International / Multinational

National Public Information Officer at United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA)

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) is the part of the United Nations Secretariat responsible for bringing together humanitarian actors to ensure a coherent response to emergencies. OCHA also ensures there is a framework within which each actor can contribute to the overall response effort.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: National Public Information Officer

Job ID: 32816
Location: Abuja, Nigeria
Practice Area – Job Family: Crisis Prevention and Recovery – Public Information
Grade: NOA
Vacancy Type: FTA Local
Posting Type: Common System
Contract Duration: 1 Year with possibility for extension


  • This position is located in the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Abuja, Nigeria. The Public Information Officer reports to the Head of Public Information and Spokesperson for the Humanitarian Coordinator. OCHA is the part of the United Nations Secretariat responsible for bringing together humanitarian actors to tackle the most pressing humanitarian crises, and do whatever it takes to help humanitarians save lives.
  • The Public Information Officer needs to possess excellent written and spoken communications skills and a good understanding of media practices in Nigeria. Experience with social media tools and platforms, or experience in storytelling will be relevant assets.
  • OCHA works to ensure humanitarians have the knowledge, funds and resources they need to deliver vital assistance. OCHA ensures there is a framework within which each actor can contribute to the overall response effort.
  • Communicating current, reliable information from the field to various audiences is the focus of the public information unit, as well as advocacy and supporting donor relations. Using information and communicating strategically in order to achieve the organization’s objectives, requires technical skills, professional knowledge, creativity, good judgement and resourcefulness. Because communications activities vary greatly in the field, the job also calls for a pragmatic and dynamic approach.

Duties and Responsibilities
Communications coordination:

  • The Public Information Officer will support other team members in coordinating communications that reflect the interests and efforts of the whole humanitarian community.
  • Provide secretarial support to the Humanitarian Communications Working Group (HCWG) by facilitating and managing the HCWG activities including meeting schedules, follow-up on action points, drafting minutes of meetings, and dissemination of key information to ensure a coordinated approach to humanitarian response.
  • Support the development of country-level messaging under the guidance of the Head of Unit
  • Contribute to the development and implementation of joint communications strategies in coordination with senior leadership and key stakeholders around priority advocacy issues
  • Clarify agency, cluster, NGO and other system focal points for communications and maintaining contact lists
  • Support a fluid flow of information and shared analysis of developments in the country/region, including tracking trends and sharing reports with HQ, and key partners.
  • Facilitate engagements with key actors including relevant ministries, NEMA, SEMA, military high command and other stakeholders to ease national and international media access to operational areas to promote visibility of the crisis and response activities of the UN and partners
  • Organize or support joint media field trips, press events, interviews and other outreach initiatives
  • Work with partners on advocacy initiatives to ensure coherence of coverage.

Media Relations:
Communications Officers promote media coverage at local, regional and global levels

  • Monitor and analyze current events, public opinion and press, identify issues and trends, and support the Head of Unit in advising the RC/HC, the DHC and OCHA Head of Office on media developments and approaches for media relations
  • Build and maintain relationship with national and international media to promote visibility of the humanitarian situation including the gaps and response activities of humanitarian partners
  • Build and update contact lists of leading national and international media agencies and influencers
  • Write public statements, press releases and op-eds
  • Arrange materials and logistics for press briefings and ensuring full participation of leading media agencies at press briefings; and moderate press briefings whenever required
  • Follow up to ensure wide and accurate dissemination of OCHA press releases/reports in national and international media;
  • Arrange interviews and briefings for high level delegations with leading media;
  • Organize regular meetings for humanitarian leadership with editors of leading national media to promote understanding and visibility of key issues relating to the crisis and response
  • Organize regular media dialogues to promote understanding and reporting on the crisis by national media providers.
  • Support the Public Information Head of Unit in representing OCHA and the RC/HC or DHC and in providing on-the-record information to journalists and media
  • Produce and disseminate media materials such as press kits, Q&As, background briefings
  • Organize strategic media coverage of key issues and events, including support for high-level missions
  • Conduct regular media monitoring.

Content Production:

  • The Public Information Officer develops and disseminates quality communications material to broaden public awareness of priority humanitarian issues and response and the role of OCHA
  • Make regular field trips to interact and collate information from multiple sources including partners and affected populations
  • Facilitate missions for national and international media agencies to ensure global visibility for the crisis and response.
  • Propose ideas and support the production of text-based materials including feature articles, blogs, opinion pieces and explainers
  • Prepare, on the basis of official UN documentation and other sources, initial drafts of articles or chapters for inclusion in UN newsletters, periodicals, reports and books.
  • Support the production or commissioning of quality visual content including photos, photo galleries (with captions), infographics, social media graphics and films
  • Manage local-language translations of key communications materials
  • Work closely with OCHA information officers (reporting, information management) to leverage available information for public communications
  • Under the guidance of the Head of Unit, support other units in editing, proofreading, producing and disseminating various OCHA products and information.

Digital Media:

  • The Public Information Officer supports the development and maintenance of OCHA web platforms and social media initiatives.
  • Open/maintain relevant social media accounts at country level
  • Plan and coordinate engaging social content, including awareness-raising campaigns
  • Identify new opportunities and innovative ways to continually engage supporters and/or improve the perception of aid workers
  • Monitor social media initiatives by other UN agencies, non-profit organizations at country level, Governments and other stakeholders, and look for opportunities to collaborate, including with opinion influencers
  • Liaise and work with graphic designers as needed to produce visuals and infographics for use in social media campaigns
  • Produce written, photo and audio-visual stories and other content and publish on relevant platforms.

