Humanitarian Affairs Specialist (Access ERT) , P4, Fixed-Term, New York, Office of Emergency Programmes (EMOPS), UNICEF

Job no: 555209

Position type: Fixed Term Appointment

Location: United States Division/Equivalent: Programme

School/Unit: Office of Emergency Operations

Department/Office: Off of Emergency Prog, NY

Categories: Emergency

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential.

Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone.

And we never give up.

For every child, Hope

This post is based in UNICEF Headquarters in New York in the Humanitarian Policy Section (HPS) of the Office of Emergency Programmes (EMOPS). It reports to the Team Leader and Humanitarian Policy Specialist on Complex and Hight Threat Environments in EMOPS HPS in NYHQ; under the general supervision of the Chief of the Humanitarian Policy Section; is a member of UNICEF Emergency Response Team; and works closely with the Humanitarian Access Policy Specialist in EMOPS HPS. This post requires travel to conflict-affected countries and frequent extended working hours. Some of the support to Country Offices and partners may occur remotely for practical and operational expediency reasons.

How can you make a difference?


  • To provide direct and remote support to UNICEF Country Offices (CO), Field Offices (FO), and their partners, in consultation with relevant HQ and Regional Offices, with the aim to establish, sustain and improve the quality of humanitarian access to children in hard-to-reach areas.
  • To provide technical assistance, implementation support, and capacity building to UNICEF CO/FO staff across functional profiles on humanitarian access and related issues, in line with the Core Commitments for Children in Humanitarian Action (CCCs), UNICEF Emergency Procedures, and other UNICEF and interagency policy and guidance.
  • Help put in place the necessary UNICEF humanitarian access structures and processes enabling FOs/COs and partners to stay and deliver.
  • Special emphasis will be on humanitarian access support to UNICEF COs/FOs and partners in country situations characterized by acute and protracted emergencies and severe access constraints, or emergency situations with significant shrinking of the humanitarian space and access.


When deployed to a UNICEF Country Office:

Coordination and capacity building

  • Serve as in-house expert on humanitarian access policy, guidance, tools, and other resources at UNICEF.
  • Ensure and guide coordinated processes, approaches, and activities related to humanitarian access analysis, planning, and implementation.
  • Undertake a consultative process to establish or update UNICEF’s country and field level Access Strategies and Access Action Plans.
  • Ensure regular meetings of key internal access stakeholders (e.g. Access Technical Team or regular operational meeting) to review and update the Access Action Plan.
  • Serve as focal point externally for UNICEF on Access Working Groups (AWGs) or other external platforms of relevance to humanitarian access.
  • Identify principled and effective humanitarian organizations with which UNICEF can collaborate or leverage to access children in need.
  • Identify staff with access-related responsibilities or natural aptitudes/talents of relevance to humanitarian access, direct them to/provide them with capacity-building opportunities, and propose them for nomination as CO/FO Access and/or Civil-Military Liaison focal points.
  • Support the coordination of rapid assessments (inter-agency or independently, as appropriate) during the acute stage of an emergency to determine programmatic needs, possible access impediments, as well as factors affecting the organization’s capacity to function in the field.

Analysis and Information Management

  • Ensure provision and availability of necessary access-related analysis (e.g. SitAN, SWOT, Actor Profiles, etc.).
  • Serve as the temporary focal point or link with FOs, RO, HQ, and inter-agency partners (e.g., AWG) on humanitarian access analysis.
  • Work with colleagues to pro-actively seek out un-accessed and un-assessed populations, paying particular attention to ensuring that assistance to targeted populations is provided in line with humanitarian principles.
  • Identify actors, including armed non-state actors (ANSAs), of relevance to UNICEF operations or programmes; consider them into actor mapping exercises, and facilitate a deliberative and collaborative assessment and decision-making process pertaining to whether or not and how to engage, in accordance with UNICEF guidelines.
  • Use networks to obtain and triangulate credible information on access that can be fed into humanitarian programmes, operations and negotiations to ensure principled and effective programmes; as well as the security of staff and protection of civilians.
  • Ensure institutional memory through documentation of decisions, negotiations, actors, and more.
  • Capture and document field experience, field practice, and lessons learned in the domain of humanitarian access for its incorporation into corporate guidance.

Engagement and Networking

  • Negotiate, with external actors, programmatic and logistics modalities (i.e. technical arrangements), positive protection outcomes and enabling conditions, as well as solutions to overcome immediate operational challenges faced by UNICEF and partners.
  • Sensitize external actors on humanitarian principles, access and international law, UNICEF’s mandate and way of operating, and core humanitarian standards, in line with the CCCs.

