Programme Officer, Donor and External Relations Unit, Geneva

United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR)
Disaster Risk Reduction
Closing date: 30 Nov 2008
Location: Switzerland - Geneva

Date of issue: 31 October 2008
Post Title & Level: Programme Officer, Donor and External Relations Unit, L-3
Duty station: Geneva, Switzerland
Duration: 1 year, subject to the availability of funds
Vacancy Notice number: ISDR/G/23/2008
Deadline for applications: 30 November 2008
Date of entry: 1 January 2009

United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for diversity


The International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) is a multi-disciplinary and multi-stakeholder platform to enable societies to increase their resilience to natural, technological and environmental disasters and to reduce associated environmental, human and economic and social losses. A range of United Nations organizations and international partners participate in cooperation with Governments and civil society organizations. In adopting ISDR, the United Nations General Assembly (Res/54/219) endorsed the establishment of an institutional framework for its implementation consisting of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Disaster Reduction (IATF/DR) and the inter-agency secretariat (ISDR secretariat).

The main functions of the secretariat are policy coordination, advocacy and information management, at the international and regional levels, to ensure synergy between disaster reduction strategies and those in the socio-economic and humanitarian fields.

In January 2005, the World Conference on Disaster Reduction (WCDR, 18-22 January 2005, Kobe, Hyogo, Japan) took place and represents a landmark in worldwide understanding and commitment to implement a disaster risk reduction agenda. This commitment was captured in the Hyogo Declaration and the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters adopted at the WCDR.

The Hyogo Framework is the essential guide for implementation of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction in the coming years and it constitutes an unprecedented conceptual shift that takes account of the complexity of action in disaster risk reduction and the large variety of actors whose inputs are required in the pursuit of this objective. It provides the basic concepts and prescribes and expected outcome; details three strategic goals for disaster risk reduction and a set of five priority areas for action; and assigns tasks to stakeholders at difference operational levels to reach the expected outcome.

Disaster risk reduction requires the engagement of organizations and actors from diverse specializations, spanning the development, humanitarian and technical/environmental fields, and the development of coherent strategies, programmes and policies across these fields and tailored to the circumstances and needs of specific sectors. The concepts and tools of disaster risk reduction offer significant means to protect development gains, to reduce the demands for humanitarian relief and response, and to cope with the future changes in risks arising from climate change.

Duties & Responsibilities:

- Contribute to the ongoing development, implementation and monitoring of the ISDR donor relations strategy and communication strategy, in close coordination with all units and Regional Offices, notably the Advocacy Unit ? for both the Biennial Work Plan of the ISDR Secretariat and the ISDR System Joint Work Programme.
- Contribute to the development of (sub-)regional or thematic fund raising strategies in close coordination with the Regional Offices of the UNISDR and the Advocacy Unit.
- Assure appropriate liaison between relevant UNISDR programme, administrative and Senior Management officers, as well as with designated donor focal points in the surveillance and follow-up of the donor dossiers under the programme officer?s responsibility. This includes inter alia; proposal development, submission and monitoring of UNISDR adherence to assigned reporting schedules and conditions.
- Determine existing DRR policies / investment strategies of international donors and identify options for fund raising for the BWP and JWP inter alia, or parts thereof; including the identification of potential funding options from non-traditional sources.
- Support the Head of Unit and the Senior Management in ongoing work planning processes of the UNISDR and ISDR System to assure pertinence and relevance with donor policy, strategy and funding trends.
- Organise and participate in consultative meetings and briefings with donors and other relevant institutions and stakeholders (often with the engagement of the Senior Management team), including proposing agenda topics, identifying participants, preparation of documents and presentations, etc.
- Prepare background documentation for briefings and updates to the donor community and other partners (member states, UN agencies, etc.) on UNISDR and ISDR System progress in coordination with other units, particularly the Planning and Monitoring, and the Policy Development units. Prepare donor reports.
- Undertake briefing and outreach activities for specific donors, including presentations on assigned topics/activities.
- Research, analyze, review and present information gathered from diverse sources relating to donors and their partners.
- Assist in building strategic partnerships with key partners to develop improved continuity of funding for UNISDR for the short, medium and long-term.
- Organize and prepare written outputs, e.g. analysis, sections of reports and studies, inputs to publications, etc. as requested.
- Support the Head of Unit E&DR in the overall coordination, representation and management of UNISDR donor relations.
- Perform other duties as required.

