Senior Officer (Ecosystem-based Disaster Risk Reduction)

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)

Geneva, Switzerland 🇨🇭


The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, with 192 member National Societies. As part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, our work is guided by seven fundamental principles; humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity and universality.

Organizational Context

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, with a network of 192-member National Societies. The overall aim of the IFRC is “to inspire, encourage, facilitate, and promote at all times all forms of humanitarian activities by National Societies with a view to preventing and alleviating human suffering and thereby contributing to the maintenance and promotion of human dignity and peace in the world.” The IFRC works to meet the needs and improve the lives of vulnerable people before, during and after disasters, health emergencies and other crises. The IFRC is part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (Movement), together with its member National Societies and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The work of the IFRC is guided by the following fundamental principles: humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity, and universality. The IFRC is led by its Secretary General, and has its Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. The Headquarters are organized into three main Divisions: (i) National Society Development and Operations Coordination; (ii) Global Relations, Humanitarian Diplomacy and Digitalization; and (iii) Management Policy, Strategy and Corporate Services. The IFRC has five regional offices in Africa, Asia Pacific, Middle East and North Africa, Europe, and the Americas. The IFRC also has country cluster delegation and country delegations throughout the world. Together, the Geneva Headquarters and the field structure (regional, cluster and country) comprise the IFRC Secretariat. The National Society Development and Operations Coordination (NSDOC) Division is in turn organised in three Departments, each of them led by a Director. The Disasters & Climate Crises (Prevention, Response & Recovery) Department consists of four teams, of which Climate & Resilience is one. Addressing the climate and environmental crises is the first Strategic Priority of Strategy 2030, which stresses the urgency to massively scale-up climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction in view of increasing disasters and climate-related impacts on vulnerable people. Nature-based solutions are highlighted as a key target in IFRC’s Plan & Budget 2021-2025, where a majority of National Societies are expected to implement NBS focused on reducing disaster risks and adapting to and mitigating climate change by 2025.

Job Purpose

The Senior Officer is the overall IFRC focal point on nature-based solutions (NBS), with a focus on ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction (eco-DRR) and ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA). The Senior Officer seeks to enable the effective engagement of National Societies on NBS, advance the work and position of the RCRC network on NBS and promote a scale-up of this work by National Societies globally.

S/he will provide global content leadership on issues related to eco-DRR and EbA and provide coordination and partnerships with relevant stakeholders within and outside the RC/RC Movement. S/he will provide technical support to integrate nature-based solutions into disaster risk reduction approaches, support the development of tools and the translation of global policy and standards into practice at the national and local level, and contribute to capacity building of IFRC staff and National Societies. The Senior Officer will contribute to thought leadership and knowledge sharing and support global representation and policy positioning. S/he will work closely with various units of the IFRC Secretariat, IFRC Regional Offices, relevant networks and IFRC Reference Centres, as well as relevant partners. S/he will collaborate with, and receive guidance on climate-related aspects from, the Climate Change Coordinator.

Job Duties and Responsibilities

Ensure quality technical advice and resources to support effective programming:

  • Continuously map needs and practices of NS in eco-DRR and EbA programming;
  • Provide technical advice on how to mainstream NBS in country operational plans and emergency appeals;
  • Identify necessary tools and information needed by IFRC and National Societies related to eco-DRR and EbA, and contribute to the improvement of existing IFRC tools/methodologies and development of new operational guidance, tools, methodologies or other material, as needed;
  • Provide support for effective programming through Regional Offices including for proposal development, project design, project implementation, and monitoring and evaluation of project activities;
  • Support the development of knowledge products and marketing material, and the development of a dedicated NBS page online;
  • Work with Regional Offices and relevant partners to develop capacity building activities for National Societies, including developing training plans and training material, as well as knowledge-sharing workshops to discuss lessons learned from projects.

