Work as a National Public Information Assistant at UNOCHA

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) is the part of the United Nations Secretariat responsible for bringing together humanitarian actors to ensure a coherent response to emergencies. OCHA also ensures there is a framework within which each actor can contribute to the overall response effort.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: National Public Information Assistant

Job ID: 15547
Location: Abuja, Nigeria
Grade: SB3
Vacancy Type: FTA Local
Contract Duration: 1 Year with possibility for extension


  • Humanitarian needs in north-east Nigeria have grown enormously since mid-2014, when attacks by Boko Haram became more frequent and intense. According to the National Emergency Management Agency, there are nearly 1.5 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in six north-eastern states as a result of the insurgency
  • OCHA’s role is to support humanitarian actors to ensure that relief assistance reaches the people who are in need in a timely and effective manner
  • OCHA’s support includes reporting on the humanitarian situation and raising awareness on humanitarian needs and gaps in the provision of assistance.

In 2018, OCHA will continue to:

  • Advocate for access to basic services, especially water, sanitation, education and health for vulnerable communities, including the collection, analysis and dissemination of information to humanitarian partners, and negotiation of access.
  • Support the government efforts and humanitarian organizations in relocation of the IDPs and their returnees.
  • Coordinate the implementation of humanitarian response in Nigeria with UN agencies and programmes, national and international NGOs and local authorities/communities as appropriate, with focus on strengthening coordination.
  • Enhance a protective environment that respects the human rights of all, including IDPs, returnees and minority clans.
  • The Public Information Assistant will focus most on reporting under the direct supervision of the Public Officer.

Duties and Responsibilities
Internal/External Weekly Report to ROWCA:

  • Collecting and collating inputs from field offices/units and drafting reports for the country office (feeding into the regional products) to ensure visibility of key issues, activities and events including political, humanitarian and security developments related to the humanitarian situation and response
  • Frequency – Weekly

Daily Operational Update to Coordination and Response Division CRD:

  • Collecting, collating and analyzing information on key humanitarian, security and political issues from multiple sources including sub-offices, media reports, policy documents from government and reports from partners to update the CRD (in NY and Geneva) on key developments in the operational context. Frequency – Daily.

Media Relations:

  • Building and maintaining relationship with national and international media to promote visibility of the humanitarian situation including the gaps and response activities of humanitarian partners
  • Building and updating contact list of leading national and international media agencies
  • Arranging materials and logistics for press  briefings and ensuring full participation of leading media agencies at press briefings
  • Following up to ensure wide and accurate dissemination of OCHA press releases/reports in national and international media
  • Arranging interviews and briefings for high level delegations with leading media
  • Organizing regular meetings for the Humanitarian Coordinator with editors of leading national media to promote understanding and visibility of key issues relating to the crisis and response
  • Organizing regular media dialogues to promote understanding and reporting on the crisis by national media providers.

Situation Awareness:

  • Monitoring the media (national and international), reports and policy documents (from partners and government) to collate information on key political, humanitarian and security developments that have implications for humanitarian operations
  • Timely flagging and dissemination of key information to guide and advise colleagues/managers on appropriate actions based on peculiar understanding of the context

Regular Field Trips to Facilitate Media Missions/Collate Information for Reports:

  • Making regular field trips to interact and collate information from multiple sources including partners and affected populations (for reports, daily operational/regional updates etc.) and facilitating missions for national and international media agencies to ensure global visibility for the crisis and response.

Secretarial Support to the Humanitarian Communications Working Group (HCWG):

  • Facilitating and managing the HCWG activities including meeting schedules, follow-up on action points, drafting minutes of meetings, and dissemination of key information to ensure a coordinated approach to humanitarian response.

Liaising with Key Stakeholders to Facilitate Media Access to Operational Areas:

  • Facilitating and supporting engagements with key actors including NEMA, SEMA, ministry of information, military high command and other stakeholders to ease national and international media access to operational areas to promote visibility of the crisis and response activities of the UN and partners.

