We’re Hiring !

Humanitarian Knowledge Manager (80%-100%)

For the “Humanitarian Encyclopedia” project

CERAH (Centre for Education and Research in Humanitarian Action)

Geneva, Switzerland

Knowledge Management

Simply defined, Knowledge Management refers to “making the right knowledge available to the right people”. The management of knowledge is particularly crucial in humanitarian action as it enables humanitarian actors to learn from and capitalise on their experience in challenging and unpredictable crisis contexts. As a process knowledge management implies to identify the needs of humanitarian organizations, follow the trends in knowledge creation and production in the sector as well as design strategies to make available and ultimately manage such knowledge to support humanitarian actors.

Knowledge management is a central element of the Humanitarian Encyclopedia project which aims to offer a clear and comprehensive reference framework to an increasingly diverse humanitarian community, enhanced by local and contextualized knowledge, and the opportunity to use, share, and co-create further references,

By assessing different meanings, perceptions, uses and applications of concepts, by leveraging academic research and engaging humanitarian stakeholders in reflecting on these, and by offering an innovative digital knowledge-sharing tool, the Humanitarian Encyclopedia platform and partners will:

  • Improve mutual understanding among practitioners by equipping them with a tool to understand each other’s stance on humanitarian action and thus to improve communication and coordination;
  • Accompany the localization of humanitarian knowledge by reflecting how emerging humanitarian actors and local community leaders understand and perceive humanitarian action and thus contribute to a ‘new’ humanitarian narrative;
  • Make the sector more legible to external stakeholders such as media, governments, military, and the general public;
  • Contribute to the training of current and future generations of humanitarian practitioners and the enhancement of humanitarian studies.

About the CERAH

CERAH, the Geneva Centre for Education and Research in Humanitarian Action, is a joint initiative of the University of Geneva and the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID). Bringing together a multitude of academic and humanitarian actors, the CERAH offers a wide range of postgraduate programmes for humanitarian professionals and a research portfolio in humanitarian studies, both of which strengthen reflection on and enhance humanitarian practice. Its broad stakeholder base, including academia and humanitarian organizations worldwide, allows the CERAH to pursue multicultural and highly participatory perspectives in all of its endeavours.



Job Description

Under the supervision of the Director, the responsibilities of the Knowledge Manager are to:

Develop the Humanitarian Encyclopedia practitioners’ network

  • The Knowledge manager is the key reference person for humanitarian practitioners. S/he connects with the main stakeholders of the humanitarian sector, identifying and addressing their needs and expectations.
  • S/he strengthens partnerships and makes the bridge between partners’ knowledge production and the Humanitarian Encyclopedia platform. By doing s/he:
    • Establishes a “win-win” strategy, e.g. by promoting relevant knowledge material from partners through the Encyclopedia interface
    • Ensures the Encyclopedia delivers added value through expertise provided by academics and humanitarian practitioners

Develop a Knowledge Management Strategy for the Humanitarian Encyclopedia project

  • Develop and implement a Knowledge Management (KM) strategy including protocol, processes and necessary partner and staff capacity to document, use and share knowledge assets with the main stakeholders of the Humanitarian Encyclopedia. The KM strategy should support research, learning, and communications, and deliver quality services to the academic and humanitarian communities.
  • Segment the humanitarian stakeholders and identify additional value each segment is expecting from the HE initiative
  • Facilitate – through the digital platform – identification, consolidation, curation, and organization of new and existing knowledge material around humanitarian concepts and practices
  • Collaborate with the Research Lead to evaluate research outputs and define the best dissemination and transmission of this knowledge to stakeholders.
  • Collaborate with the Humanitarian Encyclopedia platform product owner and the community manager to define content and features needed to achieve proper knowledge dissemination

Learning and Collaboration

  • Identify key trends and emerging concerns in the humanitarian sector, as well as opportunities and challenges to facilitate effective knowledge management, and propose an approach to create a culture of learning
  • Promote learning efforts, learning opportunities and systematization to ensure accessibility and delivery of expected materials to stakeholders in a variety of contexts
  • Maintain network communication around new KM developments
  • Act as ambassador of the Humanitarian Encyclopedia




  • Contribute to the development of a communication strategy in collaboration with the extended team to increase the use of knowledge products by different audiences
  • Ensure the smooth functioning of the Advisory board, including preparation of bi-annual plenary meetings and ad-hoc meetings as needed

Qualifications required


Master’s Degree with emphasis on organizational development/management, learning/pedagogy, knowledge strategy, and/or related areas.


