The Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) is the office within USAID that is responsible for providing emergency non-food humanitarian assistance in response to international crises and disasters. OFDA is part of the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance (DCHA) and is organized into three divisions. The Disaster Response and Mitigation Division (DRM) is responsible for the provision of emergency humanitarian assistance through a grants mechanism to non-governmental organizations (NGOs), international organizations (IOs) including the United Nations (UN) agencies, and to other partners to ensure the implementation and delivery of this assistance. This division also oversees OFDA's non-response efforts in disaster risk reduction. DRM also coordinates with other organizations for the provision of relief supplies and assistance. DRM devises, coordinates, and implements program strategies for a variety of natural and human-caused disaster situations. It encompasses a group of technical sector specialists who provide expert capability in assessing the quality of disaster response and disaster risk reduction activities. The Program Support Division (PS) provides programmatic and administrative support including budget/financial services, procurement planning and guidance, contracts and grants administration, and communication support for OFDA’s Washington and field offices. The Operations Division (OPS) develops and manages logistical and operational support for disaster responses and administrative support to all offices and operations. OPS maintains readiness to respond to emergencies through several mechanisms, including managing Search and Rescue Teams (SAR), coordinating and supporting Disaster Assistance Response Teams (DARTs), and the Washington-based Response Management Teams (RMTs) as needed.
The Technical Assistance Group (TAG) within DRM was created in order to provide OFDA with a skilled cadre of technical experts in a variety of fields relevant to its disaster response and risk reduction activities. It is divided into a number of subgroups that include Food Security, Health, Most Vulnerable Populations, and Natural Hazards groups. The Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Advisor is part of the TAG.
The DRR Advisor is an integral member of OFDA’s TAG Team. USAID/OFDA DRR activities are intended to minimize the adverse impacts of natural hazards by reducing vulnerability to disasters, increasing regional, national and local capacity to prepare for and respond to disasters, and enhancing the resilience of vulnerable groups and communities to recover from recurrent natural disasters.
OFDA requires a DRR advisor who will work with OFDA technical experts and regional representatives to integrate DRR activities into OFDA’s response, recovery, and transition programs. The advisor will also review and provide technical feedback on quality of program design, as well as monitor implementation of DRR activities. The advisor will ensure that DRR activities are in line with OFDA’s strategic goals.
Duties and responsibilities
The DRR Advisor will be based in Washington, D.C. The duties and responsibilities are:
• Serve as a focal point within USAID/OFDA for DRR programs and activities
• Provide advice on various DRR activities within the following areas: capacity building/training; community awareness/mobilization; public/private partnerships; policy, implementation and advocacy; integration of DRR within education and research programs; global advocacy and engagement
• Assist OFDA regional teams to assess priority countries for DRR interventions; initiate and lead the discussion of needs and demands of these priority countries in the area of disaster risk reduction; provide leadership and technical input for the design, development, and implementation of disaster risk reduction activities at the national and regional levels, including the formulation of local, national and regional capacity building programs
• Coordinate with the technical experts on USAID/OFDA’s technical assistance group (TAG) to, where appropriate, integrate cross-cutting issues related to disaster risk reduction into each sector
• In collaboration with the OFDA Regional Teams and TAG, review DRR proposals for appropriateness for OFDA funding, and identify areas where DRR can build upon ongoing disaster response and/or development programming; assist regional teams and technical leads in assessing gaps and needs
• Develop increased awareness of disaster risk reduction strategies and activities within USAID/OFDA and other offices and bureaus, including through training; facilitate internal advocacy efforts related to mainstreaming disaster reduction into USAID-supported development initiatives; support regional advocacy efforts related to the promotion, adoption and endorsement of disaster risk reduction strategies
• When requested, support USAID/OFDA policy advisors in representing USAID/OFDA on matters related to DRR in inter-agency, regional and international meetings, as well as in workshops, seminars and conferences
• Manage the production and dissemination of both regular and occasional reports on USAID/OFDA activities in disaster risk reduction; prepare evidence to support increased investment in DRR
• Serve as requested on field assessment missions, Disaster Assistance Response Teams (DARTs) and Response Management Teams (RMTs)
• Serve as DCHA/OFDA Duty Officer on a rotational basis
The DRR Advisor will take direction from and report to the TAG Team Leader or his/her designee.
Supervisory controls will be minimal. The DRR Advisor is expected to act independently with minimal direction and will have wide latitude for the exercise of independent judgment. The TAG Team Leader will provide direction in terms of broadly defined program goals, objectives and functions.
The work is generally sedentary and does not pose undue physical demands. During deployment on Disaster Assistance Response Teams (DARTs) (if required), and during site visits, there may be some additional physical exertion including long periods of standing, walking over rough terrain, or carrying of moderately heavy items (less than 50 pounds).
Work is primarily performed in an office setting. During deployment on Disaster Assistance Response Teams (DARTs) (if required), and during site visits, the work may additionally involve special safety and/or security precautions, wearing of protective equipment, and exposure to severe weather conditions.
Required skills and experience
This determines the basic eligibility for the position. Applicants who do not meet all of the education and experience factors are considered NOT qualified for the position.
• Bachelor’s degree with significant study in or pertinent to the field of disaster risk reduction -- this may include, but is not limited to: sustainable development, disaster management, natural resource management, economics, or social sciences.
• Additionally, a minimum of seven (7) years of experience in progressively responsible work in humanitarian relief and response is required, of which at least four (4) years must be a majority of direct DRR experience.
Or have a:
• Master’s or PhD degree with significant study in or pertinent to the field of disaster risk reduction -- this may include, but is not limited to, sustainable development, disaster management, natural resource management, economics, or social sciences.
• Additionally, a minimum of five (5) years of experience in progressively responsible work in humanitarian relief and response is required, of which at least two (2) years must be a majority of direct DRR experience.
Determines basic eligibility for the position. Applicants who do not meet all of the selection factors are considered NOT qualified for the position.
• Applicant is a U.S. Citizen
• Complete and hand-signed federal form OF-612 and OF-612 continuation sheets submitted
• All applicants must submit complete dates (months/years) and hours per week for all positions listed on the OF-612 to allow for adequate evaluation of your related and direct experience. Experience that cannot be quantified will not be counted towards meeting the experience requirements
• Supplemental document specifically addressing the Quality Ranking Factors (QRFs) submitted
• Ability to obtain a SECRET level security clearance as provided by USAID
• Satisfactory verification of academic credentials
Quality Ranking Factors (QRFs):
Used to determine the competitive ranking of qualified applicants in comparison to other applicants. The factors are listed in priority order from highest to least.
Please see link to full job description at bottom of page for QRF explanation.