Associate Director Human Resources (Emergencies), Istanbul

Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund

Country: Turkey

City: Istanbul

Office: UNICEF in Istanbul, Turkey

Closing date: Tuesday, 7 February 2023

Associate Director Human Resources (Emergencies), D-1, Istanbul Turkiye

Job no: 558708

Position type: Fixed Term Appointment

Location: Turkey Division/Equivalent: Operations

School/Unit: Division of Human Resources

Department/Office: DHR O/P Istanbul, Republic of Türkiye

Categories: Human Resources, Senior Leadership Vacancies, Executive Management

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential.

Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone.

And we never give up.

For every child, hope

UNICEF is the leading humanitarian and development agency working globally for the rights of every child. Child rights begin with safe shelter, nutrition, protection from disaster and conflict and traverse the life cycle: pre-natal care for healthy births, clean water and sanitation, health care and education. For UNICEF to meet this mandate and its Core Commitments for Children, in the context of increasingly complex humanitarian crises, there must be effective systems and practices in place to attract, retain, develop, engage, reward, and deploy appropriately qualified people for humanitarian action, both preparedness and response, but also in building organizational resilience in humanitarian crises management. The position is based in Istanbul and reports to the Director of the Division of Human Resources (HR) with a dotted functional reporting line to the Director of Office of Emergency Programmes (EMOPS).

How can you make a difference?

This key position will enable UNICEF to deliver on its commitments to children by leading the design, development, and implementation of a dedicated, innovative, and agile people-centric Human Resources framework in Humanitarian Action, drawing lessons from past humanitarian crises, with a focus on the dual mandate for development and emergencies. The incumbent will lead a dedicated and newly established team for Human Resources in Humanitarian Action.

The incumbent is responsible for setting the vision and providing strategic leadership and guidance for HR in Humanitarian Action for UNICEF in line with the organization’s Strategic Plan, DHR’s HR Strategy, Transition and Transformation Initiatives, and the OneHR Global Delivery Model. S/he will support the Director of Human Resources in ensuring that the HR in Emergencies Team is a trusted and valued partner leading strategic dialogue and action with UNICEF leadership in close collaboration with other pillars within DHR, as well as EMOPS, other key internal stakeholders, and relevant external partners in driving UNICEF’s Humanitarian agenda.

Summary of key functions, accountabilities, and related duties/tasks:

1. Strategic Planning and Policy Development

Provide expert technical, guideline interpretation and policy advice to senior management as a trusted advisor on HR in Humanitarian Action strategies, planning and courses of action consistent with UNICEF’s mandate and mission.

Contribute to the continued strengthening or new development of guidelines tools and resources that support timely, efficient, and equitable Human Resource preparedness and response actions within the context of the United Nations staff rules, procedures, and UNICEF`s OneHR and emergency policies.

Oversee development and implement communication, information and advocacy strategies that promote effective and efficient Human Resources in Humanitarian Action.

Keep abreast of emerging HR and related humanitarian trends in the industry and ‚best practices‘ for driving innovation within UNICEF.

Support UNICEF’s HR in Emergencies Action Team center of expertise, overseeing the development of ‚state of the art‘ products, processes, tools, and systems that support organizational priorities efficiently and effectively.

Lead initiatives to break down silos across HR in Humanitarian Action areas in HR, EMOPS and across the organization, championing a narrative that ‚connects the dots‘ for all clients requiring support from the HR in Emergencies Action team.

2. HR in Humanitarian Action Talent Management

Provide strategic and operational leadership to the elaboration of gender balanced and diverse Humanitarian talent management strategies and career management initiatives, ensuring close cohesion to DHR’s Learning & Development as well as Performance Management and Career Development teams.

Responsible for and ensure the implementation of both Cluster Talent Management, as well as Leadership in Humanitarian Action Talent Management strategies are provided with appropriate direction, technical support and operational resources to ensure effective and sustained implementation.

Provide oversight and guidance in the elaboration of effective HR preparedness commitments and actions, so that these can respond to different types of emergencies. Ensure and maintain effective and trusted partnerships and relationships with Regional Offices, local Human Resources Business Partners, Centers of Expertise, and DHR’s other teams such as the Mobility Team, Learning and Development Team, Organizational Development and Design Team, EMOPS and other relevant partners in the development and strategic delivery of Humanitarian Talent Management strategies.

Working closely with the Humanitarian Emergency Leadership Section in EMOPS and the Learning and Development teams in DHR, contribute to the elaboration of any succession planning, capacity building and learning and development initiatives that ensure improved and sustained capacity of Humanitarian staff at all levels.

3. Global DHR support in large emergencies

Work with key partners across UNICEF to develop and adopt a coordinated emergency response mechanism for people.

Ensure the implementation of the emergency response mechanism for provides timely and efficient human resources support during times of heightened emergencies.

Provide overarching strategic guidance to the internal Surge mechanism and ensure the implementation of a consolidated surge strategy, as well as a strong coordination of all surge mechanisms existing in the organization.

Ensure that the Emergency Response Team (ERT) workforce available in the organization is sufficient and coordinated with EMOPS oversight on humanitarian priorities.

