Regional Chief of Communications

UN Children's Fund, Panama City, Panama

Skill Required:, Media and Communication
Preferred Experience: 
Above 10 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
10th November, 2018

Job Description

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential.

Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone.

And we never give up.

For every child, we communicate

The Regional Chief of Communications (P-5), based in the Latin America & Caribbean Regional Office (LACRO) will be accountable for developing, implementing, managing and monitoring a regional advocacy and communication strategy and associated products, partnerships and activities. The incumbent will support resource mobilization, global priority and campaign initiatives, especially those of importance to the work of the National Committees. Moreover, the incumbent is expected to advise, provide guidance and build communication capacity of staff and others throughout the region, while coordinating and guiding regional monitoring and evaluation of communication. The role will also provide recommendations on global, regional and country communication policy development, support and advocacy and communication activities as well as providing advice on the articulation of policies and strategies, with an emphasis on those that promote gender equality and equity.

How can you make a difference?


Within the delegated authority and the given organizational set-up, the incumbent may be accountable for all or assigned areas of the following major duties and end results.

Communication strategy

Ensure that the LACRO Regional Office has a clear, regional communication strategy to get children's issues into the public domain, strengthen political will in support of UNICEF's mission and objectives; Awareness, understanding, support and respect for children's and women's rights are effectively promoted; UNICEF's work for children's rights are kept on the policy agenda; and the organization's credibility and brand are enhanced.

Duties & Tasks

  • Develop, maintain and update the regional advocacy and communication strategy and associated work plan. Strategy and work plan include an environmental and stakeholder assessment; objectives; target audiences, messages and media mix; resources; specific actions, activities and products; monitoring and evaluation of impact, success and opportunity for improvement; ongoing refinement of the strategy.
  • Draw on extensive strategy development experience and ensure optimum leverage and impact of communication activities on programme, policy and advocacy activities. UNICEF's rights- and results-based programming approach should be appropriately reflected in the communication strategy, work plan and products. Strategy and work plan should incorporate and reflect key priorities and processes.
  • Monitor and evaluate regional communication strategy and policies. Ensure adequate and ongoing assessment of trends, social and political change and public interest. Factor these environmental variables back into communication strategy and refining its execution.
  • Keep abreast of developments in the field of communication/advocacy in the region and at headquarters. Provide and coordinate regional contributions and recommendations in connection with the development and implementation of global policies and strategies.
  • Maintain close coordination with Regional Communication Advisers and HQ Communication Officers for effective overall collaboration in communication strategy.

Capacity building and support

Ensure that regional policy guidance, advice and technical support are provided to country offices in the area of communication on an ongoing basis. Opportunities to develop communication capacity among country communication staff, other colleagues, media and other relevant partners are regularly identified and addressed.

Duties & Tasks

  • Provide technical support to the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of communication plans through regular visits to country offices and provide feedback to regional management teams and the regional director. Advise UNICEF management, colleagues and staff at regional and country level on communication strategy and implications for action and policies proposed.
  • Identify and maintain a network of external technical resources to assist country offices in developing and implementing communication activities, including producing materials. Facilitate inter-office technical support where feasible.
  • Organize regular meetings of communication staff to exchange experience, and facilitate training activities (workshops, seminars, orientation courses, training modules, on-the-job training) to update professional skills, especially of national officers, and build their capacity to undertake communication activities. Focus especially on strengthening the capacity of staff in countries facing emergencies which have special and urgent communication needs.
  • Build the communication capacity in country offices to independently produce, transmit and distribute content in multiple media formats print, photos, audio, video, web etc. for local and global use, adhering to the quality standards and production guidelines set by DOC.
  • Assist Programme Communication efforts in the region by advising on the development of communication tools and/or strategies, as requested.
  • Identify opportunities to strengthen the capacity of partners through appropriate advocacy and communication training, access to information, supplies and equipment and through knowledge sharing.

Resource mobilization support

Regional support and response to global and country level fund-raising activities are effectively provided and co-ordinated, ensuring DOC, GRO, National Committees and country offices receive required advice and support.

Duties & Tasks

  • Develop, establish, implement, manage, monitor and evaluate regional communication strategies and policies to promote corporate resource mobilization activities.
  • Contribute to identifying opportunities and the development and production of materials to support global initiatives.
  • Develop, deploy and mobilize communication capacity within the region to support and gather/facilitate the gathering of content and coverage of relevant country efforts that support national and global resource mobilization efforts. Use the opportunity to identify and draw attention to effective relevant programme activities and results.
  • Ensure regular communication and co-ordination with relevant communication focal points in DOC and GRO.

Monitoring and evaluation

Ensure that effective advice is provided to country communication teams for monitoring and evaluating their communication activities; regional communication strategies and activities are monitored and evaluated; regional results and lessons learned are identified, collated and shared with communication colleagues in the region and DOC in a timely manner. Opportunities for continuous improvement in communication efforts are identified and shared.

Duties & Tasks

  • Establish communication baselines against which the objectives of the regional communication strategy are regularly evaluated and adjust the strategy as necessary. Conduct timely and accurate monitoring and evaluation activities and analysis to continuously improve the effectiveness of the regional communication strategies, approaches and activities. Prepare and share results and reports with RMT, relevant country communication offices and DOC on a timely basis.
  • Provide technical support to country communication teams to establish appropriate baselines and undertake regular monitoring and evaluation of their communication strategies. Collate and keep track of progress, good practices and lessons learned and facilitate information sharing and capacity building across the region. Share key findings with DOC and others in a timely manner so best practices and insights can benefit UNICEFs communication work.
  • Identify need for and conduct major research; collect and analyse data and prepare reports on key communication issues and activities in the region for strategic communication, as well as reporting purposes. Share key findings with DOC and others in a timely manner.
  • Identify and develop new approaches and methodologies for monitoring and evaluating communication activities.

