual exchange of information regarding ongoing relevant activities;
  • Monitors, analyses and reports on implementation of humanitarian civil-military coordination activities as well as identifies difficulties and challenges in the interaction between the humanitarian and military communities. Provides periodic situation reports on ongoing civil-military activities and the overall civil-military relations situation in the AOR.
  • Supports planning and preparation of office/unit budget and work programme; provides leadership and work direction to assigned work team, and/or mentors and supervises the work of new/junior officers.
  • Performs other duties as required.


  • PROFESSIONALISM: Knowledge of wide range of humanitarian assistance, emergency relief and related human rights issues. Knowledge and experience of working with humanitarian coordination mechanisms, including Humanitarian Country Teams, Inter-Cluster Coordination Groups and Clusters. Knowledge of humanitarian delivery considerations, including ensuring accountability to affected people and cash. Conceptual and strategic analytical capacity, to include ability to analyze and articulate the humanitarian dimension of complex issues that require a coordinated UN response. Demonstrated problem-solving skills and judgment in applying technical expertise to resolve a wide range of complex issues/problems. Knowledge of region or country of assignment, including the political, economic and social dimensions. Ability to negotiate and to influence others to reach agreement. Ability to work under extreme pressure, on occasion in a highly stressful environment (e.g. civil strife, natural disasters and human misery). Knowledge of institutional mandates, policies and guidelines pertaining to humanitarian affairs and knowledge of the institutions of the UN system. Demonstrated ability to complete in-depth studies and to formulate conclusions/recommendations. Ability to relate humanitarian affairs issues and perspectives, including gender issues, to political, economic, social and human rights programmes in affected country/region. 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 responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.


An advanced university degree (Master's degree or equivalent) in political science, social science, public administration, international studies, economics, engineering, earth sciences or a related field, 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

Required experience:

  • A minimum of seven (7) years of progressively responsible experience in humanitarian affairs, emergency preparedness, crisis/emergency relief management, rehabilitation, development, or other related area.
  • Experience in humanitarian civil-military coordination, or as a military liaison officer dealing with humanitarian operations.
  • Humanitarian experience in the field in emergency situations (complex emergency and/or natural disaster).

Desired experience:

  • Experience in the UN Common System.
  • Experience in the region.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in both English and French is required. Knowledge of another UN language would be an advantage.

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© EuroJobsites 2019

EuroJobsites is a UK registered company number: 4694396 VAT number: GB 880 9055 04

Registered address: EuroJobsites Ltd, Unit 8, Kingsmill Business Park, Kingston Upon Thames, London, KT1 3GZ, United Kingdom

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