External Relations Officer , UNHCR , Canberra

negotiable / YEAR Expired 1 week ago
This job has expired.


Hardship Level

H (no hardship)

Family Type


Family Type


Residential location (if applicable)



Staff Member / Affiliate Type

National Professional Officer


Regular > Regular Assignment

Remote work accepted


Target Start Date


Job Posting End Date

June 8, 2024

Standard Job Description

Job Summary:

Direct supervision is normally exercised by a Senior External Relations Officer of Representative who provides guidance on the applicable procedures. Advice may also be provided by relevant functional units at HQ. The incumbent may supervise some support staff. External contacts are predominantly with Partners, media, government embassies and other international organizations on matters of importance to the Organization.

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.


– Stay abreast of the challenges posed by the political context, the UN and humanitarian reform, and institutional developments in the area of forced displacement and humanitarian operations.
– Assist in the planning of a consultative process with UNHCR colleagues (Programme, Protection, etc.) with external actors and partners, so as to develop and implement protection and assistance strategy, with clearly articulated objectives, timelines and outputs.
– Assist the implementation of a communications strategy that generates support for UNHCR s operations from external partners (e.g. the general public, governments, partners, the media, academia and persons of concern).
– Assist in the articulation of all issues pertaining to the needs of the populations of concern and the strategies in place to respond to their needs.
– Inform the UNHCR Country Team on the UNHCR priorities so as to ensure that they are given adequate weight in the publications and documentation of the UN Country Team.
– Assist in the dialogue with donors and embassies and provide accurate information by organizing regular briefings, bilateral meetings and missions. Prepare reports as appropriate.
– In accordance with the operational context and in close cooperation with headquarters, propose new and non-traditional funding sources, as appropriate, including private sector and humanitarian pooled/basket funds (e.g. Central Emergency Response Fund, Human Security Fund).
– Through a consultative process with headquarters, disseminate information on UNHCR’s global funding situation and mobilize additional funds to implement special projects aimed at enhancing the quality of protection for persons of concern in the country operation.
– Participate on behalf of the Representative and other supervisors in inter-agency cooperation and communication strategies, initiatives and tools.
– Support senior management in representing UNHCR in the UN Country Team and other UN coordination fora.
– Support, and participate in, local UN integrated missions, Inter-Agency Standing Committee, Emergency Relief Coordinator and Cluster communication strategies and initiatives.
– Assist in the management of information flows within the country operations by identifying priority matters, securing, analyzing and disseminating documentation and information to support country operations and corporate communication processes and priorities.
– Consolidate information on UNHCR’s country operations and identify appropriate messages for campaigns and appeals.
– Assist in the coordination of the drafting of, situation reports, briefing notes, background material, talking points, fact sheets, press releases and articles.
– Assist in the development of targeted communications strategies and media packages for situations and/or activities that require focused attention.
– Propose events and initiatives (e.g. commercial, cultural, political and sports) to promote the work of UNHCR and take action as appropriate.
– Support the management of media relations by, inter alia, responding to direct queries, publishing press releases and organizing regular briefings and visits to country operations.
– On behalf of the Representative, approve fundraising messages.
– On behalf of the Representative, approve any relevant expenditure for the implementation of fundraising activities.
– Propose which donors to approach and which operations or activities to prioritize for special fundraising appeals.
– Implement all aspects of a communications strategy.
– Approve budgets and expenditures for communications activities.
– Clear external relations/communication products and tools as appropriate.
– Represent UNHCR on behalf of senior management in fund-raising and communication priorities in inter-agency initiatives and fora.

– Support the identification and management of risks and seek to seize opportunities impacting objectives in the area of responsibility. Ensure decision making in risk based in the functional area of work. Raise risks, issues and concerns to a supervisor or to relevant functional colleague(s).
– Perform other related duties as required.


