Communications Officer, Johannesburg, South Africa

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WFP seeks candidates of the highest integrity and professionalism who share our humanitarian principles.

Selection of staff is made on a competitive basis, and we are committed to promoting diversity and gender balance.


The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. The mission of WFP is to end global hunger. Every day, WFP works worldwide to ensure that n o child goes to bed hungry and that the poorest and most vulnerable, particularly women and children, can access the nutritious food they need.

In emergencies, WFP gets food to where it is needed, saving the lives of victims of war, civil conflict and natural disasters. After an emergency, WFP uses food to help communities rebuild their shattered lives. Present in nearly 80 countries, the organization has the global footprint, deep field presence and local knowledge and relationships necessary to provide access to nutritious food and contribute to the lasting solutions, especially in many of the world’s most remote and fragile areas. We manage an operating budget of approximately $5.9 billion each year, distributing 12.6 billion rations to those most in need. We reach an average of 80 million people with food assistance in around 80 countries each year. The World Food Programme office in Johannesburg is a Regional Office coordinating and supporting the delivery of humanitarian assistance and providing technical support to 12 Southern Africa countries including, Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Republic of Congo, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

For more on WFP and what we do, please go to


These jobs are found in Headquarters (HQ), Regional Bureaux (RBs) and in Country Offices (COs). Job holders provide advice on advocacy and communications issues and analyse and interpret material of a complex nature. In RBs, job holders report to the Regional Director or the designate, with functional supervision from the Head of Unit or the designate. These roles manage advocacy and related communications for a region and coordinate all focal points in the region to ensure the implementation of WFP’s global communications, advocacy and marketing strategy is in liaison with HQ Communications, Advocacy and Marketing Division.


Based in the Communications, Advocacy and Marketing and Reports (CAM) Unit and working closely with the Regional Director’s Office (RDO), the position will lead the design and implementation of core advocacy and communications strategy and activities carried out by WFP in the Southern African region to enable ‘Saving Lives and Changing Lives’ mandate and delivering the SDG

  • Reporting to the Head of CAM but working under the guidance of the Regional Director, the postholder will drive effective positioning WFP priorities with national governments, regional power blocs, International Financial Institutions, African Union Member States, centres of excellence, parliamentarians, academic institutions, civil society groups and movements as well as intergovernmental organizations. In addition, the postholder will build the advocacy capacity of the regional colleagues and other relevant teams to implement effective advocacy initiatives.

The consultant will be based in WFP Regional Bureau in Johannesburg , South Africa.

KEY ACCOUNTABILITIES (not all-inclusive)

  • Define and implement regional advocacy and communications plans, support the implementation of the corporate advocacy and communications strategy, in order to position WFP with key advocacy stakeholders, maintain and enhance the visibility for and reputation of WFP, and support fundraising activities, ensuring alignment with WFP strategy.
  • Provide advice and support to COs on the design and implementation of country advocacy and related communications plans, ensuring compliance with wider WFP’s influence strategy and taking into account the specific country context and audience in order to develop appropriate, effective advocacy plans.
  • Plan and execute advocacy and communications campaigns that favorably impact the views of the public, opinion leaders, donors, International Financial Institutions (IFIs), regional power blocs and civil society in order to raise WFP’s profile and support Changing Lives agenda.
  • Ensure effective design and delivery of advocacy products that effectively convey the desired message to targeted audience(s).
  • Oversee a contact list of regional advocacy key stakeholders to ensure a regular flow of news/information.
  • Facilitate and oversee the generating of a range of advocacy products and content in order to support regional and country specific advocacy activities, ensuring consistency with corporate messages and aspirations.
  • Plan and deliver internal communications on advocacy so employees understand and engage with WFP’s strategy and how they contribute to meeting WFP’s mission through advocacy.
  • Analyse advocacy opportunities, identifying trends and issues, presenting clear recommendations and influencing management to improve effectiveness of advocacy and communications strategies.
  • Define performance indicators, and coordinate accurate and timely reporting, contributing to a WFP wide view of advocacy and communications activities that enables informed decision-making, evaluation of objectives and consistency of information presented to stakeholders.
  • Lead capacity building of WFP staff on all aspects of advocacy, external relations and communications, ensuring appropriate training is delivered to staff, and provide advice up the senior management level in order to ensure consistent, quality advocacy communications that deliver the desired impact.
  • Build effective collaborations and partnerships internally and externally to align activities and ensure a coherent approach to communications.
  • Take responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives in all areas of work, to ensure equal participation of women and men.
  • Contribute to preparedness actions, providing technical recommendations and guidance and monitoring the management of communications specific risks.
  • Other as required.



