Department of Global Communications National Information Officer Jobs in South Africa

Department of Global Communications National Information Officer Jobs in South Africa

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).

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, 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.



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.


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.

    Work Experience

  • 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.

    How to Apply

    For more information and job application details, see; Department of Global Communications National Information Officer Jobs in South Africa

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