Humanitarian Protection Specialist

  • Location
    Washington, D.C.
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Jan 29

Position description

Macfadden is seeking a Humanitarian Protection Specialist to enhance its capability to ensure humanitarian protection principles and best practices are incorporated throughout OFDA’s responses and the programs its funds; to provide technical guidance on humanitarian protection programming and issues -- including gender-based violence, child protection, and/or psychosocial support -- and to ensure that humanitarian protection principles and practices are communicated effectively and incorporated into policies throughout USAID, the interagency, and the donor community.

The ideal candidate will be a highly effective team member; will be motivated, organized, and diplomatic; and will be able to manage stress well. Candidates must be motivated to support OFDA’s mandate and be committed to enhancing OFDA’s use and promotion of humanitarian protection principles and practices in its responses to humanitarian crises around the globe.


Key Responsibilities:

Technical Guidance & Support

  • Provide technical advice on all issues relating to humanitarian protection, particularly gender-based violence, child protection, psychosocial support, protection mainstreaming, and the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse.
  • Contribute to the formulation and articulation of appropriate strategies and activities to ensure protection principles and best practices are mainstreamed in emergency response, early recovery, and disaster risk reduction programming.
  • Provide technical review of protection and related sectors in proposals and concept notes submitted to OFDA.
  • Review and encourage inclusion of protection principles and best practices in response strategies, project designs, and implementation plans, and other OFDA documents.
  • Travel to the field, sometimes at short notice and for extended periods of time, to advise regional teams on protection issues.

Policy, Advocacy, and Communications

  • Contribute to technical, thought, and organizational leadership within OFDA, in protection and gender-related forums and discussions, within the USG, and through helping to develop and representing policy and technical positions to advance OFDA’s protection and gender-related work.
  • Develop collaborative and proactive working-level relationships with HPGE, AFD, and ALE in order to contribute to the development and implementation of clear and concise policies, positions, and communications materials on protection issues for OFDA and USAID in general. 
  • Develop and maintain cooperative working relationships with UN agencies, NGOs, coordination bodies, and relevant USG offices.
  • Provide written and oral responses to requests for information on OFDA’s protection activities and policies for a wide range of USG and public audiences. These responses may take the form of briefing papers, memorandums, talking points, fact sheets, formal presentations, and informal briefings.
  • Coordinate with OFDA protection colleagues to develop internal protection policies, strategies, and program standards;

Capacity Building

  • Increase the capacity of OFDA staff to understand protection principles and best practices, international humanitarian law related to protection, prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse and other cross cutting issues, and appropriate humanitarian protection interventions through contributing to the OFDA protection training.
  • With support, deliver portions of the humanitarian protection training.

General Duties:

  • Become qualified for, and serve as needed on, Washington-based Response Management Teams (RMTs), which provides services and support to DARTs deployed in response to disasters.  The duties on RMTs will be varied.
  • Serve as the OFDA after-hours duty officer on a rotational basis, for approximately one week every six months; and
  • As needed, serve on Disaster Assistance Response Teams (DARTs) which may require immediate (within 24 hours) deployment overseas for an extended period of time.


  • Bachelor’s or Master’s degree with significant study in or pertinent to the specialized field (including but not limited to: international law, economics, international relations, anthropology, sociology, political science, history, disaster management, social work, public health, or humanitarian affairs)
  • 8 years relevant work experience with bachelor’s degree
  • 6 years relevant work experience with master’s degree
  • Must include field work (foreign or domestic) in international humanitarian assistance and/or disaster response needs assessment, analysis, emergency relief program operations, or post-emergency rehabilitation.


  • Experience in the field on a humanitarian response is highly desirable. 
  • Professional experience should also include implementing a humanitarian protection program, including child protection, gender-based violence, psychosocial support as a program manager for an NGO; advising an NGO or firm on humanitarian protection issues; working on humanitarian protection issues or policy at UN agencies or within the USG; researching humanitarian protection issues at a university or think tank; or other experience directly relevant to humanitarian protection.
  • Experience working effectively in teams is highly desirable.
  • Experience working with program teams in developing humanitarian protection strategies and approaches that fit unique contexts is desirable

Application instructions

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