  • Understand and communicate the Strategic Objectives: Utilizes understanding of WFP’s Strategic Objectives to communicate linkages to team objectives and work.
  • Be a force for positive change: Proactively identifies and develops new methods or improvements for self and immediate team to address work challenges within own work area.
  • Make the mission inspiring to our team: Identifies opportunities to further align individual contributions with WFP’s mission of making an impact on local communities.
  • Make our mission visible in everyday actions: Helps colleagues to see the link between their individual tasks and the contributions of their unit’s goals to the broader context of WFP’s mission. People
  • Look for ways to strengthen people’s skills: Is able to identify, support and encourage focused on-the-job learning opportunities to address gaps between current skillsets and needed future skillsets for WFP.
  • Create an inclusive culture: Recognizes the contributions of teammates, and encourages contributions from culturally different team mates to recognise the value of diversity above and beyond just including it in programming for beneficiaries.
  • Be a coach & provide constructive feedback: Provides and solicits ongoing constructive feedback on strengths and development opportunities to help develop individual skills, whilst also helping others identify areas for improvement.
  • Create an “I will”/”We will” spirit: Sets clear targets for self and others to focus team efforts in ambiguous situations (e.g., unprecedented issues and/or scenarios). Performance
  • Encourage innovation & creative solutions: Thinks beyond team’s conventional approaches to formulate creative methods for delivering food aid and assistance to beneficiaries.
  • Focus on getting results: Maintains focus on achieving individual results in the face of obstacles such as volatile or fragile environments and/or organizational roadblocks.
  • Make commitments and make good on commitments: Takes personal accountability for upholding and delivering upon team’s commitments and provides assurance to stakeholders.
  • Be Decisive: Demonstrates ability to adjust to team’s plans and priorities to optimize outcomes in light of evolving directives, while also responding quickly in high-pressure environments, such as in emergency settings. Partnership
  • Connect and share across WFP units: Demonstrates an understanding of when and how to tactfully engage other units in conversations on impact, timing, or planning.
  • Build strong external partnerships: Networks regularly with key external partners using formal and informal opportunities to understand each partner’s unique value proposition, and to build and strengthen relationships.
  • Be politically agile & adaptable: Demonstrates ability to adapt engagement approach in the context of evolving partner circumstances and expectations.
  • Be clear about the value WFP brings to partnerships: Demonstrates ability to articulate to internal and external audiences the value that individual contributions and immediate teams bring to partnerships.


Capability Name

Description of the behaviour expected for the proficiency level

Advocacy, Media and Influencer Relationship Management

Demonstrates ability to formulate and maintain strong relationships with advocacy stakeholders, key media and influencers. Leads in implementing identified strategy to raise the profile of WFP, build relationships and further organisational aims.

Advocacy, Media and Communication Expertise

Provides guidance to team members in facilitating open and informative verbal and written communication between key advocacy stakeholders, media and influencers. Directs a team in the preparation of tailored written reports, presentations materials.

Specialised Knowledge in Advocacy Communications

Utilises specialist knowledge of advocacy communications principles and concepts in supervising the production of complex communication campaigns through various media , providing critical evaluation. Applies this in development of plans of work and strategies which are aligned to WFP’s overall communication strategy.

Sociopolitical Contextual Understanding

Demonstrates deep understanding of the multilateral/interagency environment and the dynamics in which WFP operates which influences approach to working, policy development and decision making.

Advocacy and Communication Strategy and Planning

Conceptualises and manages the development of the WFP advocacy and communication strategy, ensuring effective focus on target groups, key stakeholders and media to raises the profile of WFP and support fundraising initiatives. Leverages specialist expertise within team as a key input into strategy and oversees its implementation.


  • Has an excellent understanding and experience of advocacy and communications in humanitarian and development contexts with special focus on engaging global, regional, and national platforms for desired policy and advocacy influencing.
  • Experience in building partnerships with global, regional, and national governments for desired policy and advocacy changes.
  • Has gained significant experience in exploring new opportunities and providing inputs to design and implement advocacy campaigns.
  • Has designed and managed advocacy and communications initiatives and provided technical support and guidance to colleagues.
  • Has used understanding of partners focus areas and knowledge of internal capabilities to creates a unique value proposition for the partners.
  • Has experience in managing a team.
  • Has motivated team spirit and contributed to a gender-balanced, inclusive, and sound working environment.



  • Advanced University degree in Journalism, International Relations, International Development, Public Relations, Communications or other relevant field, or First University degree with additional years of related work experience and/or trainings/courses.


  • 8 years or more of high-level experience in advocacy – both in humanitarian and development sector. At least 5 years of experience in leadership positions, leading advocacy strategies and managing teams.
  • Demonstrable experience of working with national governments, regional power blocs, International Financial Institutions, African Union Member States, centres of excellence, parliamentarians, academic institutions, civil society groups and movements as well as intergovernmental organizations.

Knowledge & Skills:

  • Excellent understanding of humanitarian and development sectors and the SDGs with special focus on SDG2 and its deliverables.
  • Excellent writing, conceptual and analytical skills including the ability to present complex processes and issues clearly to a heterogeneous audience and in an actionable manner.
  • Demonstrated professional research and writing experience, including through publications.
  • Ability to network and function well in a multi-cultural context and working with diverse teams.


  • Excellent working knowledge of English.
  • Second official UN language is desirable (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, Spanish, and/or Portuguese).


Limited Fixed-Term Appointment (LFT) position is a non-mobile staff appointment in the international professional category for a limited period for up to 4 years and is open to all nationalities. The position is based in Johannesburg, South Africa and the selected candidate will be expected to relocate. Incumbents of LFT positions are not eligible to apply for other mobile positions advertised internally through the Reassignment.

WFP offers an attractive compensation and benefits package in line with ICSC standards ( ) including basic salary, post adjustment, relocation entitlement, travel and shipment allowances, 30 days’ annual leave, home leave, an education grant for dependent children, a pension plan, and medical insurance.


This Vacancy Announcement will close on Friday, 20 May 2022 at 11:59pm Johannesburg time

Female applicants and qualified applicants from developing countries are especially encouraged to apply

WFP has zero tolerance for discrimination and does not discriminate on the basis of HIV/AIDS status.

No appointment under any kind of contract will be offered to members of the UN Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), International Civil Service Commission (ICSC), FAO Finance Committee, WFP External Auditor, WFP Audit Committee, Joint Inspection Unit (JIU) and other similar bodies within the United Nations system with oversight responsibilities over WFP, both during their service and within three years of ceasing that service.

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