Work implies frequent interaction with the following:
Staff at all levels, within UN/ISDR and the disaster risk reduction community as well as national counterparts. Representatives of other UN agencies and other UN specialized agencies; member state personnel with responsibility for disaster risk reduction; non-governmental organization representatives; and representatives and officials in national governments, international and regional organizations, IFIs, and research institutes.

Results Expected:
Provides well researched and sound analysis of issues and developments affecting programme/project development, administration and implementation, etc. Effectively, and in a timely manner, liaises and interacts with colleagues and concerned parties internally and externally. Assist in identifying significant issues and develops well-reasoned, innovative approaches to deal with these issues.


Professionalism: Knowledge and understanding of theories, concepts, and approaches relevant to disaster risk reduction; demonstrated ability to represent an organization to a wider diplomatic or private sector community; ability to demonstrate efficient working relationships with various actors, including governments, parliamentarians, foundations, NGOs, private communities and UN partners; knowledge of (results based) project cycle management and resource mobilization; demonstrated problem-solving skills; ability to influence others to reach agreement; ability to apply good judgement in the context of assignments given; ability to work under extreme pressure; demonstrate initiative and work autonomously when required; ability to formulate conclusions and recommendations.

Communication: excellent verbal and written communication skills and strong inter-personal skills including the ability to draft/edit a variety of written reports, studies; ability to defend and explain difficult issues to staff, senior officials, internal and external partners; ability to articulate ideas in a clear, concise style; proven ability to communicate complex concepts and recommendations to management.

Teamwork: excellent interpersonal skills, including ability to operate effectively across organizational boundaries; ability to establish and maintain effective partnerships and working relations in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment with respect for diversity.

Planning and organizing: Demonstrated planning and organizational skills (including the establishment of priorities in his/her portfolio) and ability to coordinate the work of others; ability to work under pressure to tight deadlines and handle multiple concurrent projects/activities and conflicting priorities; ability to ensure effective work structure to maximize productivity, make timely decisions and achieve goals of the unit.

Client Orientation: Ability to identify clients? needs and develop appropriate solutions; ability to establish and maintain productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect; meet timeline for delivery of products/services to clients.

Judgment/Decision-making: Ability to identify key issues in complex situations; propose course of action based on available information; demonstrate sound judgment and initiative, resourcefulness, and tact in resolving a range of issues/problems.

Technology Awareness: Solid computer skills.


Education: Advanced university degree preferably in international, external or public relations, communications, development studies, business administration or other related field. A combination of relevant academic qualifications and experience in related area may also be accepted.

Experience: Minimum of five years of progressively responsible professional experience in the areas associated with this post, such as external/donor relations, disaster management, development in areas of social, economic, environment and/or humanitarian spheres, UN policy and inter-governmental processes, programme evaluation, resource mobilisation or related fields; experience in working with non-traditional donors and familiarity with United Nations system are highly desirable.

Language: Fluency in written and spoken English is required. Fluency in one or more official UN languages is highly desirable.

Other skills: Knowledge of current international issues pertaining to risk reduction, sustainable development, economic and social vulnerability concerns. Knowledge of relevant institutional mandates, policies, guidelines; knowledge of the institutions of the UN System.

This post is subject to availability of funds.

Applications from qualified female candidates and from nationals of non- and under-represented countries are particularly encouraged.

Diploma of completed University degree may be requested in due course.

Applicants will be contacted only if they are under serious consideration.
How to apply
Please email the following documents to the ISDR secretariat at : 1. Cover letter, explaining why you consider yourself qualified and motivated for this particular position. 2. Completed P-11 Form It would be appreciated your stating your full name and the ISDR vacancy notice number (ISDR/G/23/2008) as the subject in your e-mail of application. Please note that applications received after the deadline will not be accepted.
Reference Code: RW_7KXK34-24
Source: Reliefweb

Tags: Civil Society; Climate Change; Dari; Disaster Management; Disaster Reduction; Disaster Risk Reduction; ERP; Information Management; Private Sector; Programme Evaluation; Public Relations; Regional Organizations; Resource Mobilization; Sustainable Development; Work Programme