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Associate in the Policy and Humanitarian Diplomacy Division - Regional Focus NAME

Requisition ID:  13730
Region:  Europe (HQ)
Contract type:  Traineeship
Reports to (role)



The Associate will share her/ her time between context-specific (diplomatic) and thematic (policy) work.

The Diplomatic Advisor and Policy Advisor will work with the Associate to develop objectives, agree a work plan and monitor progress.

What we do


The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) works worldwide to provide humanitarian assistance to people affected by conflict and armed violence. We take action in response to emergencies and at the same time promote respect for international humanitarian law. We are an independent and neutral organization, and our mandate stems essentially from the Geneva Conventions of 1949. We work closely with National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and with their International Federation in order to ensure a concerted, rational and rapid humanitarian response to the needs of the victims of armed conflict or any other situation of internal violence. We direct and coordinate the international activities conducted in these situations.


The ICRC’s Policy and Humanitarian Diplomacy Division


The ICRC’s HQ Policy and Humanitarian Diplomacy Division is part of the Department of International Law and Policy, and plays a central role in developing and delivering the main institutional policy and diplomacy objectives of the ICRC as well as overseeing the ICRC’s delegation in New York. The Division works closely with the ICRC’s Presidency, the Department of Operations and across the institution to shape strategic policy objectives, design and deliver diplomatic strategies, and influence key ICRC stakeholders. The Division also works closely with the International Federation and National Societies on areas of mutual policy interest.


Policy and diplomacy has a dual role at the ICRC: to guide the ICRC internally and to influence others. Humanitarian diplomacy supports the feasibility, acceptance and integrity of operations/field action, as well as the organization’s legal and policy initiatives, particularly with States and international organizations. The Division is also responsible for the oversight of internal policy that guides the action of the ICRC and for the development of fundamental doctrines that define how the ICRC’s Mission should be carried out. The ICRC relies on the Policy and Humanitarian Diplomacy Division to develop and deliver intellectually sound, principled and compelling policy positions that resonate with the ICRC’s Mission and are easy for others to understand and communicate.  Members of the team therefore need to be in close interaction with the ICRC’s operations, intellectually strong, diplomatically skilled and engaging communicators with good political instincts.



The Division relies on five Associates to support its Diplomatic and Policy Advisors. Each Associate spends one year with the Division and works as an integral part of the team and the wider organization. Associates are specially selected for their mix of intellectual, practical and inter-personal skills. They are expected to perform at a high level and their year with the Division is a valuable opportunity for them to get to know the ICRC and to make their mark in the organization.


The Role of an Associate


The main role of the Associate is to give high quality and timely research and support to Diplomatic Advisors and Policy Advisors, and to be a positive member of the Associate Group and the wider Division. Each Associate is expected to make the most of their time with the ICRC and to reach the end of the year with a clear sense of personal and professional development.  

Accountabilities & Functional responsibilities


Under the supervision of a diplomatic adviser and a policy adviser, the post holder will be responsible for:

  • Conducting research that analyses humanitarian trends, issues and policy developments to support policy and diplomatic work;
  • Contributing analysis to the development of diplomatic strategies for advancing operational or policy change objectives in the Near and the Middle East;
  • Producing briefing notes, literature reviews and other research-related material, talking points, reports and presentations or other visualisation material to support diplomatic or policy engagement or events;
  • Assisting with the day-to-day management of relations with other ICRC departments, international and regional organisations, major international NGOs, and humanitarian think tanks;
  • Supporting the roll-out of policy publications (drafting roll-out strategies, helping to track impact);
  • Attending meetings with and on behalf of Advisors and producing short and accurate summaries or minutes of meetings as agreed;
  • Providing ad-hoc support to the Management Team of the Division as necessary and agreed;
  • Supporting fellow Associates in the Division and engage well with the wider community of Associates across Headquarters
Certifications / Education required


We are looking for candidates who meet the following mandatory requirements:

  • A Master's degree or equivalent 5-year degree in a relevant field (e.g. international relations, international politics, international law, humanitarian action, development, peace/conflict studies, etc.);
  • Demonstrated interest in and prior exposure to international affairs and diplomacy;
  • A manifest interest for humanitarian action/issues and/or the ICRC;
  • Knowledge or good understanding and/ or prior experience working in the Middle East.
  • Knowledge and/ or prior experience working on at least one of the following policy themes: urbanisation/urban development, public health, education in emergencies, humanitarian coordination, humanitarian principles, development cooperation, peacebuilding, conflict mediation, counter-terrorism, data protection, new digital technologies, military doctrine;
  • Excellent analytical, research and writing skills;
  • Ability to think strategically, to express ideas clearly, both orally and in writing;
  • Excellent English and good command of Arabic highly desirable 
  • Minimum of 6 months full-time prior experience with an international organisation, an NGO or within the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, and no more than 2 years of relevant experience;
  • Basic knowledge of international humanitarian law, human rights law and refugee law;
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Available for 1 year, expected starting date: 10 February 2020.
Desired profile and skills


  • Understanding of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, including its structure, policies, approaches, etc.;
  • Any relevant publications;
  • Strong knowledge of qualitative and quantitative research methodology (e.g. through previous research experience or training);
  • Field experience;
  • Strongly motivated by humanitarian work;
What we offer


Successful candidates will be recruited on a 12-month paid traineeship contract. The positions are based at ICRC headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. There is no expectancy of extension or any subsequent contract with the ICRC.

Additional information


To apply: Interested candidates should submit a cover letter of no more than 700 words and a CV (Word or PDF format), in English. Any documents other than the two listed above will not be considered.In you cover letter, please answer the following questions:

  • How does your background and previous experience relate to this position?
  • What is your interest in applying to this position at the ICRC? What can you bring to the Division and the ICRC?
  • What are your career plans for the future?
  • Do you have any preferences for policy themes which you would like to follow? (NB: this will not be part of the selection criteria for this position, but it is relevant information for the allocation and organization of policy-related work).


Deadline for the receipt of applications: 16.10.2019 (by midnight Swiss time).


Late or incomplete applications, as well as those that do not meet the stated mandatory requirements, will not be considered. Please refrain from applying if you do not fulfil the mandatory criteria listed above.


Owing to the high number of applications, only the selected candidates will be contacted in late October/early November 2019 for a written test, which will be followed by a skype interview in November 2019.


Please be aware that the ICRC has other Traineeship positions with separate application processes (for further information see the ICRC website). The recruitment process for Delegate positions is also a separate one. For further information on these, please go to the ICRC website.




Type of role: Associate

Working rate: 100%

Location: Geneva

Type of Contract: Traineeship

Length of Assignment: 12 months

Estimated Start Date: 10.02.2020

Application Deadline: 16.10.2019

Documents Required: Diplomas, Work Certificates, Scan Color of Passport

Relocation: Not Provided for Traineeships

Visa/Permit: Legitimacy Card Provided 



Excellent English. A good command of Arabic is an asset: