Communications Specialist


UNICEF is hiring a Communications Specialist.

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential.

Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone.

And we never give up.

For every child, an advocate

UNICEF’s Regional Office for West and Central Africa is a hub for information, technical expertise and coordination in support to 24 country offices. Our advisors and specialists work to key results for children through programmes and policies in health and nutrition, child protection, HIV and AIDS, education, water and sanitation, early childhood development, social policy, and emergency response and preparedness.

In light of the multiple and intensifying emergencies and crises in the region, the Office seeks to recruit a Communication Specialist who will focus on emergencies/ humanitarian crises and related themes, such as nutrition and resilience, to ensure the visibility of our work and of our partnerships with specific donors.

How can you make a difference?

The incumbent will report to the Regional Chief of Communication and will be working in close collaboration with emergency, programme and partnerships sections. S/He will be accountable for the following duties and tasks:

Communication strategy

Ensure that the Regional Office has a clear emergency communication and public advocacy strategy and associated work plan to support the regional programme objectives and get children’s issues into the public domain, strengthen political will in support of UNICEF’s mission and objectives, and enhance the organization’s credibility and brand.

Media relations

Ensure that the Regional Office has a well maintained and continually developed contact list of journalists and media outlets covering all media – print, TV, radio, web etc. – and a successful process of communicating and maintaining regular contact and close collaboration with the media to communicate the story of UNICEF’s cooperation to a wider audience.

Networking and partnerships

Ensure that the Regional Office has a well maintained and continually developed contact list of individuals, groups, organizations and fora (including Government, UN, and bilateral counterparts), whose support is essential to, or can assist in, achieving the advocacy and communication objectives of the communication strategy.

Celebrities and special events

Ensure that the Regional Office has a well maintained and continually developed contact list of appropriate, regionally- and nationally-known personalities who have been identified, engaged and support UNICEF’s effort and who actively participate in special events and activities that support regional programme goals

Global priorities and campaigns

In addition to regional campaigns, ensure that the Regional Office has an effective process in place for integrating and taking action on UNICEF’s global and regional communications priorities and campaigns, both disseminating these elements in a locally-appropriate way, as well as providing/enabling coverage of the work in West and Central Africa for global use.

Resource mobilization support

Ensure that regional level fund-raising activities are supported by effective advocacy and communication strategy and activities.

Monitoring and evaluation

Ensure that communication baselines are established against which the achievement of objectives of the communication strategy are regularly evaluated; analysis is undertaken to continuously improve the effectiveness of communication strategy, approach and activities; results and reports are prepared and shared on a timely basis.

Capacity building and support

Ensure that the Senior management or other spokespersons among the regional programme team are provided with professional expertise and advice on all aspects of external relations communication on emergencies as required; opportunities are identified and addressed for building communication capacity among West and Central Africa country communication teams, media and other relevant partners.

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have:

  • Advanced university degree in Communication, Journalism, Public Relations. (*A first University Degree combined with 2 additional years of professional experience may be accepted in lieu of an Advanced University Degree in the field of journalism, communications, external relations, public affairs, public relations or corporate communications.)
  • Eight years of progressively responsible and relevant professional work experience in communication, print, broadcast, and/or new media.
  • International and national work experience.
  • Background/familiarity with Emergency situations.
  • Field work experience an asset.
    Fluency in English and French is required. Knowledge of another language used in the region is an asset.

For every Child, you demonstrate:

UNICEF’s values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA) and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.

The UNICEF competencies required for this post are:

  • Demonstrates Self Awareness and Ethical Awareness (1)
  • Works Collaboratively with others (1)
  • Builds and Maintains Partnerships (1)
  • Innovates and Embraces Change (1)
  • Thinks and Acts Strategically (1)
  • Drive to achieve impactful results (1)
  • Manages ambiguity and complexity (1)

To view our competency framework, please visit here.

Click here to learn more about UNICEF’s values and competencies.

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.

UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.


Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service.

This position is classified as “rotational” which means the incumbent is expected to rotate to another duty station upon completion of their tour of duty.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.

Deadline: 20 Oct 2021 Greenwich Standard Time

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