Disaster Risk Reduction and Emergency Specialist

Fiji 🇫🇯

Job no: 499206
Work type: Temporary Appointment
Location: Fiji
Categories: Emergency Programme

If you are a committed, creative professional and are passionate about making a lasting difference for children, the world’s leading children’s rights organization would like to hear from you.

For 70 years, UNICEF has been working on the ground in 190 countries and territories to promote children’s survival, protection and development. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

Organizational Context and Purpose for the job

The fundamental mission of UNICEF is to promote the rights of every child, everywhere, in everything the organization does — in programs, in advocacy and in operations. The equity strategy, emphasizing the most disadvantaged and excluded children and families, translates this commitment to children’s rights into action. For UNICEF, equity means that all children have an opportunity to survive, develop and reach their full potential, without discrimination, bias or favoritism. To the degree that any child has an unequal chance in life — in its social, political, economic, civic and cultural dimensions — her or his rights are violated. There is growing evidence that investing in the health, education and protection of a society’s most disadvantaged citizens — addressing inequity — not only will give all children the opportunity to fulfill their potential but also will lead to sustained growth and stability of countries. This is why the focus on equity is so vital. It accelerates progress towards realizing the human rights of all children, which is the universal mandate of UNICEF, as outlined by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, while also supporting the equitable development of nations.

Under the guidance and supervision of the supervisor, establishes and implements country office emergency preparedness and response. Responsible for the development, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of disaster risk reduction, preparedness and emergency interventions to ensure the survival and well-being of children and mothers, and the affected communities.

Job organizational context

The position will be lodged in the Social Policy, Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Unit and will report to the P5 Deputy Representative. It will be based in the UNICEF Multi-Country Office for the Pacific in Suva, Fiji and may be asked to provide technical assistance in three Field Offices (FOs) or in other island countries it covers.

Purpose for the job

The Pacific is one of the most hazard-prone areas in the world. The storm season is almost year round as typhoons in the North Pacific occur between June-December while cyclones in the south appear between December-April. The Pacific is also one of the most seismically active places with strong quakes registering sporadically. The UNICEF Multi-Country Office (MCO) for the Pacific have responded to two Category 5 cyclones and the El Niño drought over the past two years. The small island countries in the Pacific are also the most vulnerable to climate change.

Given these risks, it is therefore contingent that the MCO and its sub-offices maintain an optimal level of preparedness for any emergency and integrate climate and disaster risk management within its multi-country programming.

The purpose of the job is to assist the MCO in

  1. Maintaining a minimum level of readiness for humanitarian response consistent with UNICEF mandate and the Core Commitment for Children in Humanitarian Action (CCC);
  2. Coordinating immediate and early recovery response in emergencies that may arise; and
  3. Integrating climate and disaster risk management in the current as well as in the next country programme for the Pacific.

Key functions, accountabilities and related

Summary of key functions/accountabilities:

Emergency Preparedness

  1. Adopts adequate emergency preparedness measures through the development and updating of country contingency plans and establishment of early warning mechanisms, to ensure effective preparedness and response to specific emergencies.
  2. Participates in the formulation and development of plans of action in preparation and response to emergencies, monitors compliance of all sectors with emergency plans of action, including financial resources. Ensures coordination of the management of emergency preparedness and response.
  3. Provides technical advice related to emergency preparedness and response, including on programme management related issues. Provides advice to the country office in the implementation of emergency preparedness measures in the field to strengthen preparedness and response mechanisms in the country faced with impending emergencies.
  4. Develops and maintains databases on country/regional information, and ensure the flow of information and communication crucial for the planning and implementation of emergency preparedness and response management. Identifies availability of resources in emergency prone areas and establish logistics plans to be implemented during an emergency operation, to ensure a timely and effective emergency response.
  5. Plans, organizes and conducts training for the office’s staff capacity building in emergencies preparedness and response. Assists in developing and conducting emergency training courses. Provides training and/or briefing, as required. Participates in other emergency training workshops in the region, and builds up the emergency preparedness and response capability of UNICEF staff as well as implementing partners

