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Communication Officer Surge


  • Organization: IFRC - International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
  • Location: Geneva
  • Grade: Junior level - C2, International Professional - Internationally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Communication and Public Information
    • Emergency Aid and Response
  • Closing Date: Closed

Organizational Context

This is a temporary position for 6 months Maternity Cover! 
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is a global membership organization comprising National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies around the world. Through 192 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and around 14 million volunteers, the IFRC network is present in virtually every community, reaching more than 160 million people every year with life-saving and life-changing support.
The mission of the IFRC is to support National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to prevent and alleviate human suffering and promote human dignity around the world. We do this in line with our fundamental principles: humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity and universality.
Together, IFRC, National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) form the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. 
IFRC is headquartered in Geneva, with regional and country offices throughout the world. The headquarters is organized as three main business groups: Partnerships, Programmes and Operations; and Management Services.
The Communications Department is part of the IFRC’s Partnership Division. The department comprises four teams including the Strategy and Global Network team. The team is responsible for the continuous development, execution and monitoring of IFRC`s global communications plan, strengthening skills, expertise and asset exchange across and within the IFRC network, developing a robust and sustainable emergency communications model and ensuring IFRC is a strong communications partner within the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.


Job Purpose

You support the development and execution of systems and strategies for emergency communications and capacity development for communications, for sharing and exchanging communications, assets, ideas, learning, skills expertise and resources across IFRC`s global network.

Job Duties and Responsibilities


Coordinate the communications surge roster

  • Manage the roster of communications surge personnel, ensuring that personnel availability, personal and contact information, qualifications, training records, end-of-mission reports and appraisals are tracked and kept up to date.
  • Work with the Senior Communications Officer, Strategy and Global Network, to further develop the communications surge roster and system, including the creation of a rotational standby roster
  • Support the coordination of communications surge deployments, ensuring alerts are shared with communications surge personnel and deploying National Societies, briefings are scheduled, and provision of support to deployed communications personnel.
  • Coordinate with IFRC surge focal points at regional offices to ensure that regional rosters of communications surge personnel are aligned to the global roster, complete with personnel’s competencies and readiness for deployment.
  • Coordinate with relevant surge focal points at National Societies to align roster database of communications surge personnel, their recruitment, training records and competencies based on the IFRC core and communications competency frameworks.
  • Manage and provide guidance on the use of the IFRC communications toolkit for emergency surge deployments ensuring that it is regularly shared and updated.
  • Coordinate with the Global Surge Optimization Project Manager to inform progress of the communications surge system, to promote the work including among the other working groups.
  • Set and manage timelines to ensure that deliverables are met.

Support the coordination and development of communications in emergencies training aligned to the competency framework

  • Support in organizing communications surge training courses and other training courses focused on communications in emergencies, including support to participants, preparation of materials, and other associated tasks.
  • Support the development of relevant training content for communications in emergencies, including training for communications surge team leader, standardised training for National Societies’ communications teams, training for technical surge personnel (to be included in IMPACT, CAP, etc.), etc.


Job Duties and Responsibilities (continued)

Capacity development in Communications

  • Support the development of communications skill-building courses, online or in-person training, for different target audiences within the IFRC network and at various levels by mapping existing training content, best practices and materials within relevant National Societies and IFRC Secretariat to be used as a basis; coordinate with regional offices to map capacitities, resources and needs of respective National Societies based on a self-assessment system; and other relevant tasks.
  • Coordinate regular engagement and active discussions among the peer-to-peer support network within the communications’ Communities of Practice groups.
  • Coordinate the creation of and manage online platforms and newsletters for sharing approved and standardized tools, and information that support National Societies’ communications priorities and capacities in communications.
  • Support the implementation of the communications capacity development global strategy including the development of a mentoring/on-the-job learning approach.



  • Degree in relevant communications discipline/project management / international relations



  • Minimum of 3 years’ relevant work experience in communications or media relations project management or coordination in the humanitarian/ development sector 
  • Strong experience in coordination and project management 
  • Strong Red Cross and Red Crescent experience 


  • Experience in emergency ( disaster or crises) contexts or remote coordination of communications support to emergency operations 

Knowledge, Skills and Languages

Knowledge and Skills


  • Strong verbal and written communications skills
  • Excellent English writing skills
  • Thorough understanding of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and knowledge of the IFRC surge system is essential
  • Diligent and able to meet deadlines and work under pressure
  • Excellent collaboration and team work
  • Able to engage in dialogue and listen to other people’s points of view
  • Able to find creative solutions to problems
  • Skills in using and monitoring social media and digital channels in emergency/ sensitive contexts 


  • Knowledge in emergency communications training, skills development and transfer / sharing 



  • Fluent in spoken and written English


  • Good command of another IFRC official language (French, Spanish or Arabic)

Competencies, Values and Comments

Values: Respect for diversity; Integrity; Professionalism; Accountability

Core competencies: Communication; Collaboration and teamwork; Judgement and decision making; National Society and customer relations; Creativity and innovation; Building trust

This vacancy is now closed.
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