Education & Professional Work Experience
Years of Experience / Degree Level
For P3/NOC – 6 years relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or 5 years relevant experience with Graduate degree; or 4 years relevant experience with Doctorate degree

Field(s) of Education
Political Sciences, Social Sciences, International Relations, Journalism,

or other relevant field.

Certificates and/or Licenses
Not specified

Relevant Job Experience
Experience in humanitarian operations in a field environment.
Excellent knowledge of local institution, politics and culture.

Good knowledge of UNHCR operations both at Headquarters and in the Field.
Fund-raising and programming/programme management experience.
Experience of working with social media.

Functional Skills
IT-Web Content Management
IT-Computer Literacy
CO-Drafting and Documentation
ER-Inter-Agency External Relations
(Functional Skills marked with an asterisk* are essential)

Language Requirements
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

• Demonstrated experience engaging with and supporting relations with diverse partners
• Experience working within, or advocating with, government agencies
• Excellent drafting skills covering a range of communications styles, audiences and content
• Strong oral presentation skills
• Experience developing communications, external relations and/or resource mobilization strategies
• Political awareness
• Excellent planning and management skills
• Experience leading and supervising a team
• Technological awareness and proficiency in a range of online platforms and apps
• Flexibility, adaptability, and ability to work autonomously and to collaborate with other team members; proactive in problem-solving

Candidates must be Australian citizens.

Required languages (expected Overall ability is at least B2 level):



Desired languages



Operational context

Occupational Safety and Health Considerations:

Nature of Position:

UNHCR is the United Nations Refugee Agency. UNHCR’s Multi-Country Office (MCO) in Canberra is responsible for the promotion of refugee protection and solutions in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific (Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu). The office also works on statelessness and engages a wide range of actors including government officials, parliamentarians, NGOs and civil society, other UN agencies and the international community (both humanitarian and development), private sector and other donors, and refugees and refugee-led organizations. The Office comprises some 18-25 personnel, currently located in two offices in Canberra and 1 staff member in Papua New Guinea.

The External Relations Officer, along with the Representative, is responsible for ensuring that an effective external engagement strategy is in place and implemented to ensure broad-based support for the work of the office and UNHCR’s mandate. Broadly speaking this would include strategies for engagement of the full range of partners identified above; resource mobilization with government and other partners, including Australia for UNHCR; all forms of communications including social media and public websites; external events; and high-level missions. The External Relations Officer will place particular emphasis on donor engagement (government partners, A4U/NZ4U, private sector), including proactively identifying opportunities. They will also support UNHCR’s engagement and representation within UN Country Teams; organize briefings for partners (government, civil society, etc); and support the Executive Office to leverage the full range of external engagement activities, such as high-level missions, speeches, external events, and amplification of messages via social media.

The External Relations Officer is a senior position within the office, acting as head of unit, supervising and guiding the work of the Communications Associate and affiliate workforce. The external relations team currently consists of 3 individuals. Collaboration, teamwork and flexibility are thus important qualities within the team. The team is expected to work closely with colleagues working on protection and durable solutions in the planning of events, developing content and communicating UNHCR’s mission. The External Relations Office will have regular contact with UNHCR colleagues in the Regional Bureau and at headquarters.

Living and Working Conditions:


Additional Qualifications


CO-Drafting and Documentation, ER-Inter-Agency External Relations, IT-Computer Literacy, IT-Web Content Management


Bachelor of Arts (BA): International Relations, Bachelor of Arts (BA): Journalism, Bachelor of Arts (BA): Political Science, Bachelor of Arts (BA): Social Science


Work Experience


Accountability, Analytical thinking, Client & results orientation, Commitment to continuous learning, Communication, Empowering & building trust, Innovation & creativity, Judgement & decision making, Managing performance, Managing resource, Organizational awareness, Political awareness, Teamwork & collaboration

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Additional Information

Functional clearance

This position doesn’t require a functional clearance

WORK HOURS: 8 Hours a Day

Canberra, Australia
This job has expired.