UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Org. Setting and Reporting
The position is located in the Operations and Advocacy Division (OAD), Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). OCHA 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 principled 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-specific job opening is being advertised for the position of Public Information Officer, Head of Public Information and Reporting Unit in Dakar, Senegal. Under the overall supervision of the Head of the office OCHA Regional Office for West and Central Africa (ROWCA), the incumbent reports to the Deputy Head of Office.
Within delegated authority, the Public Information Officer will be responsible for the following duties:
• Manages reporting and analysis, by establishing and maintaining reporting system within the region; oversees drafting and distribution of regular reports on the humanitarian situation; 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, senior officers and other public information 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 principal liaison to governmental bodies, national groups, private sector organizations, educational organizations, international organizations, etc.
• Prepares or oversees preparation of a diverse range of information communications products in support of priority humanitarian initiatives. Drafts complex material for UN newsletters, periodicals, reports and books and edits 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 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 region or regional communications 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. May coordinate and direct a team of public information staff and/or mentor and supervise the work of junior officers on specific projects.
• Manage the Public Information and Reporting Unit in ROWCA. Ensure timely recruitment, induction, training, and performance management in line with corporate frameworks; Promote a positive and respectful working environment, upholding OCHA’s duty of care relating to security, health, safety, and well-being; Perform other duties as assigned by the Head of Office (HoO).
PROFESSIONALISM: Knowledge and understanding of humanitarian, emergency relief assistance and related humanitarian issues. Ability to identify issues, analyze and participate in the resolution of issues/problems. Ability to develop sources for data collection. Conceptual analytical and evaluative skills to conduct independent research and analysis, including familiarity with and experience in the use of various research sources, including electronic sources on the internet, intranet and other databases. Ability to apply judgment in the context of assignments given, work under pressure, on occasion in a highly stressful environment (e.g., civil strife, natural disasters, and human misery). 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.
COMMUNICATION: Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; asks questions to clarify and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; tailors language, tone, style and format to match audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.
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.
MANAGING PERFORMANCE: Delegates the appropriate responsibility, accountability and decision-making authority; makes sure that roles, responsibilities and reporting lines are clear to each staff member; accurately judges the amount of time and resources needed to accomplish a task and matches task to skills; monitors progress against milestones and deadlines; regularly discusses performance and provides feedback and coaching to staff; encourages risk-taking and supports creativity and initiative; actively supports the development and career aspirations of staff; appraises performance fairly.
An advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in communication, journalism, international relations, public administration, or a related field is required. A first-level university degree in combination with an additional two (2) years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
A minimum of seven (7) years of progressively responsible experience in communication, journalism, international relations, public administration or related field is required.
At least three (3) years in the past seven (7) years of international field experience (actual setting where a mission or project is being implemented) in aid operations (complex emergency or natural disaster) is desirable.
Experience with crisis communications is desirable.
Experience in a humanitarian context in the UN Common System or other comparable international organization is desirable.
Experience in the region is desirable.
French and English are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in English and French is required. Knowledge of another UN official language is an advantage.
The evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by a competency-based interview.
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.
External candidates (including OCHA temporary appointees and OCHA national field staff) who are selected for a position in field duty stations may be strategically placed on a fixed term appointment limited to a specific position or to a specific country office in accordance to the paragraph 2.2 (b) of administrative instruction ST/AI/2013/1 on the administration of fixed-term appointment which provides that an FTA may be granted to individuals who are « (b) Selected but not reviewed by a Secretariat review body for appointments limited to specific entities ».
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.