ICRC - International Committee of the Red Cross

ICRC HQ Geneva

Please note that the ICRC is not a UN-system organization.

What we do

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) works worldwide to provide humanitarian protection and assistance to people affected by conflict and armed violence. We take action in response to emergencies and at the same time promote respect for international humanitarian law. We are an independent and neutral organization, and our mandate stems essentially from the Geneva Conventions of 1949. We work closely with National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and with their International Federation to ensure a concerted, rational, and rapid humanitarian response to the needs of the victims of armed conflict or any other situation of internal violence. We advise and coordinate the international activities conducted in these situations.

Purpose of the post

Based in Dakar, the Africa public relations officer and spokesperson works with delegations in French-speaking Africa to generate coverage of ICRC’s activities, humanitarian concerns, and regional thematic priorities. They develop messaging and implement strategies to strategically position the organization, identifying and highlighting compelling stories we can tell globally about our work and the people we serve in Africa. They guide delegations on public communication issues, opportunities, and challenges. They are part of the Cross-Media team with a blue line to the global news editor in Geneva. They also work closely with the Africa Head of Sector based in Geneva and the regional communications team based in Dakar.

Main Responsibilities

Media Relations

  • Provide strategic support to 13 delegations in French-speaking countries in Africa.
  • Sets up and handles communication opportunities for senior ICRC leaders to profile operations (e.g. during field visits to operational delegations).
  • Follow innovations and trends in communications, media and digital.
  • Signal issues on which ICRC should consider positioning itself publicly and bilaterally and define strategies, messages and tools for communicating such issues.
  • Lead strategic cross media communications packages comprising online media tools.
  • Drafts speaking points, news releases, defensive lines and other products for traditional media, and contributes to digital content.
  • Acts as a spokesperson, providing information on the ICRC’s activities and humanitarian concerns.
  • Provides (or organizes) interviews, quotes and briefings for journalists on operations and issues of concern, ensuring that the ICRC’s public position is known and understood.
  • Pitches story ideas, content and interviews, and engages with key media to develop longer-term content partnerships (either directly or with global reach delegations).
  • Works with Regional Resource Network (RRN), and its Regional Hub in Dakar (DAK HUB) to provide support to delegations in West Africa, as well as contributing directly to the implementation of the RSF priorities and to humanitarian diplomacy efforts.
  • Works with the digital communication team at headquarters and regional communication centres to develop media/digital campaigns around key thematic issues and contexts.
  • Works with other communication staff based in or covering the same region to map, prioritize and build media contacts. Supports the key delegations when necessary, including through country visits.
  • Supports the global media management of crises, working with the operational region and digital communication team at headquarters and regional communication staff and global reach delegations in the field.
  • Ensures smooth coordination of public communication issues with all International Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement components, especially during crises and joint Movement response.

Capacity Building

  • Support ICRC delegation to coach, brief and debrief of field communications, with particular emphasis on first mission and national staff.
  • Participate in the conception, preparation and implementation of public communication training modules.
  • Support and advise the teams managing operations at field and headquarters levels in their communications activities and strategies, provide a constant stream of information on these interventions, and help ICRC continue exposing the humanitarian needs of the population it is helping.
  • Provide support to, mentor and coach communications coordinator to develop communication strategies and initiatives in the countries.

Emergency support

  • On call 24/7 every six weeks to cover global media requests.
  • Attend crisis calls and meetings; write and share internal/external updates.
  • Support the delegations in its communications initiatives for major emergencies, upon request.
  • Participate in crisis management teams on critical incidents, when needed.

Required qualifications and desired skills

  • University degree in a relevant discipline such as political science, international relations, journalism, communication management or public relations.
  • Minimum 8 years’ work experience in media relations and content generation (inside or outside the ICRC).
  • Excellent public communication skills and sound knowledge of the media environment.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in French and English.
  • Ability to speak Arabic, German, Russian and/or Spanish an asset.
  • Proven capacity to work in a stressful environment and to tight deadlines.
  • Computer skills: (competence in MS Office and other software); familiarity with digital communication tools.
  • ICRC experience an asset.

Our operational & field constraints

  • In line with the principle of neutrality, the ICRC does not assign personnel to a country of which they are nationals.
  • Candidates must be in good health and will have to do a medical check-up prior to departure in the field.
  • Candidates must possess a driving license (for manual transmission vehicles).
  • Candidates must be prepared to accept unaccompanied postings (i.e. no spouse, partner, children or dependents) for at least the first 6 months.

What we offer

  • Rewarding work in a humanitarian and multicultural environment.
  • A two-week orientation course and other opportunities for in-house training.
  • Generous social benefits.
  • Competitive employment package.
  • Opportunity to join an ICRC talent pool and be considered for future assignments elsewhere.

Additional information

Type of contact: Open ended contract Working rate: 100% Starting date: March 2023 Location: Dakar, Senegal Length of assignment: 24 months Application deadline: 05/11/2022

The ICRC values diversity and is committed to building an inclusive working environment. We encourage applications from all qualified candidates.

Tags: crisis management, editor, humanitarian law, humanitarian response, international relations, journalism, media relations, oral communication, political science, public relations, vehicles, west africa