  • Coordinate implementation of humanitarian agreements by ensuring internal conformity and serving as focal point to troubleshoot issues as they arise.
  • Support and advise senior-level humanitarian access negotiation efforts, as required.
  • Support the Country Representative to decide on engagement with armed non-state actors by coordinating inputs for the decision-making process in line with UNICEF’s guidelines.
  • Network to expand and attain greater influence over actors who control humanitarian access.
  • Participate in inter-agency efforts on humanitarian civil-military coordination and serve as temporary internal Civil-Military Liaison focal point until a CO/FO staff nomination.

When not deployed to a UNICEF Country Office:

  • Support the development and delivery of EMOPS/HPS in-person and remote capacity-building initiatives on humanitarian access, including but not limited to country-specific webinars, Country Office tailored humanitarian access trainings and humanitarian leadership workshops.
  • Incorporate field reality to strengthen/improve UNICEF’s humanitarian access policy, guidance, and tools, as well as inter-agency/Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) products on humanitarian access, to ensure relevance and innovation in humanitarian access approaches by UNICEF and partners.
  • Assist, in close collaboration with relevant UNICEF HQ cluster leads (WASH, Nutrition, Education, Child Protection) and United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) as overall inter-agency lead on access, UNICEF’s engagement with those cluster memberships on awareness around humanitarian access standards and guidelines.

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…

  • An advanced university degree (Master’s or higher) in any of the following: International Relations, Social Sciences, Public Administration, or other relevant fields related to the work of UNICEF.
  • A minimum of eight years of relevant professional experience at international level in the field of humanitarian assistance and protection, of which at least 5 years at the field level in humanitarian settings, especially complex and high threat environments.
  • Demonstrated and progressive knowledge, skills, and experience on humanitarian access and related technical competencies, including: conflict analysis and actor mapping; humanitarian negotiations; engagement with State and non-State parties to conflict; humanitarian civil-military coordination; humanitarian access planning, strategy development, and implementation; capacity building/training on humanitarian access; or other access relevant topics.
  • Strong understanding of the practical application of the humanitarian normative framework, including but not limited to international humanitarian law, the humanitarian principles, and children’s rights, as well as the UN and humanitarian architecture, is required.
  • Prior field experience in UNICEF, a UN humanitarian agency or similar humanitarian organization is an advantage.
  • Overall experience in humanitarian response in settings of armed conflict and/or natural disaster, and technical expertise including for instance: emergency preparedness, humanitarian logistics and supply, security risk management, emergency programs, and interagency or cluster coordination, is an asset.
  • Willingness and readiness to undertake short, medium, and long-term field support missions to complex and high-threat environments is required.
  • Fluency in English and working-level knowledge of a second language (Arabic, French, Spanish or Russian) is required. Working level knowledge of a third language (Arabic, French, Spanish or Russian) is an asset.

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF’s Core Values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust and Accountability (CRITA) underpin everything we do and how we do it. Get acquainted with Our Values Charter: (link)

UNICEF competencies required for this post are…

  • Demonstrates Self Awareness and Ethical Awareness (1)
  • Works Collaboratively with others (1)
  • Builds and Maintains Partnerships (1)
  • Innovates and Embraces Change (1)
  • Thinks and Acts Strategically (1)
  • Drives to achieve impactful results (1)
  • Manages ambiguity and complexity (1)

During the recruitment process, we test candidates following the competency framework. Familiarize yourself with our competency framework and its different levels: competency framework here.

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.

We offer a wide range of benefits to our staff, including paid parental leave, breastfeeding breaks and reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities. UNICEF strongly encourages the use of flexible working arrangements.

UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.


Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.

UNICEF appointments are subject to medical clearance. Issuance of a visa by the host country of the duty station, which will be facilitated by UNICEF, is required for IP positions. Appointments are also subject to inoculation (vaccination) requirements, including against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid). Government employees that are considered for employment with UNICEF are normally required to resign from their government before taking up an assignment with UNICEF. UNICEF reserves the right to withdraw an offer of appointment, without compensation, if a visa or medical clearance is not obtained, or necessary inoculation requirements are not met, within a reasonable period for any reason.

Advertised: Sep 15 2022 Eastern Daylight Time Application close: Sep 28 2022 Eastern Daylight Time

Tags: architect, breastfeeding, child protection, childrens rights, cluster coordination, emergency preparedness, emergency situation, field support, humanitarian access, humanitarian assistance, humanitarian law, humanitarian response, humanitarian standards, information management, institutional memory, international law, international relations, logistics, nutrition education, parental leave, protection of civilians, public administration, risk management, social sciences, trainings