Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (USA)

National Humanitarian Affairs Officer/Accountability to Affected People

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Last update: May 17, 2024 Last update: May 17, 2024


Deadline: May 31, 2024 Deadline for applications has passed
Location: Syria
Job type:Contract, 12 months +
Arabic, English Arabic, English
Work experience:Min 2 years
Date posted: May 17, 2024


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Organizational Context

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN 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.

OCHA, through its support of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) at the global level,  and the Humanitarian Coordinators (HCs) and Humanitarian Country Teams (HCTs) at country level, continues to increase its efforts to strengthen its collective accountability to affected people. As part of these efforts, recent agency-specific and system-wide reforms have sought to deliver a more responsive and people-centered approach to humanitarian action. The humanitarian sector has made significant progress in recent years, with evidence of continuous interaction between organizations and communities; however, much more still needs to be done to coordinate efforts to better engage with and respond to feedback from affected communities. OCHA, along with the Syria HCT are prioritising measures to do so through the identification of barriers to collective accountability to affected people, and systematically addressing them.

Position Purpose 

Accountability to affected people (AAP) is a commitment by humanitarians to use power responsibly; to take account of, give account to, and be held to account by the people we seek to assist. In humanitarian action, this includes enabling affected people to meet their different needs, address their vulnerabilities, build on pre-existing capacities, and drive programme adaptation. The incumbent will be responsible for enhancing accountability towards affected people through amongst others:

  • Ensuring affected people are consulted and their views integrated into humanitarian response plans, and advocacy strategies. 
  • Supporting the meaningful participation and leadership of affected people in decision-making, regardless of sex, age, disability status and other diversities.
  • Systematically sharing timely, relevant, and actionable information with the humanitarian leadership and all other relevant actors including communities. 
  • Supporting inter-agency coordination and collaboration.

Functions/ Key Results Expected 

  • Serving as the primary focal point on AAP topics or policy-related issues; keeping abreast of latest developments and liaising with all relevant stakeholders.
  • Supporting AAP inter-agency coordination mechanisms and OCHA’s advocacy role through managing advocacy coordination within the HCT, Inter Sector Coordination group (ISC), humanitarian partners, government authorities, community leaders and other relevant stakeholders. 
  • Ensuring community feedback systems are in place to enable affected people to assess and comment on the performance of humanitarian action, including on sensitive matters such as sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA), fraud, corruption, and discrimination. 
  • Supporting the development and implementation of the HCT’s AAP advocacy strategies, and action plans, including leading formulation of annual advocacy action plans.
  • Liaising closely with the office of the HC, who leads the HCT in its advocacy, ensuring the HC as well as OCHA senior management are well briefed on AAP priorities including advocacy priorities identified through community feedback mechanisms and partners; and smooth flow of information between the HCT, ISC, authorities, humanitarian organizations, and community leaders/representatives, and all other relevant stakeholders.  
  • Establishing and maintaining contacts on AAP related matters with the authorities, other UN agencies, non-governmental organizations, and relevant stakeholders. 
  • Preparing or contributing to the preparation of various written reports, documents, and communications, e.g., policy guidelines, briefings, case studies, presentations, correspondence, drafts sections of studies, background papers, etc.
  • Contributing to strategic planning of the office, including context analysis and other pertinent issues on the situation in Syria that are relevant to inform planning and implementation of AAP activities.
  • Contributing to the production of appeals for international assistance. 
  • Ensuring appropriate monitoring and reporting mechanisms are in place, providing information and advice on AAP related issues.
  • Supporting monitoring, analyses, and reporting on AAP related developments. Organizes and prepares studies on AAP related issues; organizes follow-up work, including inter-agency technical review meetings to support policy development work and decision-making on important issues.
  • Organising and participating in work groups, meetings, conferences, consultations with other agencies and partners on AAP related matters. 
  • Performing other duties as required.

Competencies and Critical Success Factors  

Functional Competencies

  • Professionalism: A wide range of knowledge on humanitarian assistance, emergency relief and related human rights issues.  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. Able to analyze and interpret data in support of decision-making and convey resulting information to management.
  • 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. 
  • 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.

Required Skills and Experience


  •     Master’s Degree or equivalent in political science, social science, international studies, public administration, economics, or any other related field is required. 


  • first-level university degree in combination with an additional 2 years of qualifying experience will be given due consideration in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Experience, Knowledge, and Skills

  • A minimum of two (2) years (master’s degree) or 4 years (First-level university degree) of progressively responsible experience at the national or international level in management of natural disasters, humanitarian emergencies, emergency preparedness, crisis/emergency relief management, rehabilitation, development and human rights.   
  • Proven skills in facilitating meetings and reporting are required.
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective professional relationships with a wide variety of government, UN and NGO stakeholders is an asset.
  • Experience implementing accountability towards affected persons’ approaches would be desirable.
  • Experience shaping advocacy on sensitive issues or in sensitive contexts would be an asset.
  •  Experience in the region would be an asset. 
  • Knowledge about the UN and humanitarian coordination structures would be an advantage. 
  • Ability to write and communicate orally in a clear and concise manner would be an asset.
  • Experience with UN or International organization is an asset. 
  • Experience developing and overseeing implementation of strategic plans is desirable. 
  • Good experience in the field and knowledge of the agency’s work will be an asset.
  • Competence in data collection, compilation, analysis, and reporting is desirable.
  • Familiarity and good knowledge of social, political, and economic conditions in the country would be an asset.
  • Experience in the usage of computers and office software packages is required. 


Fluency in Written and Spoken Arabic and English are required. 


Please upload copies of your academic qualifications and 3 latest Performance Evaluations (if applicable)