Ensure global direction, policy positioning and representation on nature-based solutions:

  • Support internal policy development on eco-DRR and EbA, including for RC/RC Statutory meetings;
  • Collect and maintain a baseline/mapping of National Societies undertaking NBS;
  • Draft strategic documents for the Red Cross Red Crescent network on eco-DRR and EbA;
  • Support senior management in their representational and positioning efforts on eco-DRR and EbA;
  • Raise awareness of eco-DRR and EbA amongst National Societies and promote the use of such activities;
  • Contribute to the development of IFRC communications campaigns and products on eco-DRR and EbA;
  • Contribute to and coordinate IFRC engagement in policy dialogue related to eco-DRR and EbA;
  • Represent IFRC on eco-DRR and EbA at international policy events;
  • Effectively liaise with relevant staff within and beyond the IFRC network on relevant policy efforts in order to:
    • identify opportunities, objectives and entry points in relevant ongoing policy discussions,
    • develop advocacy strategies, supporting development of key messages, and
    • support policy formulation, coherence and coordination;
  • Support regional IFRC policy efforts related to NBS, including mentoring of select NSs in their policy work (in close cooperation with the IFRC regional offices).

Promote and strengthen strategic partnerships:

  • Broker and strengthen strategic partnerships on eco-DRR and EbA with National Societies and external partner institutions – governments, private sector, academia, UN agencies, NGOs and CSOs;
  • Represent IFRC in relevant inter-agency partnerships such as the Partnership for Environment and Disaster Risk Reduction (PEDRR) and Global Mangrove Alliance (GMA);
  • Nurture relations with peer organizations and participate in communities of practice and professional associations in order to keep abreast of emerging trends and integrate best practices.

Be responsible and accountable for the overall management and administration of related projects:

  • Provide financial management, monitoring and coordination of relevant project activities, and the delivery of project outputs within agreed time, budget and quality standards;
  • Organize project learning workshops;
  • Oversee implementation of project activities in target countries;
  • Ensure the integrity of financial and administrative procedures and the consistent application of IFRC rules and procedures related to project activities;
  • Contribute to the overall planning, budgeting and reporting of the team and the department.

Contribute to an effective, high quality IFRC team:

  • Provide progress reports on results against objectives and risk analyses as required;
  • Accommodate flexible working practices including working as part of time-limited, task-oriented teams to enable the IFRC to respond to new scenarios, operational needs or requests from senior management;
  • Contribute to a client-oriented approach that values proactivity, continuous improvement, innovation, high performance and cost effectiveness;
  • Foster a collaborative working environment with colleagues in the IFRC Secretariat, Regions, Reference Centres, National Societies and external partners;
  • Be available to deploy to Regions, Country Offices, or Operations to provide support as necessary.

Duties applicable to all staff:

  • Actively work towards the achievement of the Federation Secretariat’s goals;
  • Abide by and work in accordance with the Red Cross and Red Crescent principles;
  • Perform any other work-related duties and responsibilities that may be assigned by the line manager.



  • Master’s degree in disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation, environmental science, environmental/climate change policy, ecosystem management, international development or any related field.



  • 5-7 years of work experience in disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation, nature-based solutions and/or related work;
  • Experience working with diverse stakeholders across many disciplines, to achieve societal impact, institutional and policy change;
  • Demonstrated professional credibility in the sector of ecosystem-based DRR or ecosystem-based adaptation;
  • Experience in project or programme management;
  • Experience working in an international or cross-cultural environment.


  • Experience working in humanitarian assistance and awareness of humanitarian architecture;
  • Experience working in a RC/RC National Society and/or Federation/ICRC.

Knowledge, skills and languages


  • Knowledge of organisational and management methodologies, techniques and interventions in order to create environment of sector excellences;
  • Results oriented and demand driven individual, entrepreneurial, ability to lead in unprecedented and/or ambiguous situations;
  • Outstanding networking, representational, communication and negotiation skills. An ability to be proactive and persuasive;
  • Demonstrated track record in innovating, contributing to a learning culture, sharing knowledge and new approaches to engaging partners;
  • Energetic and enthusiastic individual, engaging, brokering and facilitating learning and dialogue among diverse groups;
  • Professional credibility, able to work effectively at all levels across the organisation;
  • Proven good judgment and ability to work with complete integrity and confidentiality;
  • High degree of discretion, tact and sensitivity in dealing with internal and external clients and stakeholders at all levels;
  • Ability to work within a multi-cultural, multilingual, multidisciplinary environment;
  • Fluently spoken and written English.


  • Good command of another IFRC official language (French, Spanish or Arabic).

Competencies and values

Core competencies:

  • Communication;
  • Collaboration and teamwork;
  • Judgement and decision making;
  • National society and customer relations;
  • Creativity and innovation;
  • Building trust.


  • Respect for diversity;
  • Integrity;
  • Professionalism;
  • Accountability.