Site United Nations
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 temporary job opening is being advertised for the position of Public Information Officer in Dakar, Senegal Under the overall supervision of the Deputy Head of Office (DHoO), OCHA Régional Office for West and Central Africa (ROWCA), the incumbent reports to the Head of Public Information and Advocacy Unit .
Within delegated authority, the Public Information Officer will be responsible for the following duties:
- Conducts reporting and analysis, by establishing and maintaining reporting system within the country; drafting and distribute regular reports on the humanitarian situation; ensuring flow of information and analysis of developments in the country/region, including tracking trends and sharing reports with HQ, and key partners.
- Ensures implementation of information programmes to publicize priority issues and/or major events, to include drafting information strategies, coordinating efforts, monitoring and reporting on progress, taking appropriate follow-up action, and analyzing the outcome.
- Monitors and analyzes current events, public opinion and press, identifies issues and trends, and advises management on appropriate action/responses.
- Produces or oversees production of a specific type or types (e.g. print, broadcast, etc.) of information communications products (e.g. press kits, press releases, feature articles, speeches, booklets, brochures, backgrounders, audio-visual materials, radio spot programmes, etc.), to include proposing topics, undertaking research, determining appropriate medium and target audience, preparing production plans, writing drafts, obtaining clearances and finalizing texts, editing copy, and coordinating design approval, printing procedures and distribution.
- Undertakes activities to promote media coverage (e.g. press conferences, press releases, interviews, press seminars and other special activities) of priority issues and/or major events, to include development of a media strategy and action plan, initiating pro-active media outreach efforts, proposing and arranging press conferences/media coverage, disseminating materials and consulting with press on approach/story angle and other information requests, undertaking appropriate follow-up action and analyzing and reporting on the impact of coverage. Contributes content to and maintains appropriate and timely web and social media outreach.
- Prepares, on the basis of official UN documentation and other sources, initial drafts of articles or chapters for inclusion in UN newsletters, periodicals, reports and books.
- Initiates and sustains professional relationships with key constituencies.
- Acts as focal point on specific issues, monitoring and reporting on developments, responding to inquiries, etc.
- Provides guidance to, and may supervise, more junior staff.
- 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.
- Creativity: Actively seeks to improve programmes or services; offers new and different options to solve problems or meet client needs; promotes and persuades others to consider new ideas; takes calculated risks on new and unusual ideas; thinks “outside the box”; takes an interest in new ideas and new ways of doing things; is not bound by current thinking or traditional approaches.
- An advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in communication, journalism, international relations, public administration or related field. 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.
Job – Specific Qualification
- A minimum of five (5) years of progressively responsible experience in communication, journalism, international relations, public administration or related field is required.
- Humanitarian experience in the field (actual setting where a mission and/or project is being implemented) in emergency situations (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 West and Central Africa 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 desirable.
Closing date: 26 November 2023.