Communication, networking and partnerships

Ensure that new ways are identified to increase positive exposure and leverage that achieve prominence to new opportunities for UNICEF among a range of organizations, media and high-profile individuals whose recognition level/influence extends beyond national borders. Ensure that close coordination and partnership are maintained with DOC, GRO, National Committees and country offices to extend their impact and use in a sub-region, region or globally. Ensure effective participation in the planning, implementation, materials and logistics of visits of Goodwill Ambassadors, National Committees etc.

Duties & Tasks

  • Identify organizations or individuals within the region whose reach extends beyond national borders and co-ordinate closely with the relevant country office, DOC, GRO and National Committees to extend their impact and use beyond national borders.
  • Participate in the planning, implementation, materials and logistics of visits of Goodwill Ambassadors, National Committees etc.
  • Ensure and enhance the quality, consistency and appropriateness of communication materials, activities, processes and messages shared with partners in the region.
  • Identify opportunities to strengthen the capacity of partners through appropriate advocacy and communication training, access to information, supplies and equipment and through knowledge sharing.
  • Monitor and evaluate results and effectiveness of working with partners and share results and findings with regional and DOC communication colleagues in a timely manner.
  • UNICEF to be a reliable partner in national programme planning and development, pursuing gender mainstreaming and principles of gender equity.

Global priorities and campaigns: Ensure that opportunities are identified for the region to support UNICEFs global communications priorities, campaigns and partnerships.

Duties & Tasks

  • Advise on the use of global communication elements e.g. flagship publications, in a locally-appropriate way, as well as guide countries in contributing content for global use.
  • Launch major flagship reports and initiatives in the region and prepare regional versions of global publications and press releases, feature articles and audio-visual materials, as required.
  • Contribute to the development and production of materials to support global initiatives. Advise country communication teams on developing complementary, country-specific and local community materials and activities. Identify and co-ordinate country office contributions to global communication products.
  • Use established contacts, networks, resources and processes to support these global initiatives.
  • Identify the need for communication materials for regional use and manage their production and distribution to target audiences to advocate and promote organizational goals.
  • Ensure regular communication and co-ordination with relevant communication focal points in regional offices and headquarters divisions.

Management: Ensure that the human resources (the communication team) and financial resources (budget planning, management and monitoring) for the regionals communication are both effectively managed and optimally used.

Duties & Tasks

  • Develop a work plan for regional communication activities, monitor compliance and provide support and guidance to ensure objectives are met.
  • Plan and monitor the use of communication budgetary resources. Approve and monitor the overall allocation and disbursement of funds, make sure that funds are properly coordinated, monitored and liquidated. Take appropriate actions to optimize use of funds.
  • Identify, recruit and supervise communication staff, technical resources and consultants as necessary. Undertake performance planning, monitoring and appraisal.
  • Ensure communication effectiveness, efficiency and delivery as well as a rigorous and transparent approach to planning, monitoring and evaluation.
  • Participate in the Regional Office's broader planning and budgeting exercises.

Advisory support and communication for strategic results: Implementation of UNICEF programme (regional) plans, ensuring communication on gender and equity issues are mainstreamed across all programmes.

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have:


  • Advanced university degree in Communication, Journalism, Public Relations or other related fields of disciplines. (Or an undergraduate degree plus at least 12 years of demonstrated professional experience in the field of journalism, communications, external relations, public affairs, public relations or corporate communications.)

Work Experience

  • Ten years of progressively responsible and relevant professional work experience in Communications is required, with comprehensive knowledge in the following areas:
  • Communication management, methodology and practical application. Knowledge of current theories and practices in communication research planning and strategy.
  • Programme management in successfully managing teams, budgets and project execution.
  • Fundamentals of working in various media formats print, photos, audio, video, web etc.
  • Computer systems, including internet navigation, office applications, and specifically, interactive digital media.
  • United Nations or other international organizations; good understanding of world affairs, current events and international development issues
  • Global human rights issues, specifically relating to children and women, and current UNICEF position and approaches.
  • UNICEF/UN System communication goals, visions, positions, policies, guidelines and strategies.
  • UNICEF/UN System policies and strategy to address national and international issues, including emergencies.
  • UNICEF/UN System emergency communication policies, goals, strategies and approaches, including emergency preparedness.
  • International and national work experience in both developed and developing countries.
  • Professional experience in communication, print, broadcast, new media.
  • Background/familiarity with communications activities as related to Emergency situations.
  • Hands-on experience in communications activities related to private sector fundraising or private sector engagement is an asset.

Language Proficiency: Fluency in Spanish and English is required; Knowledge of an additional UN language (particularly French) or proficiency Portuguese will be considered an asset.

For every Child, you demonstrate:

UNICEF’s core values of Commitment, Diversity and Integrity and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.

The technical competencies required for this post are:

  • Leading and Supervising (III)
  • Formulating Strategies and Concepts (III)
  • Analyzing (II)
  • Relating and Networking (III)
  • Persuading and Influencing (III)
  • Entrepreneurial Thinking (III)

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.


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