Org. Setting and Reporting
OCHA is part of the United Nations Secretariat and is 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 which is located in the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Juba, South Sudan. Under the overall supervision of the Head of Office, OCHA South Sudan, the Public Information Officer reports to the Humanitarian Affairs Officer/Head of Communication and Information Management 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.
• Initiates and sustains professional relationships with key constituencies, including establishing and maintaining a network of humanitarian communications focal points.
• Leads or participates in inter-agency groups and forums for different stakeholders for publication information, communications and/or advocacy. Organizes or supports related inter-agency activities to highlight the humanitarian situation.
• Prepares or contributes to the preparation of written reports, studies, briefings, talking points, funding appeals, background papers, case studies, presentations and other documents. In collaboration with country team, supports humanitarian advocacy at the national level, and contributes to global advocacy campaigns.
• Develops and implements South Sudan’s overall communications strategy to engage key audiences around priority issues and/or major events. 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.
• Plans and initiates strategic and proactive outreach activities through social media and creates and contributes content to local, regional and global OCHA social media channels. This includes ability to produce multimedia photographic content.
• 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 of the full range of communications approaches, tools, and methodologies essential to planning and executing effective campaign strategies and programmes, e.g. campaign management, media operations, marketing and promotion, audience outreach, message targeting. Ability to rapidly analyze and integrate diverse information from varied sources. Ability to identify public affairs issues, opportunities and risks in an international environment. Ability to diplomatically handle sensitive situations with target audiences and cultivate productive relationships. Knowledge of relevant internal policies and business activities/issues. Ability to produce a variety of written communications products in a clear, concise style. Ability to deliver oral presentations to various audiences. 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.
• PLANNING AND ORGANIZING: Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; uses time efficiently.
• 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.
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 years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
- A minimum of five years of progressively responsible experience in public information, journalism, international relations, public administration or related area is required.
- Public information 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 working in social media is desirable.
- Experience in the UN common system is desirable.
- Experience in Eastern, Central or Southern Africa is desirable.
English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in English is required.
Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by competency-based interview.
• The appointment/assignment is for the duration of 364 days, with the possibility of extension, subject to availability of funds and mandate extension. The selected candidate is expected to start as soon as possible.
• Please note that due to the ongoing situation with COVID-19 and the travel restrictions imposed by national authorities, selected candidates may be required to start the assignment/appointment remotely, in agreement with the hiring manager, and until further notice.
• Please note that the appointment/assignment of the successful candidate will be subject to visa issuance.
• A current staff member who holds a fixed-term, permanent or continuing appointment may apply for temporary positions no more than one level above his or her current grade. However, a current staff member who holds an appointment at the G-6 or G-7 level may also apply to temporary positions in the Professional category up to and including the P-3 level, subject to meeting all eligibility and other requirements for the position. A staff member holding a temporary appointment shall be regarded as an external candidate when applying for other positions, and may apply for other temporary positions at any level, subject to section 5.7 below and staff rule 4.16 (b) (ii). Therefore, a staff member holding a temporary appointment in the General Service or related categories may only apply to positions within those categories. For full information on eligibility requirements, please refer to section 5 of ST/AI/2010/4Rev.1 on Temporary Appointments. In its resolution 66/234, the General Assembly further “stressed that the Secretary-General should not recur to the practice of temporarily filling posts in the Professional and higher categories with General Service staff members who have not passed the General Service to Professional category examination other than on an exceptional basis, and requests the Secretary-General to ensure that temporary occupation of such posts by the General Service staff shall not exceed a period of one year, effective 1 January 2013…” Consequently, eligible candidates in the General Service or related categories for temporary job openings in the Professional category that have not passed the competitive examination may be selected only on an exceptional basis endorsed by the Office of Human Resources Management where no other suitable candidate could be identified.
• Upon separation from service, including, but not limited to, expiration or termination of, or resignation from, a fixed-term, continuing or permanent appointment, a former staff member will be ineligible for re-employment on the basis of a temporary appointment for a period of 31 days following the separation. In the case of separation from service on retirement, a former staff member will be ineligible for re-employment for a period of three months following the separation. This equally applies, mutatis mutandis, with respect to a former or current staff member who has held or holds an appointment in another entity applying the United Nations Staff Regulations and Rules and who applies for a temporary position with the Secretariat.
• Retirees above the mandatory age of separation who wish to be considered for the current temporary job opening must indicate the reason for their last separation as “retirement.” Such retirees shall not be employed by the Organization, unless (a) the operational requirements of the Organization cannot be met by staff members who are qualified and available to perform the required functions; and (b) the proposed employment would not adversely affect the career development or redeployment opportunities of other staff members and represents both a cost-effective and operationally sound solution to meet the needs of the service.
• Subject to the funding source of the position, this temporary job opening may be limited to candidates based at the duty station.
• While this temporary assignment may provide the successful applicant with an opportunity to gain new work experience, the selection for this position is for a limited period and has no bearing on the future incumbency of the post. An external candidate selected for this position is bound by the prevailing condition of the staff selection system under ST/AI/2010/3, as amended, and ST/AI/2010/4/Rev.1. A staff member holding a temporary appointment who is recruited in the Professional and above categories on a temporary appointment, and placed on a position authorized for one year or longer may not apply for or be reappointed to his/her current position within six months of the end of his/her current service. This provision does not apply to staff members holding temporary appointments and placed on positions authorized for one year or more in duty stations authorized for peacekeeping operations or special political missions.
• The expression “Internal candidates”, shall mean staff members who have been recruited after a competitive examination under staff rule 4.16 or after the advice of a central review body under staff rule 4.15.
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.