Humanitarian Affairs Officer - Tenders Global

Humanitarian Affairs Officer

United Nations Development Programme




OCHA mobilizes and coordinates principled humanitarian response in partnership with national and international actors in order to alleviate human suffering in disasters and emergencies, advocates the rights of people in need, supports emergency preparedness and response, and facilitates sustainable solutions for vulnerable people adversely affected by conflict and natural disasters. OCHA’s Humanitarian Affair Officer for Malawi, based in Lilongwe and under the overall supervision of the Regional Office for Southern and Eastern Africa (ROSEA), supports emergency operational readiness and response in Malawi, including coordination between humanitarian actors and the government. 

This position will involve travel on mission to field locations and possibly surge missions in support of OCHA ROSEA work in countries in the region, often at short notice and sometimes for lengthy periods (up to three months); Willingness to rapidly deploy to areas/countries where populations are affected by humanitarian crisis is required.

Key Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Provide information and advice on a range of humanitarian-related issues to the United Nations Resident Coordinator, OCHA ROSEA’s Head of Emergency Preparedness and Response and humanitarian partners at both national- and sub-national levels, including to ensure that the understanding of the crisis and action taken at capital-level is aligned with the field reality and requirements;
  • Monitor, analyze, and report on the humanitarian situation and response in Malawi, with a particular emphasis on public health and needs arising from climate-related shocks including cyclones.
  • Prepare or contribute to the preparation of various written reports, documents, and communications on the humanitarian situation in Malawi, e.g. background papers, briefings, presentations, etc.
  • Track information required for early warning of potential humanitarian emergencies in assigned areas and as appropriate promote preparedness measures, including inter-agency contingency planning.
  • Follow developments in the country, keep the country profile up to date, interact with the Resident Coordinator’s Office Coordination Specialist for Malawi, and highlight any issues of concern to feed into the daily operational update.
  • Prepare briefing materials and presentations providing up-to-date analysis on trends and developments on the humanitarian situation in assigned areas.
  • Review and provide advice on policy issues related to safeguarding humanitarian principles and ensuring the effective delivery of humanitarian assistance.
  • Promote the centrality of protection, Civil-Military Coordination, access analysis, and efforts to Prevent Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA) in the response to the crises in Malawi.

Manage coordinated humanitarian operational preparedness for, and response to, emergencies in Malawi, including leading relevant processes and products such as contingency plans, the Humanitarian Programme Cycle, flash updates, humanitarian financing (e.g. CERF) etc.

  • Undertake regular engagements with government departments responsible for Early Warning, Disaster Risk Management, and humanitarian assistance, including participation in Government-led meetings and processes related to the humanitarian response, led by the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) respectively.
  • Facilitate in the production of appeals for international assistance – including Humanitarian Needs Overviews, Humanitarian Response Plans and Flash Appeals
  • Contribute to the preparation of relevant Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) applications and reports in Malawi.
  • Prepare or contribute to the preparation of various written reports, response monitoring and gap analysis, including gender-related considerations.
  • Organize and/or participate in coordinated assessment missions to build consensus on humanitarian needs and priorities in assigned areas. 
  • Undertake – and, where appropriate, lead – and provide support and technical assistance to field missions in Malawi

Ensure that strategic and operational humanitarian coordination mechanisms are in place and functioning effectively, with a particular focus on effective multi-sectoral coordination for humanitarian responses.

  • Provide expert advice on the implementation of IASC coordination mechanisms, to a standard that meets OCHA and donor requirements.
  • Initiate and lead operational meetings with humanitarian partners and ensure that inter-sector coordination is undertaken in the implementation of humanitarian response in alignment with the priorities identified with the Department of Disaster Management (DODMA) and partners.
  • Ensure that strategic and operational humanitarian coordination mechanisms are in place and functioning effectively, with a particular focus on effective multi-sectoral coordination for humanitarian responses. 
  • Proactively contact and exchange information with sector lead UN agencies and relevant NGOs, particularly with those with operational presence 
  • Organize and participate in working groups, meetings, conferences, consultations with other agencies and partners on humanitarian and emergency relief-related matters, as necessary. 

Perform other duties as required including but not limited to:

  • Initiate and support operational meetings focusing on Anticipatory Action initiatives in Malawi, in conjunction with ROSEA AA expert.
  • Provide frontline surge in response to new emergencies, the escalation of existing emergencies and/or to fill critical gaps in Southern and Eastern Africa.



  • Advanced university degree (master’s degree or equivalent) preferably in Political or Social Science, Law, International studies, or other relevant science is required. 


  • A first-level university degree (bachelor’s degree) in the areas mentioned above, in combination with an additional two years of qualifying experience will be given due consideration in lieu of the advanced university degree. 


  • A minimum of 2 years (with a master’s degree) or 4 years (with a bachelor’s degree) of relevant progressively professional responsible experience in humanitarian affairs, emergency preparedness, crisis/emergency relief management or other related areas is required.
  • First-hand experience carrying out humanitarian coordination in disaster response or complex emergency settings is required, including knowledge of humanitarian principles and delivery of assistance using a principled approach is required.
  • Relevant experience working on Community Engagement and/or Accountability to Affected People is highly desirable.
  • Relevant experience working within a humanitarian organization in the UN system in Southern and/or Eastern Africa is highly desirable.
  • Experience and good knowledge of OCHA’s institutional mandates, policies and guidelines related to humanitarian affairs and humanitarian reform would be an asset.
  • Familiarity and good knowledge of social, political and economic conditions in Eastern and/or Southern Africa is desirable.
  • Proven abilities in data collection, compilation, analysis and reporting with ability to write in a clear and concise manner and effective oral communication is desired.
  • Demonstrated experience in facilitating meetings and reporting is desired.

Language requirements

  • Fluency in written and spoken English and Chichewa is required. 
  • Knowledge of another UN language spoken in the region (e.g. French or Portuguese) is desirable.






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