Liaison (Coordination) Officer

Addis Ababa, , ET

Special Notice

Extension of the appointment is subject to extension of the mandate and/or the availability of the funds.

Staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and to assignment by him or her. In this context, all staff are expected to move periodically to new functions in their careers in accordance with established rules and procedures.

Org. Setting and Reporting

Created in December 1999, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) is the designated focal point in the United Nations system for the coordination of efforts to reduce disasters and to ensure synergies among the disaster reduction activities of the United Nations and regional organizations and activities in both developed and less developed countries.. Led by the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction (SRSG/ASG), UNISDR has over 100 staff located in its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, and in regional offices. Specifically, UNISDR guides, monitors, analyses and reports on progress in the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, supports regional and national implementation of the Framework and catalyses action and increases global awareness to reduce disaster risk working with UN Member States and a broad range of partners and stakeholders, including civil society, the private sector, parliamentarians and the science and technology community. 

Under the overall guidance of the Director of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) and the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Disaster Risk Reduction, and the direct supervision of the Chief of the Regional Office for Africa (D.1), the incumbent carries out the following duties and responsibilities.


Under the overall supervision of the Chief of the Regional office for Africa, the incumbent will be responsible for the following duties:

Takes a lead role as a liaison with the African Union and provide specialised advice on the development and implementation of strategies and plans for disaster risk reduction in line with the Sendai Framework across the region. This includes organization and support of the Africa Working Group, the Africa Regional Platform and High-level meetings on disaster risk reduction and support for the implementation of recommendations and decisions; Supports the integration of disaster risk reduction into African Union policy organs and Commission structures and provides specialised technical assistance and advice to enable the Commission to effectively lead and coordinate programmes on disaster risk reduction; Regularly briefs the African Permanent Missions based in Addis Ababa on the progress of regional implementation of the Sendai Framework.

Coordinates with regional UN partners such as the UN Development group regional teams and the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) to advocate for a risk-informed and integrated 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. Facilitates national and local level partnerships, projects and activities in support of implementing the Sendai Framework.
Coordinates regional-level participation in the Africa Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction; Oversees and ensures preparation, engagement and subsequent follow-up with external and UN regional participant organizations. Directs preparation and review of relevant documents and reports; identifies and consults on priorities to be addressed, proposes processes and measures to be undertaken and initiates follow-up actions. Coordinates the regional-level follow-up action plan following each Africa Regional Platform, and monitors and reports on its implementation; Supports the development of the Africa position to be presented at each Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction and ensures recommendations and decisions are integrated into regional plans and programmes.

In line with the partnership strategy led by the Chief of Branch, Catalysing Action through Member States and Partnerships, based in Geneva, and under the guidance of the Chief of the Regional office for Africa, actively contributes to the identification and enhancement of strategic partnerships for regional cooperation across public and private sector organizations, civil society organizations and the science and technology community at large to ensure coherent and integrated national and regional action in support of implementation of the Sendai Framework. Collaborates closely with the ECA, Africa Climate Policy Centre to integrate climate and disaster risk into development planning. Regularly liaises on relevant disaster risk reduction programmes, projects and their results with regional donors and provides support in identifying further potential donors and resource mobilization opportunities in Addis Ababa in consultation with the Regional Office for Africa; In collaboration with the Resource Mobilization Unit, and under the guidance of the Chief of the Regional office for Africa, prepares project proposals to be submitted to identified donors and follows up with regard to the status of proposals submitted.

Under the supervision of the Chief of the Regional Office for Africa, takes the lead to formulate and implement the work plan for the African Union Liaison Office in line with the UNISDR Strategic Framework and Work Programme. Undertakes programmatic/administrative tasks necessary for the functioning of the office, including preparation of work plans and budgets, recruitment and capacity development of staff, evaluation of staff performance (PAS) through regular dialogue and feedback, and monitoring and reporting on budget/programme performance in the context of results-based management. Ensures that the outputs produced, meet high-quality standards; that reports are clear, objective and based on comprehensive data; and that they comply with relevant organizational mandates. Actively promotes a positive team culture in the Liaison Office recognizing innovation, agility, learning, accountability and transparency.

Under the supervision of Chief of Branch researches, identifies and advises on opportunities for advancing the disaster risk reduction agenda and promoting UNISDR work; proposes to headquarters, through the Chief of the Regional Office, new initiatives that aim to foster collective and coherent actions among key players.
Carries out any other duties requested by the Chief of Branch.


– Knowledge and understanding of theories, concepts and approaches relevant to disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation and other risk management topics;
– Ability to identify issues, analyze and participate in the resolution of issues/problems.
– Ability to establish and foster successful partnerships and collaborations;
– Ability to identify strategic opportunities for advancing the agenda of the Department;
– Well developed political acumen and analysis;
– Ability to apply judgment in the context of assignments given, plan own work and manage conflicting priorities;
– 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.

– 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 the audience
– Demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed;
– Ability to influence positions and negotiate.

– 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.

– Takes ownership of all responsibilities and honours commitments
– Delivers outputs for which one has responsibility within prescribed time, cost and quality standards
– Operates in compliance with organizational regulations and rules
– Supports subordinates, provides oversight and takes responsibility for delegated assignments
– Takes personal responsibility for his/her own shortcomings and those of the work unit, where applicable.


Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent degree) in international relations, management, economics, social sciences, law, or related field. A first-level university degree in any of these fields, in combination with two additional years of qualifying work experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of seven years of progressively responsible experience in project or programme management at the international level, preferably with a minimum of two years working with international organizations, is required. Experience in building strategic alliances and partnerships is required. Experience in disaster risk reduction is required. Experience in representation functions with international organizations is desirable. At least two years of experience working on intergovernmental processes is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in English is required; knowledge of French is desirable. Knowledge of another UN official language is an advantage.


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which will be followed by competency-based interview.

United Nations Considerations

According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity, including but not limited to, respect for international human rights and humanitarian law. Candidates may be subject to screening against these standards, including but not limited to, whether they have committed or are alleged to have committed criminal offences or violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law.

Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. The United Nations places no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.

Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the At-a-Glance on “The Application Process” and the Instructional Manual for the Applicants, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.

The screening and evaluation of applicants will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations including the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of the General Assembly, the Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications, including but not limited to, their education, work experience, and language skills, according to the instructions provided on inspira. Applicants will be disqualified from consideration if they do not demonstrate in their application that they meet the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations. Applicants are solely responsible for providing complete and accurate information at the time of application: no amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to a reference-checking process to verify the information provided in the application.

Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at midnight (New York time) on the deadline date.