Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Why the UN will fail

This from JournalismJobs.com this morning. What I love about this is that it is a) the director of communication for a worldwide program and b) headquartered in Germany and yet it does not absolutely require any foreign language skill at all and makes no reference to speaking a single syllable of German. Well thought out, guys.

Company: United Nations Development Programme
Position: Communications/Public Affairs
Location: Bonn, Germany, Europe
Job Status: Full-time
Salary: Not Specified
Ad Expires: October 31, 2006
Job ID: 685252
Website: http://jobs.undp.org/cj_view_job.cfm?job_id=532
Post Title: Head, Communications Unit
Post Level: P-4
Post Number: 1284
Duty Station: Bonn, Germany
Bureau/Office: External Relations Group/United Nations Volunteers
Focal Point: Irina Anghelescu at irina.anghelescu@unv.org


The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme is the UN organization that supports sustainable human development globally through the promotion of volunteerism, including the mobilisation of volunteers. It serves the causes of peace and development through enhancing opportunities for participation by all peoples. It is universal, inclusive and embraces volunteer action in all its diversity. It values free will, commitment, engagement and solidarity, which are the foundations of volunteerism.

Job Summary: Under the general guidance of the Chief, External Relations Group, the incumbent will develop and recommend communications and marketing strategies for approval by Senior Management to promote and advance understanding of and support for the work of the UNV programme. This will include the forging and strengthening of relations with UN system agencies, governments, non-governmental organizations and civil society organizations, including the global volunteer community. The incumbent will lead the implementation of agreed communication and marketing strategies and programmes accordingly.

Specific duties include:

1. Develop a communications and marketing strategy for UNV through an extensive internal consultative process, a wide-ranging review of external stakeholder information needs and an approval process with senior management. Formulate and continually update policies that provide clear guidelines/parameters for public information activities.

2. Manage the development, production and dissemination of diverse publications and news releases – including: the Annual Report, UNV News (2/year), booklets on current issues on volunteerism and development/the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), regular press releases and news bulletins. Includes translation into relevant UN languages.

3. Oversee the content development, expansion and continual assessment of the quality and relevance of web-based information services - for the UNV corporate website unvolunteers.org and the WorldVolunteerWeb portal.

4. Promote optimum visibility of UNV corporate and programme activities through: innovative outreach initiatives with diverse national, regional and international stakeholders; equipping managers, programme staff and volunteers to advocate/represent UNV effectively; and networking with strategically with private-sector media partners and vis-à-vis public outreach with UNDP/UN system partners.

5. Manage the annual global campaign to promote volunteerism for development on International Volunteer Day (IVD) – engaging UNV programme staff and volunteers globally and managing the public information campaign worldwide.

6. Lead the diverse and dynamic Communications Unit team and facilitate effective collaborative work planning and implementation processes to meet agreed outputs. Provide a positive team environment where staff are able to perform optimally, respond to challenges creatively and collaboratively, and access coaching and mentoring as needed. Team results are achieved within the resources allocated while team morale is high.


• Proven ability to formulate strategic plans in line with corporate objectives.

• Proven ability to effectively lead a diverse team in implementing strategic plans.

• Effective organisational, prioritisation and coordination skills.

• Well-developed interpersonal, oral, presentation and written communications skills including the proven ability to draft and edit.

• Ability to build, maintain and expand relationships and alliances/coalitions with a wide range of organizations.

• Ability to work under pressure.

• Proven analytical and research skills.

Essential knowledge and experience:

• At least eight years of progressively responsible experience in journalism, public and/or private media relations, advertising or related activities, with some international exposure; demonstrated team leadership and management capability; highly effective advocacy, promotional and networking skills; commitment to the values of volunteer action; and knowledge of the UN system an important asset.

• Essential personal qualities. This post requires a dynamic individual with proven excellent interpersonal and management skills in a multicultural setting. Client orientation and the ability to establish positive and productive relationships with colleagues at headquarters and in the field, management, and a very diverse range of external stakeholders, is essential.

• Familiarity with web-based information systems and inter-active electronic tools is an asset.


• Advanced university degree in journalism, social sciences or related fields.

• Excellent written and spoken English is essential – including editing capability; Competence in French and/or Spanish is highly desirable.


dogimo said...

But why would you need to speak German? I thought the whole point of claiming those Europeans are so "better educated" is how they can all speak English by kindergarten or something.

I mean, C'mon! Any German showing up to work at the UN, can't speak English...that creates a real "GOTT IN HIMMEL!" situation.

Or whatever Germans exclaim when surprised these days.

Sean Scully said...

recall Steve Martin's comment about visiting Paris:

"It's like they have a different word for EVERYTHING."

markinpp said...

The UN has six official working languages, i.e. Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish; the Secretariat uses two working languages, English and French; German would not, therefore, be a requirement for a post in UNV.

Sean Scully said...

I'm sure that will be a great comfort to our Arabic and Russian speaking new PR rep as he navigates his nearby grocery store, attempts to set up the utilities in his new apartment, and tries to fulfill his PR mission with the newspapers in his new home country.