The International Rescue Committee (IRC) responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive and rebuild their lives. Founded in 1933, the IRC offers lifesaving care and life-changing assistance to refugees forced to flee from war or disaster. At work today in over 40 countries, the IRC aims to restore safety, dignity and hope to millions who are uprooted and struggling to endure.
The IRC has been working in Iraq since 2003 (with a temporary withdrawal in 2006-7). Working in coordination with the humanitarian community, the IRC currently addresses the needs of war-affected populations from several operational bases across Iraq. Our activities focus primarily on the supply of cash assistance and non-food items, legal assistance and counselling and women and children’s protection, and form part of an over-arching humanitarian response in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and the region that seeks to assist refugees, IDPs and war-affected people survive conflict and displacement.
This position will be responsible for managing the communication needs for IRC Iraq as the programme prepares for the humanitarian impact of the military operation to retake Mosul. This will be through gathering facts on the ground, success stories, and photographs, and assisting with the production of press releases, supporting media coverage and liaising with stakeholders to identify beneficiary impact stories. The Communications Manager will also gather and channel information about the IRCs response activities at the field-level in the form of sitreps, factsheets, case studies and other regular reports for dissemination to staff, stakeholders and donors.
- In support of the IRC Iraq Advocacy Advisor and Country Director and working closely with the IRC Regional Senior Media Officer, help oversee the collection of emergency response information and authentic story-led content suitable for IRC HQ communications, including media, social media and stories and updates for the website, as well as support efforts to proactively engage with international and regional media to pitch stories about IRC’s response, advocacy priorities and partnerships, resulting in high-quality, top-tier coverage.
- Work closely with the technical and program teams to collect, capture and document project activities and the needs of displaced people in the form of case studies and other content. Represent the information in an attractive and engaging format that can be shared with the public, media, project stakeholders, partners and donors.
- Through regular calls with field teams, as well as collecting latest available information from UN and other sources, produce sitreps and daily updates during the height of any emergency.
- Visit field sites regularly to document beneficiary needs and success stories through field visits and interviews.
- Gather information to support advocacy initiatives such as related case studies and evidence from the field.
- Provide daily updates on the emergency response to ensure we have up to date information to pitch to journalists and updated talking points for interviews.
- In support of the IRC Iraq Advocacy Advisor and Country Director and working closely with the IRC Regional Media Officer, draft press releases, background information and Q&As about IRC programs and issues of concern.
- Working closely with the IRC Regional Media Officer, support efforts to respond to information requests from news media; help assess and evaluate media requests, including research as necessary; help arrange interviews; and assist journalists and photographers in coordinating coverage of IRC programs.
- Act as a spokesperson for media as needed.
- Videography and photography of key project events and interventions.
- Assist IRC Iraq colleagues to identify photography opportunities as well as support the hiring of freelance photographers.
- Assist with professional photo and video shoots as required.
- Ensure that all materials adhere to the branding and marking requirements.
- The Communications Manager will report directly to the Advocacy Adviser, and during an emergency also to the Regional Media Officer with technical supervision coming from IRC HQ communication.
- Frequent communication with program staff
- Other INGOs and local partners on the ground as well as municipal authorities as needed to cover events, donors, visitors, media
- A bachelor’s degree in communications, journalism, English, public relations or other related field from an accredited university; Masters degree is a plus
- Experience in, or familiarity with humanitarian assistance programming and operating in an emergency context
- Willingness and ability to travel extensively to visit field-sites and document findings
- Knowledge of/experience with photography, videography and social media
- Fluency in Arabic and written and spoken English. Kurdish desirable.
- Must be eligible to work in Iraq
- 3-4 years of experience in a similar capacity. Experience of working with USAID or other donor-funded projects will be preferred.
- Candidate must have excellent writing and communication skills
- Experience with press will be a distinct advantage
- Ability to work in a high pressure environment and dynamic environment
- Team player with experience in a multi-cultural environment
- Should be able to independently prioritize tasks and meet short deadlines, including approvals process
This is an unaccompanied post based in Erbil with frequent travel to field offices. Shared housing will be provided.