Public Information Assistant – Mali


In 2014, UNHCR continues to work with the Malian authorities on refugee protection, in particular in the area of documentation and local integration. The Office continues to advocate for the voluntary repatriation of Mauritanian refugees. With regard to IDPs, UNHCR maintains its lead role in the protection and shelter/ NFI clusters. Through its participation in the Humanitarian Country Team, UNHCR coordinates all assistance-related activities and foster inter-agency cooperation in areas related to the return of refugees and IDPs, including collaboration with MINUSMA on the protection of civilian and human rights. Regional coordination mechanisms are established among UNHCR offices and partners in countries of asylum to ensure a coherent and effective strategy for the return of Malian refugees in a safe and dignified manner.

The UNHCR agency is mandated to lead and co-ordinate international action to protect and to find durable solutions for refugees and persons of concern worldwide. Its primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees. It strives to ensure that everyone canexercise the right to seek asylum and find a safe refuge in a country, with the option to return home voluntarily, integrate locally or to resettle in a third country.
In Mali, UNHCR is working in close collaboration with the Malian authorities, UN Agencies and the UNpeacekeeping mission (MINUSMA), Donors, International NGOs, National NGOs, and the Media.

Duties and Responsibilities

Under the direct supervision of the Communication / Public Information Officer, the UN volunteer will undertake the following tasks:

  • Keep abreast with all developments in UNHCR operational and protection activities to prepare appropriate briefings and reports for the media, donors and other appropriate stakeholders;
  • Assist the Communication / PI Officer in consolidating and analyzing data in order to facilitate the preparation of periodic reports, i.e. Sitreps, activity-specific reports as may be required;
  • Assist the Communication / PI Officer with the development and the implementation of a PI strategy in Mali in order to increase visibility on UNHCR operations and activities;
  • Closely work with the Communication / PI Officer in Mali and on the Mali situation i.e. draft contributions for PI briefing notes, web stories, and press releases as required. Regularly send contributions for the social media (Facebook page, Twitter etc);
  • Occasionally hire cameraman to produce video footage on the situation of IDPs and UNHCR operations in Mali, including in Bamako and Mopti. Act as a video producer to assist the cameraman;
  • Maintain working relationships with the national media and international media based or in visit in Mali, the Government, NGOs, and UN agencies to develop cooperation in inter-related activities;
  • Assist the Communication / PI Officer in meeting and briefing visitors, including the media, on all UNHCR activities, where necessary together with appropriate specialist/ protection officers;
  • Assist in the drafting of press reports, fact sheets, booklets, print publications, and in presentingaccurate and attractive data presentations on maps, etc.;
  • Organize field visits to the media and donors, press conferences as requested, press interviews for the Representative, and give interviews to the media ;
  • Together with Protection officers, assist the Communication / PI Officer in the preparation of statements that represent UNHCR’s overall policies and which highlight specific areas of concern;
  • Ensure that the Communication / PI Officer is prepared for meetings and missions by drafting talking points, by researching relevant information, and by establishing contacts (within and outside UNHCR) on the subject matters to be discussed ;
  • Assist in the draft of position papers and other documents relevant to the activities of the UNHCR’s Regional Representation for West Africa (RRWA).
  • Ensure that high-level visitors are appropriately addressed, that they receive background information as necessary, and that protocol is respected;
  • Perform other duties, as required by the Communication / PI Officer.

Results/Expected Output:

  • Refugee and IDP needs reported through visibility channels on a regular basis;
  • Smooth coordination between UNHCR, the media, local authorities and implementing/operational partners;
  • Accurate and regular reports timely submitted to the Representative and for some to RRWA (sitreps, PI briefings notes, web stories);
  • Impact of UNHCR interventions on the wellbeing of people of concern evaluated and disseminated through traditional media, social media, UN system;
  • Innovative strategies to increase and maintain media and donor support and awareness created and disseminated;
  • A final statement of achievements towards volunteerism for development during your assignment such as specific quantification of mobilized volunteers, activities, capacities.


Functional Competencies:   

Promoting Organizational Learning And Knowledge Sharing

  • Basic research and analysis:
  • Researches best practices and poses new, more effective ways of doing things;
  • Documents innovative strategies and new approaches;Identifies and communicates opportunities to promote learning and knowledge sharing.

Job Knowledge/Technical Expertise

Fundamental knowledge of processes, methods and procedures:

  • Understands the main processes and methods of work regarding to the position (asset management);
  • Possesses basic knowledge of organizational policies and procedures related to the asset management and applies them consistently in work tasks;
  • Strives to keep job knowledge up-to-date through self-directed study and other means of learning;Demonstrates good knowledge of information technology and applies it in work assignments;
  • Demonstrate excellent oral and written communication skills;
  • Ability to work as a part of a team and under stringent time constraints;
  • Demonstrate openness to change and ability to manage complexities.

Promoting Organizational Change and Development

Presentation of information on best practices in organizational change:

  • Demonstrates ability to identify problems and proposes solutions;
  • Documents processes to support change initiatives.

Design and Implementation of Management Systems
Data gathering and implementation of management systems

  • Uses information/databases/other management systems;
  • Makes recommendations related to work procedures and implementation of management systems.

Client Orientation
Maintains effective client relationships:

  • Reports to internal and external clients in a timely and appropriate fashion;
  • Organizes and prioritizes work schedule to meet client needs and deadlines;
  • Establishes, builds and sustains effective relationships within the work unit and with internal and external clientsResponds to client needs promptly.

Promoting Accountability and Results-Based Management
Gathering and disseminating information:

  • Prepares timely inputs to reports;
  • Maintains databases.

Core Competencies:

  • Demonstrate corporate knowledge and sound judgment;Self-development, initiative-taking;
  • Display cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability.
  • Acting as a team player and facilitating team work;
  • Facilitating and encouraging open communication in the team, communicating effectively;Creating synergies through self-control;
  • Managing conflict;
  • Learning and sharing knowledge and encourage the learning of others. Promoting learning and knowledge management/sharing is the responsibility of each staff member;
  • Informed and transparent decision making.

Location: Bamako, Mali

Application deadline: 05 March 2015

Read more and apply here.

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