Job Opening

Posting Title: Planning and Coordination Officer – Crisis Communication, P4, P4 (Temporary Job Opening)
Department/Office: Resident Coordinator System
Posting Period: 11 April 2022 - 25 April 2022
Job Opening Number: 22-Public Information-RCS-179126-J-Ouagadougou (X)
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
Sorry, this job opening is no longer available.

Org. Setting and Reporting

Under the guidance and direct supervision of the Chief of Business Management Branch and functional guidance to the Chief Communications and Results Reporting Section, the planning and coordination officer- crisis communication will be responsible for advising and coordinating with the RCO/UN Country Team (UNCT) on strategic and to crisis communications and advocacy related to the UN response and aligned to the UN communications strategy. S/he anticipates and resolves communications, strategic public engagement issues, to include the provision of an effective crisis communications support and surge capacity mechanism in the country. S/he contributes to the promotion and positioning of the UNCT, generating content that can be used in the country and beyond, the host country through human interest stories, social media strategy and expert media placements at national and international levels.

The incumbent is responsible for maintaining close collaboration with UN Communications Group (UNCG) and UNCT members, along with government officials, technical advisors and experts, multi-lateral and bi-lateral donors and civil society to ensure successful implementation of the UNCT communications goals. The position also maintains a close working relationship with the United Nations Department of Global Communications (DGC), including the Communications Officer in the DCO Regional Office. The Planning and Coordination Officer – Crisis Communications is expected to undertake frequent deployments to RCOs (up to three months each time) and travel within short notice (up to 5 days) to provide surge capacity support to priority crisis-affected RCOs in a specific region or globally, as required.

This temporary job opening is located in DCO’s Resident Coordinator’s Office, Burkina Faso.


1. Planning and coordination of UNCT strategic and crisis communications
- Advises the Resident Coordinator (RC) and the UNCT in identifying risks and opportunities related to specific partnerships, reputational risks or crises around sensitive issues, and suggests corrective measures as relevant.

- Designs, implements, adjusts and monitors crisis communications strategies in the event of an emergency for the UN to speak in one strong voice, reflecting the complex, sensitive and fluid context and fully aligned with existing UN coordination mechanisms, such as the Management and Accountability Framework, humanitarian coordination architecture and other relevant country and regional frameworks.

- Drafts core messaging, “if asked” lines, press releases, speeches, social media posts and quotes of senior officials in support of the RC and UNCT, and supports UNCT members to align their agency-specific messages and formulate the “whole of the UN” common messages with a joint UN statement.

- Establishes a message clearance process in consultation with the RC, UNCT and chair of the UNCG and ensures that a set of common messages is regularly updated and approved in a timely manner.

- In coordination with the UNCG, provides the RC and UNCT with needed substantive support in both internal and external communications, including to position the work of the UN team on the ground.

- Designs, implements and evaluates a plan to strategically engage with media outlets and other stakeholders in the country to improve the perception of the UN and deepen the understanding of the UN’s mandated activities.

- Plans and implements communications campaigns with the support of the UNCG and potentially the Humanitarian Communications Group, with customized messages for digital platforms as well as offline activities alongside convincing visual elements. Careful consideration must be given to the contents and methods of the campaign to preempt potential repercussions toward the UN.

- In close coordination with the RC, may act as spokesperson.

- Liaises with UN communications colleagues at national, regional and international levels, sharing information as needed. Coordinates with OCHA and the Humanitarian Communications Group and with Special Political Mission/Peacekeeping Mission public information officers, where applicable.

- Prepares briefing papers and discussion points, speeches, statements, articles, op-eds, human interest stories and presentations as necessary on issues related to advocacy on the recovery/reconstruction and development policies for consideration by RC/UNCT.

- Facilitates substantive support for digital communications strategies, coordinating efforts, monitoring and reporting progress, taking appropriate follow-up action and analyzing the outcome.

- Monitors traditional and social media landscape to assess the scope of the local/regional/sub-regional situation, as applicable, also closely monitoring the UN’s reputation to advise the UNCT’s social media strategy, and to assess the scale and impact of online disinformation, misinformation and hate speech.

- Provides the communication officers in the country with guidance, direct technical support, coaching and training as required, as well as ensuring quality control of editorial content in online and offline channels

- Guides the design and execution of innovative proposals to position the UNCT's work with a range of stakeholders boosting support to secure gains and advance on the SDGs.

- Plans, leads and manages public engagement on the UN's role and work in country, including through programme visits showcasing the UN's development impact.

- Undertakes activities to promote media coverage (e.g. press conferences, interviews, press conference and other special activities) of priority issues and/or major events, to include development of a media strategy and action plan.

