Crisis Communications Officer

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Application deadline 1 year ago: Tuesday 30 Aug 2022 at 00:00 UTC

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This is a UNV International Specialist contract. This kind of contract is known as International UN Volunteer. It is normally internationally recruited only. More about UNV International Specialist contracts.

The UNV will be assigned to provide crisis communications support to the RCO communications officers in Africa, under the guidance and direct supervision of the Regional Communications Officer.

The incumbent also advises and coordinates with the UNCTs in strategic and crisis communications as needed, potentially providing communication officers in the UN agencies, funds and programmes with guidance, direct technical support, coaching and training as required, as well as ensuring quality control of editorial content in online and offline channels. In addition, he/she works in close collaboration with the Resident Coordinators and UNCT members, programme and operations teams of the agencies, DCO staff and government officials, technical advisors and experts to ensure successful implementation of the communications goals.

The position also maintains a close working relationship with the DCO Communications team in New York and the United Nations Department of Global Communications (DGC).

Within the delegated authority and under the supervision of the DGC/DCO Africa Regional Communications Officer or his/her designated mandated representative(s), the UN Volunteer Crisis Communications Officer will:

  1. Provide crisis communications support to Resident Coordinator’s Offices (RCOs) and UN Information Centres (UNICs) in 54 African countries to design, implement and monitor crisis communications strategies;
  2. Provide effective crisis communications support and/or surge capacity mechanisms to enhance strategic communication activities during peak work periods, such as in the event of a crisis in the African region;
  3. Draft core messaging, if asked lines, press releases, speeches, social media posts and quotes of senior officials in support of RCOs and UNICs;
  4. Support UNCT members to align their agency-specific messages and formulate UN-wide common messages with a joint UN statement and ensure enhanced communications coordination with senior leadership during moments of crisis;
  5. Provide support to RCOs and UNICs in the establishment or functioning of a UN Communications Group crisis team, composed of focal points from key entities relevant to the crisis, in each of the African countries, providing guidelines, best practice examples and monitoring activity;
  6. Support UN Communications Groups in Africa to prepare and update a Terms of Reference for a UN Communications Group crisis team and draft a crisis communications strategy;
  7. Establish and maintain close, regular working relationships with communications and advocacy representatives from RCOs and UNICs across Africa, and provide guidance to communications officers on their work plan and activities;
  8. Provide strategic support to oversee content production, calibrate digital platforms, handle media relations, monitor media, misinformation and influencers, ensure internal communication, coordinate among UN entities in the country, coordinate with the UN Headquarters and carry out after-action reviews;
  9. Curate and share best practices/content/lessons learned from reputation management campaigns and/or crisis communication activities undertaken by offices across Africa;
  10. Provide feedback and substantive support to the Department of Global Communications (DGC) in adapting global communications and advocacy priorities at the regional level;
  11. Support UNIC International Directors to coordinate a regional network of communications officers through online communities, knowledge sharing, information dissemination, regular regional webinars and other relevant collaboration mechanisms;
  12. In consultation with relevant DGC and DCO partners, provide guidance and/or best practice on the utilization of UN Country Team websites and social media accounts (e.g., Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube) in Africa, including on their multilingual capacity;
  13. Identify human-interest stories from the African region that will engage local, regional and global audiences, effectively demonstrating the impact of the UN’s work;
  14. Develop and edit human-interest stories in times of crises, emphasizing multimedia and multilingual content in support of in-country communications colleagues.

• Professionalism • Integrity • Teamwork and respect for diversity • Commitment to continuous learning • Planning and organizing • Communication • Flexibility • Genuine commitment towards the principles of voluntary engagement

crisis communications and reputation management in the context of sustainable development, humanitarian operation or peacebuilding is required; • A minimum of three years of experience drafting press releases, news articles and human-interest stories in a crisis setting is desirable; • A minimum of two years of experience preparing and implementing communications strategies is desirable; • Working in the political, social and economic context in Africa is desirable; and • Experience gained in an international environment is desirable.

Addis Ababa is the capital of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. The population is estimated at about 4 million or so. Addis Ababa located in the Ethiopian highlands at an altitude of 2,500-2,700 meters. The climate is sunny and temperate, but it can be very cold at night, with freezing temperature at times. It is therefore advisable to bring warm clothing and foresee using heaters and/or log fires when necessary. Addis Ababa is the headquarters for the UN Economic Commission for Africa as well as the African Union. Thus, there is a very large community of expatriates from all over the world. There are some 80 embassies/diplomatic missions. Housing is most of the time readily available and the rents are, on average, reasonable. Most foodstuffs, beverages, household goods, furniture and clothing, mostly imported from the Middle/Far East, South Africa and Europe, or local brands, can be found, although they can be expensive. Meat, fish, fresh fruits and vegetables are cheap and abundantly available.

The basic infrastructures - roads, utilities, and telecommunications - are below standard, as are medical facilities, which are still largely inadequate, although a few private clinics and hospitals provide reasonably good routine care. Several restaurants around the city serve local or international cuisine and there are numerous social and sports facilities (fitness, tennis, swimming, riding, golf, etc.) exist in the major hotels or in different establishments around the city. There are no major or special security concerns within Addis Ababa city limits.

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