Public information officer, P3

Only candidates under serious consideration will be contacted.

UNISDR does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process. If you have any questions concerning persons or companies claiming to be recruiting on behalf of UNISDR and requesting the payment of a fee, please immediately contact

Location: Geneva

Close date: 19 Jul 2013

Job description

Vacancy: ISDR/T/05/2013

United Nations Core Values: Integrity • Professionalism • Respect for diversity

Created in December 1999, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction and secretariat of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) is the designated focal point in the United Nations system for the coordination of disaster reduction and to ensure synergies among the disaster reduction activities of the United Nations and regional organizations and activities in socio-economic and humanitarian fields. Led by the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, UNISDR has around 100 staff located in its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, and 5 regional offices and other field presences. Specifically, UNISDR coordinates international efforts in disaster risk reduction, and guides, monitors and reports on the progress of the implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action; campaigns to create global awareness of disaster risk reduction benefits and empower people to reduce their vulnerability to hazards; advocates for greater investments in disaster risk reduction to protect people's lives and assets, and for increased and informed participation of men and women in reducing disaster risk; and informs and connects people by providing practical services and tools such as PreventionWeb, publications on good practices, and by leading the preparation of the Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction and the organisation of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction.

The position is located in the UNISDR Office in Geneva. Under the supervision of the Head of Communications, and overall guidance from the Head of the Advocacy and Outreach Section, the Public Information Officer’s main area of responsibility will be in the creative domain, supporting the campaigns, major events, International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction and a strong marketing approach of UNISDR. She/He will be responsible for the following duties:

  • Ensures implementation of outreach and information programs to publicize priority issues, complex communications campaigns and/or major events, which includes drafting of marketing and creative strategies, coordinates efforts in this domain across the UNISDR.
  • Works with the different sections and regional offices to develop ways to implement campaigns system-wide and to incorporate the campaign messages and themes into all relevant events and products, including reaching out to support strategic partnerships, and to maximize the impact of promotional objectives.
  • Identifies sources, supports funding requests and other assistance for major campaigns.
  • Provides advice and expertise to managers, senior officers and other public information staff on a range of public affairs issues, methods, branding and approaches; anticipates and resolves communications/public relations issues/problems.
  • Prepares and/or oversees production of a diverse range of information and communications products for promotional and marketing purposes in support of corporate UNISDR work, campaigns and events (e.g. disaster risk reduction bulletins, campaign broadcast, press kits, speeches, booklets, brochures, backgrounders, bill-boards and exhibits, audio-visual materials, radio spot program, etc.), to include proposing topics, undertaking research, determining appropriate medium and target audience, preparing production plans, writing drafts, obtaining clearances and finalizing texts, editing copy, and coordinating design approval, printing procedures and distribution.
  • Evaluates results and impact of communications activities; reports on developments, trends and attitudes regarding the UN, monitors and reports on progress of the communication efforts (including perceptions and use demands), taking appropriate follow-up action, and analyzing the outcome.
  • Develop and nurture networks and partnerships to achieve the goals of the communication strategy, including information networks.
  • Assists in the day-to-day operation of the Communication unit to include participating in coordination of substantive and administrative activities of the unit, 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 and evaluating results.
  • Undertakes any other related tasks as designated by the supervisor.


Professionalism: Knowledge of different aspects of public information and communication. 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. Demonstrates basic understanding and knowledge of environmental and disaster risk reduction issues.

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.

Planning & 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.

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.


Education: Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in communication, journalism, public relations or marketing, international relations, public administration or related field. A first-level university degree in combination with qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Experience: A minimum of five years of progressively responsible experience in public information, journalism, international relations, public administration or related area. Extensive knowledge in the management of global campaigns is an added advantage.

Language: Fluency in English (both oral and written) is required. Knowledge of another UN official language is an advantage.

Contract type

11 months

How to apply

Please email the following documents to the ISDR secretariat:

  • Cover letter, explaining why you consider yourself qualified and motivated for this particular assignment.
  • Completed personal history profile (P11) form (found below)
  • It would be appreciated your stating your full name and the ISDR vacancy notice number
  • (ISDR/T/05/2013) as the subject in your e-mail of application.

Please note that applications received after the deadline will not be accepted. Applicants will be contacted only if they are under serious consideration.

The United Nations does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview meeting, processing, training or any other fees). The United Nations does not concern itself with information on bank accounts.

Additional information

Available here


Advocacy & Media, Disaster Risk Management
VI Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas, Cartagena, Colombia 20-22 June 2018 VI Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas, Cartagena, Colombia 20-22 June 2018.
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