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Humanitarian response officer - Technical and operational



Description of the unit / department

This role is part of the humanitarian team based in Maynooth. The unit consists of a programme Manager, a coordinator, 3 humanitarian response officers with particular areas of responsibility and expertise including; operations, protection, policy and institutional funding/ programme development and an administrative assistant. The unit is linked to regional and country humanitarian programme officers overseas.

Background to the Role

The Trócaire strategic plan 2006-16 contains five organisational programmes including the humanitarian programme. The primary objectives of this programme are to reduce the impact of humanitarian crises on vulnerable communities and individuals through:

  • The development and implementation of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) activities (with an emphasis on community-based disaster preparedness)
  • The development of emergency preparedness plans, including contingency plans, in selected countries
  • The development and implementation of high quality humanitarian response programmes
  • Enhancing Irish and in-country, public and official, support for, and engagement with, humanitarian issues, with a focus on advocacy, funding, communications and development education.

The humanitarian response officer (technical and operational) will be responsible for providing support and guidance to Trócaire staff and partners on the development, management, implementation and quality standards of humanitarian programmes. Significant time will be spent in the field assisting at all stages of the programme cycle, assessment, development, implementation and M&E. The role will have a particular focus on DRR and Emergency Preparedness.

The Role

  • DRR and Preparedness: Assist regions to build capacity of Trócaire and partners and communities in:
  • Community Based Disaster Preparedness (partners & communities)
  • Emergency Preparedness including contingency planning (Trócaire & partners)
  • Relief & Recovery Programming: Support and advise on the effective implementation, to minimum accepted standards, of Trócaire’s relief and recovery programming. This will include providing surge capacity to and/or taking the lead in humanitarian response programmes.

Key Duties & Responsibilities Preparedness

Provide technical guidance and support to regional and country specific humanitarian officers on DRR, Emergency Preparedness and Contingency Planning by:

  • assisting field staff to develop internal preparedness plans within Trócaire country offices
  • supporting field staff to develop Trócaire partner preparedness plans
  • supporting field staff in the development of community based emergency preparedness projects to reinforce the coping strategies of communities at risk

Relief and Recovery Programming:

  • Support field teams in the development of high quality, needs-based, humanitarian response programmes. Support the implementation of, and adherence to, programmatic and organisation-wide, systems and procedures for ensuring good practice to meet sectoral standards on accountability and programme quality, including; the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in Disaster Relief the, Sphere Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response, the Good Enough Guide to Impact and Accountability in Emergencies and the Livestock Emergency Guidelines and Standards (LEGS)
  • Promote an approach that focuses on accountability to communities and partners as well as to donors, informed by the Humanitarian Accountability Partnership Standard in Accountability and Quality Management (HAP).
  • When involved in response in the field support, and/or lead, on the development and submission of high quality proposals (including narrative and financial elements) for humanitarian programmes, often to tight deadlines
  • Support the development and implementation of thorough needs assessments, monitoring procedures and effective evaluations
  • Undertake media and communications work as required
  • Collaborate with other staff in the monitoring and analysis of emerging and actual crises, including consideration of broader contextual considerations, in order to enhance both the quality of response and related advocacy work.

Working with the Humanitarian Team and Cross-Organisationally:

  • Provide a link between the Humanitarian Programme and the Livelihoods Programme around disaster risk reduction to reinforce the link between relief, rehabilitation, recovery and development
  • Work closely with the Humanitarian Institutional Funding Officer to develop high quality proposals and reports for donors.
  • Work closely with the Humanitarian Response Officer (Protection) and colleagues in the HIV and Gender Equality Programme to ensure that HIV, gender, environmental and related issues are addressed in all aspects of programming work, both in relation to partners and in working with colleagues in Trócaire.
  • Work closely with the Humanitarian Response Officer (Policy) and colleagues in the Policy Unit to support the development of humanitarian programme and policy work as required

International travel and work:

  • Be willing to travel for up to six months per year (possibly more in exceptional circumstances) and to undertake the above tasks in project locations worldwide, sometimes in insecure environments and at short notice. This would normally include blocks of up to 4 weeks travel but could include longer secondments when required.

Other Duties:

  • Represent Trócaire at interagency meetings and other public fora, including; Caritas, UN Cluster Coordination meetings and Dóchas among others.
  • Any other reasonable duty as may be assigned by Programme Coordinator or Programme Leader that is consistent with the nature of the job and its level of responsibility. This will include the promotion of Trócaire through the media in conjunction with the Trócaire Communications Unit.

Person Specification


  • Third level qualification in humanitarianism, development or related area.


  • 4 years experience in the humanitarian sector in a programmatic role, with at least 2 years overseas experience, including practical experience of Disaster Risk Reduction programming
  • Experience of working with and/or a demonstrated understanding of humanitarian standards e.g. Humanitarian charter, SPHERE, HAP, LEGS, Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in Disaster Relief & IHL instruments
  • Experience of developing emergency preparedness and contingency plans
  • Experience of working with a variety of institutional donors

Knowledge and Skills:

  • Technical knowledge and understanding of humanitarian and development issues in particular in relation to Disaster Risk Reduction programming and Emergency Preparedness, including Contingency Planning
  • Project management skills
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Proven ability of working successfully with institutional donors
  • Able to work effectively with partners (secular, Church, other faith based)
  • Knowledge of IT (word, excel, PPT).
  • Ability to think strategically and programmatically.
  • An understanding of the need for, and a commitment to, cross-organisational working.
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a team.
  • Fluency in written and spoken English


  • Helps others to achieve goals
  • Builds rapport and communicates effectively
  • Willingly takes ownership and is openly accountable
  • Manages time and resources efficiently
  • Shows drive and initiative
  • Shows flexibility, adapts easily to change
  • A commitment to justice and development.


  • Willingness to travel and work in developing countries where and when required and at short notice
  • A relevant post-graduate qualification.
  • Specific humanitarian qualification
  • Proven experience in the UN cluster system
  • Experience of developing Community based disaster preparedness programmes
  • Specific experience of working with ECHO / DIPECHO
  • A working knowledge of French or Spanish or Portuguese.
  • A detailed knowledge and experience of managing humanitarian programmes in both sudden onset crises and protracted slow onset complex emergencies

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  • Additional location info Maynooth or Nairobi
  • Closing Date 30 Aug 2012

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