Head of office, P5

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: Brussels

Close date: 4 Oct 2013

Job description

Vacancy posting: 13-PGM-UNISDR-29177-R-BRUSSELS (X)

United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for diversity

Organization 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 disaster reduction and to ensure synergies among the disaster reduction activities of the United Nations and regional organizations and activities in socio-economic and humanitarian fields. Led by the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, UNISDR has over 100 staff located in its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, and 5 regional offices and other field presences. Specifically, UNISDR coordinates international efforts in disaster risk reduction, and guides, monitors and reports on the progress of the implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action; campaigns to create global awareness of disaster risk reduction benefits and empower people to reduce their vulnerability to hazards; advocates for greater investments in disaster risk reduction to protect people's lives and assets, and for increased and informed participation of men and women in reducing disaster risk; and informs and connects people by providing practical services and tools such as PreventionWeb, publications on good practices, and by leading the preparation of the Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction and the organisation of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction.This position is located in the UNISDR Liaison Office in Brussels and the incumbent reports to the Director.


  • Provides policy guidance to the Director, on conceptual strategy development and management of the implementation of the UNISDR strategic framework and work programme at the regional office level. In line with the UNISDR strategic framework and biennial work programme, build partnerships for broad and focused cooperation towards reducing vulnerability to disasters in the region of Europe.
  • Plans and oversees the management of activities of the regional office; ensures that substantive work programmes and programmed activities are carried out in a timely fashion, coordinating diverse projects in the region in liaison with other organizations of the United Nations System, disaster risk reduction partners, governments, donors and agencies as appropriate.
  • Manages, supervises and carries out the UNISDR work programme of the regional office under his/her responsibility. Oversees and monitors the implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) following up with governments and other disaster risk reduction partners; Leads and participates in the Hyogo Framework for Action consultations; develops mechanisms to allow for full participation of partners at the regional level; ensures that information from consultative forums is recorded and disseminated to relevant constituents; co-ordinates the work carried out by the regional office; provides programmatic and substantive reviews of drafts prepared by others.
  • Provides substantive input in the preparation of position papers and reports for presentation to intergovernmental bodies such as the Economic and Social Council, the General Assembly and other policy-making organs as appropriate.
  • Contributes to the resilient cities campaign in the region, advocates for and supports the campaign through regional counterparts and partnerships, as applicable.
  • Ensures that the outputs produced by the regional office maintain high-quality standards; that reports are clear, objective and based on comprehensive data. Ensures that all outputs produced by the regional office under his/her supervision meet required standards before completion to ensure they comply with the relevant mandates.
  • Prepares inputs for the work programme of the regional office, determining priorities, and allocating resources for the completion of outputs and their timely delivery. Enhances coordination and collaboration among stake holders in addressing disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation (CCA)
  • Is accountable for the programmatic and administrative tasks necessary for the functioning of the regional office, including preparation of budgets, assigning and monitoring of performance parameters and critical indicators, reporting on budget/programme performance, preparation of inputs for results-based budgeting, evaluation of staff performance (PAS), interviews of candidates for job openings and evaluation of candidates; interaction with service provides for service efficiency.
  • Recommends the recruitment of staff for the regional office taking due account geographical and gender balance and other institutional values.
  • Manages, guides, develops and trains staff under his/her supervision.
  • Fosters teamwork and communication among staff in the regional office and across organizational boundaries.
  • Serves as the representative of UNISDR at events and meetings organized by the European Union, the Belgium Government, the UN Country Team and other forums in Brussels; in consultation with the Resource Mobilization Unit guides and oversee the work of the UNISDR designated European focal point.
  • Participates, guides and oversees the preparation of regional platforms every two years; liaises with governments and other partners to ensure that regional platforms are addressing disaster risk reduction issuesl; ensures that reports from the regional platforms are disseminated to the relevant parties for follow-up and keeps track of commitments made at the platforms for development of relevant monitoring and evaluation mechanism.



  • Knowledge and understanding of concepts and approaches relevant to disaster risk reduction.
  • Demonstrated ability to provide innovative technical leadership by performing and/or overseeing the planning, development, and management of the operation.
  • Is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results.
  • Shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges.


  • 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.

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


  • Identifies strategic issues, opportunities and risks.
  • Clearly communicates links between the Organization's strategy and the work unit's goals.
  • Generates and communicates broad and compelling organizational direction, inspiring others to pursue that same direction
  • Conveys enthusiasm about future possibilities

Managing performance:

  • Delegates the appropriate responsibility, accountability and decision-making authority
  • Makes sure that roles, responsibilities and reporting lines are clear to each staff member
  • Accurately judges the amount of time and resources needed to accomplish a task and matches task to skills
  • Monitors progress against milestones and deadlines
  • Regularly discusses performance and provides feedback and coaching to staff
  • Encourages risk-taking and supports creativity and initiative
  • Actively supports the development and career aspirations of staff
  • Appraises performance fairly


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

Work experience

A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible experience in project or programme management, public administration or related field. Knowledge of disaster risk reduction is a requirement. Qualifying years of experience are calculated following the receipt of the first level university degree recognised by the United Nations.


Fluency in English (both oral and written) is required; knowledge of French is desirable.

Assessment method

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

Special notice

  • Extension of the appointment is subject to the availability of the funds.
  • Staff members of the United Nations Secretariat must fulfill the lateral move requirements to be eligible to apply for this vacancy. Staff members are requested to indicate all qualifying lateral moves in their Personal History Profile (PHP) and cover note.

United Nations considerations

The United Nations shall place 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. (Charter of the United Nations - Chapter 3, article 8). The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.

No fee


How to apply

Visit the UN Careers portal to search for this job opening and apply online

Additional information


Available here


Climate Change, Governance, Economics of DRR, Disaster Risk Management
The Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction 2018, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia 3-6 July 2018 The Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction 2018, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia 3-6 July 2018.
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