Back Temporary Assignment: Emergency Specialist (Africa Desk), P-3, HFSS/EMOPS, New York, 6 months, #121947

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential.

Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone.

And we never give up.

For every child, Hope

Under the Office of Emergency Programmes (EMOPS), the Humanitarian Field Support Section (HFSS) aims to provide a ‘one-stop-shop” approach to coherent field support in humanitarian crises, in addition to strengthening the UNICEF’s field capacity on emergency preparedness and risk monitoring, as well as on early recovery programming, humanitarian advocacy, and engagement with integrated missions and presences. The team will not only be instrumental in providing support to the field on principled humanitarian action and a strengthened integration of the protection of children dimension in our engagement but will also strive to focus on the quality of the response in close collaboration with key other EMOPS sections. The team is also instrumental in providing briefings, data, and analysis to UNICEF senior leaders across the organization to inform their decision-making on behalf of strengthened UNICEF’s action for children in humanitarian contexts. The section coordinates closely with all other EMOPS Sections, Programme Group, Public Partnerships Division and other HQ Divisions. HFSS provides effective and timely communication lines and support between EMOPS, Regional Offices (ROs) and Country Offices (COs) and day-to-day coordination and oversight of headquarters’ support to country offices (technical guidance and engagement, humanitarian financing management of the Emergency Programme Fund (EPF) and Central Emergency Respond Fund (CERF), inter-agency collaboration, direct guidance on global approaches on country-specific crises, etc). The Section supports the EMOPS Director’s Office and OED with timely updates and analyses on humanitarian crises to inform decision-making. It coordinates the deployment of the Emergency Response Team (ERT).

How can you make a difference?

Purpose of Job

Under the general guidance of the Emergency Specialist ESAR/WCAR Lead Desk, provide support and guidance to UNICEF ESAR and WCAR country offices (CO) and the regional offices (RO) dealing with humanitarian crises (both rapid onset, chronic and fragile situations) for effective coordination of HQ support. The Emergency Specialist will work as part of the Humanitarian Field Support Section (HFSS), as well as with HQ inter-divisional focal points, inter-agency partners, regional emergency staff and other field colleagues.

Summary of Key Functions/Accountabilities:

Support and contribute to the effective and strategic coordination of HQ support to ESAR/WCAR COs/ROs in humanitarian crises (including L3 / L2 but also chronic and protracted crises, cross-regional, health emergencies, population displacement) on all programmatic and operational matters relating to the humanitarian contexts. Provide effective and timely support to ESAR and WCAR COs and ROs in developing and reviewing Humanitarian Action for Children (HAC), as well as inter-agency Humanitarian Response Plans/appeal documents.  Assist ESAR/WCAR and country offices in critical phases of preparedness and humanitarian response through mission travel. Support complex emergency countries during strategic moments of interagency assessment and planning, including planning for integrated UN presences. Through UNICEF's Emergency Operations Centre (OPSCEN) and other EMOPS sections, in close contact with CO, RO and sister UN agencies, monitor emerging humanitarian political, and recovery trends, and potential socio-political instability. Identify potential humanitarian risks and strategies for preparedness and risk reduction before a new crisis occurs and best approaches for UNICEF to engage in early recovery and transition processes. Support COs/ROs in updating their risk analysis (on the EPP platform). Promote contingency planning and enhanced preparedness at all levels in cases of high risks. Ensure UNICEF representation in key inter-agency fora related to emergency response, crisis management, and integrated assessment and planning. Support management engagement with high-level mechanisms such as Emergency Directors’ Group, Integrated Task Forces, Inter-Agency Task Forces, Regional Monitoring Mechanisms and other crisis-management mechanisms. Support the EMOPS Director's Office and UNICEF Senior Management with timely updates and analyses of humanitarian crises including targeted advocacy to be used in inter-agency, donor and external partner meetings. Provide inputs for UNICEF documentation such as updates to the Executive Board, inputs to reports by the Secretary General as well as his Special Representatives, as well as other internal and external papers and policies. Provide guidance and support to country offices and regional offices on humanitarian resource mobilization documents (including EPF, CERF and others) in collaboration with relevant divisions. Support ESAR and WCAR COs and ROs in monitoring effective and timely programmatic use of allocated humanitarian funds. Serve as back-up to Supervisor and other Emergency Specialists in his/her absence. Assist with any other task as assigned by the Section Chief.

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…

An advanced university degree (Master’s or higher) in International Relations, Public Administration/Public Policy, Humanitarian Affairs, Development, Social Sciences, or other related technical disciplines. A minimum of 5 years of relevant professional experience at national and international levels in humanitarian response; Developing country work experience or field work experience. Preferred experience in complex emergencies, including experience in early recovery. Fluency in English and French is required. Knowledge of another official UN language is an asset.

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF's values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA).

Core Competencies

Demonstrates Self Awareness and Ethical Awareness (1) Works Collaboratively with others (1) Builds and Maintains Partnerships (1) Innovates and Embraces Change (1) Thinks and Acts Strategically (1) Drive to achieve impactful results (1) Manages ambiguity and complexity (1)

To view our competency framework, please visit here.

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.

We offer a wide range of benefits to our staff, including paid parental leave, breastfeeding breaks and reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities. UNICEF strongly encourages the use of flexible working arrangements.

UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.


Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.

UNICEF appointments are subject to medical clearance. Issuance of a visa by the host country of the duty station, which will be facilitated by UNICEF, is required for IP positions. Appointments are also subject to inoculation (vaccination) requirements, including against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid). Government employees that are considered for employment with UNICEF are normally required to resign from their government before taking up an assignment with UNICEF. UNICEF reserves the right to withdraw an offer of appointment, without compensation, if a visa or medical clearance is not obtained, or necessary inoculation requirements are not met, within a reasonable period for any reason.

This vacancy is archived.

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