  • Long-standing working experience (10 years +) in the humanitarian sector
  • At least 3 years of relevant working experience in the knowledge management field

Knowledge and skills

  • Highly connected with the humanitarian sector globally
  • Understanding of the conceptual framework for Knowledge Management processes, with an emphasis on institutionalizing behaviors and systems for learning and using knowledge.
  • Proficient in simplifying complex concepts and explaining them to others
  • Strong interpersonal and diplomacy skills, and the ability to work across teams with people of diverse cultures and backgrounds.
  • Ability to work collaboratively with various stakeholders
  • Excellent research, writing, and analytical skills
  • Experience with managing knowledge repositories is a plus

Behavioural competencies

  • Ability to prioritize competing tasks and meet deadlines
  • Highly organized, results-oriented, responsible, dedicated, independent worker
  • Able to make the most of limited resources while working effectively in a team
  • Proactive self-starter, creative problem-solver
  • Ability to be flexible and productive under pressure


  • Excellent English speaking and writing skills
  • Proven ability to write clear, structured and user-centric content
  • Working knowledge of French is an asset


Starting in November 2018 or as soon as possible; one year-contract renewable on a yearly basis.

Interested persons should send their application (letter of interest, curriculum vitae, copies of work certificates, copies of diplomas, copy of passport, copy of resident permit) to Joëlle Gentile at joelle.gentile@unige.ch by September 16, 2018

Click here to apply

Next stop: Kuala Lumpur – Excellent meeting with Mercy Malaysia staff

The Humanitarian Encyclopedia team carries on its Asian Journey in Malaysia.

We organised our second workshop with Mercy Malaysia staff. An incredible and interactive session, thank you all!!!


Oscar A. Gomez (Research fellow at JICA – Japan International Cooperation Agency | Research Institute) was supporting the Humanitarian Encyclopedia team in the facilitation process. Oscar A. Gomez is a member of the Humanitarian Encyclopedia scientific committee.


Tomorrow, we will have a second meeting in Kuala Lumpur with humanitarian practitioners from Malaysian organisations.

Both these workshops would not have been possible without the support of our partner Mercy Malaysia, and the strong commitment of its president Dato’ Dr. Ahmad Faizal Perdaus, member of the Advisory Board of the Humanitarian Encyclopedia.


Workshop in New Delhi – August 6th

20 participants from diverse humanitarian organisations took part to the Humanitarian Encyclopedia Workshop in New Delhi on August 6th.

It was the first inter-organisational workshop of a long series, and this event was made possible thanks to our partner organisations: AIDMI and SEEDS.

If you connect on Facebook you will hear Mihir Bhatt, Director of All India Disaster Mitigation Institute, talks about how Humanitarian Encyclopedia has helped build coherence to ideas between global and local actors, on how it has enabled effective collaboration between them, and took joy in having met people who will continue to build the project together, in India and across the world.

Manu Gupta, Co-founder of SEEDS India, expressing his delight in having co-host the Humanitarian Encyclopedia Initiative in Delhi.

‘It meant a lot to us and the humanitarian world here in India to have participated in this program’, he said. ‘We are now part of a new global architecture of a common universal language.’

Next workshops will be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from August 9th to August 11th.

Keep posted!

Summer time and regional workshop tour !

Dear Humanitarian Encyclopedia friends and followers,

It’s Summer time and many of you will enjoy some Holidays.

Meanwhile the Humanitarian Encyclopedia team is preparing a regional workshop tour, gathering humanitarian practitioners in Asia (India and Malaysia), Africa (Mali and Kenya) and Middle East (Lebanon and Iraq) from August to September.

A real opportunity for every humanitarian practitioner to shape her/his humanitarian encyclopedia.

Follow us on the Encyclopedia website,  and twitter #ShapeMyHE


Enjoy a well deserved break!

Your Humanitarian Encyclopedia Team

Humanitarian Encyclopedia – Practitioners workshop

Are you a Humanitarian Practitioner?