Support to Information Management Unit on Information Products:

  • The PIA drafts texts, based on contemporary humanitarian issues, to support IM products including situation overview and dashboards, displacement and incident snapshots and IDP profiles.
  • Support to Desk Officer on information gathering/clarification: Handling enquiries and requests to bridge gap between NY desk and country office with the overall aim of promoting visibility of the context at strategic levels.
  • Support to capacity building training for colleagues and partners: The PIA provides support in organizing training, seminars and workshops to build writing/reporting capacity of colleagues and partners.

Inputs for Social Media:

  • The PIA stands in for the PIO when s/he is on leave

Performs any other tasks assigned by the supervisor and/or the Head of Office.

Impact of Results

  • Contribute to strong and analytical communications products through good research and analysis of assigned topics, and through well-reasoned written contributions, effective and timely liaison and interaction with colleagues and concerned parties internally and externally. Play a strategic role in identifying trends related to humanitarian issues
  • Develop innovative approaches to deal with technical reporting issues. Ensure timely high-quality delivery of outputs, in accordance with overall objectives and policies
  • Serve as an effective spokesperson and form strong partnerships with humanitarian actors to help meet OCHA’s objectives with respect to overall policy initiatives and coordination of humanitarian and emergency assistance.

Functional Competencies:

  • Preparing information for advocacy
  • Identifies and communicates relevant information for a variety of audiences for advocating UN’s priorities
  • Maintains a functioning network of contacts with a variety of stakeholders to promote a better understanding of OCHA’s work and to support advocacy efforts

Building Strategic Partnerships:

  • Maintaining a network of contacts
  • Maintains an established network of contacts for general information sharing and to remain up-to-date on partnership related issues
  • Analyzes and selects materials for strengthening strategic alliances with partners and stakeholders

Promoting Organizational Learning and Knowledge Sharing:

  • Basic research and analysis
  • Documents and analyses innovative strategies and new approaches
  • Innovation and Marketing New Approaches

Enhancing Processes or Products:

  • Generates new ideas and proposes new, more effective ways of doing things
  • Documents and analyses innovative strategies/best practices/new approaches

Job Knowledge/Technical Expertise:

  • Fundamental knowledge of own discipline
  • Understands and applies fundamental concepts and principles of a professional discipline or technical specialty relating to the position
  • Possesses basic knowledge of organizational policies and procedures relating to the position and applies them consistently in work tasks
  • Strives to keep job knowledge up-to-date through self-directed study and other means of learning
  • Demonstrates good knowledge of information technology and applies it in work assignments
  • Demonstrates in-depth understanding and knowledge of the current

Client Orientation:

  • Establishing effective client relationships
  • Researches potential solutions to internal and external client needs and reports back in a timely, succinct and appropriate fashion
  • Organizes and prioritizes work schedule to meet client needs and deadlines
  • Establishes, builds and sustains effective relationships within the work unit and with internal and external clients

Core Competencies:

  • Demonstrating/safeguarding ethics and integrity
  • Demonstrate corporate knowledge and sound judgment
  • Self-development, initiative-taking
  • Acting as a team player and facilitating team work
  • Facilitating and encouraging open communication in the team, communicating effectively
  • Creating synergies through self-control
  • Managing conflict
  • Learning and sharing knowledge and encourage the learning of others. Promoting learning and knowledge management/sharing is the responsibility of each staff member.
  • Informed and transparent decision making

Required Skills and Experience

  • A Master’s Degree or equivalent in International Relations, Communications, Journalism or a related field


  • Minimum of two years of relevant professional experience, preferably in humanitarian/development reporting and communications work.
  • Candidates with experience working in media and/or reporting greatly preferred.
  • Fluency in oral and written English required.
  • Database management skills a plus.
  • Excellent communication, drafting and analytical skills, with attention to detail.
  • Good team player and ability to work under pressure to meet deadlines.
  • Willingness and ability to travel to north-east Nigeria.
  • Ability to work with initiative (minimum supervision), efficiency, competence, integrity and people of different national backgrounds.

Language Requirements:

  • Fluency in the UN and national language of the duty station.

Application Closing Date
18 April, 2018.

How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply online