Communications Associate , UNHCR , Canberra

negotiable / YEAR Expired 3 weeks ago
This job has expired.


Hardship Level

H (no hardship)

Family Type


Family Type


Residential location (if applicable)



Staff Member / Affiliate Type

General Service


Regular > Regular Assignment

Remote work accepted


Target Start Date


Job Posting End Date

June 8, 2024

Standard Job Description

Job Summary:

The Communications Associate is normally supervised by a Communication Officer or other position as decided by the senior management in the area of responsibility. The supervisor provides the incumbent with regular guidance. The incumbent works quite independently on regular assignments with an oversight from the supervisor. S/he keeps frequent contacts with staff at various levels in the office and occasionally with staff at the same level in other duty stations and/or Headquarters; with media, local suppliers, NGO, implementing partners, embassies and UN agencies.

The Communications Associates, depending on the organizational structure and location, may also be required to provide support in executing a range of communications activities in the fields of news and media relations, multimedia content production, social media engagement, video production, Goodwill Ambassadors and other influencers, public outreach and campaigns, fundraising, analytics and brand. The incumbents may also be required to help strengthen coordination and editorial planning in the area of responsibility, support advocacy, awareness-raising and digital fundraising efforts as well as strengthening analytics to inform the social media strategies and work plans.

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.


– Support the implementation of communications strategies for countries, situations and special projects within the area of responsibility; help identify thematic priorities and target audiences to meet UNHCR’s global, regional and country-level communications objectives of leading the narrative, generating empathy and mobilizing action for forcibly displaced and stateless people.
– Monitor news and popular trends to insert UNHCR’s messaging into ongoing conversations; identify key moments for proactive communications.
– Help forge strategic partnerships with individuals and organizations who can help produce and promote UNHCR content, activities and messaging as well as provide research insights to improve communications; promote the work of engaged businesses and civil society actors.
– Support the development of news-driven and authoritative content to lead the narrative on forced displacement and show UNHCR’s impact (e.g. interviews, press releases, flagship reports, speeches), create emotive storytelling to generate empathy (e.g. stories, multimedia content) and mobilize action by signposting concrete steps people can take to help refugees (e.g. digital diplomacy, action-driven campaigns, fundraising).
– Help ensure that content created reaches maximum impact by supporting the development of strategies for distribution from the outset, boosting the visibility of out content on relevant UNHCR channels and placing it on external channels.
– Help monitor the implementation of communications projects and adjust accordingly.
– Assist in research, preparation, editing and production of professional media and communications materials for target audiences and ensure their timely dissemination via UNHCR’s communications channels, ensuring highest quality standards.
– Continually maintain and upgrade communications skills, keeping abreast of emerging platforms and tools, and systematically reviewing media impact results and other measurement tools for learning purposes.
– May be required to assist in implementation of campaigns, events and other initiatives in support of UNHCR’s strategic objectives, including its need for a leading share of voice on refugee and related matters.
– May be required to undertake missions and field trips with media and other official visitors in support of UNHCR and its work.

– 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.


Years of Experience / Degree Level
For G6 – 3 years relevant experience with High School Diploma; or 2 years relevant work experience with Bachelor or equivalent or higher

Field(s) of Education
Not applicable.

Certificates and/or Licenses
Journalism, Social Sciences, Humanities or related fields
(Certificates and Licenses marked with an asterisk* are essential)

Relevant Job Experience
Excellent computer skills and knowledge of MS Office applications. Excellent drafting skills.

Experience implementing communications strategies. Professional writing and editing skills. Experience working on advocacy campaigns.

Functional Skills
CO-International Media Contacts
CO-Journalism (incl. print, broadcast, photography, video, layout & graphics)
CO-Video production for digital platforms (including news organizations)
CO-Drafting and Documentation
CO-Digital content production
(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

• Experience producing web and social media content.
• Excellent drafting skills covering a range of communications styles, audiences and content.
• Strong oral presentation skills.
• Experience developing and implementing communications strategies.
• A certificate in communications, public or external relations, or a related field.
• 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.
• Sound understanding of UNHCR’s mandate and its role as a United Nations agency and humanitarian protection organization.
• Lived experience of forced displacement or statelessness

Candidates must be Australian citizens or permanent residents with full-time work rights on the closing date of the vacancy.

UNHCR cannot sponsor work visas for external candidates.

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 Communications Associate reports to the External Relations Officer who, 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, social media and public websites.

The Communications Associate is responsible for establishing a strong social media presence for the office, creating content, managing the MCO’s public website, monitoring the news and supporting external events. The Communications Associate may also deal with media inquiries, in consultation with and under the direction of senior management. The Communications Associate may support with other functions falling within the scope of external relations more generally, for example support with high-level missions, speeches and research.

The external relations team is currently 3 individuals. Collaboration, teamwork and flexibility are thus important qualities within the team. The team is also expected to work closely with colleagues working on protection and durable solutions in the planning of events and developing content. The Communications Associate may also engage with UNHCR colleagues in the Regional Bureau and at headquarters. The Communications Associate will serve as head of unit for external relations in the absence of the External Relations Officer.

Living and Working Conditions:


Additional Qualifications


CO-Digital content production, CO-Drafting and Documentation, CO-Editing, CO-International Media Contacts, CO-Journalism (incl. print, broadcast, photography, video, layout & graphics), CO-Video production for digital platforms (including news organizations)



Humanities – Other, Journalism – Other, Social Sciences – Other

Work Experience


Accountability, Analytical thinking, Client & results orientation, Commitment to continuous learning, Communication, Innovation & creativity, Organizational awareness, Political awareness, Teamwork & collaboration

UNHCR Salary Calculator


Additional Information

Functional clearance

This position doesn’t require a functional clearance

WORK HOURS: 8 Hours a Day

Canberra, Australia
This job has expired.