Corporate Communications:

  • The Public Information Officer supports internal and HQ-led communications activities
  • Conduct daily reporting and develop humanitarian updates whenever necessary
  • Collect, collate and analyze information on key humanitarian, security and political issues from multiple sources including sub-offices, media reports, policy documents from government and reports from partners to update senior leadership and headquarters on key developments in the operational context.
  • Ensure coherence between country-level communications initiatives and OCHA Communications Strategy
  • Propose story ideas, undertake research and source material for OCHA corporate communications
  • Support HQ communication, advocacy and media relations activities
  • Provide content for OCHA corporate web platforms and other products
  • Promote and implement OCHA corporate campaigns and initiatives such as the World Humanitarian Day (19 August) at field level with local partners, media, creative community and humanitarian stakeholders
  • Promote the visibility of the Nigeria Humanitarian Fund and support advocacy, resource mobilization and donor visibility efforts.
  • Support corporate fundraising and marketing
  • Contribute to drafting, editing and providing inputs for donor reporting and resource mobilization efforts
  • Support efforts to highlight the value-added role of OCHA to Member States as well as the media and the public, in support of fundraising and brand awareness and visibility of OCHA.

Communications Capacity:

  • The Public Information Officer ensures communications activities support the overall humanitarian response
  • Provide support in organizing training, seminars and workshops to build writing/reporting capacity of colleagues and partners
  • Perform any other tasks assigned by the supervisor and/or the Head of Office.

Impact of Results:

  • Contribute to strong and analytical communications products through good research and analysis of assigned topics, and through well-reasoned written contributions, effective and timely liaison and interaction with colleagues and concerned parties internally and externally.
  • Play a strategic role in identifying trends related to humanitarian issues. Develop innovative approaches to deal with technical reporting issues.
  • Ensure timely high-quality delivery of outputs, in accordance with overall objectives and policies.
  • Serve as an effective spokesperson and form strong partnerships with humanitarian actors to help meet OCHA’s objectives with respect to overall policy initiatives and coordination of humanitarian and emergency assistance.

Required Skills and Experience

  • A Master’s degree or equivalent in International Relations, Communications, Journalism or a related field or;
  • A first-level university degree with relevant academic qualifications with a combination of 4 years of relevant work experience may exceptionally be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Experience and Aptitude:

  • Minimum of two years of relevant professional experience, preferably in humanitarian/development reporting and communications work.
  • Good team player and ability to work under pressure to meet deadlines.
  • Willingness and ability to travel to north-east Nigeria.
  • Ability to work with initiative (minimum supervision), efficiency, competence, integrity and people of different national backgrounds.
  • Candidates with experience working in media and/or reporting greatly preferred.
  • Excellent communication, drafting and analytical skills, with attention to detail.

Language Requirements:

  • Fluency in oral and written English required.
  • Fluency in oral and written Hausa will be an asset.

Functional Competencies:

Preparing information for advocacy:

  • Identifies and communicates relevant information for a variety of audiences for advocating UN’s priorities
  • Maintains a functioning network of contacts with a variety of stakeholders to promote a better understanding of OCHA’s work and to support advocacy efforts

Building Strategic Partnerships:
Maintaining a network of contacts:

  • Maintains an established network of contacts for general information sharing and to remain up-to-date on partnership related issues
  • Analyzes and selects materials for strengthening strategic alliances with partners and stakeholders.

Promoting Organizational Learning and Knowledge Sharing:
Basic research and analysis:

  • Documents and analyses innovative strategies and new approaches
  • Innovation and Marketing New Approaches.

Enhancing processes or products:

  • Generates new ideas and proposes new, more effective ways of doing things
  • Documents and analyses innovative strategies/best practices/new approaches.

Job Knowledge / Technical Expertise
Fundamental knowledge of own discipline:

  • Understands and applies fundamental concepts and principles of a professional discipline or technical specialty relating to the position
  • Possesses basic knowledge of organizational policies and procedures relating to the position and applies them consistently in work tasks
  • Strives to keep job knowledge up-to-date through self-directed study and other means of learning
  • Demonstrates good knowledge of information technology and applies it in work assignments
  • Demonstrates in-depth understanding and knowledge of the current.

Client Orientation:
Establishing effective client relationships:

  • Researches potential solutions to internal and external client needs and reports back in a timely, succinct and appropriate fashion
  • Organizes and prioritizes work schedule to meet client needs and deadlines
  • Establishes, builds and sustains effective relationships within the work unit and with internal and external clients.

Core Competencies:

  • Demonstrating/safeguarding ethics and integrity
  • Demonstrate corporate knowledge and sound judgment
  • Self-development, initiative-taking
  • Acting as a team player and facilitating team work
  • Facilitating and encouraging open communication in the team, communicating effectively
  • Creating synergies through self-control
  • Managing conflict
  • Learning and sharing knowledge and encourage the learning of others. Promoting learning and knowledge management/sharing is the responsibility of each staff member.
  • Informed and transparent decision making.

Deadline: 11th October, 2020.

How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply online

Important Applicant Information / Notice

  • Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply
  • UNDP reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement.  We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNDP at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.
  • UNDP is committed to achieving diversity within its workforce, and encourages all qualified applicants, irrespective of gender, nationality, disabilities, sexual orientation, culture, religious and ethnic backgrounds to apply. All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence.
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