Job Opening

Department/Office: Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
Duty Station: PRETORIA
Posting Period: 16 January 2023 - 14 February 2023
Job Opening Number: 23-Public Information-OHCHR-198256-R-Pretoria (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

This position is located in the Communications and Public Mobilization Section, in the External Outreach Service of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). The incumbent reports to the Regional Representative of the OHCHR Regional Office for Southern Africa.


Within delegated authority, the Public Information Officer will be responsible for the following duties:

In coordination with offices throughout the Southern Africa region and with Headquarters, takes the lead as regional spokesperson principal liaison, representing the Office in TV, radio, and print interviews with local media in countries throughout the region as well as with international media based in the region and elsewhere.

Manages and undertakes other activities to promote media coverage (e.g. press conferences including involving senior officials, press releases, speeches, Q&As, talking points, interviews, press seminars, and other special activities) of priority issues and/or major events in the Southern Africa region, initiates and leads pro-active media outreach efforts, proposes and arranges press conferences/media coverage and disseminates materials, in close coordination and consultation with the Media Section on approaches/story angles, understanding OHCHR’s achievements and objectives.

Develops strategic partnerships and sustains professional relationships with journalists and other key external constituencies. Conducts or manages media training for senior staff and other public information officers in the region.

Identifies the need for, and manages the production of specific types (e.g. print, broadcast, digital, etc.) of communications products and content (e.g. feature articles, human-interest stories, social media content and posts, booklets, brochures, backgrounders, audio-visual materials, etc.).

Strategizes appropriate medium and target audience, conducts research, prepares production plans, writes, drafts complex materials and revises drafts produced by associate/assistant public information officers, obtains clearances and finalizes texts, edits copy, coordinates design approval and printing procedures, and ensures distribution through the web, social media, and other digital platforms. Ensures accuracy and that the publications conform to the Organization’s information policy and procedures.

Assesses needs and opportunities, develops and implements complex strategies for communications, web and digital media for a region or a major programme area, including social media, audio-visual production, etc.

Manages, coordinates and supports communications campaigns and events in close coordination with the Communications Section in support of OHCHR priorities.

Builds and maintains effective working relationships and communications channels with representatives of United Nations departments, funds, and agencies in the Southern Africa region, to develop ways to implement communications campaigns system-wide, to address specific regional or country-based human rights issues and to incorporate the campaign message and themes into all relevant events and products.

Maintains social media platforms and uses digital technologies to disseminate and promote outreach activities in coordination with the social media team at Headquarters. Stays abreast of the latest digital technologies to enhance advocacy.

Evaluates and reports on media and social media trends and issues in the country and/or region, monitors media statistics, social media and web usage, and adapts content, editorial and outreach priorities accordingly.

Analyses, evaluates and reports on the impact of coverage, undertakes appropriate follow-up actions, and provides advice and expertise to senior management on appropriate action/responses, methods and approaches.

Anticipates and resolves communications/public relations issues/problems.

Keeps the Office website updated regularly. Proactively resolves technical issues, and ensures overall brand coordination with the Web team at Headquarters.

Identifies, establishes, influences and fosters partnerships and collaboration with regional or local media outlets, personalities and celebrities, academia, influencers, etc. to support the Office’s communications activities.

Supervises junior staff and interns.

Performs other related duties as required.


PROFESSIONALISM: Knowledge of the full range of communications approaches, tools, and methodologies essential to planning and executing effective campaign strategies and programmes, e.g. campaign management, media operations, marketing and promotion, audience outreach, and message targeting. Ability to rapidly analyze and integrate diverse information from varied sources. Ability to identify public affairs issues, opportunities, and risks in an international environment. Ability to diplomatically handle sensitive situations with target audiences and cultivate productive relationships, especially with the media. Knowledge of relevant internal policies and business activities/issues. Ability to produce a variety of written and audio-visual 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 audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.

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.


Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in communications, journalism, public relations, international relations, public administration or related field. A first-level university degree in the specified fields of studies, in combination with two additional years of qualifying work experience, may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of seven years of progressively responsible experience in communications, journalism, public information, media relations, international relations, public administration or related area is required.

Experience drafting public information materials (e.g. news articles, opinion pieces, feature stories, press releases, etc.) is required.

Media experience is required.

Experience working with international organizations is desirable.

Experience in the area of human rights is desirable.

Experience working with social media platforms is desirable.

Experience in developing communication strategies and/or campaigns is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official United Nations language is an advantage.


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

Special Notice

Extension of the appointment is subject to extension of the mandate and/or availability of funds.

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.

At the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the recruitment and employment of staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity, with due regard to geographic diversity. All employment decisions are made on the basis of qualifications and organizational needs. The United Nations is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment of mutual respect. The United Nations recruits and employs staff regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, race, religious, cultural and ethnic backgrounds or disabilities. Reasonable accommodation for applicants with disabilities may be provided to support participation in the recruitment process when requested and indicated in the application.

Pursuant to section 7.11 of ST/AI/2012/2/Rev.1, candidates recruited through the young professionals programme who have not served for a minimum of two years in the position of their initial assignment are not eligible to apply to 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.

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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