United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction
UNDRR in Panama City, Panama
Posting Title: STAFF ASSISTANT, G5
Job Code Title: STAFF ASSISTANT
Department/Office: United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction
Duty Station: PANAMA CITY
Posting Period: 09 September 2022 – 08 October 2022
Job Opening Number: 22-Administration-UNDRR-190158-R-Panama City (X)
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
Organisational 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 120 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 catalyzes 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 the UNDRR Regional Office for the Americas and the Caribbean (ROAMC) in Panama. The incumbent reports to the Associate Administrative Officer.
Within delegated authority, the incumbent will be responsible for the following duties and responsibilities:
- Performs, under minimal supervision of the Associate Administrative Officer, the full range of office management and administrative support functions; typically provides direct assistance to the chief of office and deputy chief of office.
- Supports the Administrative team with operational and administrative processes, performs and coordinates administrative and operational tasks in close communication with the Associate Administrative Officer and the Administrative Assistant in a daily basis, as well as serving as back up to the Administrative Assistant.
- Maintains liaison with the Executive Office and with senior officials in other units regarding on-going programmes and other administrative matters; monitors processes and schedules related to the unit’s outputs, products, tasks, etc.
- Ensures smooth and efficient information flow within the unit; prepares and processes confidential information; assists in the development of office administrative systems and procedures.
- Assists staff members in the regional office with the issuance of UNLPs, visas, diplomatic IDs and customs clearance.
- Researches, compiles and summarizes background materials for use in preparation of reports, briefs, speeches, etc.
- Provides assistance in the coordination of service-wide activities (meetings, training, etc.), special projects and events.
- Orients new staff to relevant administrative procedures and practices and provides general assistance to other office support staff, as required; may coordinate the work of office support staff in providing meetings servicing/administrative support to various sessions of commissions and other bodies.
- Attends meetings, prepares minutes, monitors follow-up activities.
- Responds or drafts responses to a wide range of correspondence and other communications; uses standard word processing package to produce a wide variety of large, complex documents and reports.
- Manages, updates and further develops internal databases; updates website; generates a variety of standard and non-standard statistical and other reports from various databases.
- Carries out quality control function for outgoing documents; proofreads and edits texts for adherence for format, grammar, punctuation and style.
- Responds to complex information requests and inquiries (e.g. answers requests requiring file search, etc.).
- Assists in the preparation of presentation materials using appropriate technology/software.
- May provide some specialized support to unit (e.g. technology support, editing, desktop publishing, etc.).
- Maintains calendar/schedules; monitors changes and communicate relevant information to appropriate staff inside and outside the immediate work unit.
- Performs a variety of administrative duties (e.g. leave recording, meeting organization, reservations, office supply and equipment orders, etc.), including preparing and/or processing administrative requests/documents (e.g., travel requests, expense claims, vouchers, visa applications, etc.).
- Maintains files (both paper and electronic) and databases for work unit.
- Performs other duties as assigned.
Professionalism: Knowledge of general office and administrative support including administrative policies, processes and procedures. 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. Commitment to implementing the goal of gender equality by ensuring the equal participation and full involvement of women and men in all aspects of work.
Teamwork: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals. Solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others. Places team agenda before personal agenda. Supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position. Shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.
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.
High school diploma or equivalent is required.
A minimum of five (5) years of experience in general office support or related area is required.
Work experience with virtual communication platforms (e.g. Zoom, WebEx, Microsoft Teams, etc.) is desirable.
Experience working with an Enterprise Resources Planning (ERP) system such as Umoja or similar is desirable.
English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in English and Spanish is required. Knowledge of another official United Nations language is desirable.
Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by competency-based interview.
The initial appointment is for one year and extension of the appointment is subject to extension of the mandate and the availability of the funds.
This position is subject to local recruitment pursuant to staff rule 4.4 of the United Nations Staff Rules. All staff in the General Service and related categories shall be recruited in the country or within commuting distance of each office, irrespective of their nationality and of the length of time they may have been in the country. A staff member subject to local recruitment shall not be eligible for the allowances or benefits exclusively applicable to international recruitment. Any extension of appointment beyond the initial one year is subject to satisfactory performance, extension of the mandate and availability of funds.
Passing the Global General Service Test (GGST) is a prerequisite for recruitment consideration in the General Services and related categories in the United Nations Secretariat. Applicants who have not passed the GGST at the time of application may be invited for the test after submitting an application. Staff members who were granted a fixed-term, continuing or permanent appointment as a result of having passed a predecessor test recognized by the Office of Human Resources Management, and who have continuously held such appointments, are not required to take the new test.
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.
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.
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.
THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CHARGE A FEE AT ANY STAGE OF THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS (APPLICATION, INTERVIEW MEETING, PROCESSING, OR TRAINING). THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CONCERN ITSELF WITH INFORMATION ON APPLICANTS’ BANK ACCOUNTS.