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  • Organization: UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  • Location: Dar es Salaam
  • Grade: P-3, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Communication and Public Information
  • Closing Date: 2019-02-28

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Communications Officer

Dar es Salaam (Tanzania)

Before submitting an application, UNHCR staff members intending to apply to this Job Opening are requested to consult the Recruitment and Assignments Policy (RAP, UNHCR/HCP/2017/2 and the Recruitment and Assignments Administrative Instruction (RAAI), UNHCR/AI/2017/7 OF 15 August 2017.

Communications Officer


The Communications Officer reports to the Head, Media and Content and works closely with the other Communication Officers at Headquarters and field.  S/He will have extensive contact with a wide variety of external audiences ranging media personnel, public-at-large, diplomats, scholars, staff from other UN organisations in the context of disseminating information and gathering support for UNHCR's. activities


1) Serves as the focal point for a geographic region on all matters dealing with external and internal communications;
2) Participates in the development and implementation of a communication strategy that increases exposure of the office and mobilizes public and political, support to further the objectives of UNHCR in a rapid changing environment;
3) Supports regional and country communication teams to ensure the delivery of a coordinated message to key audiences taking into account global  and operational strategies and policies;
4) Liaise with the bureaux and divisions on operational issues and key messages frameworks;
5) Packages and commissions information/stories submitted by field communication staff for dissemination on the web and other outlets;
6) Maintains a database of journalists and media organizations, drafts press releases, responds to media enquiries and builds dialogue with individual journalists;
7) Contributes to planning of and arrangements of events, in particular with regard to design and production of materials;
8) Co-ordinate the production of internal and external UNHCR communications, publications and visibility materials in consultation with other relevant staff;
9) Performs other related duties as instructed by the supervisor.


- Undergraduate degree (equivalent of a BA/BS) preferably in Communications, Political Sciences, Public Information, International Relations plus minimum 6 years of previous work experience relevant to the function with a progressively responsible experience in communication, journalism, external relations, of which 2 years should be in an international capacity.
- Graduate degree (equivalent of a Master's) plus 5 years or Doctorate degree (equivalent of a PhD) plus 4 years of previous relevant work experience may also be accepted.
- Excellent communication skills both written and oral.
- Ability to draft and edit English texts for outside dissemination.
- Experience in dealing with the media, preparing key messages and interlocuting with external parties
- Must be highly organized with ability to prioritize assignments.
Proven multi-tasking skills.
- Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English.


- Ability to deal with the media, preparing key messages and interlocuting with external parties.
- Knowledge of additional UN languages.

This is a Standard Job Description for all UNHCR Communications Officer positions. The Operational Context may contain additional essential and/or desirable qualifications relating to the specific operation and/or position. Any such requirements are incorporated by reference in this Job Description and will be considered for the screening, shortlisting and selection of candidates.¿ C001L3 - Accountability Level 3
C002L3 - Teamwork & Collaboration Level 3
C003L3 - Communication Level 3
C004L3 - Commitment to Continuous Learning Level 3
C005L3 - Client & Result Orientation Level 3
C006L3 - Organizational Awareness Level 3
X005L3 - Planning and Organizing Level 3 <p>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.</p>
See below for this postion's Operational Context

For those people applying for High Risk Duty Stations, we strongly encourage them – before deciding to apply- to read the country specific security and welfare country profiles which can be found on the Intranet under Support Services - Duty of Care ( Ensuring staff are better informed is part of the increased attention UNHCR is paying to Duty of Care.


