Humanitarian Operations Senior Officer (Anticipatory Action Officer)

  • Location
    New York, New York
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Early Career
  • Posted
    Jun 20

Position description

UNOPS supports partners to build a better future by providing services that increase the efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability of peace building, humanitarian and development projects. Mandated as a central resource of the United Nations, UNOPS provides sustainable project management, procurement and infrastructure services to a wide range of governments, donors and United Nations organizations. The New York Portfolios Office (NYPO) supports the United Nations Secretariat, as well as other New York-based United Nations organizations, bilateral and multilateral partners in the delivery of the UNOPS mandate in project management, infrastructure management, and procurement management.

The Sustainable Development Cluster (SDC) supports diverse partners with their peacebuilding, humanitarian and development operations. It was formed by combining the following portfolios: Grants Management Services, UN Technology Support Services (UNTSS), and the Development and Special Initiatives Portfolio. It provides services to partners' programmes that are designed, structured, and managed with a global perspective and primarily serving partners that are headquartered in New York. SDC has a footprint of approximately 125 countries.

UNOPS has signed an agreement with the United Nations to implement defined activities in support of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has a Centre for Humanitarian Data in the Netherlands (The Hague) focused on increasing the use and impact of data in the humanitarian sector. The vision is to create a future where all people involved in a humanitarian emergency have access to the data they need, when and how they need it, to make responsible and informed decisions. The Centre has four workstreams: data services (managing the Humanitarian Data Exchange platform), data responsibility, data literacy, and data science.

An area of emerging interest in the humanitarian sector is data science and anticipatory action: asking what will happen in a particular humanitarian context and using available data and models to arrive at an answer. The Centre’s data science team has supported OCHA’s anticipatory action frameworks in over a dozen countries, enabling humanitarian organizations to get ahead of shocks and mitigate their impact. After a successful pilot phase, OCHA is now looking at the modalities for scaling and mainstreaming anticipatory action.

For more information on OCHA’s work on anticipatory action, see

Purpose and Scope of Assignment

The project is seeking to recruit a Humanitarian Operations Senior Officer to support OCHA’s work in anticipatory action. The Humanitarian Operations Senior Officer needs to be self-motivated and be able to thrive in an international, multidisciplinary team. The right candidate has the skills to work independently and with a team to guide anticipatory action processes across a diverse audience, takes initiative where needed, and demonstrate problem-solving skills.

The incumbent of this position will be personnel of UNOPS under its full responsibility.

Functional Responsibilities

The incumbent will report to the Data Science Team Lead under the overall direction of the Lead for the Centre for Humanitarian Data. The incumbent will be expected to work closely with the rest of the Centre team, as well as collaborate with relevant OCHA teams at the HQ, regional, and country levels leading anticipatory action work.

The incumbent will be responsible for the following duties:

  • Support the development of new anticipatory action frameworks (action plan, crisis timeline, trigger mechanism based on predictive data analytics, etc.), contribute specific expertise and dedicated knowledge to the revision and improvement of existing frameworks, and provides expertise through research, analysis, presentation and facilitation. ensuring that frameworks align with OCHA’s criteria and objectives and that triggers are based on rigorous data analysis.
  • Provides expertise and knowledge to monitor specific Anticipatory Action frameworks, including whether trigger conditions have been met based on data analysis, and facilitates the activation of Anticipatory Action frameworks when agreed triggers have been reached.
  • Contributes specific deliverables to the learning workstreams for specific anticipatory action frameworks, including surveys, data analysis, evaluations, process learning and monitoring.
  • Provides guidance and develops specific deliverables (e.g., frameworks, templates, guidance, data analyses, monitoring tools) for OCHA’s early action work and leads on selected workstreams, such as cholera or El Niño/La Niña
  • Contributes their Anticipatory Action expertise and knowledge to OCHA’s overall Anticipatory Action workstream, including disaster risk financing and the development of policy, standards, reports, data analysis, background papers, presentations.
  • Perform other duties as may be reasonably required and in line with the incumbent’s scope of services above.

Work implies frequent collaboration with the following:

  • Personnel at all levels within OCHA/UNOPS in New York, Geneva, country and regional offices as needed
  • Counterparts in other UN agencies, NGOs and research institutions
  • Work potentially includes travel to countries with humanitarian contexts or for surge support, workshops, seminars, trainings, etc.



  • Advanced university degree (Master's degree or equivalent) preferably in international relations, humanitarian affairs, diplomacy, public health, medicine, engineering, or a similar field.
  • A first-level university degree (Bachelor's degree or equivalent) in combination with two additional years of relevant experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience:


  • At least two (2) years of experience working on humanitarian action is required.
  • Direct experience with humanitarian anticipatory action is required

Desirable: (The following experiences are optional. Candidates who do not have them are welcome to apply)

  • Experience with humanitarian pooled funds is desirable.
  • Experience working in the health sector and/or disaster risk financing is a strong advantage
  • Collaboration or interaction with different types of humanitarian stakeholders: NGOs, UN agencies, Governments, etc.


  • Fluency in English (reading, writing, speaking) is required.
  • Fluency in French and Spanish is desirable.
  • Fluency in at least one additional official UN language is an asset.

Application instructions

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