4. Building organizational HR emergency preparedness and response capabilities

In close liaison with the Staff Wellbeing Section in DHR, Staff Counsellors and Security personnel in Regional Offices, ensure an effective Staff Wellbeing framework and standards for Humanitarian settings are developed and implemented.

Oversee the provision of strategic HR Business Partner services to EMOPS, in line with the OneHR Global Service Delivery model for HRBPs.

5. Knowledge Management and Human Resources Data Analytics

Establish the HR in Emergencies Action team as a central knowledge management hub and repository for the collection, storage, and sharing of tools, resources, policies and procedures, and good practices pertaining to HR in Humanitarian Action.

In conjunction with DHR’s Human Capital and Intelligence (HCI) & Technology team, ensure the development of HR in Emergencies data collection and integrity, developing systems at various levels that optimize data quality and consistency and contribute to data informed driven decision making for people in HR in Humanitarian Action.

6. People Management and Administration

Provide leadership and to the team, ensuring effective people management practices, supporting staff wellbeing, and managing the organization’s assets and financial resources for delivery of results in line with UNICEF’s organizational values (CRITAS).

Ensure the achievement of goals in the work pillar overseeing the preparation and implementation of annual office work plans in line with organizational strategic priorities, available resources, and office management plans; ensure achievement of work plan objectives; monitor progress; and report on results.

Encourage innovation and support new initiatives by the team including exposing them to best practice externally and holding regular Learning and Development events.

Provide feedback to team members on their performance/work plan and conduct performance evaluations to ensure the achievement of performance objectives. Plan, recommend and put into practice effective team and people management practices.

Develop and manage performance measurement metrics for tracking adopting and utilizing effectiveness of the various HR initiatives.

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have...


An Advanced University Degree in Human Resources Management, Business Administration, Humanitarian Assistance, International Relations, Psychology, or other related Social Science field is required.


A minimum of 13 years of relevant professional work experience in Human Resources Management or related functions in emergency/humanitarian contexts.

Demonstrated experience developing strategies, planning, and leading the implementation of Human Resources work in humanitarian programme settings is required.

Broad knowledge and field experience in UNICEF programmes or other UN agencies or similar international organizations is required.

Experience in effectively leading, managing and nurturing diverse and multi-cultural teams.

Proven track record in building effective partnerships and network.

Experience in Operational Planning is an asset.


Fluency in English.

Knowledge of another official UN language is an asset.

For every Child, you demonstrate...

UNICEF’s Core Values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, Accountability and Sustainability (CRITAS) underpin everything we do and how we do it. Get acquainted with Our Values Charter: UNICEF Values.

UNICEF competencies required for this post are...

Nurtures, Leads and Manages People (3)

Demonstrates Self Awareness and Ethical Awareness (3)

Works Collaboratively with others (3)

Builds and Maintains Partnerships (3)

Innovates and Embraces Change (3)

Thinks and Acts Strategically (3)

Drive to achieve impactful results (3)

Manages ambiguity and complexity (3)

During the recruitment process, we test candidates following the competency framework. Familiarize yourself with our competency framework and its different levels: competency framework here.

UNICEF is here to serve the world’s most disadvantaged children and our global workforce must reflect the diversity of those children. The UNICEF family is committed to include everyone, irrespective of their race/ethnicity, age, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, socio-economic background, or any other personal characteristic. We offer a wide range of benefits to our staff, including paid parental leave, breastfeeding breaks and reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities. UNICEF strongly encourages the use of flexible working arrangements. UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF is committed to promote the protection and safeguarding of all children. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.


Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.

UNICEF appointments are subject to medical clearance. Issuance of a visa by the host country of the duty station, which will be facilitated by UNICEF, is required for IP positions. Appointments are also subject to inoculation (vaccination) requirements, including against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid). Government employees that are considered for employment with UNICEF are normally required to resign from their government before taking up an assignment with UNICEF. UNICEF reserves the right to withdraw an offer of appointment, without compensation, if a visa or medical clearance is not obtained, or necessary inoculation requirements are not met, within a reasonable period for any reason.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.

Advertised: Jan 17 2023 GTB Standard Time Application close: Feb 07 2023 GTB Standard Time

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Closes Feb 07 2023

Associate Director Human Resources (Emergencies), D-1, Istanbul Turkiye in Turkey

The Emergency and Humanitarian Preparedness and Response pillar will focus on driving UNICEF’s priorities in delivering the Core Commitments for Children in Humanitarian Action (CCCs) - strengthen the Human Resources in Emergency preparedness to facilitate a faster and more effective response to humanitarian crises, ensuring adequacy in planning, people resources and innovative approaches in emergencies. There will be two major workstreams focusing firstly on planning and building organizational capability and resilience; and secondly, on rapid response. This key position will lead the design, development, and implementation of a dedicated, innovative, and agile people-centric Human Resources framework in Humanitarian Action, drawing lessons from past humanitarian crises, with a focus on the dual mandate for development and emergencies. Work will enhance specific workstreams coming out of the Humanitarian review, prioritizing integrated talent management, enabling rapid deployment and upscaling/downscaling of staff during emergencies utilizing innovative approaches that enable greater agility and resilience of our internal work systems. This will ensure that we have the right people, in the right place and at the right time and that vulnerable children experience the positive impact of UNICEF’s work during the times that matter most.

Link to the organization’s job posting: