A (least hardship)
Residential location (if applicable)
Staff Member / Affiliate Type
National Professional Officer
Regular > Regular Assignment
Target Start Date
Job Posting End Date
December 4, 2023
Standard Job Description
Assistant Communications Officer
Organizational Setting and Work Relationships
In line with its Global Communications Strategy, UNHCR requires skilled communications professionals to conceive and execute a range of activities that help us lead the narrative on forced displacement, generate empathy and mobilize action. This body of work spans communications strategy and coordination, news and media relations, multimedia content production, social media engagement, Goodwill Ambassadors and other influencers, public outreach and campaigns, fundraising, analytics and brand.
UNHCR’s Assistant Communications Officers need to cultivate a keen understanding of our target audiences, including an up-to-the-minute grasp of the methods and tone of voice that resonate deeply, win trust and spark quality engagement. They must be vigilant about editorial and journalistic standards, attentive to protection concerns and political sensitivities, and focused on communicating successfully with key demographics. These audiences will vary by location, language and platform, among other factors, as well as whether the aim is to inform, advocate or raise funds.
The Assistant Communications Officer’s functions, working relationships and skills specializations differ depending on language, location, grade, and whether they sit within a country operation, a regional bureau or the Global Communications Service. UNHCR’s primary target audiences include public, media and policymakers, while our main partners and influencers include peers and private sector, trusted figures and our own workforce. Some communicators will focus mainly on news and media relations, for example, while others will produce multimedia content, manage social media accounts or lead advocacy campaigns. Forging partnerships with media outlets that reach target audiences is a central role for all Assistant Communications Officers.
All Assistant Communications Officers are expected to work strategically in support of UNHCR’s operational and communications objectives for their geographic area of responsibility (AoR) as well as global priorities. Communications approaches should reflect our core values as an organization that is caring, trustworthy, proactive, outcome-focused and responsive. This will reinforce UNHCR’s role as the lead agency that protects refugees, internally displaced and stateless people and mobilizes action to provide solutions.
All UNHCR staff members are accountable to perform their duties as reflected in their job description. They do so within their delegated authorities, in line with the regulatory framework of UNHCR which includes the UN Charter, UN Staff Regulations and Rules, UNHCR Policies and Administrative Instructions as well as relevant accountability frameworks. In addition, staff members are required to discharge their responsibilities in a manner consistent with the core, functional, cross-functional and managerial competencies and UNHCR’s core values of professionalism, integrity and respect for diversity.
– Assist in establishment of close working relationships with television, radio and news agencies to promote and ensure the dissemination of UNHCR aims, activities and principles.
– Assist in development of working relationships with the Government, NGOs and UN Agencies in order to raise interest and develop co-operation in inter-related activities.
– Organize UNHCR’s public awareness campaign in the duty station.
– Draft bulletins and updates on UNHCR’s operations in the duty station.
– Brief national and international media of developments in UNHCR’s operations in the duty stations and accompany visiting media to the refugee camps where applicable.
– Assist in planning and organizing advertisements, exhibitions, training seminars, conferences, meetings, social events and other activities to promote a better understanding of UNHCR¿s activities and accomplishments by the general public and/or organized groups.
– Assist in preparation of communication budget.
– Perform other related duties as required.
Education & Professional Work Experience
Years of Experience / Degree Level
For P1/NOA – 1 year relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or no experience with Graduate degree; or no experience with Doctorate degree
Field(s) of Education
Journalism; International Relations; Political Science;
Communications; Public Information; Media
Film / Video; or other relevant field.
Certificates and/or Licenses
Relevant Job Experience
Minimum 1 year of professional experience in journalism and/or communications, mainly at international level.
Strong social media presence. Experience working on advocacy campaigns. Experience working with goodwill ambassadors and other high-profile influencers. Experience with brand management. Experience with measurement and evaluation, especially providing analysis of media coverage, social media engagement, web traffic, etc. Experience reporting, writing, editing for magazines, newspapers and websites. Experience using digital asset management systems. Experience with digital analytics and performance reporting.
