The general requirements for admission to the Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit (SHA) apply. 

Admission criteria

Architects / civil engineers


You will work in the construction and rehabilitation of public buildings, private housing and infrastructure. You may also be required to work in the context of migration or humanitarian emergencies abroad. Within the framework of these projects, you will manage, in close collaboration with local partners, all tasks related to the different phases of architectural and engineering projects (strategic planning, preliminary study, design, tendering, and implementation). Your work may also involve clarifying the needs of populations and communities affected by conflict or disaster. You will also have to cooperate with SHA partners, national and international actors in the sector (non-governmental and UN organisations, authorities) as well as with the Swiss representations on the ground (cooperation office, embassy).


You are a reliable person, show initiative and flexibility and are able to work efficiently and independently; you are willing to take on responsibility for projects.


You have a university degree or equivalent professional training in architecture or civil engineering. You have at least five years of professional experience, at least two of which must have been abroad, ideally with an international organisation. You are willing to invest yourself in missions of at least 6 months abroad.

Specialists in Water and Environmental Sanitation (WASH)


As a WASH specialist, your job is to plan and implement the programmes to construct water supply and sanitation network systems. This includes all tasks relating to the construction process (identifying water sources, design, planning and implementation). You will use your technical expertise to ensure the technical integrity of the projects, which are often implemented in difficult contexts.


You are reliable, flexible and take the initiative. You work independently and efficiently, and you are prepared to take on responsibility for a project.


You have a degree from a higher education institution or an equivalent vocational training qualification in civil or environmental engineering, hydrogeology, geology or the natural sciences. You have at least 8 years’ professional experience (minimum 3 years abroad), ideally within an international organisation. You are ready to commit to missions abroad that are at least 6 months long.

Disaster Risk Reduction Programme Officer


Maintaining Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) projects and programmes aimed at improving disaster management systems by devising structural and non-structural measures such as risk assessments, developing preparedness plans/strategies, rescue training courses, community-based DRR, land use/catchment area management, early warning systems, awareness-raising, etc. and introducing DRR/CCA (climate change adaption) concepts in development projects as an overarching theme; additional tasks include policy dialogue, capacity building and networking in the DRR field with state institutions and project partners.


Proven skills in managing programmes and projects, particularly in the field of DRR; knowledge of the humanitarian challenges related to major natural disasters; good communication, conceptual and analytical skills.


University degree in environmental science (natural resources management, geography, geology, agronomy, forestry, rural engineer) or equivalent qualification with experience in disaster management/prevention and knowledge of key DRR and CCA concepts.

Protection Officer/Adviser


Attached to an SDC office or seconded to a United Nations agency (UNHCR, UNICEF, UNRWA, WFP, IOM), you perform the following tasks:

  • evaluate, monitor and analyse needs in terms of protecting and assisting different groups of refugees or IDPs via field visits;
  • identify partnerships, formulate recommendations and assist governments or authorities in charge of planning and implementing protection programmes;
  • coordinate operations to distribute goods and support services with other partners;
  • advocate for protection activities at the regional/national policy level.

Actual examples of assignments performed by Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit experts in the field of protection/child protection

  • Child Protection Capacity-Building Specialist, seconded to UNICEF, Belgrade, Serbia
  • Protection Mainstreaming Officer, seconded to UNRWA, Gaza, Palestine


Five years' professional experience, at least two of which have been spent abroad working in the field of international protection, experience in managing/developing protection programmes, in particular for the protection of children in armed conflict, knowledge of the multilateral environment and its mechanisms, working with governments and humanitarian negotiations.


University degree or equivalent qualification in international humanitarian law and/or human rights, political science, international relations, development studies, social science or other related field.

Gender-Based Violence (GBV) Officer/Adviser


Attached to an SDC office or seconded to a United Nations agency (UNFPA/UNHCR/UNICEF, IFRC), you are responsible for:

  • providing support and protection to victims/survivors,
  • developing and implementing GBV projects/programmes, including monitoring and evaluation together with partners,
  • developing and implementing standard operating procedures/referral pathways,
  • participating in or (co-)chairing GBV coordination bodies,
  • strategic planning, advocacy and consultancy.

Actual examples of assignments performed by Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit experts in the field of GBV prevention:

  • Regional GBV Specialist, GBV Area of Responsibility, seconded to UNFPA, Nairobi, Kenya
  • Protection Officer (GBV) for UNHCR, Khartoum, Sudan


You have five years' professional experience, at least two of which have been spent in a humanitarian or development context abroad working in a relevant field (gender-based violence (GBV), gender equality, protection/human rights, sexual and reproductive health); you have a clear understanding of the impact of power and violence on the lives of women and girls, boys and men. You are familiar with GBV guidelines, gender mainstreaming in humanitarian and development programmes, the victim-centred approach and gender equality. You have experience in project management and knowledge of the multilateral humanitarian system. Experience dealing with survivors of GBV in Switzerland or abroad is a plus.


University degree or equivalent qualification in international relations, development cooperation on GBV prevention, health, social science, social work, community development or other related field.

Forced Displacement/Durable Solutions Officer/Adviser


Attached to an SDC office or seconded to a United Nations agency (UNHCR, IOM, UNDP, etc.), you are responsible for:

  • dealing with, coordinating and advising on migration/forced displacement and durable solutions.
  • You analyse situations and policy scenarios and develop effective advocacy strategies.
  • You identify project development opportunities and monitor and evaluate the specific stages of project/programme implementation.

Actual examples of assignments performed by Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit experts in the field of migration/durable solutions:

  • Durable Solutions Coordinator, seconded to UNDP, Mogadishu, Somalia
  • Durable Solutions Adviser (DSA), seconded to UNDP, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


Five years' professional experience, at least two of which have been spent abroad working in the field of major international policy processes for the governance and management of migration and forced displacement; knowledge of the concepts, methods and operational applications associated with durable solutions; ability to strengthen strategic partnerships for effective implementation; understanding of project management tools.


Specific training in international law, political science and/or international relations, focusing on the legal bases governing migration and forced displacement (refugee protection regime, internally displaced persons, migration governance) at global, regional and national level, as well as international humanitarian law and international human rights law.

Financial specialists for coordination and administration expert group


In this varied role, your main responsibilities will include financial project cycle management (PCM) and assisting in the financial, human resources and operational management of the representation. Key routine tasks include preparing and assessing financial reports and audits and advising internal and external stakeholders on economic and financial management issues.


You are reliable, proactive and flexible with the ability to work independently and efficiently. You are keen to take on key management duties in an intercultural environment and are willing to work in areas where the security situation is challenging.


Professional qualification:

  • Bachelor's degree in business administration or equivalent qualification.
  • Good command of at least two official languages as well as English; other languages are a plus.
  • Leadership experience in the context of intercultural teams is an advantage.
  • Several years of experience in this area, including working abroad.
  • Willingness to undertake a period of training to familiarise yourself with and learn how to implement federal government instruments.

Last update 28.09.2022



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