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External Relations Officer


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Job Description

3 Year
Male, Female, Both
Bachelor Degree
  • Organization: UNHCR – United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  • Location: Kabul
  • Grade: Level not specified – Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • External Relations, Partnerships and Resource mobilization

Hardship Level

E (most hardship) 

Family Type

Non Family


Family Type

Non FamilyDanger Pay 

Residential location (if applicable)





Staff Member / Affiliate Type



Regular > Regular Assignment 

Remote work accepted


Target Start Date


Job Posting End Date

April 20, 2023


Standard Job Description

External Relations Officer Organizational Setting and Work Relationships Direct supervision is normally exercised by a Snr External Relations Officer of Representative who provides guidance on the applicable procedures. Advice may also be provided by relevant functional units at HQ. The incumbent may supervise some support staff. External contacts are predominantly with Partners, media, government embassies and other international organizations on matters of importance to the Organization. All UNHCR staff members are accountable to perform their duties as reflected in their job description. They do so within their delegated authorities, in line with the regulatory framework of UNHCR which includes the UN Charter, UN Staff Regulations and Rules, UNHCR Policies and Administrative Instructions as well as relevant accountability frameworks. In addition, staff members are required to discharge their responsibilities in a manner consistent with the core, functional, cross-functional and managerial competencies and UNHCR¿s core values of professionalism, integrity and respect for diversity. Duties – Stay abreast of the challenges posed by the political context, the UN and humanitarian reform, and institutional developments in the area of forced displacement and humanitarian operations. – Assist in the planning of a consultative process with UNHCR colleagues (Programme, Protection, etc.) with external actors and partners, so as to develop and implement protection and assistance strategy, with clearly articulated objectives, timelines and outputs. – Assist the implementation of a communications strategy that generates support for UNHCR s operations from external partners (e.g. the general public, governments, partners, the media, academia and persons of concern). – Assist in the articulation of all issues pertaining to the needs of the populations of concern and the strategies in place to respond to their needs. – Inform the UNHCR Country Team on the UNHCR priorities so as to ensure that they are given adequate weight in the publications and documentation of the UN Country Team. – Assist in the dialogue with donors and embassies and provide accurate information by organizing regular briefings, bilateral meetings and missions. Prepare reports as appropriate. – In accordance with the operational context and in close cooperation with headquarters, propose new and non-traditional funding sources, as appropriate, including private sector and humanitarian pooled/basket funds (e.g. Central Emergency Response Fund, Human Security Fund). – Through a consultative process with headquarters, disseminate information on UNHCR¿s global funding situation and mobilize additional funds to implement special projects aimed at enhancing the quality of protection for persons of concern in the country operation. – Participate on behalf of the Representative and other supervisors in inter-agency cooperation and communication strategies, initiatives and tools. – Support senior management in representing UNHCR in the UN Country Team and other UN coordination fora. – Support, and participate in, local UN integrated missions, Inter-Agency Standing Committee, Emergency Relief Coordinator and Cluster communication strategies and initiatives. – Assist in the management of information flows within the country operations by identifying priority matters, securing, analyzing and disseminating documentation and information to support country operations and corporate communication processes and priorities. – Consolidate information on UNHCR¿s country operations and identify appropriate messages for campaigns and appeals. – Assist in the coordination of the drafting of, situation reports, briefing notes, background material, talking points, fact sheets, press releases and articles. – Assist in the development of targeted communications strategies and media packages for situations and/or activities that require focused attention. – Propose events and initiatives (e.g. commercial, cultural, political and sports) to promote the work of UNHCR and take action as appropriate. – Support the management of media relations by, inter alia, responding to direct queries, publishing press releases and organizing regular briefings and visits to country operations. – On behalf of the Representative, approve fundraising messages. – On behalf of the Representative, approve any relevant expenditure for the implementation of fundraising activities. – Propose which donors to approach and which operations or activities to prioritize for special fundraising appeals. – Implement all aspects of a communications strategy. – Approve budgets and expenditures for communications activities. – Clear external relations/communication products and tools as appropriate. – Represent UNHCR on behalf of senior management in fund-raising and communication priorities in inter-agency initiatives and fora. – Perform other related duties as required. Minimum Qualifications Education & Professional Work Experience Years of Experience / Degree Level For P3/NOC – 6 years relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or 5 years relevant experience with Graduate degree; or 4 years relevant experience with Doctorate degree Field(s) of Education Political Sciences, Social Sciences, International Relations, Journalism, or other relevant field. (Field(s) of Education marked with an asterisk* are essential) Certificates and/or Licenses Not specified Relevant Job Experience Essential Experience in humanitarian operations in a field environment. Excellent knowledge of local institution, politics and culture. Desirable Good knowledge of UNHCR operations both at Headquarters and in the Field. Fund-raising and programming/programme management experience. Experience of working with social media. Functional Skills IT-Web Content Management IT-Computer Literacy CO-Drafting and Documentation ER-Inter-Agency External Relations (Functional Skills marked with an asterisk* are essential) Language Requirements For International Professional and Field Service jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English. For National Professional jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English and local language. For General Service jobs: Knowledge of English and/or UN working language of the duty station if not English. All UNHCR workforce members must individually and collectively, contribute towards a working environment where each person feels safe, and empowered to perform their duties. This includes by demonstrating no tolerance for sexual exploitation and abuse, harassment including sexual harassment, sexism, gender inequality, discrimination and abuse of power. As individuals and as managers, all must be proactive in preventing and responding to inappropriate conduct, support ongoing dialogue on these matters and speaking up and seeking guidance and support from relevant UNHCR resources when these issues arise. This is a Standard Job Description for all UNHCR jobs with this job title and grade level. The Operational Context may contain additional essential and/or desirable qualifications relating to the specific operation and/or position. Any such requirements are incorporated by reference in this Job Description and will be considered for the screening, shortlisting and selection of candidates. 

Desired Candidate Profile

5-10 year-experience in humanitarian work with emphasis on external engagement, external and donor relations, partnerships and reporting.
Excellent written and oral communication and drafting skills in English
Experience in donor relations and resource mobilization.
Excellent knowledge of the regional context related to the challenges and opportunities posed by various humanitarian situations and mixed displacements.
Experience in multi-functional teams.
Excellent diplomatic skills and political awareness.
Proven experience to present complex matters to a wide range of audiences including donors, authorities, the media, civil society organizations and private sector. 

Required languages (expected Overall ability is at least B2 level):



Desired languages



Operational context

Occupational Safety and Health Considerations:


UNHCR and UN agencies jointly run JMS Level 1 medical clinic and satellite located in ICON compound. UNHCR and WFP have contracted IQARUS international to provide medical interventions under the AFMAT clinics in Kabul and Field Offices. Staff members on special prescription should travel with sufficient quantity of medication. Medical facilities for referral in Kabul include German Clinic, French Medical Institute for Mothers & Children (FMIC) and Blossom Health Center. Seasonal air pollution occurs in Afghanistan and contributes to comorbidities that are known to worsen outcomes among those infected with COVID-19.


To view occupational safety and health considerations for this duty station, please visit this link:



Nature of Position:

Under the direct supervision of the Senior External Relations Officer, the incumbent will take the lead in devising and implementing the Operation’s overall fundraising strategy and in particular will lead efforts to reach out to the public at large and donors/international community in close coordination with the PI/communication and the reporting teams.


The incumbent will lead the preparation of fundraising proposals for the Afghanistan Operation especially in relation to the main core programmes of UNHCR in the country, in a context phasing out of an emergency/humanitarian response towards a development one. He/she will promote UNHCR protection and solution mandate for displaced communities in the broader UN’s endeavors on stabilization and development.


He/she should also ensure that missions from Headquarters, Regional Bureau, donors, are well received and briefed. In addition, he/she consolidates information on UNHCR ‘s country operation and identify appropriate messages for campaigns and appeals.


Living and Working Conditions:

Afghanistan is a high-risk country with a very complex operational environment, characterized by uncertainty and frequent security incidents. Movement by all personnel is restricted, coordinated and monitored by the security officers. UNHCR in Kabul is located within the ICON Compound on the Supreme road of the Police district 9. It occupies 40 MOSS compliant rooms for staff accommodation with each room having its own washroom and other facilities. Offices are within the ICON compound. No visits except in UN compounds and Embassies which is frustrating, stressful to cope.


Outdoor air quality is a health concern in Kabul. The degree of exposure and concentration of air pollutants can be detrimental to breathing problems, development of chronic diseases and deterioration of health status in individuals with chronic diseases. Office provides air purifiers both in the office and accommodation.


ICON compound also offers a well-equipped gym and some outdoor areas to practice sports. UNHCR recommends to maintain a regular physical activity as a tool to balance physical and mental health.


Security situation is unstable, volatile, unpredictable with rise 2022-2023. A daily radio check is mandatory. All movements is strictly by Armoured Vehicle or by air. A 4 weeks R&R cycle is applicable for the duty station and staff are highly encouraged not to delay. Considering the serious restrictions on staff movement, it is crucial to demonstrate a record of maintaining a positive attitude whenever confronted with adversity and restraints in social life. Staff interested in the position should be mentally, psychologically, and physically fit and ready to face situations when required to be locked down in compound bunkers for an extended period due to security incidents.


Additional Qualifications



CO-Drafting and Documentation, CO-Public Information, PS-Fundraising (incl. operations, programmes) 


BA: International Relations (Required), BA: Journalism (Required), BA: Political Science (Required), BA: Social Science (Required) 


External Relations – Other 

Work Experience

Annual Budget OL in Operation/Office, Number of Persons of Concern Served, Number of Workforce in Operation/Work Setting, Workforce to Supervise, Working with Persons of Concern: Internally Displaced Persons, Working with Persons of Concern: Refugees, Working with Persons of Concern: Returned IDPsCompetencies

Accountability, Analytical thinking, Client & results orientation, Commitment to continuous learning, Communication, Empowering & building trust, Innovation & creativity, Judgement & decision making, Managing performance, Managing resource, Organizational awareness, Political awareness, Teamwork & collaboration

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March 2023 Compendium – Part BAdditional Information






Functional clearance

This position doesn’t require a functional clearance

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization’s page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.


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