Public information officer, GPSO, HR service centre, Geneva, P4

DATORE: United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR); United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) - LUOGO: Switzerland (Geneva) - SCADENZA BANDO: 22 May 2014

UNOPS mission is to serve people in need by expanding the ability of the United Nations, governments and other partners to manage projects, infrastructure and procurement in a sustainable and efficient manner. Within these three core areas of expertise, UNOPS provides its partners with advisory, implementation and transactional services, with projects ranging from building schools and hospitals, to procuring goods and services and training local personnel. UNOPS works closely with governments and communities to ensure increased economic, social and environmental sustainability for the projects we support, with a focus on developing national capacity.

Working in some of the world’s most challenging environments, our vision is to advance sustainable implementation practices in development, humanitarian and peacebuilding contexts, always satisfying or surpassing partner expectations. We employ more than 6,000 personnel and on behalf of our partners create thousands more work opportunities in local communities. Through our headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark and a network of offices, we oversee activities in more than 80 countries.

Background Information - Job-specific

Created in December 1999, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) is the designated focal point in the United Nations system for the coordination of disaster reduction and to ensure synergies among the disaster reduction activities of the United Nations and regional organizations and activities in socio-economic and humanitarian fields. Led by the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, UNISDR has over 100 staff located in its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, and 5 regional offices and other field presences. Specifically, UNISDR coordinates international efforts in disaster risk reduction, and guides, monitors and reports on the progress of the implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action; campaigns to create global awareness of disaster risk reduction benefits and empower people to reduce their vulnerability to hazards; advocates for greater investments in disaster risk reduction to protect people's lives and assets, and for increased and informed participation of men and women in reducing disaster risk; and informs and connects people by providing practical services and tools such as PreventionWeb, publications on good practices, and by leading the preparation of the Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction and the organisation of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction.

The incumbent reports to the Chief of Communications of the Advocacy and Outreach Section in the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) based in Geneva.

Functional Responsibilities

The post is in the context of the project to support the preparation of and service the 3rd UN World Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction, which will be organized in Sendai Japan in March 2015.

1) Ensures implementation of information programs for UNISDR, including

- Capturing success stories of the Hyogo Framework for Action implementation

- Safe schools and hospitals

- International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction

- Sasakawa Award and other UNISDR-related awards

- Post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction

- HFA monitoring

- 3rd UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, Global and Regional Platforms

- Global and Regional Assessment Reports

- Regional news management/ editing

- Other related events

and to publicize priority issues and/or major events, taking appropriate follow-up action, and analyzing the outcome.

2) Write copy for UNISDR website news, press releases, draft speeches, and other communication materials as needed.

3) Coordinates with relevant UNISDR staff and provides communications support and advice as required to UNISDR Regional Offices.

4) Provide and coordinate communications support to missions and advocacies of the UN Special Representative of the Secretary General on Disaster Risk Reduction (SRSG) from HQ and the regions

5) Monitors and analyzes current events, public opinion and press, identifies issues and trends, and advises management on appropriate action/responses.

6) Undertakes activities to promote media coverage (e.g. press conferences, interviews, press seminars and other special activities) of priority issues and/or major events, to include development of specific media strategies and action plans along the lines of the UNISDR Communications Strategy, initiating pro-active media outreach efforts, proposing and arranging press conferences/media coverage, disseminating materials and consulting with press on approach/story angle and other information requests, undertaking appropriate follow-up action and analyzing and reporting on the impact of coverage.

7) Initiates and sustains professional relationships with key communications and media constituencies. Coordinate media engagement in Geneva and promotes media engagement by UNISDR Regional Offices in various regions, in particular leading up to UNISDR events, and other communications activities.

8) Produces or oversees production of a specific type or types (e.g. print, broadcast, etc.) of information/ communications products (e.g. press kits, press releases, web news stories, feature articles, speeches, booklets, brochures, backgrounders, etc.), to include proposing topics, undertaking research, determining appropriate medium and target audience, preparing production plans, writing drafts, obtaining clearances and finalizing texts, editing copy, and coordinating design approval, printing procedures and distribution.

9) Prepares, 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 and external publications on request.

10) Acts as focal point on specific issues such as the UNISDR Campaign, monitoring and reporting on developments, responding to inquiries, etc.

11) Support the development of the biennial work plan for the Communications Unit of UNISDR and support in the monitoring of progress against this work plan.

12) Participates in selecting the information transmitted to key constituencies.

13) Provides guidance to, and may supervise, more junior staff.

PROFESSIONALISM: Knowledge of the full range of communication approaches, tools and methodologies essential to planning and executive campaign strategies and programmes e.g. media production, campaign management, media operations, marketing and promotion, audience outreach and message targeting. Ability to work with and coordinate a diverse range of people, including media professionals, and to work with a communications team. An ability to write fast, clean copy is essential to support the expanding readership of the web site and to generate content for social media.

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 the audience. Demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.

TEAMWORK: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals. Solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others. Places team agenda before personal agenda. Supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position. Shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.

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.

Education/Experience/Language requirements

Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in information, journalism or related area. A first level university degree in combination with qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
A minimum of seven years for P4 level, or five years for P3 level of progressively responsible experience in mainstream journalism/ communications and or communications coordination. Experience of working in a creative public relations or marketing role would be an added advantage.
Fluency in English, (both oral and written) is required. Knowledge of other UN languages is an asset.

Contract type, level and duration

Contract type: Fixed Term
Contract level: P4
Contract duration: Initial period of one year, renewable upon satisfactory performance and subject to the availability of the funds

UNISDR reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post
depending on successful candidate’s qualification. Priority consideration will be given to internal candidates and candidates who have passed the National Competitive Recruitment Examination (The United Nations National Competitive Recruitment Examination is a selection process for a permanent position with the United Nations).

For more details about United Nations staff contracts, please follow this link:

Additional Considerations

Please note that the closing date is midnight Copenhagen time (CET)
Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.
Only those candidates that are short-listed for interviews will be notified.
Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
For staff positions UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post
The incumbent is responsible to abide by security policies, administrative instructions, plans and procedures of the UN Security Management System and that of UNOPS.

It is the policy of UNOPS to conduct background checks on all potential recruits/interns.
Recruitment/internship in UNOPS is contingent on the results of such checks.

Contract type
Level: ICS-11 
Initial period of one year, renewable upon satisfactory performance

How to apply

Apply on the UNOPS website.


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