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OCHA-HAO-P3-Ambovombe, Madagascar

Ambovombe, Madagascar
Position Title: Humanitarian Affairs Officer (HAO)
Receiving Agency: OCHA
P Level: P3
Location: Ambovombe, Madagascar
Duration: 6 months
Language: Fluency in French and English required, Knowledge of local languages spoken in Madagascar would be a significant asset.

  • Main tasks and duties to be executed (specify precisely in a maximum of 10 bullet points):
Reporting to OCHA ROSEA’s Head of Emergency Preparedness and Response (EPR), and in close collaboration with UN, government and NGOs partners, the HAO will have the following duties and responsibilities:
  • Monitor, analyze and report on the humanitarian situation and response in the Grand-Sud, with a particular emphasis on the evolution of the El Nino/El Nina meteorological event, including the drought and its impact on food insecurity and nutrition situation.
  • Ensure that strategic and operational humanitarian coordination mechanisms are in place and functioning effectively, with a particular focus on effective multi-sectoral coordination for the drought and other humanitarian situation, including through leading the Intersector working group and planification of frequent field mission to areas affected by the drought and other humanitarian crises. 
  • In collaboration with the Head of HAT, ensure regular engagements with local government departments responsible for Early Warning, Disaster Risk Management, humanitarian assistance, including participation in Government-led meetings and processes related to preparedness.
  • Support the HAT on following up/monitoring of CERF projects in the Grand-Sud region and elaborating if needed a prioritization strategy and operational process for an eventual CERF.
  • Support preparation for high-level visits/missions in the Grand-Sud region, this will include planning of activities, communication with the HAT and regional office (target area for visits) and development of mission reports.
  • Participate in and support the HAT strategic meetings and key information sharing with the head of HAT and OCHA regional office.
  • Promote the centrality of protection, Civil-Military Coordination, access analysis and efforts to Prevent Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA) in the response to the crises in Madagascar.
  • Prepare or contribute to the preparation of various written reports, documents and communications on the humanitarian situation in Madagascar, e.g. background papers, briefings, presentations, etc;
  • organize and participate in working groups, meetings, conferences, consultations with other agencies and partners on humanitarian and emergency relief-related matters, as necessary.
  • In the event of extreme weather events like significant flooding and cyclones affecting areas outside the Grand Sud, the HAO may be asked to temporarily (max 1 week) deploy to support the head of the HAT and fill the gap until the OCHA Regional office can deploy surge support.
  1. Expected outcome of the deployment (detail in bullet point form the anticipated achievements and added value expected from the deployment):
  • Humanitarian coordination in Grand-Sud is enhanced to support the rapid scale-up of multi-sectoral humanitarian action to respond to El Nino/El Nina climate hazard and other emergencies.
  • Humanitarian partners have a common analysis of the humanitarian situation and response in Grand- Sud and are aligned in their messaging, including regarding any support and resources required.
  • Local authorities in Grand-Sud receive consolidated and clear information on the response being carried out by humanitarian partners.
  • OCHA leadership, contribution, technical expertise is enhanced vis-à-vis local institution, UN and NGOs partners.
  1. Specific required skills (languages, experience, ability to work remotely/as a singleton, soft skills, etc.):
  • A minimum of five years of progressively responsible experience in humanitarian affairs, emergency preparedness, crisis/emergency relief management, or other related area, is required of which at least three years must be at the international level.
  • At least two years humanitarian experience in the field (actual setting where a mission and/or project is being implemented) in emergency situations (complex emergency or natural disaster) is required.
  • Experience in emergency response in Southern Africa and/or Indian Ocean countries is required, with prior experience in Madagascar desirable.
  • Experience within the UN system or an international organization is required.
  • Experience working with OCHA and/or in another humanitarian coordination function (e.g. cluster coordination) is highly desirable.
  • Fluency in French is required for this position. Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of local languages spoken in Madagascar would be a significant asset.
  • Substantive competencies are required as follows: Ability to provide advice to senior management on a wide range of humanitarian issues is required; Knowledge of a wide range of humanitarian assistance, emergency relief, and related humanitarian issues, including humanitarian principles and humanitarian coordination architecture and processes is required; Analytical capacity and in particular the ability to analyze and articulate the humanitarian dimension of issues which require a coordinated humanitarian response is required; Ability to work under pressure, including in stressful environments (e.g. civil strife, natural disasters and human misery); Ability to identify issues and judgment in applying technical expertise to resolve a wide range of problems; 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; Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others; shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.