Emergency Response

  1. In the event of an emergency, takes prompt action as a member of the Emergency Response Team which is deployed immediately to establish UNICEF’s presence and implement the initial operational tasks relating to emergency assistance. Immediately verifies the nature and extend of the emergency with staff, government officials, other UN agencies or local organizations and media. Ensures that the office is provided with effective telecommunications facility and staff security assistance in an emergency, as necessary. In coordination with the programme and operations groups, establishes contact with all UNICEF staff, their dependants and visitors to ensure their safety and whereabouts, and informs OPSCEN and the Regional Director of their status.
  2. Participates and assists with assessment of local emergency and security situation affecting children and mothers in the locality, in conjunction with the Regional Office, the HQ Divisions, and field staff. Visits the location to conduct an initial rough assessment of the magnitude of the crisis and its implications for children and its impact on the community. Assesses the validity of the office preparedness plan and ability of the office vis-à-vis the current crisis as well as immediate and additional needs. Determines corporate priorities and an appropriate intervention (supply procurement, fund-raising and staff development) by UNICEF. Coordinates with other partners to make a rapid assessment covering priority areas as defined by the Core Commitment for Children in Emergencies. Establishes contact with community groups, government, UN agencies, media and other partners to keep abreast of emergency situations.
  3. Applies the emergency preparedness and response plan as necessary, and identifies urgent staffing requirements and redeploys country office staff as required. Executes the timely delivery of assistance and procurement of supplies, monitors the appropriate and effective use of UNICEF resources/inputs. Identifies problems and constraints in order to ensure effective project delivery. Certifies the disbursement of funds, monitors expenditures and submits financial status reports. Sets up a reporting system and sends daily situation reports to concerned parties.

Emergency Project

  1. Participates in the implementation of plans of action and workplans for emergency projects. Implements and manages project activities. Undertakes field visits to emergency project areas, to assess local conditions and monitor project progress. Makes technical decisions on project administration (e.g., activates, requests or reprogrammes allocation of emergency funds). Prepares inputs for appeals and updates related to emergencies. Works with program sections and senior management to mobilize donor response and recovery/rehabilitation-related funding, including annual or multi-annual humanitarian appeals and documents (e.g., pitch documents). Communicates and advocates on the situation and needs of children through local and international media, as appropriate.
  2. Identifies longer-term requirements of the emergency operation/interventions. Proposes a more regular operational and staffing structure to take over from the Emergency Response Team.
  3. Maintains continuous, effective and strategic coordination, communication, consultation and liaison with Government, UN agencies, NGOs, donors and allies to appeal for aid for children and women with special needs resulting from the emergency situation requiring an effective emergency response in all sectors. Identifies implementing/operational partners and establishes implementing arrangements. Ensures that the UNICEF support is effectively provided to the government with respect to sectoral coordination within the framework of the cluster approach and based on the Core Commitment for Children.
  4. Participates in all humanitarian and recovery related forum and keeps management informed of all humanitarian developments in the country in terms of policies, strategy, situation developments, potential threats and opportunities/issues in partnership.

Disaster Risk Reduction, Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience

  1. Promotes that disaster prevention, mitigation, preparedness and response strategies as well as resilient development approaches are mainstreamed in the country office’s country programme documents and workplans. Prepares sectoral input for the country programme documents, plan of action, annual work plans, and all related documents of the office’s Emergency Preparedness and Response. Contributes towards the preparation of the Situation Analysis and the Country Programme Document
  2. Support the integration of risk-informed, adaptive to climate change and resilient to shocks and stresses in the new country programme and office management processes, ie
    • Provide technical advice to management and sections in integrating climate and disaster risk management in the new country programme development process
    • Provide peer review of draft country programme documents, including strategic notes, CPD, and CPMP; annual management plan as well as programme annual workplans.

Impact of Results

The efficiency and efficacy of the incumbent can impact on the capacity of the MCO to effectively prepare and respond to humanitarian emergencies in the region and how it can make its programmes risk resilient. An effective response means that UNICEF is upholding its Core Commitment for Children in Humanitarian Action. A resilient development programming will also seek to address the underlying drivers of inequity, fragility and deprivation.

Competencies of Successful Candidate

Core Values

  • Commitment
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Integrity

Core competencies

  • Communication
  • Working with People
  • Drive for Results

Functional Competencies

  • Leading and supervising (III)
  • Deciding and initiating action (III)
  • Planning and organizing (III)
  • Applying technical skills (III)
  • Analyzing (III)
  • Coping with pressure and setbacks (III)
  • Adapting and responding to change (III)

Recruitment Qualifications

  • Advanced University degree in one of the following fields: social sciences, public administration, international law, public health, nutrition, international relations, business administration or other related disciplines. Preferably a combination of management, administration, and relevant technical fields.
  • Five years of progressively responsible professional work experience at the national and international levels in programme/project development, planning, implementation, monitoring, evaluation and administration.
  • Developing country work experience (for IP) or field work experience (for NO).
  • Specialized training/experience in emergency response management highly desirable.
  • Fluency in English is required and another UN language is an asset

To view our competency framework, please click here

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages qualified female and male candidates from all national, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of our organisation.

Advertised: Fiji Islands Standard Time
Applications close: Fiji Islands Standard Time