External Relations Officer

  • Salary:
  • Job type:
  • Posted:
    2 weeks ago
  • Category:
  • Deadline:
    December 15, 2022



Standard Job Description

External Relations Officer Organizational Setting and Work Relationships Direct supervision is normally exercised by a Snr 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. Duties – 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. – Perform other related duties as required. Minimum Qualifications 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. (Field(s) of Education marked with an asterisk* are essential) Certificates and/or Licenses Not specified Relevant Job Experience Essential Experience in humanitarian operations in a field environment. Excellent knowledge of local institution, politics and culture. Desirable 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

Based in the Country Office in Ouagadougou, s/he will report to the Representative and will be working closely with the Snr. Management team. The ideal candidate should have previous experience working with UNHCR and in the area of external relations and reporting. The applicant should possess excellent drafting and analytical skills as well as interpersonal and communication skills. S/he should also be fluent in both French and English. 

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



Desired languages



Operational context

Occupational Safety and Health Considerations:


To view occupational safety and health considerations for this duty station, please visit this link:



Nature of Position:



The External Relations Officer is responsible for drafting and disseminating regular updates, reports, facts sheets and other documents and informational pieces externally to donors, partners, stakeholders and internally to HQs, Field offices and the Representation. The incumbent will be able to closely work with field colleagues to ensure effective communication, sharing of update information and open dialogue with external with external stakeholders who have shown interest in understanding the challenges of the refugee operation in Burkina Faso, how UNHCR respond, cooperates with and includes other partners, As such, information collection, collation, review and packing for communication is an important attribute sought for this position. Team work on fund-raising with other sections in the Representation is expected from the incumbent of this position to ensure main activities are captured in regular reports, appropriate web stories. The incumbent will performances these duties under the direct supervision of the Representative.
UNHCR’s operation in Burkina Faso includes 25,808 refugees and asylum seekers who had to flee their country of origin because of the socio-political crisis that prevail since February 2012. The majority of refugees live in two camps of Mentao and Goudoubo in the Sahel region. Others are living in border areas and in the two biggest cities of Burkina.
Because of the security crisis, people in Burkina Faso have been uprooted from their homes due to the presence of armed group, increased criminality and ongoing counterterrorism operations which expose the population to violence. The number of people moving inland continue to increase particularly in the Sahel and Centre Nord regions. In May 2019, their number amounted to 237,769 individuals. UNHCR provides them with shelter and protection support.
The security situation in northern Burkina has led to cross-border movements of several Burkinabe. More than 95% of the IDPs are living in host community households, who are no longer able to absorb the continuous and multiple displacements

Living and Working Conditions:


Burkina Faso has very basic infrastructures, including in the health sector. In Ouagadougou, there are more than 20 health clinics, but only four are recommended by the UN System. Epidemics and other disease outbreaks are common in the operational area.
Ouagadougou is a family duty station and education is carried generally out in French, however there is also a US English school. Banking services are available including more than five international banks among which two are recommended by the UN System (United Bank of Africa and Ecobank). The weather is hot and dry with high daylight temperature fluctuations.
In the field, due to security-borne restrictions, the office has built two guest houses where UN staff are advised to reside during field missions (in FU Djibo and FO Dori).
Housing in Ouagadougou is mainly individual houses which are easily available. But most buildings are not well maintained and need repair. Electricity is very expensive and a backup generator is recommended.
In the past six months, the security and human rights situation in Northern and Eastern Burkina Faso has significantly deteriorated, leading to substantial displacement. The number of IDPs has increased from 27,000 persons in September 2018 to more than 237,769 individuals in August 2019. Cross-border displacement is also occurring. At least 14,000 people have fled to neighbouring Mali and Niger, while some 2,000 Burkinabè have fled to Ghana.
In addition, 25,808 Malian refugees are residing in camps and other volatile areas of Burkina Faso side by side with newly displaced populations, all of whom are affected by the increased insecurity.
As a result of the internal displacement, the United Nations Country Team (UNCT), in close collaboration with the Government of Burkina Faso, has set up a coordination mechanism involving several sectoral groups to respond to the needs of the population affected by the crisis. .
Sensitive security context could put certain nationalities, like white skin people (European, American or Asiatic) at risk. The Sahel region (Northern part of Burkina Faso, bordering Mali), our main operational area, is permanently facing terrorist activities, resulting to casualties and kidnappings.
Although a C category family duty station, there is general criminality and banditry due to the prevailing security situation.


Additional Qualifications





BA: International Relations (Required), BA: Journalism (Required), BA: Political Science (Required), BA: Social Science (Required) 



Work Experience

Annual Budget OL in Operation/Office, Number of Persons of Concern Served, Number of Workforce in Operation/Work Setting, Working with Persons of Concern: Internally Displaced Persons, Working with Persons of Concern: RefugeesCompetencies

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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Bi-annual Compendium 2022 Part B – November 2022 





Functional clearance

This position doesn’t require a functional clearance