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Manager, Communications

Job Purpose

Reporting to the Africa Regional Head, Humanitarian Diplomacy and Regional Liaison with technical reporting to the global communications director based in Geneva, the communications manager will develop and manage the execution of IFRC’s communications strategy across the Africa region; position the IFRC as a key humanitarian leader and actor; profile the achievements of National Societies; help build communications capacity of African National Societies and IFRC communications personnel in Africa region, and highlight proposed solutions to humanitarian challenges.

Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Develop, coordinate and implement a communication strategy and plan of action for Africa region that supports programmatic and policy priorities and aligns with global communications priorities and initiatives, making effective use of a wide range of communications mechanisms and tools (including media relations, corporate communication, digital media, social media and advocacy).
  • Manage and support emergency communications needs relating to disasters impacting the countries covered by the region and, as required, support wider emergency communications needs in the Africa region. This includes coordination with the country cluster support teams; management of emergency communication staff and external service providers; overseeing the outreach to international media, the gathering, production, and distribution of high-quality content to help profile response efforts of IFRC, and African National Societies, and support resource mobilization efforts of the IFRC in Africa region.
  • Operate as a member of IFRC’s Global Communications Team to advance corporate communications priorities and support a coordinated corporate approach to communications.
  • Ensure relationships with key international media, other key influencers and professional communications networks are built and sustained; and that proactive engagement occurs in-line with communications and advocacy goals to ensure that the IFRC is well connected, understood, and prominently positioned.
  • Act as the media spokesperson for Africa region related issues.
  • Support the development and dissemination of responses to incoming issues, breaking news, and reputational risks.
  • Develop communications plans, and support activities and materials for the roll-out of global external and internal communications initiatives, campaigns, and key calendar events.
  • Oversee the strengthening of a strong network of National Society communications focal points across the region to support the transfer and application of knowledge, skills, and resources.
  • Develop initiatives that provide communications training and capacity development to National Societies in the region – providing strategic communications advice and learning; skills training, mentoring and facilitation of peer-to-peer exchanges.
  • Oversee the integration and scale-up of digital technologies and social media into IFRC communications and community engagement efforts, operations, and programmes, to enhance organizational understanding of the strategic value of social media, fostering a “digital culture”. Manage the IFRC Africa region Twitter feed, as well as the Africa region web page.
  • Lead efficient and effective corporate communications, information and knowledge-sharing processes at the regional level that support programmatic and institutional goals. Serve as the Africa region’s focal point for the IFRC’s editorial board and ensure coherence, quality and consistency in design and production processes.
  • Provide technical line management and support to communications staff in the region and coordinate and collaborate with the IFRC’s global communications team.
  • Perform other relevant duties as required.


  • University Degree in journalism, communications, international relations, development studies or social sciences, humanitarian, development. Required.


  • Minimum seven years’ management experience in communications, advocacy and/or media relations, or journalism. Required.
  • Minimum five years’ experience working in the international humanitarian or development sector or a related field in a developing country. Preferred.
  • Experience of community engagement programming preferred. Preferred.
  • Previous working experience at the IFRC or a National Society, with experience of having worked in the field during an emergency and/or to profile development programming. Preferred.
  • Broad understanding of Red Cross Red Crescent policies and activities. Preferred.
  • Humanitarian Organization, Red Cross experience at the senior level. Required.

Knowledge, Skills and Languages

  • Strong knowledge of current affairs as they relate to humanitarian developments in Africa. Required.
  • Analytical and strategic thinking skills. Required.
  • Proven track record on writing articles especially on opinion pieces. Required.
  • Professional and management skills and ability to be proactive and responsive to changing needs as required by senior management and technical line management. Required.
  • Strong relationship management skills including ability to rapidly build and extend professional networks. Required.
  • Strong representational skills. Required.
  • Excellent writing and public presentation / media relations skills. Experience as a spokesperson. Required.
  • Proven track record of planning and managing integrated communications programmes including digital communications and production. Required.
  • Track record in communications skills training across a variety of communications disciplines. Required.
  • Ability to work, lead and manage in a diverse cultural and social context. Required.
  • Self-supporting in computer skills. Required.
  • Fluently spoken and written English. Required.
  • Fluency in spoken and written French. Preferred.
  • Good command of another IFRC official language (French, Spanish or Arabic). Preferred.

Competencies, Values and Comments

  • Core Competencies: Communication; Collaboration and teamwork; Judgement and decision making; National society and customer relations; Creativity and innovation; Building trust.
  • Values: Respect for diversity; Integrity; Professionalism; Accountability.


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