External Relations Officer

External Relations Officer

Job description

External Relations Officer

Organizational Setting and Work Relationships

Direct supervision is normally exercised by a Senior 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 nontraditional 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 interagency 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 fundraising and communication priorities in interagency initiatives and fora.
  • Support the identification and management of risks and seek to seize opportunities impacting objectives in the area of responsibility. Ensure decision making in risk based in the functional area of work. Raise risks, issues and concerns to a supervisor or to relevant functional colleague(s).
  • Perform other related duties as required.Minimum Qualifications

    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.

    Relevant Job Experience

    Experience in humanitarian operations in a field environment.
    Excellent knowledge of local institution, politics and culture.

    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.

    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

    The desired candidate has experience in external/donor relations as well as donor visibility and related social media and video content creation. The desired candidate also has experience in donor reporting and project proposal submissions as well as management experience.

    Required languages (expected Overall ability is at least B2 level


    Desired languages



    Operational context

    Occupational Safety and Health Considerations

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

    Nature of Position

    The External Relations Unit in the
    UNHCR Lebanon operation leads the mobilization of more than $200million each year for protection and assistance programs through proactive engagement with traditional and non-traditional, including private sector donors, the submission of a large number of funding proposals and the production of high quality results-based reports and visibility products.

    The incumbent is a senior member of the External Relations team and plays a key role in developing donor communications and donor visibility strategies, and implementing engagement and fundraising strategies, to enhance and grow support from current and prospective donors.

    S/he is supervised by the Senior External Relations Officer who provides guidance on the applicable procedures and on the overall strategy of the External Relations section, and works closely with the External Communications unit in the Lebanon operation, to ensure consistency in branding. Advice may also be provided by relevant functional units at HQ and the MENA Bureau. S/he may supervise some staff.

    External contacts are predominantly with donors/embassies in Lebanon, media, partners, suppliers, and other international organizations on matters of importance to the operation.

    S/he is expected to maintain the dialogue with donors and embassies and provide accurate and timely information about the country operation, its funding needs and the impact of the strategies rolled out by
    UNHCR, including by organizing regular bilateral or joint briefings, missions to the field, and by preparing various communication products (including on social media platforms). S/he will be required to prepare funding proposal and donor reports as appropriate.

    Living and Working Conditions

    Lebanon continues to host the highest number of refugees per capita and per square kilometre in the world.

    As of 28 February 2023, there are 820,160 refugees and asylum seekers registered with
    UNHCR in Lebanon, including 808,088 Syrian refugees and 12,072 refugees and asylum seekers of other nationalities. The Government of Lebanon estimates that there are 1.5 million displaced Syrians living in Lebanon.

    Refugees live across nearly all municipalities in Lebanon in both within urban and rural areas, as well as in informal tented settlements.

    Since 2021, the Vulnerability Assessment for Syrian Refugees (VASyR) indicates that 9 out of 10 Syrian refugees are living in extreme poverty, even with assistance, up from 55% in 2019.

    UNHCR co-leads with UNDP and the Government of Lebanon the Lebanon Crisis Response Plan (LCRP), a joint, multi-year plan between the Government of Lebanon and 126 international and national partners developed to assist more than 3.2 million crisis-affected people living in Lebanon and including displaced Syrians, Palestinian refugees and vulnerable Lebanese host communities. The LCRP appeal for 2023 is $3.34 billion.

    Compounding the refugee situation are the unprecedented economic and financial crises that Lebanon is facing, which have contributed to a substantial deterioration of the socio-economic situation since 2019 and affected everyone, including refugees and Lebanese people.

    Lebanon is currently amid an unprecedented combination of an economic and financial crisis, extensive unemployment, political instability, and a negative rhetoric against Syrian refugees. On 31 October 2022 Lebanon officially entered an institutional vacuum in both the Presidency and Premiership.

    This have created a heightened tension environment that might evolve into politically motivated protests, intermittent skirmishes, and terrorist attacks in the coming period if the impasse continues to be prolonged.

    Subsequently, the current notable increase in crime rate, banks break-ins, prison break and smuggling of individuals by sea, are likely to continue at the light of the large proliferation of weapons, but also the limited capacity of security authorities given the financial crises. UN staff remain indirectly affected by crime.

    Deterioration of the basis support services are affecting the overall living conditions across the country. Major challenge is the provision of reliable electricity supply across the country.

    Many of the residential buildings had installed generator-based back-up systems, however due to diesel shortages and increased fuel prices, electricity cuts are noticeable, between 6 to 20 hours a day. The cost of reliable electrify supply increased significantly and can be up to USD1,000 per month. The shortage in medical supplies, availability of medical specialists also needs to be considered during the application process.

    Due to collapse in the banking sector, many international staff are not using local banks for their finances and relying more on international bank accounts to make transfers or relying on transfers though financial service companies.

    UNHCR in Lebanon has over 500 staff across offices in Beirut and Zahle (classified by ICSC in July 2023 as ‘B’ family duty stations), as well in Tripoli, Qobayat, and Tyre (classified as category ‘C’ family duty stations).

    The timely issuing of the entry visas and residence permits has proven to be a challenge for
    UNHCR Lebanon, which may delay the staff member’s assignment process, including their dependents.

    Even though personnel can visit Lebanon using the UNLP and will receive a 6-month visa upon arrival, but such visas cannot be converted into residency permit to regularize the stay of international staff in Lebanon.

    It is imperative that staff arriving from abroad to take up assignment in Lebanon has to secure an official visa to be approved by Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other government entities (if needed). The process of obtaining approvals on official visas varies with the type of visa granted. In normal situation it takes between 15 and 30 working days (depending on the type of visa).

    As for Residency permit process for international staff members and their dependents, it can only be initiated after securing the official visa and entering Lebanon using it.Additional Qualifications


    Bachelor of Arts (BA

    International Relations, Bachelor of Arts (BA

    Journalism, Bachelor of Arts (BA

    Political Science, Bachelor of Arts (BA

    Social Science

    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: Others of Concern, Working with Persons of Concern: Refugees, Working with Persons of Concern: Stateless


    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

    UNHCR Salary Calculator


    Bi-annual Compendium 2023 Part B – October 2023

    Functional clearance

    This position doesn’t require a functional clearance

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        Nonprofit/Community/Social Services/International Cooperation


        Working hours (%

        ): 80-100%

        Job type:
        Staff (Permanent and Fixed Term)

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