Communications Associate at UN High Commissioner for Refugees

Operational Context:

In line with UNHCR’s regionalization and DER’s communications strategy, the Regional Bureau for Southern Africa (RBSA) is to have its own social media / English editor focal person to increase UNHCR’s visibility in the region and at the international level in media and on social media platforms. To that goal, a Communications Associate will be hired to manage and boost RBSA’s already existing social media platforms as well as to edit web stories and video scripts produced by the content team.

The person will strengthen UNHCR’s presence on social media by amplifying refugees’ voices in Southern Africa through content relating to stories of resilience and hope, integration in a new country, stories of self-reliance, with the aim to capture the attention of a wide audience, including media, donors, politicians and the general public. The Communications Associate will also publicize content material focused on human rights issues and humanitarian needs and challenges through personal stories and UNHCR’s response and/or gaps. The incumbent will exercise analytical oversight over UNHCR social media accounts, providing guidance and support to ensure the growth and strengthening of the agency’s outreach.


  • Manage the existing social media platforms at RBSA such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.
  • Create and manage other potential platforms such as Tik Tok.
  • Repackage global and regional content material for social media audiences and platforms in close collaboration with the video producer and the social media teams in Nairobi and HQ.
  • Work closely with the Senior Communications Officer and the video producer to regularly post content material on RBSA social media platforms.
  • Monitor Southern Africa social media platforms and manage comments by viewers on these accounts.
  • Contribute to create emotive storytelling to generate empathy and mobilize action by signposting concrete steps people can take to help refugees (e.g. digital diplomacy, action-driven campaigns, fundraising).
  • Identify conversations on global social media platforms on issues related to UNHCR’s mandate worldwide and more specifically on Southern Africa.
  • Repackage material and post on RBSA platforms if appropriate.
  • Create, draft texts and schedule items in English for RBSA social media platforms.
  • Support the creation and management of social media platforms in national offices in Southern Africa.
  • Train Public Information focal points in the region to manage their country social media accounts as well as to populate them.
  • Train Senior Management in the region to develop personal Twitter accounts and to populate them.
  • Analyse and publish social media trends on humanitarian and refugee crises in the Southern African region.
  • Help identify thematic priorities and target audiences to meet UNHCR’s global, regional and country-level communications objectives of leading the narrative, generating empathy and mobilizing action for forcibly displaced and stateless people.
  • Help forge strategic partnerships with individuals and organizations who can help produce and promote UNHCR content, activities and messaging as well as provide research insights to improve communications; promote the work of engaged businesses and civil society actors.
  • Create emotive storytelling to generate empathy (e.g. stories, multimedia content) and mobilize action by signposting concrete steps people can take to help refugees (e.g. digital diplomacy, action-driven campaigns, fundraising).
  • Help ensure that content created reaches maximum impact by supporting the development of strategies for distribution from the outset, boosting the visibility of our content on relevant UNHCR channels and placing it on external channels.
  • Help monitor the implementation of communications projects and adjust accordingly.
  • Assist in research, preparation, editing and production of professional media and communications materials for target audiences and ensure their timely dissemination via UNHCR’s communications channels, ensuring highest quality standards.
  • Continually maintain and upgrade communications skills, keeping abreast of emerging platforms and tools, and systematically reviewing media impact results and other measurement tools for learning purposes.

Education & Professional Work Experience
Years of Experience / Degree Level:
▪ 3 years relevant experience with High School Diploma; or 2 years relevant work experience with Bachelor or equivalent or higher.

Relevant Job Experience:
▪ Strong knowledge of all main social media platforms and on how to engage with more followers. Strong knowledge of Adobe Creative Cloud applications, especially Photoshop and Adobe Premier Pro.
▪ Excellent computer skills and knowledge of MS Office applications. Excellent drafting skills.
▪ Studies in Communications, including social media.
▪ Social media experience minimum, writing and editing stories, preferably with the private sector, UN agency or media outlets.
▪ Excellent written English. Excellent writing ability. Editorial judgement.
▪ Creativity, strong sense of initiative, capacity and will to learn new digital technologies.
▪ Ability to deliver and work under tight deadlines.
▪ Organizational and problem-solving skills.
▪ Ability to work in an international environment.

Functional Skills:
▪ MS-Drafting, Documentation, Data Presentation
▪ CO-International Media Contacts
▪ CO-Journalism (incl. print, broadcast, photography, video, layout & graphics)
▪ ER-Digital channels including social media, website, mobile, email and online advertising
▪ CO-Video production for digital platforms (including news organizations)
▪ CO-Web publishing and content management
▪ CO-Editing
▪ CO-Digital content production
(Functional Skills marked with an asterisk* are essential)

Language Requirements:
Knowledge of English and/or UN working language of the duty station if not English.

Competency requirements:
Core Competencies
▪ Accountability
▪ Communication
▪ Organizational Awareness
▪ Teamwork & Collaboration
▪ Commitment to Continuous Learning
▪ Client & Result Orientation

Cross-Functional Competencies
▪ Analytical Thinking
▪ Innovation and Creativity
▪ Political Awareness

External candidates: External candidates must meet the essential minimum requirements of the position and candidates not citizens of the country must comply with all eligibility requirements for employment in line with the prevailing legislative prerequisites in the country.

A competitive compensation and benefits package is offered. For information on UN salaries, allowances and benefits, please visit the portal of the International Civil Service Commission at:

How to apply

Submission of Applications:

▪ Applicants are invited to apply online and complete the mandatory motivation letter. For help with logging in to the MSRP External Portal, or with online applications, please contact the HR Unit well before the deadline to allow sufficient time for any technical problem to be resolved. External vacancies are posted on the external UNHCR website – – Careers – Career opportunities – Other Opportunities – Vacancies – sort by Location or search by Job Opening number.
▪ Not signed, incomplete and late applications will not be accepted. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. Shortlisted candidates will be required to sit for a written test and/or oral interview. UNHCR does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview, processing or any other fees).
▪ The evaluation of applicants will be conducted based on the information submitted during the application. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications. 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.
▪ UNHCR strongly encourages qualified female applicants to apply. UNHCR seeks to ensure that male and female employees are given equal career opportunities. UNHCR is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms gender, disability, marital or civil partnership status, race, color or ethnic and national origins, religion or belief, or sexual orientation. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidentiality.
▪ UNHCR has a zero-tolerance policy against Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA). SEA is unacceptable behavior and prohibited conduct for UNHCR personnel. It constitutes acts of serious misconduct and is therefore grounds for disciplinary measures, including dismissal. Any concerns or suspicions about a possible case of SEA should be reported immediately to the Inspector General’s Office (IGO) at or through the online complain form at or by confidential fax: +41 22 739 73 80.
▪ For any technical problems encountered during the online application, please send an email to the below email address titled “Online VA Query-your name and surname”. Human Resources Pretoria RSARBHR@UNHCR.ORG

The closing date for submission of applications is 19 May 2021, midnight Geneva time.

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