CO-Digital content production
CO-International Media Contacts
CO-Journalism (incl. print, broadcast, photography, video, layout & graphics)
CO-Preparation of key messages/talking points/speeches
CO-Video production for digital platforms (including news organizations)
IT-Web Content Management
CO-Drafting and Documentation
(Functional Skills marked with an asterisk* are essential)
For International Professional and Field Service jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English.
For National Professional jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English and local language.
For General Service jobs: Knowledge of English and/or UN working language of the duty station if not English.
All UNHCR workforce members must individually and collectively, contribute towards a working environment where each person feels safe, and empowered to perform their duties. This includes by demonstrating no tolerance for sexual exploitation and abuse, harassment including sexual harassment, sexism, gender inequality, discrimination and abuse of power.
As individuals and as managers, all must be proactive in preventing and responding to inappropriate conduct, support ongoing dialogue on these matters and speaking up and seeking guidance and support from relevant UNHCR resources when these issues arise.
This is a Standard Job Description for all UNHCR jobs with this job title and grade level. The Operational Context may contain additional essential and/or desirable qualifications relating to the specific operation and/or position. Any such requirements are incorporated by reference in this Job Description and will be considered for the screening, shortlisting and selection of candidates.
Desired Candidate Profile
Minimum of 3 years of professional experience in similar positions. Expertise and up-to-date knowledge of communications principles, content production, digital communications, and engagement campaigns. Advanced ability to think strategically, plan, implement and evaluate activities within defined deadline and KPIs. Strong organizational skills, people and management skills, and ability to adapt to change. Proven project management experience and stakeholder relations. Exceptional ability to prioritize multiple demands in a fast-paced environment with high attention to detail. Previous experience working in a non-profit environment and knowledge of fundraising. Language: Portuguese native or proficient.
Required languages (expected Overall ability is at least B2 level):
Occupational Safety and Health Considerations
To view occupational safety and health considerations for this duty station, please visit this link:
Nature of Position
The Assistant Communications Officer will work closely with the Global and Regional Private Sector Partnerships (PSP) Units, Public Information (PI) Unit and with the teams at the Branch Office (BO).
This position is key for the development of private sector fundraising for UNHCR in Brazil.
Reporting to PSP Officer in Sao Paulo and in close coordination with the Assistant Public Information (PI) Officer in Brasilia, the Assistant Communications Officer will lead activities related to brand awareness, increasing public engagement, shaping and sharing the UNHCR voice in the community and engaging key stakeholders, donors and supporters.
With a focus on creating positive affinity and strong experience for anyone who interacts with UNHCR and presenting a compelling and inspiring voice for the organization, this position will support the creation, enhancement and monitoring of various communications channels to support fundraising, building a positive brand reputation and inspiring people to engage with UNHCR Brasil. Working with the Assistant PPH Officer and the Assistant IG Officer, this individual will play a key role within the organization for excellence in philanthropy and communications.
Living and Working Conditions
CO-Digital content production, CO-Drafting and Documentation, CO-Editing, CO-International Media Contacts, CO-Journalism (incl. print, broadcast, photography, video, layout & graphics), CO-Preparation of key messages/talking points/speeches, CO-Public Speaking, CO-Spokesperson skills, CO-Video production for digital platforms (including news organizations), IT-Web Content Management
Bachelor of Arts (BA): Communication, Bachelor of Arts (BA): International Relations, Bachelor of Arts (BA): Journalism, Bachelor of Arts (BA): Media, Bachelor of Arts (BA): Political Science, Bachelor of Arts (BA): Public Information
Accountability, Analytical thinking, Client & results orientation, Commitment to continuous learning, Communication, Empowering & building trust, Innovation & creativity, Organizational awareness, Political awareness, Teamwork & collaboration
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This position doesn’t require a functional clearance