Back Communications Officer in Sustaining Peace

  • Added Date: Tuesday, 12 September 2017

The UNV will be based at the Ministry of Finance and Media supporting the Ministry’s messaging around peacebuilding and reconciliation and supporting the implementation of the peacebuilding and reconciliation communications strategy. The UNV will work with the communications team of the Ministry of Finance and Media, and will report to the Ministry and the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office. 


Under the direct supervision of the designated supervisor, the UN Volunteer will undertake the following tasks:

  • Develop communication messages on Peacebuilding and Reconciliation.
  • Coordinate translation of messages from local languages to English and vice versa
  • Liaise and ensure production and dissemination of trilingual messages in traditional and new media
  • Provide impact analysis and weekly checks of messages and communications products on digital and other forms of media
  • Monitor local and international print, electronic, digital and other media on a daily basis for stories, articles or other news that may be relevant to the peacebuilding process
  • Ensure Daily and/or weekly summaries are available for dissemination
  • Provide detailed analysis on media movements and reconciliation news daily and/or weekly
  • Co-ordinate with local and international media for media inquiries
  • Assist with the implementation of overall communication strategy on peacebuilding and reconciliation
  • Execute Crisis management strategies
  • Perform any other related tasks as required

Furthermore, UN Volunteers are required to:

  • Strengthen their knowledge and understanding of the concept of volunteerism by reading relevant UNV and external publications and take active part in UNV activities (for instance in events that mark International Volunteer Day);
  • Be acquainted with and build on traditional and/or local forms of volunteerism in the host country;
  • Reflect on the type and quality of voluntary action that they are undertaking, including participation in ongoing reflection activities;
  • Contribute articles/write-ups on field experiences and submit them for UNV publications/websites, newsletters, press releases, etc.;
  • Assist with the UNV Buddy Programme for newly-arrived UN Volunteers;
  • Promote or advise local groups in the use of online volunteering, or encourage relevant local individuals and organizations to use the UNV Online Volunteering service whenever technically possible.

 Results/Expected Outputs

  •  Key Messages on Peacebuilding and Reconciliation are developed customized to different platforms and target audiences
  • Key Messages are disseminated in English, Sinhala and Tamil in traditional and new media platforms
  • The Ministry and UN RCO is kept aware of media reporting on peacebuilding and reconciliation
  • The Government’s activities on peacebuilding and reconciliation are covered, well known and supported by a good communication strategy
  • The Ministry’s internal and external capacity of communication is improved
  • The development of capacity through coaching, mentoring and formal on-the-job training, when working with (including supervising) national staff or (non-) governmental counterparts, including Implementing Partners (IPs);
  • Age, Gender and Diversity (AGD) perspective is systematically applied, integrated and documented in all activities throughout the assignment
  • A final statement of achievements towards volunteerism for peace and development during the assignment, such as reporting on the number of volunteers mobilized, activities participated in and capacities developed


  • Experience working in cross-cultural environments an asset
  • Good inter-personal skills
  • Ability to work individually and in teams with people at all levels
  • Excellent written and verbal communication
  • Creativity and flexibility
  • Confident and Pro-active
  • Responsible and accountable, with good capacity to work on sensitive issues
  • Excellent time-management skills
  • Detail-oriented with ability to work under pressure
  • Integrity and professionalism: demonstrated expertise in area of specialty and ability to apply good judgment; high degree of autonomy, personal initiative and ability to take ownership; willingness to accept wide responsibilities and ability to work independently under established procedures in a politically sensitive environment, while exercising discretion, impartiality and neutrality; ability to manage information objectively, accurately and confidentially; responsive and client-oriented.
  • Accountability: mature and responsible; ability to operate in compliance with organizational rules and regulations.
  • Commitment to continuous learning: initiative and willingness to learn new skills and stay abreast of new developments in area of expertise; ability to adapt to changes in work environment.
  • Planning and organizing: effective organizational and problem-solving skills and ability to manage a large volume of work in an efficient and timely manner; ability to establish priorities and to plan, coordinate and monitor (own) work; ability to work under pressure, with conflicting deadlines, and to handle multiple concurrent projects/activities.
  • Teamwork and respect for diversity: ability to operate effectively across organizational boundaries; ability to establish and maintain effective partnerships and harmonious working relations in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity and gender;
  • Communication: proven interpersonal skills; good spoken and written communication skills, including ability to prepare clear and concise reports; ability to conduct presentations, articulate options and positions concisely; ability to make and defend recommendations; ability to communicate and empathize with staff (including national staff), military personnel, volunteers, counterparts and local interlocutors coming from very diverse backgrounds; ability to maintain composure and remain helpful towards the staff, but objective, without showing personal interest; capacity to transfer information and knowledge to a wide range of different target groups;
  • Flexibility, adaptability, and ability and willingness to operate independently in austere, remote and potentially hazardous environments for protracted periods, involving physical hardship and little comfort, and including possible extensive travel within the area of operations; willingness to transfer to other duty stations within area of operations as may be necessary;
  • Genuine commitment towards the principles of voluntary engagement, which includes solidarity, compassion, reciprocity and self-reliance; and commitment towards the UN core values.
  • A Bachelor’s Degree in Communications, Media, International Relations or is preferred
  • Education - Additional Comments: Equivalent qualifications will be considered
  • At least 2 years of relevant work experience;
  • Experience in relevant field is preferred
  • Demonstrates excellent oral and written communication skills in English, and Sinhala and/or Tamil
  • Ability to use computers and office software packages
  • Experience working with media platforms and groups will be an advantage

Living Conditions:

Colombo is situated on the Western Province of Sri Lanka and is the commercial capital of the country. Colombo is located on the west coast of the island and adjacent to the administrative capital, Sri Jayawardenepura, Kotte. The climate is fairly temperate all throughout the year but humidity is usually high. From March to April the temperature averages around 31 degrees Celsius (88 degrees Fahrenheit). The only major change in the Colombo weather occurs during the monsoon seasons from May to August and October to January when heavy rainfalls occur. Sri Lanka became a member of the United Nations on 14 December 1955.

Conditions of Service: A six- month contract; with subsequent contract extensions subject to availability of funding, operational necessity and satisfactory performance. However, there is no expectation of renewal of the assignment.

Travel to duty station (if applicable) and a Settling-In-Grant will be provided in the event duty station is not within commuting distance from the place of recruitment. A Volunteer Living Allowance (VLA) of LKR 59,650 is provided monthly to cover housing, utilities and normal cost of living expenses. Life, health and permanent disability insurance are included (health insurance for up to 3 dependents), as well as final repatriation (if applicable) and a resettlement allowance for satisfactory service. 


United Nations Volunteers is an equal opportunity programme which welcomes applications from qualified professionals. We are committed to achieving diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture.

United Nations Volunteers reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this announcement.  We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this opening for other openings with United Nations Volunteers with similar assignment description, experience and educational requirements.

Contract Duration: 6 Months,Full Time (with possibility of extension)

This vacancy is archived.

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