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Senior Communications Officer


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Organization: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Closing date: 20 Jul 2020

Terms of Reference

Senior Communications Officer,

Partnerships, Analytics, Research and Knowledge Management (PARK) Service,

Division of Resilience and Solutions

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is offering a home-based UNOPS contract within the Partnerships, Analytics, Research and Knowledge Management (PARK) Service, in the Division of Resilience and Solutions, Geneva, Switzerland***.***

UNHCR is a global organisation dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights and building a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people. Every year, millions of men, women and children are forced to flee their homes to escape conflict and persecution. We are in over 125 countries, using our expertise to protect and care for millions.

Title: Senior Communications Officer

Duty Station: Home-based

Duration: as soon as possible until 31 December 2020

Contract Type: UNOPS IICA, Level 3

Closing date: 20 July 2020

Start date: as soon as possible

Organisational context

As part of its vision for managing displacement situations, the Global Compact on Refugees aims to promote greater use of data and evidence in programming, policy and advocacy. In this context, UNHCR is seeking to develop and implement an effective communication strategy around the collection and use of socioeconomic data on forcibly displaced and their hosts and seeks to hire a person with appropriate skills and experience to lead UNHCR’s future efforts in this area, which is relatively new to the organization. This position will sit in the Division of Resilience and Solutions (DRS) Partnerships, Analytics, Research and Knowledge Management (PARK) Service and work in close coordination with internal and external stakeholders, including the staff of the UNHCR-World Bank Joint Data Center.

The position

The key responsibilities of the position are:

1) to lead and manage overall strategic communications,

2) lead and manage any online communications, potentially through websites and social media, and

3) organize and strengthen UNHCR’s outreach efforts, knowledge management, and dissemination activities in the areas described above. The Senior Communications Officer will need to focus on both internal and external audiences. Critically, internal communications within UNHCR must address the role of socio-economic profiling for country policy and programming, as well as develop simple methods to communicate complex econometric approaches to measuring socio-economic profiling. Concrete responsibilities to be undertaken are grouped in the following four key areas.

Duties and responsibilities

a. Strategic communications

• Develop, implement, monitor and assess a comprehensive, result-oriented communications and outreach strategy and plan to engage key stakeholders and improve their understanding and support of UNHCR’s efforts in generating socio-economic profiles of refugees and their hosts. The implementation includes effective messaging, stakeholder engagement, advocacy, creating communications opportunities, and risk management. Key stakeholders include internal UNHCR (country, regional, HQ), donors, host country governments, media and research institutions.

• Provide strategic advice to the Senior Management on high-level or sensitive internal and external communications issues.

• Support the UNHCR Global Communications team to manage media relations at global and regional levels, through speaking opportunities; pitching stories; and handling incoming media queries.

• Proactively manage communications on socio-economic assessment with key stakeholders, including donors, partners, and other opinion leaders.

• Develop / oversee development of related communications products, including the messages and content for online platforms, multimedia content, speeches and talking points for senior management for news release or events.

• Lead the development of communication materials and their digital design, which may include policy briefs, infographics, and other materials.

b. Web-based communications

• Conduct user research and determining user/audience’s diverse needs.

• Develop, implement, monitor and assess a web-based communication and social media strategy, including the risk management plan.

• Establish key performance indicators, monitor and share results and recommendations with Senior Management.

• Apply and update editorial processes and approval workflows to write, edit, review, and publish digital content.

• Develop plan to convert relevant data and materials, both quantitative and qualitative, into digital content, including for web platforms, social media, and other multimedia. This may include identifying internal or external resources to support this work.

• Ensure that any online content is optimized for search engines and complies with UNHCR standards (editorial and technical).

• Manage translation of English language content into other UN languages, when necessary.

• Manage technical support to users and audience on regular basis, and through capacity development training when required.

c. Knowledge management and dissemination

• Mindful of sensitive internal and external communications issues, organize knowledge events, workshops, brainstorming meetings to increase the visibility of the UNHCR and World Bank Joint Data Centre within UNHCR, and particularly the work on socio-economic profiling.

• Support the organization of events, including administrative, logistical and organizational preparations.

• Lead the development of communication materials and their digital design, which may include policy briefs, infographics, and other materials.

• Disseminate Joint Data Centre’s analytical work through email and other cloud sharing platforms, etc.

• Maintain an events calendar.

d. General

• Provide timely guidance and mentoring to other team members as needed.

• Work closely with relevant departments, sections/units and field offices in UNHCR, to align, coordinate and support communications related to the area described above.

• Work closely with the World Bank to assure close coordination throughout.

Monitoring and progress Controls

The Senior Communications Officer is expected to produce the following deliverables (by December 2021).

• 10 launch events related to the above analytical products

• 100 internal presentations related to the above analytical products

• 40 communications products in one of the following forms: blog piece, infographics, 2-4 page research or product summaries, and in-country presentations or report launch events.

• 10 webinars/trainings held related to proGres enhancements or standardized survey modules (jointly with regional bureaus);

• 10 communications materials produced (e.g. online web stories and blogs) related to proGres enhancements or standardized survey modules

Essential minimum qualifications and professional experience required

1. Education

• At least Master’s degree (Communications, Journalism, or other related field).

2. Work Experience

• A minimum of 11 years of relevant work experience in communications, public information, journalism or related areas.

3. Key Competencies

• Substantial and current knowledge of issues and developments related to refugee protection and forced displacement in general, its nexus to migration and development, as well as UNHCR’s mandates and activities, and the key relevant topics such as Comprehensive Refugee Framework, is required

• Basic knowledge of development sector and development economics, is required. Previous experience at a development or development finance agency is desirable.

• Excellent English language skills and proficiency to write and edit complex communications products for purposeful structure, clarity of ideas, and logical, persuasive presentation, is required

• Proven experience using digital and social media to stimulate conversations with stakeholders, develop strategies to position across websites, blogs and other channels, is required

• Excellent communication skills and ability to work in a team with others, under highly multi-cultural environment, is required

• Experience communicating information related to data and statistics, is desirable



The successful candidate will be working home-based.


The successful candidate will be working home-based.**

How to apply:

Interested applicants should submit their letter of motivation, Personal History Form (PHF) and CV to hqdrsvac@unhcr.org indicating DRS/2020/015; First name/Last name, and Senior Communications Officer in the subject of the email.

Personal History Forms are available at PHF Form / Supplementary Sheet.

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.

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