ASSOCIATE PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER
ASSOCIATE PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER
Posting Title : ASSOCIATE PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER (National Information Officer, NOB), NOB
Job Code Title : ASSOCIATE PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER
Department/ Office : Department of Global Communications
Location : PRETORIA
Posting Period : 11 May 2023 – 10 June 2023
Job Opening number : 23-PUB-DGC-208890-R-PRETORIA (N)
Staffing Exercise : N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
Org. Setting and Reporting
This position is located in the United Nations Information Centre in Pretoria (UNIC Pretoria), within the Information Centres Service (ICS) of the Campaigns and Country Operations Division (CCOD) of the Department of Global Communications (DGC).
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The UNIC is part of the global network of United Nations Information Centres (UNICs), and UNIC Pretoria is the principal source of information about the United Nations system in South Africa. The UNIC is responsible for promoting public understanding and support for the aims and activities of the United Nations by communicating about its work and disseminating UN information materials to a local audience in English and local languages; engaging local and regional partners; and, overall, bringing the United Nations closer to the people it serves.
The UNIC Pretoria has been integrated with the Resident Coordinator Office (RCO) in South Africa since the operationalization of the United Nations development system reform on 1 January 2019, with the Resident Coordinator, who leads the overall work of the United Nations team on the ground, as the designated representative of the Secretary-General for development at the country level and the highest ranking official at the duty station.
The incumbent reports directly to the UNIC Director under the overall supervision of the Chief of ICS.
Within delegated authority, the incumbent is responsible for the following duties:
- In line with the Global Communications Strategy of the United Nations and the UN and UN country team (UNCT) branding strategy, supports the development and implementation of country-wide strategic communications campaigns and activities targeted to local audiences, adapting and localizing global communications and advocacy priorities promoting the work of the United Nations.
- Provides substantive support in designing, implementing and monitoring the UN joint communications strategy aligned to the Global UN Communications strategy and based on the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF), a key instrument for planning and implementing UN development activities in the country, in support of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
- Supports UNIC’s leading role on communications issues within the UNCT by convening and/or serving as the secretariat for the United Nations Communications Group (UNCG) at the country level in consultation with the UNIC Director, SCD senior managers at UNHQ, the Resident Coordinator and the RCO.
- Provides substantive support on potential issues, concerns and risks related to communications and advocacy, and suggests corrective actions.
- In collaboration with the UN Communications Group and the UN Programme Management Team (or equivalent), and in coordination with the RCO team responsible for data management and results reporting, contributes to the annual communications plan to publicize and communicate results with a focus on the UN’s development impact.
- Supports the development of multimedia communications products as well as digital and social media products and activities in multiple languages.
- Maintains the integrated UNCT website and social media accounts in English and local languages, in line with UN Secretariat governance mechanisms, including those related to information security and using up-to-date social media platforms and web practices.
- Contributes to identify, adapt, and institute use of communications tools with innovative approaches and keeps pace with emerging technology to garner largest outreach and effectiveness of UN communications.
- Drafts, at a high-quality level, in English and local languages, various print and digital communication products, as well as engage in public speaking with media, partners and local interlocutors.
- Monitors and analyzes current events, public opinion and press coverage in the work region, identifying issues and trends, advising on appropriate action/responses.
- Conducts media outreach, including development of media strategies and action plans, initiating pro-active media outreach efforts; maintains contacts with national and regional media in South Africa, disseminates information materials to the media, places op-eds and arranges interviews, organizes press conferences and briefings, monitors press coverage of UN issues; consults with press on approach/story angle and other information requests, undertakes appropriate follow-up action and analyses and reports on the impact of coverage.
- Initiates and sustains proactive professional relationships with key constituencies and partners at the national and regional level and undertakes joint strategic activities with them; plans and facilitates dialogues with partners to improve public engagement and participatory approaches to increase understanding about the UN’s work in South Africa.
- Conducts educational outreach activities, including the engagement with Model United Nations conferences and organizing public-speaking opportunities at local educational institutions with support from and/or the participation of the UNIC Director, the UN Resident Coordinator and/or the UN Country Team.
- Supports the UNIC Director in the day-to-day running of UNIC Pretoria, including in the administration of the UNIC, the planning and management of the UNIC’s overall activities and its operational requirements, as well as in monitoring the output of the UNIC and reporting to DGC and RCO on a monthly, quarterly, annual and ad hoc basis; may serve as a direct supervisor for some UNIC staff.
- Performs other functions and special duties, as required by the UNIC Director and DGC senior management as well as by the Resident Coordinator, including providing crisis communications support; representing the UN at conferences; undertaking speaking engagements; participating in seminars; coordinating and drafting op-eds, speeches and interviews including for the Resident Coordinator.
PROFESSIONALISM: Demonstrated knowledge of communications techniques, including audience-focused strategic communications and crisis communications; proven ability to implement effective media campaigns and to develop traditional and digital media products and activities targeting the media; ability to identify communications opportunities and problems and to articulate these to clients. Ability to advise on communications challenges, assess communications environments, develop communications strategies, and manage implementation of communications campaigns in South Africa with various promotional techniques. Ability to make decisions with an eye to the impact on others and on the Organization and to apply rules, regulations, policies and guidelines in work situations.
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.
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.
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.
An advanced university degree (Master’s or Doctorate degree, or equivalent) in communications, journalism, public information or a related field is required. A first-level degree (Bachelor’s degree or equivalent) in the specified fields of studies with two additional years of relevant work experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
Job Specific Qualifications
A minimum of two years of progressively responsible experience, including experience in managing contacts and networking with the media, non-governmental organizations, government officials, international and national organizations, business groups, civil society, etc. in South Africa is required.
Experience in strategic communications, crisis communications and/or developing and implementing multimedia communications campaigns is required.
Experience working in/or with traditional and digital media is required.
Experience in public speaking to diverse audiences (e.g. general public, Government officials, special interest groups) is desirable.
Experience in journalism is desirable.
Experience working with the United Nations or a comparable international organization is desirable.
English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of other official United Nations languages is desirable.
Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which will be followed by competency-based interview.
National Professional Officers (NPO) or National Officers (NO) are nationals of the country in which they are serving, and their functions must have a national context, i.e. functions that require national experience or knowledge of the national language, culture, institutions, and systems.
This is an NPO/NO position located in South African (Pretoria). Only candidates with South African nationality are eligible to apply to this position.
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.
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.
Reasonable accommodation may be provided to applicants with disabilities upon request, to support their participation in the recruitment process.
The paramount consideration in the appointment, transfer, or promotion of staff shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. By accepting an offer of appointment, United Nations staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and assignment by him or her to any activities or offices of the United Nations in accordance with staff regulation 1.2 (c). In this context, all internationally recruited staff members shall be required to move periodically to discharge new functions within or across duty stations under conditions established by the Secretary-General.
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. INSPIRA: Candidate Experience (un.org)
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.
THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CHARGE A FEE AT ANY STAGE OF THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS (APPLICATION, INTERVIEW MEETING, PROCESSING, OR TRAINING). THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CONCERN ITSELF WITH INFORMATION ON APPLICANTS’ BANK ACCOUNTS.