Senior External Relations Associate

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Bern, Switzerland

Skill Required:, Business Development/ Resource Mobilization
Preferred Experience: 
5 years
Closing Date for Applications: 
2nd June, 2021

Job Description

Interested applicants should consult the Administrative Instruction on Recruitment and Assignment of Locally Recruited Staff (RALS)

  • Organizational Setting and Work Relationships
  • The Senior External Relations Associate is to be a key external point of contact for the UNHCR office with media and other external organisations. The incumbent will be responsible for creating greater public (Donors, NGOs, Government, Refugees, Civil Society, etc.) awareness and understanding of refugee issues and the work of UNHCR and for amplifying the voice of refugees and other people of concern (PoC). S/he will have a pivotal role in drafting reports, updates, briefing documents, maintenance of the UNHCR local web site and social media channels and providing support to the supervisor.
  • The Senior External Relations Associate supports activities, events, campaigns and outreach, working with partner organisations to support the protection of PoC. Essential to these efforts are coherent and consistent visual and verbal messaging and linking the substantive media elements (news) to milestone events (World Refugee Day, Nansen Refugee Award, #IBelong Campaign to end Statelessness, HCs Dialogues, and the launch of one off campaigns and events.) The overall aim is to mobilise further financial support, increase awareness and empathy for forcibly displaced people.
  • The incumbent normally reports to a Representative, Head of Office/Section or a Senior Communication or External Relations Officer, depending on the office setup.
  • All UNHCR staff members are accountable to perform their duties as reflected in their job description. They do so within their delegated authorities, in line with the regulatory framework of UNHCR which includes the UN Charter, UN Staff Regulations and Rules, UNHCR Policies and Administrative Instructions as well as relevant accountability frameworks. In addition, staff members are required to discharge their responsibilities in a manner consistent with the core, functional, cross-functional and managerial competencies and UNHCR¿s core values of professionalism, integrity and respect for diversity.


  •  Support UNHCR's media relations and advocacy work in the geographic and thematic area.
  •  Monitor evolving issues concerning asylum seekers, stateless persons and refugees within the Area of Responsibility (AoR) and suggest stories and topics for media coverage.
  •  Provide support to Senior Management in dealing with the challenges posed by the political context, the UN and humanitarian reform, and institutional developments.
  •  Ensure that the office is kept informed of local developments which may have a political or operational impact on its activities.
  •  Provide background briefings to local and international media.
  •  Accompany visits of foreign delegations and the media to refugee sites, give appropriate briefings, commentaries and prepare briefing material for visitors.
  •  Assist in the dialogue with donors and embassies and provide accurate information by organizing regular briefings, bilateral meetings and missions.
  •  Assist Senior Management in disseminating information on UNHCR¿s global funding situation and mobilize additional funds to implement special projects aimed at enhancing the quality of protection for PoC.
  •  Manage budget, when requested, including tracking expenditures and incoming donations. Ensure payments through UNHCR and prepare budget documents for partners and reports on spending.
  •  Assist in the drafting of situation reports, briefing notes, background material, talking points, fact sheets, press releases and articles.
  •  Assist in planning and organizing advertisements, exhibitions, training seminars, conferences, meetings, social events, campaigns and other activities to promote a better understanding of UNHCR¿s activities and accomplishments by the general public and/or organized groups.
  •  Organize press briefings for external parties as required.
  •  Reach out proactively to a broad range of external actors, including social media influencers, good will ambassadors and the private sector to build new alliances within the AoR in order to promote the protection of PoC.
  •  Manage preparation of contracts for artists, production companies, journalist, photographers etc.
  •  Perform other related duties as required.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Education & Professional Work Experience
  • Years of Experience / Degree Level
  • For G7 - 4 years relevant experience with High School Diploma; or 2 years relevant work experience with Bachelor or equivalent or higher
  • Field(s) of Education
  • Not applicable
  • (Field(s) of Education marked with an asterisk* are essential)
  • Certificates and/or Licenses
  • Political or Social Sciences, International Relations, Journalism, Communication
  • (Certificates and Licenses marked with an asterisk* are essential)

Relevant Job Experience


  • Not specified
  • Desirable:
  • Experience with event management
  • Demonstrated ability to work against tight deadlines

Functional Skills

  • MS-Advocacy
  • CO-Journalism (incl. print, broadcast, photography, video )
  • CO-Multimedia storytelling
  • ER-External Relations in UNHCR or other humanitarian agencies
  • EX-Experience in an international, decentralized and/or multinational environment
  • MG-Project Management
  • FR-Marketing
  • MG- Partnership Development
  • (Functional Skills marked with an asterisk* are essential)

Language Requirements

  • For International Professional and Field Service jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English.


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