Senior Officer, Communications (National), Colombo, Sri Lanka At IFRC – International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

Closing date: Saturday, 1 April 2023

Senior Officer, Communications

Senior Officer, Communications

Jobnumber : S03194

Contract Type : Employee

Closing date : 01-Apr-2023

Posting Start Date : 13-Mar-2023

Location : SRI LANKA

Duty Station : Colombo, sri jayawardenepura kotte, Sri Lanka

Duty Station Status : N/A

Duration : 10

Accompanied Status : N/A

Grade : National Staff

Organizational Context

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, with a network of 192-member National Societies. The overall aim of the IFRC is “to inspire, encourage, facilitate, and promote at all times all forms of humanitarian activities by National Societies with a view to preventing and alleviating human suffering and thereby contributing to the maintenance and promotion of human dignity and peace in the world.” The IFRC works to meet the needs and improve the lives of vulnerable people before, during and after disasters, health emergencies and other crises.

The IFRC is part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (Movement), together with its member National Societies and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The work of the IFRC is guided by the following fundamental principles: humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity, and universality.

The IFRC is led by its Secretary General, and has its Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. The Headquarters are organized into three main Divisions: (i) National Society Development and Operations Coordination; (ii) Global Relations, Humanitarian Diplomacy and Digitalization; and (iii) Management Policy, Strategy and Corporate Services.

The IFRC has five regional offices in Africa, Asia Pacific, Middle East and North Africa, Europe, and the Americas. The IFRC also has country cluster delegation and country delegations throughout the world. Together, the Geneva Headquarters and the field structure (regional, cluster and country) comprise the IFRC Secretariat.

Job Purpose

The purpose of the Asia Pacific communications unit is to support the humanitarian mission of the IFRC by ensuring that the Red Cross Red Crescent in Asia Pacific has a high public profile and a strong and respected brand.

The communications unit operates as an integral service part of the IFRC Asia Pacific regional office and works in close collaboration with a small network of IFRC communicators at regional and country levels, as well as with counterparts in the IFRC’s Geneva secretariat. The Asia Pacific senior communications officer reports to the Asia Pacific communications manager based in Kuala Lumpur.

The primary role of the senior communications officer is to support the IFRC’s public and strategic communications to profile the work in view of the ongoing crisis in Sri Lanka. Principal objectives are:

  •  Enhancing Red Cross and Red Crescent visibility with the ongoing economic crisis in Sri Lanka where IFRC has an ongoing emergency operation
  •  Maintain digital and social media platforms by contributing to IFRC Asia Pacific and Sri Lanka Red Cross Society (SLRCS) social media accounts
  •  Engage with internal and external stakeholders to identify the right message for the right audience
  •  Support SLRCS in capacity building, social media and producing contents for different platforms
  •  Tell the story of the impact of the ongoing crisis tackling relevant angles

Job Duties and Responsibilities

The senior officer, communications will work under the direct line management of the Operation Manager. He / she will be responsible for the following areas: Specific duties and responsibilities:

  •  Coordinate communications among team members of IFRC Sri Lanka and SLRCS to raise the visibility of the results and impact of the emergency operation in view of the economic crisis;
  •  Formalize and implement the Sri Lanka Communications Strategy;
  •  Identify story ideas and news opportunities and market them directly to international media and to domestic media through and/or in cooperation with the SLRCS;
  •  Provide regular written updates, draft media advisories/press releases as needed to the International Federation and produce background material for the media, visitors, and other interested parties;
  •  Arrange and host media field visits as required;
  •  Produce publicity/marketing materials for the International Federation’s global and regional publications (e.g. website, magazine, media packages) and National Society publications and travel domestically to the field as necessary to achieve these products;
  •  To provide guidance, advice and support to SLRCS on communications issues, focusing on advocacy for the most vulnerable and the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement’s Fundamental Principles;
  •  Actively support Asia Pacific Communication Department in Kuala Lumpur and donors on communications needs, including on key events, observance days and milestones;
  •  Work closely with the communications staff of SLRCS providing technical support and guidance when appropriate and able, and with the Regional Communications Manager in Kuala Lumpur;
  •  After prior approval of line manager, liaise with donor agencies, ICRC, UN agencies, international government, and non-government agencies, share information and collaborate as appropriate;
  •  Provide professional and technical communications support in the delegation to ensure communications planning and visibility become integral to core programs and planning;
  •  Organize and conduct special promotional events related to the IFRC emergency appeal; and
  •  Identify and provide guidance to photographers and videographers that will be engaged by IFRC to gather contents from the field

External representation and networking

  •  To develop close contacts with international and domestic (in cooperation with SLRCS and ICRC) news organizations and regional bureaus based in Delhi and regionally;
  •  Actively seeking media coverage for Red Cross activities, concerns and achievements and promoting the Red Cross as a primary source on humanitarian issues and disasters;
  •  Develop linkages with communications/public relations/advertising agencies and corporations in Sri Lanka for possible resource mobilization and to achieve greater visibility for the Red Cross; and
  •  To identify Red Cross spokespeople and, where appropriate, arrange interviews with/for them.


Bachelor’s degree or equivalent qualification in a relevant area (for example, journalism, mass communications studies)


* At least 3 years or more experience in a related area, in particular in news media or communications

* Independent worker with strong relationship management experience

Knowledge, Skills and Languages

* Good knowledge and understanding of communications and media relations

* Good professional communication skills, both written and verbal, including attention to detail in written English

* Strong technical skills, in website management and social media

* Experience in publications production and graphic design processes

* Excellent computer skills including knowledge of Microsoft Office applications

* Budget management skills

* Fluent spoken and written English and Singhalese

Competencies, Values and Comments

Values: Respect for diversity; Integrity; Professionalism; Accountability.

Core competencies: Communication; Collaboration and teamwork; Judgement and decision making; National society and customer relations; Creativity and innovation; Building trust.