Chief of Section, Communications and Media Relations Section
Org. Setting and Reporting
ECA's mission is to deliver ideas and actions for an empowered and transformed Africa; informed by the 2030 SDGs and Agenda 2063.
The mission is guided by ECA's five strategic directions, which are: advancing ECA's position as a premier knowledge institution that builds on its unique position and privilege to bring global solutions to the continent's problems and take local solutions to the continent; developing macroeconomic and structural policy options to accelerate economic diversification and job creation; designing and implementing innovative financing models for infrastructure, and for human, physical and social assets for a transforming Africa; contributing solutions to regional and transboundary challenges, with a focus on peace security and social inclusion as an important development nexus; advocating Africa's position at the global level and developing regional responses as a contribution to global governance issues.
This position is located in the Communications and Media Relations Section (CMRS) in the Publications, Conference and Knowledge Management Division (PCKMD) at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). The incumbent reports to the Director of the Division.
Within delegated authority the Chief of Section will be responsible for the following duties:
• Take the lead in implementing ECA's communications strategy; Develop and supervise the production of a range of communications products that will help increase ECA's visibility to its external audiences;
• Develop and ensure the effective branding of ECA and its knowledge products in enhancing ECA's global image and profile; ensure effective packaging and dissemination of ECA's publications and research outputs;
• Deploy the use of both traditional and modem information media technology including the social media to promote ECA's outreach programme;
• Develop the external relations activities of ECA with particular attention to building strong and continuous engagement with governments, international organizations and other stakeholders. Identify and increase key external contacts for strategic partnerships;
• Develop and implement an effective strategy for better understanding of the Commission's role, mandate, initiatives and work; monitor and periodically report on the implementation of the advocacy/communications strategy and campaigns on key operations and issues.
• Conceptualize, design and execute the overall public information strategy, programme and activities for a discrete unit.
• Serve as lead spokesperson for the public information programme; provide technical and policy advice on highly complex public information and communications issues; develop and disseminate best practices.
• Lead and direct a team of public information officers; plan and allocate work assignments; coach, mentor, and evaluate staff; participate in recruitment and selection of new staff and in the development of training programs.
• Oversee the preparation, from research to publication, of UN newsletters, periodicals, reports and books.
• Conduct sensitive political liaison work; create and maintain networks of high level communications contacts with broadcast media, the press, governmental agencies, international institutions and other groups and organizations in civil society (non-governmental organizations (NGOs), businesses, community organizations, women’s groups, etc.); represent the organization in important meetings, conferences, events, etc.; promote joint public relations ventures.
• Contribute to development of institutional public relations policies.
• Assess the overall effectiveness of the public information strategy and programmes and make needed changes in approach and technique.
• Provide diverse materials (briefings, speeches, questions and answers) for use by senior officials, develop or overall see development of high profile multi-media communications campaigns; set quality and production standards for information dissemination.
Professionalism: Knowledge of different aspects of public information and communication. Ability to address a range of issues in the context of political developments, public attitudes and local conditions. Ability to advise on high profile and sensitive communication challenges. Ability to assess world-wide communication environments, develop communication strategies and manage implementation of public information campaigns with various promotional and publicity techniques. Ability to produce a variety of written communications products in a clear, concise style. Ability to present and defend difficult positions to senior officials. 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.
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.
Teamwork: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others; places team agenda before personal agenda; supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.
Leadership: Serves as a role model that other people want to follow: empowers others to translate vision into results; is proactive in developing strategies to accomplish objectives; establishes and maintains relationships with a broad range of people to understand needs and gain support; anticipates and resolves conflicts by pursuing mutually agreeable solutions; drives for change and improvements; does not accept the status quo; shows the courage to take unpopular stands. Provides leadership and takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work; demonstrates knowledge of strategies and commitment to the goal of gender balance in staffing.
Empowering Others: Delegates responsibility, clarifies expectations, and gives staff autonomy in important areas of their work; encourages others to set challenging goals; holds others accountable for achieving results related to their area of responsibility; genuinely values all staff members’ input and expertise; shows appreciation and rewards achievement and effort; involves others when making decisions that affect them.
An advanced university degree (Master’s or Doctorate degree, or equivalent) in communication, journalism, international relations, public administration or related fields is required. A first-level degree (Bachelor’s degree or equivalent) in the specified fields of studies with two additional years of relevant work experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
A minimum of ten (10) years of progressively responsible experience in public information, journalism, international relations, public administration or related area is required.
Experience with crafting and leading large-scale advocacy activities aimed at policy influence and adoption at the international level, especially on social and economic transformation issues, is desirable.
Experience managing professional social media presence in an international setting is desirable.
English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position(s) advertised, fluency in either language is required; and knowledge of the other is desirable. Knowledge of another official United Nations language is an advantage.Assessment
Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by a competency-based interview.Special Notice
Staff members of the United Nations Secretariat must fulfill the lateral move requirements to be eligible to apply for this vacancy. Staff members are requested to indicate all qualifying lateral moves in their Personal History Profile (PHP) and cover letter.
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 and geographical diversity in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.
At the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the recruitment and employment of staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity, with due regard to geographic diversity. All employment decisions are made on the basis of qualifications and organizational needs. The United Nations is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment of mutual respect. The United Nations recruits and employs staff regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, race, religious, cultural and ethnic backgrounds or disabilities. Reasonable accommodation for applicants with disabilities may be provided to support participation in the recruitment process when requested and indicated in the application.
For this position, applicants from the following Member States, which are unrepresented or underrepresented in the UN Secretariat as of 31 March 2022, are strongly encouraged to apply: Afghanistan, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahrain, Belize, Brunei Darussalam, Cabo Verde, China, Comoros, Cuba, Cyprus, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Israel, Japan, Kiribati, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Monaco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Norway, Oman, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Sudan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Vanuatu.
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.
The paramount consideration in the appointment, transfer, or promotion of staff shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. By accepting an offer of appointment, United Nations staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and assignment by him or her to any activities or offices of the United Nations in accordance with staff regulation 1.2 (c). In this context, all internationally recruited staff members shall be required to move periodically to discharge new functions within or across duty stations under conditions established by the Secretary-General.
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.