Senior Emergency Officer (Rapid Response Capacity), P5 Rome, Italy

Organization: WFP - World Food Programme




WFP celebrates and embraces diversity. It is committed to the principle of equal employment opportunity for all its employees and encourages qualified candidates to apply irrespective of race, colour, national origin, ethnic or social background, genetic information, gender, gender identity and/or expression, sexual orientation, religion or belief, HIV status, physical or mental disability.



The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide.  The mission of WFP is to help the world achieve Zero Hunger in our lifetimes.  Every day, WFP works worldwide to ensure that no child goes to bed hungry and that the poorest and most vulnerable, particularly women and children, can access the nutritious food they need.




The ability to timely deploy surge staff with the required operational experience and technical skills remains a critical factor for effective emergency response. The Emergency Operations Division (EME) supports WFP’s Regional Bureaus (RBs), Country Offices (COs) and partners to prepare and respond to current and future emergencies in a rapidly changing humanitarian environment. The team provides a field focused, service oriented, steering and convening role focusing on forward looking preparedness and support to emergencies to ensure a swift, coordinated, and integrated response. 


This is primarily done through a combination of activities, which are designed to:


  • Reinforce WFP’s ability to identify and monitor risks and conduct early warning and analysis
  • Steer and support the preparedness and operational readiness of the organization
  • Develop a common operational picture to inform decision making and field-focused support
  • Provide surge capacity by deploying in support of COs or RBs
  • Strengthen strategic partnerships.


A dedicated team of stand-by emergency officers to secure, all year round, a predictable number of experienced emergency personnel who are immediately available to deploy will complement ongoing efforts within the Emergency Operations team.



WFP is looking for two Senior Emergency Officers (Rapid Response Capacity) who will complement ongoing efforts within the Emergency Operations team. This is a unique and strategic leadership role that will support WFP’s Regional Bureaus (RBs), Country Offices (COs) and partners to prepare and respond to current and future emergencies in a rapidly changing humanitarian environment. 

The Senior Emergency Officer will be part of a team fully dedicated to provide emergency surge deployments to Country Offices. You will be expected to deploy to emergencies for about 6-8 months per year, depending on operational needs and with breaks between deployments. 

The successful candidate will be deployed as an Emergency Coordinator, or in a similar senior role, in large corporate emergencies. You will report to the Country Director and will be expected to provide operational and strategic leadership, manage and guide staff and resources, and engage in inter-agency coordination and partnership.

KEY ACCOUNTABILITIES (not all-inclusive)


  • Take the lead and support the Country Director with the development of the emergency response strategy.
  • Provide direction and operational leadership and manage the emergency response.
  • Identify, coordinate and compile resource requirements (human, financial, assets) for an effective and sustainable emergency response, from an operational point of view and in terms of technical expertise, flagging gaps and unmet requirements.
  • In coordination with the Country Director, establish and maintain contacts with government officials, other UN agencies, non- governmental organizations, diplomatic missions and other partners; ensure appropriate mechanisms to facilitate exchange of information.
  • Support the establishment and deployment of emergency assessment capacities (WFP, inter-agency and multisectoral).
  • Ensure the effective design, development and/or revision of WFP’s Concept of Operations (CONOPS).
  • Monitor, manage and mitigate risks to the emergency operation and staff’s wellbeing by coordinating with the Country Director and the Security Focal Point, and ensure that relevant country specific policies and procedures are being implemented.
  • Provide timely updates to senior management to ensure timely and effective decision-making as well as required external support by the CO/RB/HQ. 
  • Ensure that WFP’s activities linked to the emergency response are coordinated with the affected communities, authorities and partners.
  • Lead engagement with donors at the local level, for effective exchange of information, advocacy and resource mobilization. Ensure updated and coordinated strategic messages locally and internationally. 
  • Lead Budget Revisions and project cycle processes.
  • Lead the development and dissemination of the After-Action Review to ensure lessons learned are collected and shared.
  • Create awareness and build capacity among field staff on humanitarian principles and protection to ensure principled humanitarian response in the field.
  • Represent the emergency response in meetings of the Operational Taskforce (OTF) and Strategic Task Force (STF).




  • When not deployed, contribute to timebound projects, such as reviewing and advising on WFP’s emergency operational guidance; support EME to identify, recruit, and train the new generation of emergency officers (through recruitments, simulations, mentorships and other workforce development initiatives); and engage in dedicated personal learning opportunities as required. 



Education: Advanced University degree in Economics, International Development or Social Sciences or other relevant field, or First University degree with additional years of related work experience and/or training/courses.

Experience: At least 11 years of relevant experience, in roles with progressively increasing responsibilities in a range of humanitarian operations, as a programme, project or operations manager, team leader, area manager, head of sub-office or equivalent. Experience in developing, leading and implementing Cash-Based Transfer activities is a significant advantage. 

Language: Fluency (level C) in English and intermediate knowledge (level B) of a second UN language are required. Fluency in French, Spanish, Arabic or Portuguese is highly desirable



  • Proven ability to establish constructive working relationships with colleagues and partners in a variety of settings, and in fluid, ambiguous and rapidly evolving environments.
  • Strong leadership skills acquired and demonstrated in positions that require direct management of people and operations, as well as in roles where leadership is exercised by identifying and establishing support and coordination services
  • Significant people management, financial resource management and security management experience in emergency field settings.
  • Experience in advocacy and communication with communities and affected populations. 
  • Experience as a primary focal point for relationships with significant partners and donors.
  • Excellent analytical and writing skills, as well as strong interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Maturity, initiative, self-management and the ability to fit constructively into different teams in different contexts.



  • The selected candidate will be employed on a limited fixed-term (LFT) contract for two years with a probationary period of one year. He/she will be required to travel abroad, sometimes to remote and challenging locations for about 6-8 months per year.
  • An alternative duty station may be considered for this assignment according to operational and personal circumstances.
  • Incumbents of LFT positions are not eligible to apply for other mobile positions advertised internally through the Reassignment.
  • WFP offers an attractive compensation and benefits package, including basic salary, post adjustment, relocation entitlement, travel and shipment allowances, 30 days’ annual leave, home leave, an education grant for dependent children, a pension plan, and medical insurance.
  • Please visit our website for detailed information on working with WFP:  click on: “Our work” and “Countries” to learn more about WFP’s operations.



The deadline to receive applications is Sunday, 9 January 2022 (11.59 P.M CET).


All employment decisions are made on the basis of organizational needs, job requirements, merit, and individual qualifications. WFP is committed to providing an inclusive work environment free of sexual exploitation and abuse, all forms of discrimination, any kind of harassment, sexual harassment, and abuse of authority. Therefore, all selected candidates will undergo rigorous reference and background checks.

No appointment under any kind of contract will be offered to members of the UN Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), International Civil Service Commission (ICSC), FAO Finance Committee, WFP External Auditor, WFP Audit Committee, Joint Inspection Unit (JIU) and other similar bodies within the United Nations system with oversight responsibilities over WFP, both during their service and within three years of ceasing that service.

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