Come and join us on June 21 st for an interactive workshop

It will be an opportunity to :

  • Define the Encyclopedia’s structure. Participants will be invited to shape their own Humanitarian Encyclopedia, using the terminology they use in their daily practices
  • Explore how concepts are differently framed in different languages
  • Assess YOUR expectations and needs towards the contents of the Humanitarian Encyclopedia
  • Investigate how Humanitarian practitioners can become active users and contributors to this living repository of humanitarian knowledge.

WHO? We are looking for Humanitarian Practitioners

from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm

WHERE? CERAH – 22 Rue de Rothschild – 1202 Geneva

Please register on Eventbrite

Places are limited; candidatures will be checked upon registration

Make the Humanitarian Encyclopedia yours : take our online survey!

Have you ever been left with the impression that, while we all use the same words in the humanitarian sector1, they don’t have the same meaning to all of us? To analyse this diversity of “humanitarian languages”, the Geneva Centre for Education and Research in Humanitarian Action (CERAH) and its partners are launching an Encyclopedia for Humanitarian Action.

To explore what humanitarian practitioners perceive as priority concepts, we are launching a consultative survey.

The survey is available here.

This survey will contribute to the selection of the entries of the Humanitarian Encyclopedia. By answering the survey, you will ensure that the Humanitarian Encyclopedia addresses your priorities and you will contribute to defining the structure of the Encyclopedia. When answering the questions, please refer to your current experience as aid worker. Quotes may be cited anonymously in the report.

The survey takes approximately 10 minutes to be filled. It is part of a four stage participatory approach to select the entries of the Humanitarian Encyclopedia.

1 We define as part of the humanitarian sector any actor, regardless of organizational affiliation, profession, geographical origin or value, who undertakes most of his activities in crisis situations and self-qualifies the activities as belonging to “humanitarian”, “relief”, “emergency” work and to “disaster” or “crisis” response.

The Humanitarian Encyclopedia awarded by the International Studies Association

Together with Dr Simone Lucatello and Dr Oscar Gomez, Dr Clara Egger will chair a Global South Workshop entitled « Humanitarian institutions in/and Global South: contestation, translation or regionalization? ». The proposal put together by Dr Clara Egger received the award of the ISA International Organization section ($ 5000).

The main objective of the workshop is to understand how Global South organizations conceptualize humanitarian action and relate to Western-led humanitarian institutions. Clara will present insights from the Humanitarian Encyclopedia Humanitarian Organization Dataset whereas Simone will analyse narratives about humanitarian action in Latin America and Oscar, local perceptions of human security in the ASEAN+3.

Close to 15 participants coming from various world regions will present how humanitarian institution in Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe engage in humanitarian action. Follow up activities will include a panel at the International Humanitarian Studies Association upcoming world Congress in the Hague (27-29th August).

Humanitarian Encyclopedia at ICVA’s Annual Conference

The CERAH took part in ICVA’s Annual Conference “Navigating the Nexus: NGO Perspectives”.

On 21st March, we presented the Humanitarian Encyclopedia project at the Members’ Market Place.

It was a great opportunity to hear more about this exciting project and tell us how you would wish to be involved.

TDH and the Humanitarian Encyclopedia project

TDH is one of the key partners for the Humanitarian Encyclopedia Project. After the mobilization of their entire staff, of which 90% are nationals, for the online consultative survey , they invited us to join their MENA Regional workshop (Budapest – 05th to 09th March 2018).

During one day TDH delegates shared and confronted their perspectives regarding the most salient terms for their organization.

The workshop allowed participants to discuss their understanding of key concepts and confront this with the reality of operations.

They gained a better comprehension of how key concepts are apprehended by major donors and other key stakeholders in the MENA region.

This workshop was also an opportunity to identify key concepts the institution would wish to work on in the medium-term.

Meet Humanitarian Encyclopedia team member – Dr Edith Favoreu – at the DIHAD conference!

On 5-6 March, Dr Edith Favoreu, Humanitarian Encyclopedia Knowledge Manager will be attending the DIHAD conference. She will be panellist in a session on “Emergency Aid; development and conflict prevention”. If you are also attending the DIHAD conference, please contact us in order to schedule a meeting with her, discussing how you can be involved in the Humanitarian Encyclopedia Project.