Risk assessment officer, P3

Only candidates under serious consideration will be contacted.

UNISDR does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process. If you have any questions concerning persons or companies claiming to be recruiting on behalf of UNISDR and requesting the payment of a fee, please immediately contact isdr@un.org.

Location: Geneva

Close date: 13 Sep 2013

Job description

Vacancy code: VA/2013/B5006/3862

Background information - UNOPS

“UNOPS plays a critical role in providing management services for our life-saving, peacebuilding, humanitarian and development operations.”
-Ban Ki-moon, United Nations Secretary-General

UNOPS mission is to expand the capacity of the UN system and its partners to implement peacebuilding, humanitarian and development operations that matter for people in need.

Working in some of the world’s most challenging environments, our vision is to always satisfy partners with management services that meet world-class standards of quality, speed and cost effectiveness.

UNOPS provides services in sustainable infrastructure, sustainable procurement and sustainable project management, with projects ranging from building schools, roads, bridges and hospitals to procuring goods and services and training local personnel.

By assisting UN organizations, international financial institutions, governments and other development partners, UNOPS makes significant, tangible contributions to results on the ground.

We employ more than 6,000 personnel annually and on behalf of our partners create thousands more work opportunities in local communities. Through our headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark and a network of regional and country offices, we oversee activities in more than 80 countries.

UNOPS is committed to achieving a truly diverse workforce.

Background information - Job-specific

This position will be located in the Risk Knowledge Section of the UNISDR secretariat at Headquarters. The Risk Assessment Officer will report to the Head of the Risk Knowledge Section. The focus of this job is the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of programmes and other activities referring to the core functions of the Risk Knowledge Section, in the context of the Strategic Framework 2025 and Work Programme 2012-2015 of the UNISDR secretariat, namely:

  • Monitoring progress by regions and countries against the Hyogo Framework of Action (HFA)using the on-line HFA Monitor tool
  • Developing a credible information base on patterns and trends in disaster risk throughglobal risk modeling and analysis
  • Building and institutionalizing methodologies and systems for accounting for disaster loss and impact, for tracking investments in disaster risk reduction and for designing cost-effective risk management strategies
  • Identifying key opportunities and challenges for advancing disaster risk reduction and influencing policy at all levels through the publication of biennial Global Assessment Reports on Disaster Risk Reduction.
  • Providing substantive policy advice and briefs in support of the coordination and advocacy activities of the UNISDR secretariat

Functional responsibilities

Within delegated authority, the Risk Assessment Officer will be responsible for the following duties:

  • Participates in the design, development, updating and evaluation of the global disaster risk model coordinated by UNISDR secretariat with a range of scientific and technical partners. In particular,identify credible and viable models to measure earthquake, cyclones, flood,drought, landslide, volcanic and tsunami hazard; the exposure of population,infrastructure, economic assets and the built environment; vulnerability and risk. Identify data sources and facilitate agreements with partners to access data and expertise. Manages day-to-day relationships with partners, monitors progress and recommends remedial action where appropriate.
  • Undertakes outreach activities to strengthen the support provided by UNISDR to the development of risk profiles for governments, businesses and other national entities, which facilitate the adoption of optimized risk management strategies. Recommends appropriate methods, tools, data sources and implementing partners.
  • Organizes and provides substantive support to scientific and technical meetings on risk analysis and assessment, including proposing agenda topics, identifying participants, preparation of documents and presentations, and drafting minute sand reports of proceedings. When required represents UNISDR secretariat in conferences, meetings and working groups on risk assessment convened by other organizations.
  • Prepares analytical papers on the findings of the global disaster risk model and of national level risk profiles and drafts relevant substantive sections in the GAR and other reports and publications. Supports the development of on-line tools and platforms to visualize and analyze risk information.
  • Supports policy research and development on key disaster risk reduction issues,challenges and opportunities for the UNISDR secretariat; assesses issues and trends on the basis of published literature and evidence; drafts substantive policy advice and briefs; makes presentations to conferences, workshops,seminars and training events
  • Provides substantive guidance and support to the communications and outreach work of UNISDR.
  • Provides support to resource mobilization activities, in support of the key processes of the Risk Knowledge Section in particular and of UNISDR secretariat in general,with bilateral and multilateral donors, foundations and others, and for cost-sharing arrangements with partners, to support programme execution and implementation.
  • Assists the preparation of strategic and programme plans and budgets; prepares programme and project documents; ensures that activities are monitored and evaluated and that progress reports and prepared in a timely fashion.
  • Perform other duties as required by the Head of the Risk Knowledge Section.

Work implies frequent interaction with the following:

Officers in UNISDR secretariat, UN funds, programmes and other UN specialized agencies. Representatives and officials in national governments, international organizations, the private sector and civil society organizations, as well as in scientific, technical and academic organizations and consultants working on risk assessment.

Results expected:

Supports the development of credible global, national and business specific risk assessments and the dissemination of risk information through the GAR, on-line platforms and other media. Produces policy recommendations, analytical papers, substantive sections of the GAR and other reports and studies. Develops and maintains effective working relationships with partners and makes efficient use of resources.



Knowledge and understanding of theories, concepts and approaches relevant to particular sector, functional area or other specialized field. Ability to identify issues, analyze and participate in the resolution of issues/problems. Ability to conduct data collection using various methods. Conceptual analytical and evaluative skills to conduct independent research and analysis, including familiarity with and experience in the use of various research sources, including electronic sources on the internet,intranet and other databases. 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 audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.


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 and 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.


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.


Actively seeks to improve programmes or services;offers new and different options to solve problems or meet client needs;promotes and persuades others to consider new ideas; takes calculated risks on new and unusual ideas; thinks “outside the box”; takes an interest in new ideas and new ways of doing things; is not bound by current thinking or traditional approaches.

Client Orientation:

Considers all those to whom services are provided to be “clients” and seeks to see things from clients’point of view; establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect; identifies clients’ needs and matches them to appropriate solutions; monitors ongoing developments inside and outside the clients’ environment to keep informed and anticipate problems; keeps clients informed of progress or setbacks in projects; meets timeline for delivery of products or services to client.

Commitment to continuous learning:

Keeps abreast of new developments in own occupation/profession; actively seeks to develop oneself professionally and personally; contributes to the learning of colleagues and subordinates; shows willingness to learn from others; seeks feedback to learn and improve.

Technological awareness:

Keeps abreast of available technology; understands applicability and limitation of technology to the work of the office; actively seeks to apply technology to appropriate tasks; shows willingness to learn new technology.

It is the policy of UNOPS to conduct background checks on all potential recruits/interns.

Recruitment/internship in UNOPS is contingent on the results of such checks.

Education/experience/language requirements

  • Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in natural or applied science, geography, economics or a field relevant to disaster risk assessment.
  • A minimum of five years of progressively responsible experience in disaster risk modeling and assessment, including at both the and international level.
  • Fluency in English (both oral and written) is essential and in another working language of the UN Secretariat desirable. Knowledge of a third UN official language is an advantage.
Additional Considerations


- Please note that the closing date is midnight Copenhagen time (CET)

- Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.

- Only those candidates that are short-listed for interviews will be notified.

- Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

- For staff positions UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post

- The incumbent is responsible to abide by security policies, administrative instructions, plans and procedures of the UN Security Management System and that of UNOPS.  

Contract type

1 year ( one year initially, renewable subject to satisfactory performance and funding availability)
Level: ICS-10
Department/office: GPSO, HR Service Centre

How to apply

Please apply online.

Additional information


Related Links


Environment & Ecosystems, Risk Identification & Assessment, Governance, Economics of DRR, Disaster Risk Management
Cyclone, Drought, Earthquake, Flood, Land Slide, Tsunami, Volcano
VI Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas, Cartagena, Colombia 20-22 June 2018 VI Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas, Cartagena, Colombia 20-22 June 2018.
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