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  • Posted: Aug 3, 2021
    Deadline: Aug 15, 2021
  • The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) was founded in 1919 in Paris in the aftermath of World War I. The war had shown a need for close cooperation between Red Cross Societies, which, through their humanitarian activities on behalf of prisoners of war and combatants, had attracted millions of volunteers and built a large ...
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    Senior Officer, Communications

    Vacancy No: S00554
    Location: West Africa Country Cluster, Abuja
    Duration: 6 months
    Category of Staff: National
    Grade: Not applicable

    Organizational Context

    • The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, with a network of 192-member National Societies.
    • The overall aim of the IFRC is “to inspire, encourage, facilitate, and promote at all times all forms of humanitarian activities by National Societies with a view to preventing and alleviating human suffering and thereby contributing to the maintenance and promotion of human dignity and peace in the world.”
    • The IFRC works to meet the needs and improve the lives of vulnerable people before, during and after disasters, health emergencies and other crises.
    • The IFRC is part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (Movement), together with its member National Societies and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
    • The work of the IFRC is guided by the following fundamental principles: humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity, and universality. The IFRC is led by its Secretary General, and has its Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.
    • The Headquarters are organized into three main Divisions:
      • National Society Development and Operations Coordination;
      • Global Relations, Humanitarian Diplomacy and Digitalization; and
      • Management Policy, Strategy and Corporate Services.
    • The IFRC has five regional offices in Africa, Asia Pacific, Middle East and North Africa, Europe, and the Americas.
    • The IFRC also has country cluster delegation and country delegations throughout the world. Together, the Geneva Headquarters and the field structure (regional, cluster and country) comprise the IFRC Secretariat. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, in its commitment to build strong National Societies and to support scaling up of National Societies’ services to the most vulnerable populations, is established in Nigeria since 2013.
    • The NS/IFRC carried out several needs and capacity assessment in the last months. As a result of the deteriorating situation, an EA was done. The Emergency Appeal seeks to support Nigeria Red Cross Society (NRCS) to deliver humanitarian assistance to 200,000 people (33,000 households) over 18 months to address the current hunger crisis in the Northwest and North Central states of Nigeria.
    • The operation will focus on: Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), Livelihood & Basic Needs, Health and Nutrition, Psychosocial Support, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Protection, Gender & Inclusion (PGI and National Society Development.
    • This plan of action is expected to be implemented until the end of 2022. The management of this operation and the implementation of these activities requires the recruitment of a Senior Communication Officer.

    Job Purpose
    The  Senior Communication Officer will:

    • Develop regular and quality communication materials related to the Nigeria operations (written and video).
    • Ensure the effective communication of the IFRC/NRCS operations in various medio channels.
    • Assist newsletters writing and visual materials.
    • Support the National Societies and IFRC in communicating during emergencies, to develop deeper, more diverse and innovative strategic partnerships which could lead to multiyear thematic funding

    Job Duties and Responsibilities
    Develop, coordinate and implement communication plans for West Africa that support programmatic and policy priorities and aligns with regional communications priorities and initiatives:

    • For each emergency operation or advocacy opportunity, develop a brief but clear communication plan highlighting the communication objectives, the audiences, tools and deliverables, among other items.
    • Evaluate the success rate of every communication plan through media monitoring and social media analytics.

    Strengthen the network of National Societies’ communications focal points in the cluster:

    • Conduct a mapping of qualifications and competencies in communication in the sub-region
    • Recommend and implement strategic interventions to address the identified needs and challenges
    • Update the database of communications focal points and ensure a continuous engagement through online platforms, telephone and where possible through face-to-face meetings
    • Support the National Society in identifying key humanitarian issues to be addressed to the public, media and donors on the situation on the ground and the humanitarian response

    Write stories profiling the achievements of National Societies, with a focus on the impact on individual lives:

    • Increase the frequency of stories published on the organizational social media and other online platforms.
    • Improve the quality of storytelling: focusing on people-centered stories
    • Use evidence-based approach to showcase the impact of the work on National Societies and IFRC.
    • Facilitate National Society and IFRC in pitching media stories and professionally handling media inquiries with broadcast, print and online media/social media.
    • Work closely with the IFRC team to produce facts and figures, key messages, reactive lines and promote different IM products.

    Support emergency communication and work on the implementation of the emergency communication rapid deployment mechanism:

    • In collaboration with the regional and global teams, identify and propose proactive and timely media opportunities, aimed positioning IFRC as a leading humanitarian actor.
    • Establish quick contact with the National Societies affected by disasters, to ensure speedy communications, online and in the media, with the ultimate goal of being ahead of other humanitarian organizations. Write stories and interviews during emergencies and provide basic audio-visual material
    • Draft communication packs with key material (facts and figures, key messages, press releases etc).
    • Liaise with Africa regional DREF officer(s) and regional communications manager to identify DREFs to provide visibility to; follow up with affected National Society for visibility materials.
    • In collaboration with the National Society, work on advocacy messages to address the different issues linked to the current operation.

    Media Monitoring:

    • Monitor news and provide a news digest on a daily basis.
    • Identify any issues that affect the organization’s reputation.
    • Maintain and update the media directory.
    • Stay in touch with a relevant regional media house.
    • Pitch stories and secure interviews from key media outlets.
    • Maintain a database of photographers.

    Operate as a member of IFRC’s Regional Communications Team to advance corporate communications priorities and support a coordinated corporate approach to communications:

    • Join regular regional communication editorial meetings, in order to discuss potential stories in the cluster, which have an international appeal.
    • Join online collaboration and editorial platforms for exchange about topics related to communications, as well as for information and content sharing.

    Job Requirements

    • Relevant University Degree in Journalism, Communications, Marketing or International Policies.
    • Master of Arts in Communication Science.


    • At least 5 years of experience working as journalist/press officer and/or Communications/Policy Officer.
    • Experience in managing communications issues in complex and delicate situations.
    • Experience in building media contacts.
    • Experience in emergency response.
    • RC/RC experience.

    Knowledge, Skills and Languages:

    • Self-supporting in computers.
    • Knowledge of social media and related trends.
    • Knowledge of humanitarian affairs.
    • Ability to negotiate with varying partners.
    • Ability to multi task and work under pressure.
    • Good analytical skills.
    • Good knowledge of the operational context and area.
    • Flexibility and ability to travel in the operation’s areas.
    • Fluent in written and spoken English is required.
    • Fluent in written and spoken French is preferred.

    Competencies and Values:

    • National Society relations.
    • Communication - Teamwork.
    • Professionalism - Integrity - Diversity.
    • Judgement - Decision - making.
    • Results focus and accountability.

    Method of Application

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