  1. Brief description of emergency outbreak/upsurge and the consequences for OCHA:

On 4 July 2023, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) declared an El Niño event, which has resulted in a drought situation in many countries in southern Africa in 2024, including in Madagascar, a high-risk country for climate shocks such as extreme flooding and drought, severe food insecurity, and increased poverty due to economic shocks.  The onset of El Niño in October has greatly impacted the agricultural season with drought conditions felt in the region. In May 2024, the Southern Africa Development Community is finalizing an El-Nino response plan which aim to mobilize resources to  respond to the consequences of the drought in the region, including Madagascar. These consequences weigh significantly on local communities heavily reliant on rain-fed agriculture, rendering them susceptible to drought conditions.

In Madagascar, the Grand Sud regional has been particularly affected by the drought. In February 2024, the Government of Madagascar and United Nations Coordinator in Madagascar have issued a joint  Press release, urging to scale up joint preparedness and early response efforts, particularly in Grand-Sud where about 45% of the population in some districts were already facing crisis level of acute food insecurity.  While the rainy season was generally on time (November-December), below-average accumulation in Atsimo-Andrefana, and part of Androy regions were registered. According to the  Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET),   the maize production in the Grand South is expected to be below average, while sorghum and sweet potato harvests are anticipated to be near average. Below-average cassava production is expected in Androy and Atsimo-Andrefana due to forecasted poor soil moisture. Ongoing green harvesting of immature maize crops in the Grand South by households trying to mitigate their consumption gaps is also expected to impact yields negatively. The poor families have already exhausted their limited stocks of rice, thus needing to purchase most food at soaring prices, which are especially high in the most remoted areas, such as Ikongo, Befotaka and Nosy Varika districts–, amid irregular food supply. The same institution noted Anticipated below-average harvests to support sufficient food access through September 2024. While the impact of the drought is already important in the Grand-Sud, the IPC analysis, expected in June 2024, will provide the Government and the humanitarian community with key figures on the impact of the drought on the food security situation and the scale of food security and nutrition needs.

The drought and it impacts on food security pose a significant humanitarian crisis in Grand Sud, demanding urgent attention and concerted efforts to mitigate their impacts on the population.

Given the existing vulnerability in the region and severity of the situation, it is imperative that appropriate actions are taken to support OCHA’s Humanitarian Advisory Team in Madagascar, the Resident Coordinator and the humanitarian community including the Government of Madagascar to respond and coordinate the impact of El Nino. While OCHA HAT staff is seating in Antananarivo and supporting the field with regular missions, OCHA presence in the Grand Sud is key to continues coordinate, support and facilitate a coherent humanitarian response. 
  1. Brief surge need justification (including why the post is urgent and why current/other OCHA capacity cannot cope/does not apply):
In December 2023, OCHA released a CERF Rapid Response allocation to support the drought response (amounting to USD 4 million) in Grand Sud and Grand Sud Est. Other funding, including bilateral funding and Start NetWork, an alliance of some INGOs (WHH, CARE, CRS, ACF, Human Inclusion, SAVE the Children), have been received to support the response in the Grand Sud. Coordinated response is needed to ensure effective impact on populations. There is a need to boost surge support to the response effort on a medium-term basis.  OCHA has a vital role to play in supporting the UN Resident Coordinator and galvanizing the humanitarian response in Grand Sud.
  1. OCHA’s role and key challenges:
OCHA’s presence in Grand Sud is critical to ensure an effective and timely response to the El Nino impact. While OCHA’s HAT team is seating in Antananarivo and supporting the drought response in Grand Sud and also the Tropical Cyclone Gamane response and other emergencies, including through regular field missions, a presence in Grand Sud is critical to ensure the appropriate response

OCHA’s key coordination tasks in Grand-Sud will include support to operational and inter-sectoral coordination with sector coordinator at subnational level; review and enhancement of sub-national coordination arrangements; supporting (and leading, where appropriate) multi-sectoral needs assessments and rapid response missions; reporting on any resource mobilization/appeal, if agreed, for El Nino response). OCHA will play a critical role in analyzing the rapidly evolving multi-sectoral needs; operational coordination of the multi-dimensional response; and monitoring of the response against the needs to identify gaps.
  1. Main partners and stakeholders in the field:

Affected communities, Government departments involved in humanitarian response at sub-national UN Agencies, NGOs, and civil society, including the Red Cross Society.
  1. What is the staffing plan to continue the work (if applicable) of the deployee, after the surge support period?

