Org. Setting and Reporting
The United Nations Development Coordination Office (DCO) Regional Office in Panama City provides UN Resident Coordinators – the designated representatives of the United Nations Secretary-General – with strategic support in the integrated implementation at the country level of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and SDGs. This position, as part of the United Nations Department of Global Communications (DGC), is located in the UNDCO Regional Office, and maintains a close working relationship with the Information Centres Service (ICS), Strategic Communications Division, DGC, which sets the communications and advocacy priorities of the United Nations around the world.The incumbent reports to the Chief of the Programme Support Section within ICS in DGC and is under the overall supervision of the DCO Regional Director.
Within delegated authority the Public Information Officer is responsible for the following duties:
- With a focus on the implementation of sustainable development in countries of the region, takes the lead in communications strategy development, coordination, planning, and implementation of large, complex traditional and/or social communications campaigns (e.g. global promotion initiatives, public information programmes in the region, broad-reaching subject specific issues, etc.); where appropriate, works with UN departments, UN regional economic commissions, agencies, funds and programmes to develop and coordinate and implement campaigns system-wide and to incorporate the campaign messages and themes into all relevant events and products;
- Coordinates, provides advice and expertise to the Regional Director DCO and/or DGC managers, senior officers and other public information staff on a range of communications and public affairs issues, methods, and approaches; anticipates and resolves communications/strategic public engagement issues/problems, to include the provision of an effective crisis communications support and/or surge capacity mechanisms in the event of a crisis in the region of responsibility;
- Develops and coordinates strategic partnerships with key constituencies, including members of the United Nations communications groups in the region, to elicit support for and maximize impact of promotional objectives; may serve as a spokesperson/principal liaison to media organizations, governmental bodies, national groups, private sector organizations, educational organizations, international organizations, etc.;
- Prepares, oversees and coordinates preparation of a diverse range of information communications products in support of major campaign initiatives, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and SDGs;
- Identifies sources and seeks funding and other assistance for major campaigns;
- Prepares communications material for UN websites and social media accounts, newsletters, periodicals, reports and books, and edits draft materials prepared by junior officers;
- Evaluates results and impact of communications activities; reports on developments, trends and attitudes regarding the UN;
- Represents the United Nations in meetings and conferences; fulfills speaking engagements and makes presentations to groups on UN activities and advocate issues of concern; organizes media coverage and arranges for media contacts, briefings, interviews; organizes seminars, lectures, conferences, public events on major issues and events concerning the organization;
- Builds information networks and regional communities of practice (RCO communications officers and heads of UNIC); plans and oversees maintenance of publicly accessible information materials on the United Nations both on- and off-line; plans and develops outreach activities;
- Assists in the day-to-day operation of the Regional Office to include participating in coordination of substantive and administrative activities of the office related to communications and advocacy, interpreting and disseminating policy, providing procedural advice, improving reporting systems, handling operational and administrative queries, preparing budget submissions, establishing and/or coordinating training programmes,and monitoring, reporting and evaluating results;
- Coordinates and directs as appropriate and relevant a team of public information staff and/or mentor and supervise the work of junior officers across the region on specific projects.
Professionalism: Knowledge of different aspects of public information and communication, particularly in 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 information campaigns. 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 audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.
Teamwork: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; solicits input by genuinely valuing others' ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others; places team agenda before personal agenda; supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.
- An advanced university degree (Master's degree or equivalent) in communication, journalism, international relations, public information or related field is required. A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
- A minimum of seven years of progressively responsible experience in communication, journalism, international relations, public information or related area is required;
- Experience developing and implementing strategic, multimedia communications campaigns for a diverse audience is required;
- Experience interacting and managing relations with the media is required;
- Experience in working with and/or managing the work of teams in multiple field offices is required;
- Experience managing resources, including personnel and budget, to support communications and advocacy activities, is desirable;
- A minimum of one-year of experience working in the political, social and economic context of the region of responsibility is desirable.
- English and French are the working languages of the United Nations. For the post advertised fluency in English and Spanish is required. Knowledge of another UN official language is desirable.
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