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  • Organization: UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  • Location: Beirut
  • Grade: P-4, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
  • Closing Date: 2019-06-25

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Snr Strat Communic & Advoc Off

Beirut (Lebanon)

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.

Senior Strategic Communications and Advocacy Officer

Under the supervision and guidance of the Representative, the Senior Strategic Communications and Advocacy Officer leads and manages the UNHCR Lebanon operation's work in the area of strategic communication and advocacy, conducted in pursuit of the operation's strategic objectives as set out in the operations plan. The Deputy Representative (protection) serves as the incumbent's direct link with the protection/legal unit, and provides detailed guidance on the operation's protection and durable solutions objectives and the office strategy for achieving these.

The communications landscape in Lebanon is very diverse, and highly complex, and the risk of messages being misinterpreted or misused for political or other reasons is high. Furthermore, many governmental and non-governmental actors as well as 'persons of influence' engaged in advocacy are highly strategic and quite sophisticated in their methods of communication. The UNHCR Lebanon Operation thus needs to be sensitive to, and have a sound understanding of the ways in which UNHCR needs to 'package' and communicate its protection and solutions advocacy messages, as well as information about UNHCR's work globally and the importance and impact of funding, vis-à-vis the various stakeholders in order for the advocacy to have the intended impact. An external communications and advocacy strategy, founded on the operation's protection and solutions strategy and developed on the basis of a sound understanding of the diverse communications culture, complex political and socio-economic environment and the various communication channels and tools available thus needs to underpin decisions on which stakeholders to target with a particular advocacy message, when to communicate the message and how to communicate the message.

The Senior Strategic Communications and Advocacy Officer is responsible for leading the development of the aforementioned communications and advocacy strategy, through a multi-functional and consultative process, and for ensuring its continuous development and implementation. The incumbent also has important responsibilities to represent and communicate on behalf of UNHCR towards external actors, including through the media. For example, s/he provides information on UNHCR's activities, policies and strategies in the operation to local and international media and to interlocutors in the Governments or partner organizations, and other external parties.

The Senior Strategic Communications and Advocacy Officer will function as a liaison with communication/ advocacy activities that HQ and the MENA Bureau develop on a global level and in the broader Syria Emergency Region context (including campaigns/launches in connection with WRD, asylum trends reports etc.) and i.a. ensure that these are adequately adapted to the Lebanese context and implemented. The incumbent will at the same time seek opportunities with HQ and the Bureau to raise the profile of 'local stories/messages' more broadly. S/he will advise the Representative and other senior staff in the operation and at HQ and in the Bureau of impending major media requirements or issues of concern and advise on appropriate actions to be taken by UNHCR. In conjunction with HQ and the Bureau, the incumbent will provide support and advice on the design, development and implementation of specific mass information communications. 

- UNHCR Lebanon has an external communications and advocacy strategy that is sensitive to the country's communication culture and strategically uses the communication channels available (including social media) and which, when implemented, generates support for UNHCR¿s protection and durable solutions advocacy messages from external stakeholders/partners.
- UNHCR's media relations and advocacy work within geographic and thematic areas of specializations and prioritization are actively maintaining the organization's standing and brand with media and audiences.
- Government and private sector donors are satisfied with the visibility given by Lebanon operation to their contributions, which underpins their willingness to provide further contributions.
- Partners (Government, UN, civil society etc.) are informed, in a timely manner, about relevant information and advocacy campaigns/initiatives/activities planned and undertaken by UNHCR Lebanon, and relevant communication strategies and activities such as campaigns are coordinated to ensure complementarity and maximum collective impact.
- External partners are regularly informed about the protection and well-being of persons of concern and the status of UNHCR operations.
- Missions from Headquarters, donors, the press and media are well received and briefed.

