Risk Assessment Officer, P3, UNISDR, Geneva

DATORE: United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) - LUOGO:Switzerland (Geneva) - SCADENZA BANDO: 20 Oct 2015

Organizational setting and reporting relationships:

This position will be located in the Risk Knowledge Section of the UNISDR secretariat at Headquarters and will report to the Senior Programme Officer: Global Risk Assessment and Disaster Loss Accounting.

The focus of this job is the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of programmes and other activities referring to the core functions of the Risk Knowledge Section, in the context of the Strategic Framework 2025 and Work Programme 2012-2015 of the UNISDR secretariat.

  • Support the processes of capacity building and development of National Probabilistic Risk Profiles in countries where UNISDR execute these type of initiatives, with a global scope but with emphasis in African countries.

  • Identifying key opportunities and challenges for advancing disaster risk reduction and influencing policy at all levels through the publication of biennial Global Assessment Reports on Disaster Risk Reduction.

  • Contribute in a significant way to the implementation in countries of activities related to Priority 1 of the new Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction:

  • Actively participate in the generation of the GAR reports in the areas of analysis of results and data produced by partners, and in the generation of Probabilistic Global Risk Assessments

  • Help developing a credible information base on patterns and trends in disaster risk through global risk modeling and analysis

  • Providing substantive policy advice and briefs in support of the coordination and advocacy activities of the UNISDR secretariat.


Functional responsibilities:

Responsibilities: Within delegated authority, the Risk Assessment Officer will be responsible for the following duties:

  • Participates in the design, development, updating and evaluation of the global disaster risk model coordinated by UNISDR secretariat with a range of scientific and technical partners. In particular, identify credible and viable models to measure earthquake, cyclones, flood, drought, landslide, volcanic and tsunami hazard; the exposure of population, infrastructure, economic assets and the built environment; vulnerability and risk. Identify data sources and facilitate agreements with partners to access data and expertise. Manages day-to-day relationships with partners, monitors progress and recommends remedial action where appropriate.

  • Supports the process of capacity building for the implementation of National Probabilistic Risk Profiles, with especial focus but not limited to CAPRA methodology for Probabilistic Risk Assessments, and initially centered on African countries. The Officer will provide training, advice, guidance and support to stakeholders, officers of public institutions, academics in the process of development of national risk profiles, on the main conceptual and analytical elements of risk and on data collection to construct hazard, exposure and vulnerability datasets. The Officer will continuously monitor the progress of the data collection, ensure timelines are met, assess the compliance with methodology and required levels of quality and precision, and provide technical support answering queries and providing specialized guidance.

  • Works closely and collaboratively with UNISDR Regional Offices and UN Country Programmes to strengthen the support provided to the development of national, sector and local level risk assessments for governments and other national entities. Recommends appropriate methods, tools, data sources and implementing partners and ensures collaboration with Regional Offices on country specific issues of risk and regularly updates the Regional Offices on outreach at national and local level risk assessments'.

  • Organizes and provides substantive support to scientific and technical meetings on risk analysis and assessment, including proposing agenda topics, identifying participants, preparation of documents and presentations, and drafting minutes and reports of proceedings. When required represents UNISDR secretariat in conferences, meetings and working groups on risk assessment convened by other organizations.

  • Prepares analytical papers on the findings of the global disaster risk model and of national level risk assessments and drafts relevant substantive sections in the GAR and other reports and publications. Supports the development of on-line tools and platforms to visualize and analyze risk information.

  • Supports policy research and development on key disaster risk reduction issues, challenges and opportunities for the UNISDR secretariat; assesses issues and trends on the basis of published literature and evidence; drafts substantive policy advice and briefs; makes presentations to conferences, workshops, seminars and training events

  • Provides substantive guidance and support to the communications and outreach work of UNISDR.

  • Provides support to resource mobilization activities, in support of the key processes of the Risk Knowledge Section in particular and of UNISDR secretariat in general, with bilateral and multilateral donors, foundations and others, and for cost-sharing arrangements with partners, to support programme execution and implementation.

  • Assists the preparation of strategic and programme plans and budgets; prepares programme and project documents; ensures that activities are monitored and evaluated and that progress reports and prepared in a timely fashion.

  • Perform other duties as required by the Head of the Risk Knowledge Section

Work implies frequent interaction with the following:

Officers in UNISDR secretariat, UN funds, programmes and other UN specialized agencies. Representatives and officials in national governments, international organizations, the private sector and civil society organizations, as well as in scientific, technical and academic organizations and consultants working on risk assessment.

Results expected:

Supports the development of credible global, regional, national and local risk assessments and the dissemination of risk information through the GAR, on-line platforms and other media. Produces policy recommendations, analytical papers, substantive sections of the GAR and other reports and studies. Develops and maintains effective working relationships with partners and makes efficient use of resources.


  • Professionalism: Knowledge and understanding of theories, concepts and approaches relevant to particular sector, functional area or other specialized field. Ability to identify issues, analyze and participate in the resolution of issues/problems. Ability to conduct data collection using various methods. Conceptual analytical and evaluative skills to conduct independent research and analysis, including familiarity with and experience in the use of various research sources, including electronic sources on the internet, intranet and other databases. Ability to apply judgment in the context of assignments given, plan own work and manage conflicting priorities. 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. Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.

  • Communication: Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; tailors language, tone, style and format to match audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.

  • 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.

  • Planning & 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.

  • Creativity: Actively seeks to improve programmes or services; offers new and different options to solve problems or meet client needs; promotes and persuades others to consider new ideas; takes calculated risks on new and unusual ideas; thinks “outside the box”; takes an interest in new ideas and new ways of doing things; is not bound by current thinking or traditional approaches.


Education/Experience/Language requirements:

Education: Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in Natural or Applied Science, Geography, Economics or a field relevant to disaster risk assessment. A first-level university degree in combination with at least two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Experience: A minimum of five years of progressively responsible experience in disaster risk modeling and assessment

Language: Fluency in English (both oral and written) is essential and in another working language of the UN Secretariat desirable. Knowledge of a third UN official language is an advantage

Other: In depth knowledge of risk modeling and assessment, as demonstrated through publications. Experience with implementing risk assessments with national government or with a relevant technical assistance project in at least one developing region. Understanding of the international policy framework and institutional architecture of disaster risk reduction. Wide network of disaster risk reduction researchers and practitioners, particularly in the risk assessment field.

Contract type, level and duration:

Contract type: Fixed Term

Contract level: P3

Contract duration: 1 year initially, renewable subject to satisfactory performance and funding availability

Additional Considerations

  • Please note that the closing date is midnight Copenhagen time (CET)

  • Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.

  • Only those candidates that are short-listed for interviews will be notified.

  • Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

  • For staff positions only, UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post

  • The incumbent is responsible to abide by security policies, administrative instructions, plans and procedures of the UN Security Management System and that of UNOPS.

It is the policy of UNOPS to conduct background checks on all potential recruits/interns.

Recruitment/internship in UNOPS is contingent on the results of such checks.

No Fee



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