The UNCT has committed to strengthen joint UN communications and outreach that accurately reflect the diversity of UN operations in Syria, beyond the humanitarian – including showcasing early recovery and livelihood support, as enshrined in the Syria Strategic Framework 2016-2017.
This position will be part of the Resident Coordinator’s Office and based in Damascus. The incumbent will report to the Head of the Resident Coordinator’s office. S/he will be stationed in Damascus and abide with existing UN security and accommodation rules and regulations. The incumbent will support the UNCT to strengthen its outreach and communication, with a focus on UN early recovery and livelihood programming within Syria.
Within delegated authority, the incumbent is responsible for the following duties:
- Coordinate the planning, development and implementation of UNCT communications and advocacy strategy, including advocacy and communications campaigns and global thematic initiatives related to resilience, early recovery and development;
- Develop key advocacy and communications materials for the RC/HC and the UNCT with a particular focus on UN agencies and programmes resilience and early recovery activities including through high quality reports, videos, stories, briefing papers, media material such as Opinion articles for publication;
- Monitor and assess public perceptions and attitudes towards the UN in Syria and advise the RC/HC, the UNCT and the UNCG on appropriate UN positioning and communications approaches;
- Assist in media relations activities, as required, including coordinating press conferences and press seminars, background briefings, facilitating interviews with senior mission officials and other special promotional activities of priority issues and/or major events;
- Develop and maintain lists of international media, civil society and other appropriate partners and establishes professional relationships with these partners and other key constituencies;
- Draft press releases and contributes to reports, statements and talking points for senior mission officials;
- Ensure that the UNCT messages and activities are covered by social media platforms; in this regard populate and maintain the UNCT’s social media profile and online presence;
- Promote and coordinate the communications and public information aspect of visits by the UN senior officials;
- Support the UN Communications Group and UNCT joint communications and advocacy campaigns and initiatives;
- Perform other relevant duties and special functions, as required by the UN RC/HC.
- Demonstrated knowledge of public information and advocacy techniques, including strategic communications in complex operational contexts;
- Ability to design, conceptualize and implement major information campaigns that address public attitudes and perceptions;
- Proven ability to implement effective media campaigns and to develop products and activities targeting the media;
- Ability to identify communications opportunities and problems and to articulate these to clients;
- Ability to advise on communication challenges, assess communication environments, develop communication strategies, and manage implementation of public information campaigns;
- 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.
- 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.
Planning & Organising:
- Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies;
- Identifies priority activities and assignments;
- Adjust priorities as required;
- Allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work;
- Foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning;
- Monitors and adjust plans and actions as necessary;
- Uses time efficiently.
- Actively seeks to improve programmes or services, offers new and different options to solve problems or meet client needs;
- Promotes and persuades others to consider new ideas;
- Takes calculated risks on new and unusual ideas;
- Thinks “outside the box”;
- Takes an interest in new ideas and new ways of doing things;
- Is not bound by the current thinking or traditional approaches.
- An advanced university degree (Master's degree or equivalent degree) in journalism, communication, public information, international relations, public administration or a related field is required.
- A minimum of 7 years of progressively responsible experience, including four years at the international level, in public information, communication, journalism, international relations or related area is required;
- Demonstrated experience in strategic communications; public speaking; and working with the media is required. Experience working in the Arab region is desirable;
- Experience working in public information in the United Nations common system or a comparable international organization is desirable;
- Experience working with both traditional and social media platforms is desirable.
- Fluency in oral and written Arabic and English is a requirement.
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Contract Duration: 1 Year with possibility for extension