• Added Date: Wednesday, 26 February 2020
  • Deadline Date: Friday, 10 April 2020

Org. Setting and Reporting

This position, located in the External Outreach Service (EOS), Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), is based In OHCHR’s West Africa Regional Office (WARO), Dakar, Senegal. The incumbent, working closely with the Communications and Media Sections of EOS, reports to the head of the WARO.


Within delegated authority, the Public Information Officer will be responsible for the following duties:

- Undertakes activities to promote media coverage (e.g. press conferences, press releases, speeches, Q&As, talking points, interviews, press seminars and other special activities) of priority issues and/or major events in the West Africa region, initiating pro-active media outreach efforts, proposing and arranging press conferences/media coverage and disseminating materials, in close coordination and consultation with the Media Section on approaches/story angles.
- Initiates and sustains professional relationships with journalists and other key external constituencies.
- Produces or oversees production of a specific type or types (e.g. print, broadcast, digital, etc.) of communications products and content (e.g. feature articles, human-interest stories, social media content and posts, booklets, brochures, backgrounders, audio-visual materials, etc.).
- Proposes topics, undertakes research, determines appropriate medium and target audience, prepares production plans, writes drafts, obtains clearances and finalizes texts, edits copy, and coordinates design approval and printing procedures and ensures distribution through the web, social media and other digital platforms.
- Drafts and implements strategies for media relations and communications, web and digital media, including social media, audio-visual production, etc.
- Prepares, coordinates and supports communications campaigns in close coordination with the Communications Section and in support of OHCHR priorities.
- Works closely with United Nations departments, funds, agencies and OHCHR presences in Senegal and the West Africa region to develop ways to implement communications campaigns system-wide, to address specific regional or country-based human rights issues and to incorporate the campaign message and themes into all relevant events and products.
- Maintains social media platforms and uses digital technologies to disseminate and promote outreach activities in coordination with the social media team at Headquarters. Stays abreast of latest digital technologies to enhance advocacy.
- Analyses media and social media trends and issues in the country and/or region, monitors media statistics, social media and web usage, and adapts content, editorial and outreach priorities accordingly.
- Analyses, evaluates and reports on the impact of coverage, undertakes appropriate follow-up actions, and advises management on appropriate action/responses.
- Keeps the Office website updated on a regular basis and liaises for advice, support and overall brand coordination with the Web team at Headquarters.
- Identifies, establishes and fosters partnerships and collaboration with regional or local media outlets, personalities and celebrities, academia, influencers, etc. to support the office communications activities.
- Provides guidance to, and may supervise, more junior staff and interns.
- Performs other related duties as required.


PROFESSIONALISM: Knowledge of the different United Nations human rights mechanisms. Knowledge of the full range of communications approaches, tools, and methodologies essential to planning and executing effective campaign strategies and programmes, e.g. campaign management, media operations, marketing and promotion, audience outreach, message targeting. Ability to rapidly analyze and integrate diverse information from varied sources. Ability to identify public affairs issues, opportunities and risks in an international environment. Ability to diplomatically handle sensitive situations with target audiences and cultivate productive relationships. Knowledge of relevant internal policies and business activities/issues. Ability to produce a variety of written communications products in a clear,
concise style. Ability to deliver oral presentations to various audiences. 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. Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.

PLANNING AND ORGANIZING: Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; uses time efficiently.

COMMUNICATION: 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.

CREATIVITY: 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 current thinking or traditional approaches.


Advanced university degree (Master's degree or equivalent degree) in communications, journalism, public relations, or related field is required. A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of five years of progressively responsible experience in communications, journalism, public information, media relations or related area is required.
Experience drafting public information materials (e.g. news articles, opinion pieces, feature stories, press releases, etc.) is required.
Media experience is required.
Experience at the international level, particularly with intergovernmental organizations, is desirable.
Experience in the area of human rights is desirable.
Experience working with social media platforms is desirable.
Experience in the West Africa region is desirable.
Experience in developing communication strategies is desirable.
Experience in developing and implementing communications campaigns is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in English is required. Fluency in French is desirable.


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which will be followed by competency-based interview.

Special Notice

Extension of the appointment is subject to extension of the mandate and/or the availability of the funds.

Staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and to assignment by him or her. In this context, all staff are expected to move periodically to new functions in their careers in accordance with established rules and procedures.

The United Nations Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.

Pursuant to section 7.11 of ST/AI/2012/2/Rev.1, candidates recruited through the young professionals programme who have not served for a minimum of two years in the position of their initial assignment are not eligible to apply to this position.

United Nations Considerations

According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. Candidates will not be considered for employment with the United Nations if they have committed violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law, sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, or sexual harassment, or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have been involved in the commission of any of these acts. The term “sexual exploitation” means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. The term “sexual abuse” means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions. The term “sexual harassment” means any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offence or humiliation, when such conduct interferes with work, is made a condition of employment or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, and when the gravity of the conduct warrants the termination of the perpetrator’s working relationship. Candidates who have committed crimes other than minor traffic offences may not be considered for employment.

Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. The United Nations places no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.

Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the Manual for the Applicant, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.

The evaluation of applicants will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations including the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of the General Assembly, the Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications according to the instructions provided in inspira to be considered for the current job opening. No amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to reference checks to verify the information provided in the application.

Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at 11:59 p.m. (New York time) on the deadline date.

No Fee


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