Assistant Communications Officer, Individual Contractor, Home based at UN High Commissioner for Refugees

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is offering a full-time, home-based position within theInnovation Service.

The position will be in the Innovation Service’s Strategic Communications and Design team, which helps the Service to deliver its objective of facilitating an innovative culture in UNHCR so that better solutions to the challenges facing displaced and stateless people are achieved. This exciting position is a unique opportunity to gain experience in a broad range of communications activities that highlight the creativity and dynamic approaches deployed to tackle challenges faced by displaced people, as well as the innovation champions who enact them.

UNHCR is a global organisation dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights and building a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people. Every year, millions of men, women and children are forced to flee their homes to escape conflict and persecution. We are in over 130 countries, using our expertise to protect and care for millions.

Title: Assistant Communications Officer

Duty Station: Home based

Duration: Until end of 2022 (with possibility of extension)

Contract Type: Individual Contractor (National UNOPS)

Closing date: 09 September 2022

Start date: 01 October 2022

Organisational context

In an era where crises are becoming more frequent and complex, it is innovation that will make us effective and enable us to achieve our strategic directions — to “Protect, Respond, Include, Empower and Solve”. As such UNHCR’s Innovation Service was established in 2012 to facilitate and promote a culture of innovation across all levels in UNHCR. The Service creates enabling and safe spaces for experimentation to flourish within UNHCR by equipping headquarters, operations and staff with the knowledge, resources and skills to instill a future-oriented approach into how we solve problems and create impact for refugee communities. The Service does this through advocacy, programmes and partnerships across five areas of focus that include Environment, Data Innovation, Digital Inclusion, Innovation learning and Refugee Led Innovation.

For the successful delivery of the Innovation Service’s initiatives and programmes, inspiring and effective communication is vital. As a communications function within the Service, we strive for compelling storytelling, making deep connections with our audiences and creating space for experimentation in our communications work.

The position

We are looking for a creative and motivated individual to play a key role in the delivery of the Innovation Service’s Communications Strategy. The role will see you interface with Innovation Service colleagues and UNHCR operations globally to generate content that demonstrates the value and potential in novel approaches to humanitarian work. You will contribute across the entire creative process – from strategy and sensemaking, to writing and platform curation – across a wide range of thematics (innovation, data, community-led innovation, environment etc.).

You will seek opportunities in collaboration with others to mainstream innovation in UNHCR through high-quality and engaging products. The incumbent will derive actionable learnings from Monitoring and Evaluation practices to ensure approaches return the greatest impact for UNHCR’s mandate. Through collaboration with the Communications and Design Leads, and other consultants and contractors, this position is an opportunity to grow and develop creative communications skills, while contributing to better solutions for displaced communities around the world.

Duties and responsibilities

  • Produce written content: Whether writing yourself, or editing in collaboration with others, you will guide the creation of engaging, accurate and high-quality written products, ranging from regular newsletters and reports, to blogs, social media posts and video scripts on a variety of internal and external platforms and networks. You will exercise sound editorial and professional judgement in balancing the input of stakeholders, while furthering the mission of the Service and organization. The incumbent will contribute to the development of Innovation Service editorial brand policy, including alignment with UNHCR’s editorial guidance and ensuring communications are accessible to a diverse, global audience. You will work closely with the Communications and Design Leads to ensure harmony between editorial and design material, while planning for both digital and print publication.
  • Platform Management: The Communications Assistant will manage the publication of approved materials to a range of internal and external platforms, such as Medium, Twitter, Innovation Service website, and UNHCR’s intranet. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to optimize the use of these platforms through tailoring content and engagement.
  • Monitoring and Evaluation: The successful candidate will support the implementation of Monitoring and Evaluation activities to provide insights into the impact of communications and to inform decision-making on future approaches. You will review and document evidence, such as platform analytics, to provide recommendations on communications strategies.
  • Support Partnerships: You will support the Communications Lead and other colleagues to collaborate with internal and external partners. From project management to generating novel, creative communications approaches, you will help the team to leverage research and expertise in service of UNHCR’s operations and mandate.
  • Support Strategy and Brand Development: The incumbent will be a valued team member, whose insights will shape the voice of the Innovation Service in UNHCR, and of innovation in the broader humanitarian and United Nations context. Whether penning op-eds, crafting messages that resonate, or organising online events, you will have the opportunity to advocate for creativity in building better futures for refugees, through writing, partner engagements, or events.

Essential minimum qualifications and professional experience required

The ideal candidate will:

  • Possess a Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field (Communications, Refugee Studies, Design, Social Sciences, Humanities).
  • Have outstanding communication and interpersonal skills, good attention to detail, and a sensitivity to organisational and local contexts.
  • Have demonstrable experience in proposing, writing, editing and disseminating written communications products in creative and engaging ways.
  • Have demonstrable experience in tailoring content to specific audiences, and using evidence of impact to iterate, improve and grow.
  • Be fluent in English, with industry-standard writing and editing skills. Additional languages are desirable, but not essential.
  • Have experience using the Microsoft Office suite (Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint). Experience with Adobe Creative Suite (InDesign, Photoshop, Audition) is desirable, but not essential.
  • Demonstrate a genuine desire to learn and develop, seeking opportunities to better the Communications and Design team’s portfolio.
  • Be highly organised and have good attention to detail.
  • Be able to multi-task and to prioritise the workload, working well with others.


The successful candidate will work from home and is expected to meet with the Service’s team members on a regular basis, via online video team meetings. Applicants must be available to work from 09:00 to 18:00 UK time (GMT/BST), but may be based in a different time zone, such as CET, or CAT.


The contract will last until the end of 2022, with possibility of renewal into next year. It is a full-time role and you will be expected to be readily available and on call during our working hours from 09:00 to 18:00 Monday to Friday (40 hours per week).

How to apply

For a full job description and to apply, interested candidates are requested to visit

Closing date of applications: 9 September 2022

The UNHCR workforce consists of many diverse nationalities, cultures, languages and opinions. UNHCR seeks to sustain and strengthen this diversity to ensure equal opportunities as well as an inclusive working environment for its entire workforce. Applications are encouraged from all qualified candidates without distinction on grounds of race, colour, sex, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity.

Please note that UNHCR does not charge a fee at any stage of its recruitment process (application, interview, meeting, travelling, processing, training or any other fees).

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