OCHA ROSEA will closely monitor the situation, together with the SBP, over the period of deployment, including continuing to provide surge and remote support as required. ROSEA will then revisit the staffing requirements and succession planning.
  1. Will other surge resources be requested? If so, through which mechanism? (SBPP, internal surge, ASP, ProCap/GenCap, or other)

The Regional Office for Southern and Eastern Africa will remain available for backstopping and surge missions as needed, while providing regular guidance and leadership to the SBP in Madagascar
  1. What is the approximate percentage of time spent on duty travel and to which locations? (if duty travel within the country/region is expected, all associated costs are to be covered by the requesting OCHA office):
It is anticipated that the SBP HAO will be based in Ambovombe, with travel to Antananarivo if needed and to field locations, including to undertake needs assessments and response missions. Approximately 15 per cent of time will be spent on duty travel. However, this may change depending on the evolution of the context and operational needs. OCHA ROSEA will cover all costs associated with field missions undertaken.
Madagascar exposure to extreme weather events such as cyclone and floods might require the HAO to deploy to other affected areas beyond the Grand Sud, or a maximum of 1 week to provide back stopping while longer term solutions are being put in place, like the deployment of surge support from OCHA ROSEA.
  1. Visa requirements (e.g. visa on arrival, type of visa required, letter of invitation required, timeframe for obtaining visa, any other useful information. Note that SBP deployees are not UNLP holders, travelling with national passports only):

Visa on arrival is possible. However, for a 6-month contract /stay, it is advised to apply for the visa online and before the trip, as the free visa on arrival only lasts 90 days and it is difficult to convert it afterwards. Link to the visa application :
Ambassade de Madagascar en France - Visas d’entrée et de séjour a Madagascar (diplomatie.gov.mg)
  1. Confirm that an equipped workstation and any necessary communication and MOSS equipment will be made available to the SBP deployee?  Confirmed:        
  1. R&R cycle and location/destination:
  • Every 6 months
  1. Overall security situation summary, main threats, and specific security level at all locations relevant to the deployment, infrastructure and staff well-being (Note that SBPs are deployed with UN Expert on Mission status and are to be included in all security plans and arrangements):

NSMS organizations in Madagascar, are conducting their activities and operations in accordance with their mandate, programs and UNCDF. Main threat is linked to hazard and crime.  In the countryside, the Dahalos are the main threat actors the Government is facing in terms of security. They are different groups of criminal gangs, organized and equipped with different types of weapons targeting the farmers and their livestock and sometimes their crops. It is known as cattle rustling.
Since 2022, security forces conducted several operations targeting and killing several Dahalo leaders, but the criminal groups remain very active and scattered.
Reportedly, the number of guns in circulation and the possession of criminal gangs throughout the country is growing. Many incidents such as assassinations and murders have been attributed to such criminal groups, somehow organized, and equipped with blunt weapons, artisanal and/or branded firearms. Collateral victims from crossfire or stray bullets are often reported.
Illegal traffic of drugs weapons and ammunition contributes to the escalation of criminal activities across the country.
CANADEM and its partners have a no-tolerance policy for inaction to prevent, respond to and follow up on alleged cases of Sexual Exploitation, Abuse, and Harassment (SEAH). For this reason, we adhere to all policies, procedures and training of the United Nations on The Prevention of Sexual Exploitation, Abuse, and Harassment (PSEAH). CANADEM mandates all deployees successfully complete the PSEA online course. This e-learning course is composed of a set of lessons designed to raise awareness about SEAH, become familiar with a range of measures to combat SEAH, understand the impact on victims and the consequences for UN Personnel who commit Sexual Exploitation, Abuse, and Harassment.


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