- Systematically, and on a daily basis, monitor media coverage of issues relating to UNHCR's mandate and work, particularly as it relates to the operation's protection and durable solutions objectives in the region and analyse the implications of media reports on UNHCR's work, including risks.
- Simultaneously, develop and strengthen networks and contacts with actors who can enhance the operation's understanding of the political and operational environment and risks, which in turn can inform the operation's communications and advocacy strategy.
- On a daily basis, advise the Representative and other senior staff in the operation, as well as the MENA Bureau and HQ as appropriate, on the 'media environment' and public discussions, impending media requirements, risks or otherwise issues of concern and advise on strategic communication around UNHCR's objectives.
- Lead the development and implementation of the operation's communications and advocacy strategy, in close consultation with the multi-functional team and relevant partners.
- Within the context of the operation's communications and advocacy strategy, develop and implement engaging and innovative communications campaigns, events, tools and other initiatives in support of UNHCR's strategic objectives.
- Research, prepare, fact-check, edit, clear and produce engaging, innovative and professional media and communications materials for various audiences (e.g. press releases, fact sheets, external updates, press lines, web stories and social media pieces); 'package' the pieces produced according to the communication channel(s) selected and ensure their timely dissemination, ensuring highest quality standards.
- Proactively work to increase the placement of stories and coverage on key priority areas in media outlets in the region and, where appropriate, seek opportunities with HQ and the MENA Bureau to raise the profile of 'local stories/messages' more broadly.
- Ensure that the operation's website contains accurate and up to date information which is of interest to the target groups, and serves its purpose as a source of information about UNHCR's work in Lebanon and a channel for strategic communication and advocacy.
- Produce briefing notes and internal updates, 'if-asked' guidance notes etc. on issues and developments in the country, including related to Government and private sector funding, for UNHCR colleagues, e.g. in preparation for bilateral meetings and consultations.
- Act as a spokesperson for UNHCR, organizing press events, handling interviews requests, and providing responses to requests from media relating to UNHCR and its work.
- Provide considered professional communications advice to the Representative and other senior staff in the operation, particularly in preparation for interviews.
- Function as a liaison with communication/ advocacy activities that HQ and the MENA Bureau develop on a global level and in the broader Syria Emergency Region context and ensure that these are adequately translated to the different contexts and implemented.
- Undertake missions and field trips with media and other official visitors in support of UNHCR and its work.
- Actively maintain media relations for UNHCR, ensuring that media and other important external stakeholders, such as line ministries, national asylum authorities, partner organizations etc. are briefed regularly on issues of importance to UNHCR, and have timely access to information and UNHCR expertise.
- Further UNHCR¿s cooperation with partner organizations with the aim of strengthening the complementarity of the respective organizations' advocacy efforts in areas of common interest, including through coordination of activities and exchange of information/ideas.
- Support the operation's External Relations Unit in giving timely visibility to Government donor contributions, as an expression of donor care.
- Support the operation's External Relations Unit in maintaining close contacts with private sector partnerships.
- Prepare and manage communications budgets.

- Represent UNHCR in press events, interviews and other media events.
- Approve budgets and expenditures for communications activities.
- Clear communication/advocacy as well as external relations products and tools.
- In close coordination with, and support of the External Relations Unit, represent UNHCR Lebanon communication and fund-raising priorities in inter-agency initiatives and/or related fora.

- - Graduate degree (equivalent of a Master's)  in Journalism, International Relations, Communications, Political Science or similar relevant field plus minimum 8 years of relevant job experience at professional level in progressively responsible functions related to UNHCR and/or any other humanitarian agency on promotional activities of the agency. Of the 8 years, at least 5 years should be directly related to strategic communication and advocacy, and enable the candidate to demonstrate an ability to strategically use different communication channels, government counterparts, NGOs, social media to communicate UNHCR's protection and durable solutions advocacy messages in the region. Undergraduate degree (equivalent of a BA/BS) plus 9 years or Doctorate degree (equivalent of a PhD) plus 7 years of previous relevant work experience may also be accepted.
- Preferably, in-depth knowledge on UNHCR's protection and durable solutions work obtained through first-hand experience in operational situations.
- General understanding of UN/UNHCR reforms and the priority agenda of the organization.
- Excellent computer skills (MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint essential).
- Excellent knowledge of the operation and strategic use of various communication channels and tools, including written press, radio, TV and social media, including Twitter.
- Excellent communication skills with strong interpersonal and negotiation skills.
- Excellent ability to draft engaging, innovative and professional media and communications materials for various audiences and various media channels in English, and preferably, in French and Arabic.
- Excellent knowledge of English.

- Completion of Learning Programmes in the area of communication, media training, advocacy and/or use of social media.
- High IT affinity, with specific focus on preparation of websites/pages and use of social media.
- Knowledge of Arabic and French. 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
M001L3 - Empowering and Building Trust Level 3
M002L3 - Managing Performance Level 3
M006L3 - Managing Resources Level 3
M005L3 - Leadership Level 3
M003L3 - Judgement and Decision Making Level 3
M004L3 - Strategic Planning and Vision Level 3
X005L3 - Planning and Organizing Level 3
X001L3 - Analytical Thinking Level 3
X007L3 - Political Awareness Level 3

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.

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.


Please note that the closing date for all vacancies in this addendum is Tuesday 25 June 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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