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Profile Communications Officer (Field)

Multiple locations (Multiple locations)

  • Organization: UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  • Location: Multiple locations (Multiple locations)
  • Grade: P-2, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Junior level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Communication and Public Information
  • Closing Date: 2020-12-31

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Communication Officer (Field) Profile
Various Locations

Grade: Junior (P2), Mid (P3) and Senior (P4) Level Positions

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is mandated to lead and coordinate international action to protect and assist refugees and other persons of concern. It is constantly seeking talented, compassionate candidates with high-integrity to strengthen its capacity to respond urgently to crises with the right skills. Given the nature of UNHCR's work, it is essential that its workforce has the right mix of skills and qualities to fulfil its mandate.  In this regard, we are looking for dynamic individuals with strong records in journalism, media and communications to lead the work of UNHCR country offices in strategically championing the refugee cause.

Typical functions may include:
- Developing and implementing communications strategies & work-plans, campaigns, events and other initiatives in support of the Protection and Solutions Strategy of the Office and other strategic goals, ensuring alignment with the global communications priorities of UNHCR.
- Researching, preparing fact-checking, editing, and producing professional media and communications materials for various audiences and ensuring their timely dissemination and amplification via UNHCR and non-UNHCR communications channels at country level and, where appropriate, globally.
- Working closely with UNHCR regional communicators and the focal points in UNHCR's global-level communications teams based in Geneva and New York on communications initiatives and messaging.
- Acting as a country spokesperson for UNHCR, developing news-worthy messages, organizing press events, handling interviews requests, and providing responses to requests from media relating to UNHCR and its work.
- Providing considered professional communications advice to representatives and other senior staff of UNHCR on an ongoing basis, and preparing communications workshops and training including for senior staff.
- Drafting talking points and messages for the Office, and for sharing with communicators at regional and global level.
- Creating high quality media and multimedia content for dissemination in country, and via UNHCR's global-level platforms.
- Undertaking and organizing missions and field trips with media and other official visitors in support of UNHCR and its work, working in coordination with UNHCR regional and global communications.
- Maintaining through year-round professional interaction strong media relations for UNHCR, ensuring that media (and other important external stakeholders, such as governments, embassies, NGOs etc.) have strong awareness of refugee issues and are briefed regularly on upcoming news initiatives and other issues of importance to UNHCR, and have ready access to information, Spokesperson comment, and UNHCR expertise.
- Preparation of communications budgets.
- Maintaining a prominent position in the news and for advocacy and fund-raising purposes for the country operation in which you work. This includes by initiating and drafting briefing notes for dissemination by UNHCR's DER Global Communications operations based in Geneva and New York, preparing press releases, fact sheets, press lines and 'if-asked' guidance notes, social media outputs, etc. for all issues under area of responsibility and working closely with country and regional public information staff, subject experts, and regional and country representatives.
- Maintaining up to date specialist knowledge of matters pertaining to the region and issues under area of responsibility and also up to date familiarity with UNHCR's wider global operations, policies.
- Coordinating closely with Regional and Headquarters Communications staff.
- Producing and encouraging other field communications staff to produce strategic and general interest news and features content for dissemination to external audiences via online channels including UNHCR's.
- Maintain an up to date database of journalists and media organizations, respond to media enquiries on deadline, and build dialogue with individual journalists, editors and news-desks.

General Requirements for all levels:
- Ensuring UNHCR visibility, reputation, and positioning as the leading authority on refugee and other displacement matters is rapidly secured at the outset of new humanitarian situations and maintained at country and other levels through strong spokesperson presence and availability, and effective media relations.
- Robustly position UNHCR at country and others levels as a leader in protecting, assisting and finding solutions for the world's forcibly displaced and stateless persons
- Authority and expertize are supported by well-researched, knowledgeable media interactions and interviews on news channels.
- Understanding of challenges faced by field operations, problems of implementing programmes and constraints of negotiating with local authorities and persons of concern.
- Excellent communication skills, including social media and multimedia skills, plus strong interpersonal skills.
- Excellent command of English, (written, oral, comprehension) including highly developed drafting skills. Fluency in the main language(s) of the country in question is highly desirable.
- Excellent computer skills (MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint essential), and experience of working with multimedia tools (i.e broadcast and video or radio technology, social media).



Minimum Qualifications and Professional Experience Required:

For positions at the P2 level
- Education: Advanced University degree in Communications, Political Sciences, Public Information, International Relations or a related fields.
- Job experience: Minimum of 2 years (4 years with a Bachelor's Degree) experience including working in media, journalism, advocacy, or communications and marketing, or in closely related external relations contexts.
- Very good technical affinity for media contexts including knowledge of a wide range of multimedia, web and digital tools.
- Outstanding news-writing and editing skills.
- Social media skills.
- Developed understanding of needs of media and public audiences.

For positions at the P3 level
- Education: Advanced University degree in Communications, Political Sciences, Public Information, International Relations or a related fields.
- Job experience: Minimum of 6 years (8 years with a Bachelor's Degree) professional experience working in media, journalism, advocacy or communications, some of which may be in related external relations contexts.
- Outstanding writing, re-writing and editing skills.
- Experience of working in field situations.
- Social media and multimedia skills.
- Advanced understanding of the country media and communications environment.
- Grounded knowledge of the UN's refugee and related human rights frameworks, conventions and treaties.
- Familiarity with UNHCR's and the UN's wider communications operations, including those at regional and global level.

For positions at the P4 level
- Education: Advanced University degree in Communications, Political Sciences, Public Information, International Relations or a related fields.
- Job experience: Minimum of 10 years (12 years with a Bachelor¿s Degree) professional job experience working in media, journalism, advocacy, or communications and marketing, some of which may be in a related external relations context.
- Ability to act as lead spokesperson for the country operation in question, based on a demonstrable record of successful media interviews.
- Advanced professional media skills, with demonstrable tactical expertise for devising and rolling out communications initiatives.
- Outstanding news-writing, Oped-writing, headline-writing and editing skills.
- Experience in preparing key messages, speeches, talking points and delivering them to a targeted audience.
- Experience in creating and implementing communications strategies.
- Management and planning skills, including experience of having led media teams.
- Flexibility to undertake on a short-notice field missions to humanitarian emergencies and other situations as needed.
- Grounded knowledge of the UN's refugee and related human rights frameworks, conventions and treaties.


The UNHCR workforce consists of many diverse nationalities, cultures, languages and opinions. UNHCR seeks to sustain and strengthen this diversity to ensure equal opportunities as well as an inclusive working environment for its entire workforce. Applications are encouraged from all qualified candidates without distinction on grounds of race, colour, sex, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity.

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.
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