Temporary Job Opening Announcement (DPI/TJO-P/039): Acting Director, P-5, UNIC Pretoria /ICS/SCD/DPI

    Dear Colleagues,

Please be advised that there is a temporary job opening for the position of Acting Director at the P-5 level in the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) in Pretoria, Information Centres Service (ICS), Strategic Communications Division (SCD), DPI, effective 13 July 2015 for an initial period of three months.

Duties and Responsibilities:

The incumbent is accountable to the Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information.  He or she is under the general supervision of the Director of SCD and reports directly to the Chief of ICS.

Within delegated authority, the incumbent is responsible for the following duties:

• Supervise and execute the work programme of UNIC Pretoria, a moderately large UN Information Centre; co-ordinate the work carried out by the Centre; carry out programmatic and/or, administrative tasks necessary for the functioning of the UNIC, including preparation of budgets, assigning and monitoring of performance parameters and critical indicators, reporting on budget/programme performance, recruitment of staff and evaluation of staff performance; manage, guide, develop and train staff under his or her supervision; foster teamwork and communication among staff in the information centre and across organizational boundaries;

• Execute the overall public information strategy, programme and activities of the Department of Public Information (DPI) in the work region; contribute to the development of institutional public relations policies, developing and disseminating best practices; assess the overall effectiveness of the public information strategy and programmes, making needed changes in approach and technique; develop high profile multi-media communications campaigns; enforce quality and production standards for information dissemination; oversee the preparation, from research to publication, of UN newsletters, periodicals, reports and books; create and maintain networks of high level communications contacts with members of media, governmental agencies, international organizations, and civil society;

• Provide diverse materials (briefings, speeches, questions and answers, etc.), technical and policy advice on complex public information and communication issues related to the operation of UNIC Pretoria to the Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information and other UN senior officials; provide Headquarters with media reports regarding complex local conditions and public attitudes towards the UN in the work region; ensure that the policies and activities of the UN are conveyed accurately and promptly, within complex political, substantive, and/or operational situations, to the national authorities;

• Conduct sensitive political liaison work in the region of responsibility; implement activities to promote and coordinate the communications and public information aspect of visits by the Secretary-General, UN senior officials, and/or UN delegations to the work region; serve as lead spokesperson for complex public information programmes;

• Ensure that the outputs produced by the UN Information Centre maintain high-quality standards and comply with the relevant mandates of the DPI; that reports are clear, timely, objective and based on comprehensive data; contribute to the reporting to intergovernmental bodies on budget/programme performance or on programmatic/ substantive issues, as appropriate, particularly those presented in biannual and/or annual reports; provide substantive input in the preparation of position papers and reports for presentation to intergovernmental bodies, as appropriate;

• Promote joint public relations ventures between the DPI and UN programmes and organs in the work region; implement a strategy for strengthening the public information capacity of the Organization in the work region as part of the United Nations Communications Group (UNCG); execute communications support to the UNCG and other UN programmes and organs based in the work region; serve as co-chairperson of the UNCG;

• Organize meetings, seminars, etc. on substantive issues in the work region; implement international, regional or national meetings, contributing to programmatic and/or substantive and organizational discussions with representatives of other institutions; represent a moderately large information centre at inter-agency meetings, seminars, etc. on substantive-related issues;

• Perform other relevant duties and special functions, as required by Headquarters.


Professionalism: Demonstrated knowledge of public information techniques, including strategic communications; proven ability to implement effective media campaigns and to develop products and activities targeting the media; ability to identify communications opportunities and problems and to articulate these to clients. Knowledge of the Department of Public Information, UN information centres, or comparable operation at the international level. Ability to advise on communication challenges, assess communication environments, develop communication strategies, and manage implementation of public information campaigns in the work region with various promotional and publicity techniques. Ability to make decisions with an eye to the impact on others and on the Organization and to apply rules, regulations, policies and guidelines in work situations. 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.

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.

Accountability: Takes ownership of all responsibilities and honours commitments; delivers outputs for which one has responsibility within prescribed time, cost and quality standards; operates in compliance with organizational regulations and rules; supports subordinates, provides oversight and takes responsibility for delegated assignments; takes personal responsibility for his/her own shortcomings and those of the work unit, where applicable.

Leadership: Serves as a role model that other people want to follow: empowers others  to translate vision into results; is proactive in developing strategies to accomplish objectives; establishes and maintains relationships with a broad range of people to understand needs and gain support; anticipates and resolves conflicts by pursuing mutually agreeable solutions; drives for change and improvements; does not accept the status quo; shows the courage to take unpopular stands. Provides leadership and takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work; demonstrates knowledge of strategies and commitment to the goal of gender balance in staffing.

Managing Performance: Delegates the appropriate responsibility, accountability and decision-making authority; makes sure that roles, responsibilities and reporting lines are clear to each staff member; accurately judges the amount of time and resources needed to accomplish a task and matches task to skills; monitors progress against milestones and deadlines; regularly discusses performance and provides feedback and coaching to staff; encourages risk-taking and supports creativity and initiative; actively supports the development and career aspirations of staff; appraises performance fairly.


A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible experience, including four years at the international level, in public information, communication, journalism, international relations or related area is required. Experience in strategic communications; public speaking; and working with the media is required. Experience working in the political, social and economic context of the region of responsibility is desirable. Experience working in public information in the United Nations common system or a comparable international organization is desirable. Experience in resource administration, including budget preparation, recruitment and conflict management is desirable. Experience working with both traditional and social media platforms is desirable.

An advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in journalism, communication, public information, international relations or a related field is required. A first-level university degree in combination with additional two years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this post, fluency in English, both oral and written, is required. Knowledge of local languages utilised in the work region is desirable.  Knowledge of other UN official languages is an advantage.

Staff members at the P-4 and P-5 levels are invited to express their interest, provided they meet the eligibility requirements, stating the reasons why they feel they are qualified for the position.  Please submit applications with a cover letter, an updated PHP generated from Inspira and the latest e-Pas/e-Performance document to: Ms. Sonia Beharovic, Executive Office, DPI, by e-mail at beharovic@un.org, with a copy to Ms. Vida Quimio-De Decker  at quimio@un.org no later than Tuesday, 26 May 2015.

The start date of this temporary job opening is expected to coincide with the transfer of the incumbent. This transfer is anticipated to take place on 6 July 2015.

In the event that no suitable staff members are identified internally, qualified external candidates may be considered. It should be noted, however, that the external candidates are generally not entitled to be appointed at the advertised level of thistemporary vacancy and will therefore be graded in accordance with the current recruitment guidelines. In most cases, this means that the grade may be at a lower level than that of the advertised level of the post.

This TJO was also posted on iSeek (DPI/TJO-P/039) with the same closing date.

(See attached file: TJO application form.doc)