- Develops and maintains close working relationships with the media, including editors and journalists in key national and international news outlets; develops, maintains and updates media relations contact list/database.

- Provides analysis of the media and recommendations on potential outreach and partnership opportunities, public messaging and UN brand positioning, projecting the UN's image effectively and accurately as well as promoting transparency and accountability, in accordance with UN regulations and procedures.

- Performs other tasks as needed.

2. Joint Advocacy and Communications for the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF)
- Advises the RC/UNCT on developing and implementing locally tailored innovative advocacy and communication strategies and initiatives, focused on ensuring effective communications about the work of the UNCT to deliver development results tailored to the complex and conflict-affected context.

- Plans and facilitates dialogues with partners to improve public engagement and participatory approach to UNSDCF implementation and monitoring, reflecting the views and priorities of people, including those left farthest behind.

- Provides guidance on the development and implementation of the UN Joint Communication Strategy in alignment with and support of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for SDGs and the UNSDCF, aligned to the UN's Global Communications Strategy, making sure messages are clearly tailored to target audiences in using the appropriate channels.

- Coordinates the monitoring and assessment of the joint communication strategy at regular intervals to harness new emerging opportunities, to anticipate changes to the internal direction and external environment, and to make mid-term adjustments.


- Professionalism: Knowledge of different aspects of public information and communication, particularly towards the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the region. Ability to address a range of issues in the context of political developments, public attitudes and local conditions. Ability to conceptualize, design and implement major communication campaigns with traditional and social media components. Ability to rapidly analyze and integrate diverse information from varied sources. Ability to diplomatically handle sensitive situations with target audiences and cultivate productive relationships. 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.

- 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.

- Client Orientation: Considers all those to whom services are provided to be "clients" and seeks to see things from clients' point of view; establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect; identifies clients' needs and matches them to appropriate solutions; monitors ongoing developments inside and outside the clients' environment to keep informed and anticipate problems; keeps clients informed of progress or setbacks in projects; meets timeline for delivery of products or services to client.

Managerial Competency:
- Judgement/Decision-making: Identifies the key issues in a complex situation, and comes to the heart of the problem quickly; gathers relevant information before making a decision; considers positive and negative impacts of decisions prior to making them; takes decisions with an eye to the impact on others and on the Organization; proposes a course of action or makes a recommendation based on all available information; checks assumptions against facts; determines the actions proposed will satisfy the expressed and underlying needs for the decision; makes tough decisions when necessary.


Advanced university degree (Master's degree or equivalent degree) in communication, journalism, international relations or related area. 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 seven years of progressively responsible experience in strategic and crisis communications and advocacy in the context of international development is required.

A minimum of two years of experience working in a crisis context is required.

A minimum of two years of experience managing resources, including personnel and/or budget, to support communications and advocacy activities in a local context, is required.

Experience in drafting press releases, news articles and human-interest stories in a crisis setting is desirable.

Experience as spokesperson in an international organization is desirable.

Experience gained in an international environment is desirable.


English and French are the two working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this post, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another UN official language is an advantage. Knowledge of local language in specific crisis contexts may be desirable.

NOTE: "Fluency equals a rating of "fluent" in all four areas (read, write, speak, understand) and "Knowledge of" equals a rating of "confident" in two of the four areas


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

Special Notice

• This position is temporarily available for an initial period of 6 months. Extension of appointment is subject to the availability of funds. If the selected candidate is a staff member from the United Nations Secretariat, the selection will be administered as a temporary assignment.

• While this temporary assignment may provide the successful applicant with an opportunity to gain new work experience, the selection for this position is for a limited period and has no bearing on the future incumbency of the post.

• Subject to the funding source of the position, the eligibility for this temporary job opening may be limited to candidates based at the duty station.

• This temporary job opening may be limited to “internal candidates,” who have been recruited through a competitive examination administered according to staff rule 4.16 or staff selection process including the review of a central review body established according to staff rule 4.15.

• Staff members of the United Nations common system organizations who will reach the mandatory age of separation or retirement within the duration of the current temporary need period are not eligible to apply.Submitting an application or selection for the current temporary job opening does not delay or increase the mandatory age of separation.

• Retirees above the mandatory age of separation who wish to be considered for the current temporary job opening must indicate the reason for their last separation as "retirement." Such retirees shall not be employed by the Organization, unless (a) the operational requirements of the Organization cannot be met by staff members who are qualified and available to perform the required functions; and (b) the proposed employment would not adversely affect the career development or redeployment opportunities of other staff members and represents both a cost-effective and operationally sound solution to meet the needs of the service.

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.

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.

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


Sorry, this job opening is no longer available.
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