Staff after having applied to High Risk Duty Stations will have access to country specific information webinars with Field Safety Section (FSS) and Staff Welfare Section (SWS) colleagues and provided with a tool to test their psychological preparedness for serving in High Risk Duty Stations. Applicants who applied for a position in a High Risk country will receive, after the deadline for applications has expired, a joint invitation from the Staff Welfare Section (SWS) and the Field Safety Section (FSS) to participate in these webinars. During the Webinars, latest updates on security and well-being will be provided, and FSS and SWS will address questions raised by participants. Applicants are highly encouraged to benefit, when applicable, from all measures as they provide most up-to-date security and well-being information helpful to assess staff’s readiness to serve in a High Risk Duty Station. A Staff Welfare Officer will also be available, if and when required, to discuss with interested applicants the results of the psychological preparedness tool as well as readiness for assignment in High Risk Duty Stations.


The Communications Unit of UNHCR Tanzania  aims to enhance public awareness and understanding of UNHCR's work in the country for both local and international audiences, therefore, the Communications Officer needs to have demonstrated experience in developing and implementing communications strategies and work plans, campaigns, events and other initiatives in support of the UNHCR Tanzania Communications strategy and ensuring alignment with the global communications priorities of UNHCR.
Incumbent should have demonstrated ability to respond to media and other influencers within own scope of responsibility to raise the profile of UNHCR. This includes: (i)  This includes initiating, drafting and disseminating briefing notes, operational updates, fact sheets, press lines and guidance notes, social media outputs, etc. (ii)  Develop news-worthy messages, organize press events, handle interviews requests, and provide responses to requests from media relating to UNHCR and its work.

As the most senior Communications Officer in the operation, the incumbent should have good interpersonal skills, team spirit and pays attention to details. He/she will work with a team of other based communications/PI to produce strategic and general interest news and features content for dissemination to external audiences via online channels including UNHCR's, as such  the incumbent must have demonstrated working knowledge of windows computer applications (word, excel, PowerPoint, publisher). Knowledge of Photography and videography skills would be an added advantage.

The incumbent needs to have excellent communication skills, including social media and multimedia skills, plus  strong interpersonal skills as well as an excellent command of English, (written, oral, comprehension), including proven writing and editing skills ( reports, creative writing, media, proof reading ). Tanzania currently hosts approximately 330,000 refugees and asylum-seekers, mainly from Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with 87% living  in three camps - Nyarugusu, Nduta and Mtendeli ¿ located  in the Kigoma Region in north western Tanzania.

The political context and protection environment in Tanzania continues to evolve. Since 2017, restrictions on access to territory and asylum have increased. As  the protection environment continues to be challenging  our ability  to connect, communicate and  advocate for refugee rights and protection is vital for ensuring  refugee potection and to see to it that protection  space is  maintained.  Since September 2017, UNHCR has been involved in the voluntary repatriation of Burundian refugees following a Tripartite Commission Meeting with the United Republic of Tanzania, Republic of Burundi, and UNHCR. Over 50,000 people have returned to the country since the operation started in September 2017.  While UNHCR is not promoting return, it is supporting the operation to ensure that returns are based on the principles of voluntariness and informed decisions.

The Tanzania operation is severely underfunded and the lack of consistent and sufficient resources is felt acutely in all sectors. The potential for a new influx from the Democratic Republic of Congo remains high, as preparations for the December 2018 election kick off. Similarly, the situation in Burundi remains tense due to unresolved political tensions and continued displacement inside and outside the country. Dar es Salaam is the major city of the United Republic of Tanzania where the Representation office is situated. The location of the Representation Office is in Masaki, Rufiji Street, and Off Haile Selassie Road. Most international staff members live in the seaside neighborhoods of Masaki and Oyster Bay, and to a lesser extent in Msasani and Mikocheni all of which cluster in and around a peninsula to the north of the city Centre.  Masaki and Oyster Bay share the advantages of having a good concentration of internationally-oriented housing and amenities including shops, schools and medical facilities; all are comparatively secure, and of course, enjoy the benefit of being close to the sea. The cost of living is considered high. The duty station can be described as relatively safe with a stable political environment.  However, caution should be exercised when walking in the dark. None.

Please note that the closing date for vacancies in the Addendum 4 is Thursday 28 February 2019 (midnight Geneva time)

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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