Project Assistant - UNOPS

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Job Details
Employer: UNHCR
Job Title: Project Assistant - UNOPS
Job Type: Full-Time
Location: Hargeisa
Category: Other

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

UNOPS Vacancy Announcement


Title of Post

Project Assistant



Contract type


Date of Issue

23rd January 2019



Closing Date

5th February 2019



Every year an increasing number of refugees and migrants perish in the Central Mediterranean in an attempt to reach Europe by dangerous means. Traditionally, a number of them hail from the Horn of Africa region.

In an effort to respond to this situation, UNHCR proposed an information campaign aimed directly at populations in this region in order to inform them of the full scope of the perils and difficulties of such voyages and about the legal, social and economic realities of life in Europe. Ultimately, this campaign seeks to enable them to make informed decisions about their movements and plans for the future.

Preparatory research of communication patterns among those on the move has shown that the target audience have at their disposal, two heavily biased sources of information on which they based their decision to leave for Europe. Firstly, the propaganda of smugglers. Secondly, the untruthful feedback of relatives in Europe that paints an unrealistically positive picture of life in Europe.

The aim of Telling the Real Story is two-fold:

 Countering the narrative of smugglers and inform affected communities of the full scope of the dangers associated with irregular movement to and life in Europe and;

 Breaking the social taboo, admitting the problems related to living in Europe and debunking the myths about life in Europe.


The project uses an innovative design to re-enact traditional oral communication patterns of Somali societies by 21st century means. Unlike other communication campaigns, it is not inserting messages and slogans from outside sources, but is enabling and boosting intra-community dialogue.

Telling the Real Story website ( centres on authentic testimonies in the native languages of the target audience. People who experienced the journey to and life in Europe feed their genuine experiences into that platform. For dissemination, the project uses traditional forms of communication in camps and urban settings as well as social media and, increasingly, broadcast media. Thus, the platform successfully serves as an enabler and amplifier of intra-community dialogue, which is much more credible and efficient than traditional campaigning.

The credibility of the project stems from its inclusive approach: it involves all strands of the community, from the diaspora in Europe, to celebrities, community leaders and religious figures in countries of first asylum and the refugees themselves. Page 2 of 3



Under the direct supervision of the Associate Project Officer, The Project Assistant and in close cooperation with other competent offices, will be expected to support the overall coordination and dissemination of the project in regions of Somaliland. The Project Assistant will be responsible for the following:

 Dissemination of the TRS project to different segments of the Somali community;

 Establish close working relations with the authorities and the Mixed Migration Task Force (MMTF) partners in the development and dissemination of information and awareness activities on the risks and dangers of clandestine and irregular migration.;

 In close consultation with the Head of Sub-office and the Associate Project Officer establish and nurture partnerships with a range of stakeholders including, with celebrity supporters and MEDIA interlocutors to expand advocacy activities and reach wider audiences;

 Provide support in analysing existing data in order to provide operations information on trends and lead research into gaps In information concerning onwards movement including through direct community engagement. Support real time evaluation strategies of the campaign to enable the adjustments of on-going activities.

 In close consultation with the Head of Sub-office and the Associate Project Officer, engage and drive awareness-raising activities through combining different communication outputs aimed at reframing the discourse to counter the narrative of the smugglers and inform the community and particularly children of the full scope of dangers associated with irregular movement to and life in Europe;

 Hold regular awareness raising activities intended for different segments of the population. The activities will involve - and not limited to, distributing the children's book in refugee schools, hold sessions with parents and guardians, screen testimonies, hold focus group discussions, organize community engagement sessions using a range of mechanisms such as theater, poetry, art, etc;

 Keep internal regional/HQ a breast of activities and progress through regular weekly/monthly reports,

 Develop messages and create campaign materials.

 Support on program management of the project, as needed.


Monitoring and Progress Controls

 The Project Assistant will directly be supervised by the Associate Project Officer and reviewing officer will be the Head of Sub-Office.

 Provide analytical reports weekly/monthly on trends, misinformation and motivations related to activities undertaken

 Provide regular feedback and progress on activities.

 Manage budget allocated to the activities

 Provide analytical report(s) on trends, motivations and misinformation related to activities undertaken



Education (Level and area of required and/or preferred education)

Bachelor Degree in communication, political science, international relations, migration studies or related field;


Work Experience

 A minimum of 2 years progressively responsible experience in public information, migration and related areas.

 Work experience in the field of Refugee protection and assistance would be an asset. Knowledge of UN policies and procedures

 Experience of working with persons of concerns

 Field experience is an asset


Key competence

 Basic understanding of international refugee protection and UNHCR’s mandate

 Conceptual and practical understating of protection issues and approaches in humanitarian context, including the constraints, sensitivities, and risks associated with such work

 General familiarity with the regional mixed migration dynamics

 Excellent analytical skills and strategic thinking

 Proven ability to establish and maintain strong working relations with relevant government counterparts

 Excellent command of English and Somali (written, Oral and comprehension



If you wish to be considered for this vacancy, please submit your letter of motivation, Personal History Form (attached) by e-mail stating the position title and location in the subject line to: by 5th February 2019.

The Personal History Form (PHF) is attached and also available at the following link:

Shortlisted candidates may be required to sit for a test and/or oral interview. No late applications will be accepted. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

UNHCR strongly encourages qualified female applicants for this position. UNHCR seeks to ensure that male and female employees are given equal career opportunities. UNHCR is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidentiality.

NB: UNHCR does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process.

Refugees – who cares? We Do.

Publish date: 2019-01-24 10:18:04
Premium Job: No
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