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Programme Management Officer (Deputy Chief of Office, DRR Policy and Coordination), P4, Panama City

Panama City, Panama
United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction – Regional Office for the Americas and the Caribbean

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Org. Setting and Reporting 

Created in December 1999, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) 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), UNDRR has over 140 staff located in its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, and in regional offices. Specifically, UNDRR 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. 

The position is located in UNDRR Regional Office for the Americas and the Caribbean, Panama. The Programme Management Officer will report to the Chief of the UNDRR Regional Office for the Americas and the Caribbean. 


Within delegated authority, the incumbent will be responsible for the following duties: 

  • Serves as Deputy to the Chief of the Regional Office. Under the supervision of the Chief of Office, actively contributes to the formulation and implementation of the work plan for the Regional Office in line with the UNDRR Strategic Framework and Work Programme. Undertakes, upon delegation from the Chief of Office, programmatic/administrative tasks necessary for the functioning of the Regional Office, including preparation of work plans and budgets, recruitment and promoting 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 by teams under his/her supervision meet high-quality standards; that reports are clear, objective, and based on comprehensive data; and that they comply with relevant organizational mandates. 
  • Contributes to UNDRR global resource mobilization efforts by mobilizing resources from the region. Actively promotes a positive team culture across the Regional Office recognizing innovation, agility, learning, accountability, and transparency. 
  • Supports the Chief of the Regional Office in the coordination and implementation of the UN Plan of Action on Disaster Risk Reduction for Resilience in the region. Ensures the continuous development and implementation of the Regional Action Plan for the implementation of the Sendai Framework in the Americas & the Caribbean. Coordinates with UNDRR Headquarters and other regional offices in harmonizing the implementation of projects on a continuous basis. Facilitates the implementation of need-based and agreed-upon regional/national/ local level support. Develops, implements, monitors and evaluates assigned programmes/projects related to disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation and sustainable development, with a primary focus on impact-based early warning systems for early and anticipatory actions, including the customization and implementation of the EW4All initiative in the Americas & the Caribbean. 
  • Ensures the integration of risk reduction policies and programmes through cooperation with the relevant regional coordination mechanisms, Resident Coordinator System, and UN Country Team. Co-leads and contributes to the development and implementation of the action plan of the Issue-Based Coalition for Climate Change & Resilience for Latin America & the Caribbean in coordination with other UN agencies. Identifies, builds, and enhances strategic partnerships for national, sub-regional, and regional cooperation with Governments, regional organizations, the private sector, civil society, parliamentarians, and the science and technology community at large to mobilize support for sound and coherent action related to disaster risk reduction, and to ensure meaningful involvement and participation of those stakeholders in the development and implementation of effective disaster risk reduction policies, frameworks, and programmes. Represents the Chief of the Regional Office and UNDRR senior leadership in relevant meetings on disaster risk reduction in the region. Provides programmatic/substantive expertise on an issue and holds programmatic/substantive and organizational discussions with representatives of other institutions. 
  • Takes the lead in coordinating the preparations for the Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction; develops and implements an action plan; coordinates internal preparations and co-ordinates a core team of colleagues responsible for their respective areas of work; directs preparation and review of relevant documents and reports; identifies priorities, problems and issues to be addressed and proposes corrective actions; liaises with relevant parties; identifies and initiates follow-up actions. Ensures engagement of relevant external stakeholders as part of the preparatory process; ensures continuous dialogue with the country hosting the Regional Platform; takes the lead in preparing the host country agreement; establishes the budget requirements for the Regional Platform and contributes to mobilization of resources for the Regional Platform; coordinates with relevant intergovernmental organizations in the region as well as UN partners and other stakeholders. Develops a follow-up action plan following each Regional Platform and monitors its implementation and works in collaboration with the Senior Programme Officer in charge of the Global Platform to ensure connectivity and coherence between the Regional Platform and ensures effective lessons learned from each Regional and Global Platform inform future Regional Platforms and their preparatory and follow-up processes. 
  • Supports the development of local, national, and regional strategies in line with the Sendai Framework; strengthens policy and advocacy in support of risk-informed development and ensures review and analysis of trends for the implementation of national policies and strategies are undertaken. In this regard, liaises with the Senior Programme Officer located in Bonn responsible for coordinating policy guidance on disaster risk reduction and contributing information and analysis on regional needs and priority areas of interest related to policy guidance, and contributes to the development of global policy guidance from a regional perspective.
  • Contributes to effective planning and monitoring at the regional and global levels, ensure effective interface with HQ and other regions, and propose proactively new solutions and approaches. 
  • Collects and analyzes data to identify trends or patterns and provides insights through graphs, charts, tables, and reports using data visualization methods to enable data-driven planning, decision-making, presentation, and reporting. 


