Chief of Communication - UN Children's Fund | Italy

Closing date: 14 Oct 2011


Under the general guidance of the Director of the Office of Research, provides overall technical leadership and guidance on the communication and advocacy of research. The incumbent will serve as the Office of Research focal point on the communication of the global function of research and will take a leadership role in expanding and extending the role of research at UNICEF at global, regional and country levels.

The incumbent will be responsible for developing, managing, implementing and monitoring an advocacy and communication strategy with the objectives of: maximizing the utility of both internal and external research; strengthening the generation, dissemination and use of knowledge in programmes of cooperation and policy advocacy for children; increasing the visibility and consumption of UNICEF’s global research; and expanding networks and strengthening political will in support of the global research and knowledge management unit.

The incumbent will lead work in close collaboration with senior regional, DOC and PFP colleagues, in both dissemination of UNICEF’s research and risk management. The incumbent will manage separate sub-units of media; IRC editorial and publications; and website (to include new technologies) to contribute to the achievement of UNICEF’s global research and corporate goals.

The incumbent will be responsible for establishing constructive and beneficial relations donors, research centres and National Committees so as to further the work and reputation of the Office of Research.

Key expected results
  1. Devises, implements and manages a communication and advocacy strategy for the Office of Research to: foster its development, support UNICEF’s strategic research agenda around children, and enhance collaboration globally so as to strengthen the generation, dissemination and use of knowledge in programmes of cooperation and policy advocacy for children. Strategy and work plan include for the Office of Research to 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.

  2. Supervises gathering and dissemination of information on research and provides DOC, regional and country offices, as well as national committees, with appropriate responses and strategies for UNICEF’s research - both that produced by COs/ROs and from the OoR -which may be considered potentially sensitive for donors and other constituencies when communicated via the media. In doing so, works in close coordination on the strategy, advocacy and sensitivities/risk management of UNICEF’s global research with the Director and deputy Director of DOC, the Chief of Media DOC, the PFP Chief of Communication; and the regional Chiefs of Communication, ensuring visibility and use of UNICEF’s global research.

  3. Serves as a key spokesperson for the organization on research relevant to children. Devises, develops and implements longer-term initiatives with media, including organization of, or participation in, seminars, conferences and briefings of associations or clubs of journalists to promote the interests of research related to children. Develops and co-ordinates UNICEF’s messaging around key priorities in relation to UNICEF research to maximize international media opportunities. Utilizes all forms of media to generate and maintain public interest in UNICEF’s global research, and pique interest among policy makers. Organises joint media launches with representatives from Government, donors, National Committees, academic centres, think tanks and HQ/Gva.

  4. Develops, implements and manages a state of the art website that through navigation, design and content facilitates UNICEF Office of Research’s knowledge management, establishment of new networks, and innovative dissemination. Devises and develop a digital presence that shares innovation with development colleagues, policy makers, scientists, donors, and media. Leads engagement on the effective and institutionally ‘safe’ use of tools of mass communication, including social media, and social networking to achieve UNICEF’s global objectives.

  5. Manages internal and external resources, including a team of four staff (and consultants), to plan and execute activities in a cost-efficient and effective manner. Oversees IRC’s electronic and print publication programme including editorial and production activities, changes in the field, cost saving devices, and translations. Manages the co-production of information materials and distribution with commercial publishers, universities and donors.

  6. Expands networks in support of the global missions of UNICEF’s knowledge on children, by enlisting the cooperation and partnerships with key individuals, academic centres, donors and organizations, whose support is essential to the achievement of the Division of Research’s global objectives. Contacts in New York should include PARMA, partnership offices etc.

  7. Supports the Director of the Office of Research in public advocacy, speechwriting and preparations for mission. Provides senior management with media and external relations guidance based on demonstrated technical and managerial expertise, including press briefings and conferences and media interviews, social media, and social networking to achieve UNICEF’s objectives.

Advanced university degree in Communication or Journalism*.

Ten years of progressively responsible and relevant professional work experience. 

International and national work experience in both developed and developing countries. 

Professional experience in communication, print, broadcast, new media. 

Background/familiarity with research.

Fluency in English and another UN language.

*A first level university degree with a relevant combination of academic qualifications and experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.


Has highest-level communication skills, including engaging and informative formal public speaking.

Creates and encourages a climate of team-working and collaboration in a multi-cultural environment.

Consistently achieves high-level results, managing and delivering projects on-time and on-budget.

Has high-level leadership and supervisory skills; provides others with a clear direction; motivates and empowers others; recruits staff of a high caliber; provides staff with development opportunities and coaching.

Analyzes and integrates potentially conflicting numerical, verbal and other data from a number of sources.

Sets, develops and revises organizational strategy and develops clear visions of the organization’s future potential.

Quickly builds rapport with individuals and groups. Actively nurtures good relationships with people across all organizational levels and boundaries, and with government leaders and stakeholders.

Anticipates and actively monitors long term local and global developments, constantly seeking new opportunities for advancing UNICEF's mission.

Negotiates effectively with people inside and outside the organization by adopting a range of approaches.

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages qualified female and male candidates from all national, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of our organisation. If you want a challenging career while improving the lives of children around the world UNICEF, the leading children’s rights organization, would like to hear from you.

Visit us at to register in our new e-Recruitment system and apply to this and other vacancies, quoting E-VN-2011-001693. Applications must be received by 14 October 2011.

Please note that only candidates who are under serious consideration will be contacted.

In the selection of its staff, UNICEF is committed to gender balance and diversity without distinction as to race, sex or religion, and without discrimination of persons with disabilities: well qualified candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.