Public Information Officer
Org. Setting and Reporting
This position is located in the Operations and Advocacy Division (OAD), Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which is the part of the United Nations Secretariat responsible for bringing together humanitarian actors to ensure a coherent response to emergencies. OCHA also ensures there is a framework within which each actor can contribute to the overall response efforts. OCHA's mission is to mobilize and coordinate effective and principles humanitarian action in partnership with national and international actors in order to alleviate human suffering in disasters and emergencies; advocate the rights of people in need; promote preparedness and prevention and facilitate sustainable solutions.
This position is located in the OCHA Regional Office for Southern and Eastern Africa (ROSEA), based in Nairobi, Kenya. The Public Information Officer will serve as the Head of the Communications and Information Management Unit and reports to the Deputy Head of ROSEA.
This position will require regular surge deployments within and potentially outside the region. Candidates are expected to be available and willing to surge for up to three months at a time.
Responsibilities: Within delegated authority, the Public Information Officer will be responsible for the following duties:
•Manages the Communications and Information Management Unit to produce high-quality reporting, analysis and products, by establishing and maintaining reporting system within the regional office; oversees drafting and distribution of regular reports and products on the humanitarian situation in the region; ensures flow of information and analysis of developments in the region, including tracking trends and sharing reports with HQ, and key partners.
•Takes the lead in strategy, planning, development and implementation of large, complex communications campaigns (e.g. global advocacy initiatives, regional public information programmes) and joint communications strategies in humanitarian contexts, leading common media and communications efforts, including common messaging and chairing a humanitarian communications group. Identifies sources and seeks funding and other assistance for major campaigns.
•Provides advice and expertise to managers and senior officers, and guidance to other public information and information management staff, on a range of public affairs issues, methods, and approaches; on key media developments and appropriate approaches for media engagement to raise awareness of humanitarian needs and advocate timely and coordinated response; anticipates and resolves communications/public relations issues/problems.
•Develops strategic partnerships with key constituencies to elicit support for and maximize impact of humanitarian advocacy objectives; serves as a key liaison to governmental bodies, national groups, private sector organizations, educational organizations, international organizations, on matters related to public information, communication, campaigns, advocacy, data and information management etc.
•Prepares or oversees preparation of a diverse range of information and communications products in support of priority humanitarian initiatives. Drafts high-quality material for OCHA products, the media (e.g. press releases, OpEds etc), periodicals, reports and books and edits and quality controls drafts prepared by junior officers. Evaluates results and impact of communications activities; reports on developments, trends and attitudes regarding the UN and the broader humanitarian community.
•Represents the institution in meetings and conferences; fulfils speaking engagements and makes presentations to groups on humanitarian activities and advocate issues of concern; organizes media coverage and arranges or conducts briefings, interviews; organizes seminars, lectures, conferences, media trips, public events on major issues and events concerning the organization.
•Builds information networks; plans and oversees maintenance of publicly accessible information materials and data on humanitarian issues and joint activities of the humanitarian community; plans and develops strategic outreach activities. Manages publications programme; produces materials for print/electronic/voice/visual and social media outreach.
•Leads day-to-day management of the Communications and Information Management Unit and regional communications and information management operations to include participating in coordination of substantive and administrative activities of the unit, interpreting and disseminating policy, providing procedural advice, improving reporting systems, handling operational and administrative queries, preparing budget submissions, establishing and/or coordinating training programmes and monitoring and evaluating results.
•Coordinates and directs a team of public information and information management staff and mentors and supervises the work of junior officers within the Unit.
•Professionalism: Knowledge of different aspects of public information, communication and information management. Ability to conceptualize, design and implement major and innovative information campaigns. Ability to rapidly analyze and integrate diverse information and data from varied sources. Ability to diplomatically handle sensitive situations with target audiences and cultivate productive relationships, particularly with the media. Ability to produce a variety of written communications products in a clear, concise style and utilizes creativity to improve products. Ability to work under pressure in a highly stressful environment. Ability to deliver oral presentations to various audiences. Shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations. Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.
•Planning& Organizing: Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; uses time efficiently.
•Accountability: Takes ownership of all responsibilities and honours commitments; delivers outputs for which one has responsibility within prescribed time, cost and quality standards; operates in compliance with organizational regulations and rules; supports subordinates, provides oversight and takes responsibility for delegated assignments; takes personal responsibility for his/her own shortcomings and those of the work unit, where applicable.
An advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in communication, journalism, international relations, public administration or related field. A first-level university degree in combination with an additional two years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.Work Experience
A minimum of seven (7) years of progressively responsible experience in public information, journalism, international relations, information management or related area is required.
Minimum three (3) years of relevant public information, communications and/or reporting experience in emergency situations (complex emergency or natural disaster) is required.
Experience with crisis communications is required.
Experience with the UN common system or other comparable international organisation is desirable.
Experience in the Eastern and/or Southern Africa region is desirable
English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of French and/or Arabic is desirable.Assessment
Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by competency-based interview.Special Notice
This position is funded for a finite period of one year. Extension of the appointment is subject to extension of the mandate and the availability of the funds.
Staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-general and to assignment by him or her. In this context, all staff are expected to move periodically to new functions in their
careers in accordance with established rules and procedures.
The United Nations Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.
An impeccable record for integrity and professional ethical standards is essential.
United Nations Considerations
According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. Candidates will not be considered for employment with the United Nations if they have committed violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law, sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, or sexual harassment, or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have been involved in the commission of any of these acts. The term “sexual exploitation” means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. The term “sexual abuse” means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions. The term “sexual harassment” means any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offence or humiliation, when such conduct interferes with work, is made a condition of employment or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, and when the gravity of the conduct warrants the termination of the perpetrator’s working relationship. Candidates who have committed crimes other than minor traffic offences may not be considered for employment.
Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. The United Nations places no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.
Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the Manual for the Applicant, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.
The evaluation of applicants will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations including the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of the General Assembly, the Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications according to the instructions provided in inspira to be considered for the current job opening. No amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to reference checks to verify the information provided in the application.
Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at 11:59 p.m. (New York time) on the deadline date.
THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CHARGE A FEE AT ANY STAGE OF THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS (APPLICATION, INTERVIEW MEETING, PROCESSING, OR TRAINING). THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CONCERN ITSELF WITH INFORMATION ON APPLICANTS’ BANK ACCOUNTS.