PROFESSIONALISM: 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 propose solutions for the resolution of issues/problems; Ability to collaborate within geographically dispersed teams; Ability to contribute to the identification of strategic agenda for engagement within the region; Ability to apply judgment in the context of assignments given, plan own work and manage conflicting priorities; The ability to analyze and interpret data in support of decision-making and convey resulting information to management; 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. 

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. 

ACCOUNTABILITY: 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; Strong drive for results. 

LEADERSHIP: Serves as a role model that other people want to follow: empowers others to translate vision into results; is proactive in developing strategies to accomplish objectives; establishes and maintains relationships with a broad range of people to understand needs and gain support; anticipates and resolves conflicts by pursuing mutually agreeable solutions; drives for change and improvements; does not accept the status quo; shows the courage to take unpopular stands. Provides leadership and takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work; demonstrates knowledge of strategies and commitment to the goal of gender balance in staffing. 

EMPOWERING OTHERS: Delegates responsibility, clarifies expectations, and gives staff autonomy in important areas of their work; encourages others to set challenging goals; holds others accountable for achieving results related to their area of responsibility; genuinely values all staff members’ input and expertise; shows appreciation and rewards achievement and effort; involves others when making decisions that affect them. 


Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent degree) in business administration, management, economics, or related field is required. A first-level university degree 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, administration or related field, as well as building strategic alliances and partnerships and resource mobilization is required. 
  • International work experience is required. 
  • Experience in disaster risk reduction is required. 
  • Experience providing strategic policy guidance on disaster risk reduction is desirable. 
  • Experience working in teams located in different locations is desirable. 
  • Experience advocating with governments and other stakeholders on disaster risk reduction is desirable. 
  • Experience representing international organizations with governments and regional organizations is desirable. 


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in English and Spanish are required. Knowledge Portuguese is desirable. Knowledge of French is desirable. 


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

Special Notice 

Appointment or assignment against this position is for an initial period of one year. 

This job opening is advertised to fill a temporarily vacant position during the absence of the regular incumbent for a period of one year or longer. The regular incumbent is entitled to return to this position at the expiry of the temporary vacancy period. If the regular incumbent exercises the right to return, the appointment or temporary assignment or promotion of the candidate selected for this job opening will not be renewed or extended. 

The selection process for this job opening will be conducted pursuant to ST/AI/2010/3 on the “Staff Selection System” and include the compliance review process by a review body described in staff rule 4.15. In case of selection, a staff member of the United Nations Secretariat who meets the definition of “internal candidate” in staff rule 4.10 will be placed on a temporary assignment if he or she holds the same grade as the job opening; and a temporary promotion if he or she holds a lower grade than the job opening. If the regular incumbent vacates the position during such temporary assignment or promotion, the selected staff member will be laterally assigned, promoted or transferred to the position without further selection process under ST/AI/2010/3. 

At the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the recruitment and employment of staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity, with due regard to geographic diversity. All employment decisions are made on the basis of qualifications and organizational needs. The United Nations is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment of mutual respect. The United Nations recruits and employs staff regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, race, religious, cultural and ethnic backgrounds or disabilities. Reasonable accommodation for applicants with disabilities may be provided to support participation in the recruitment process when requested and indicated in the application. 

The United Nations Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance and geographical diversity in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position. 

In line with the overall United Nations policy, the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction encourages a positive workplace culture which embraces inclusivity and leverages diversity within its workforce. Measures are applied to enable all staff members to contribute equally and fully to the work and development of the organization, including flexible working arrangements, family-friendly policies and standards of conduct. 

Individual contractors and consultants who have worked within the UN Secretariat in the last six months, irrespective of the administering entity, are ineligible to apply for professional and higher, temporary or fixed-term positions and their applications will not be considered. 

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. Candidates will not be considered for employment with the United Nations if they have committed violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law, sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, or sexual harassment, or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have been involved in the commission of any of these acts. The term “sexual exploitation” means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. The term “sexual abuse” means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions. The term “sexual harassment” means any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offence or humiliation, when such conduct interferes with work, is made a condition of employment or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, and when the gravity of the conduct warrants the termination of the perpetrator’s working relationship. Candidates who have committed crimes other than minor traffic offences may not be considered for employment. 

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. 

Reasonable accommodation may be provided to applicants with disabilities upon request, to support their participation in the recruitment process. 

The paramount consideration in the appointment, transfer, or promotion of staff shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. By accepting an offer of appointment, United Nations staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and assignment by him or her to any activities or offices of the United Nations in accordance with staff regulation 1.2 (c). In this context, all internationally recruited staff members shall be required to move periodically to discharge new functions within or across duty stations under conditions established by the Secretary-General. 

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

The 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 according to the instructions provided in inspira to be considered for the current job opening. 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 reference checks to verify the information provided in the application. 

Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at 11:59 p.m. (New York time) on the deadline date. 

No Fee 


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