Founded at the suggestion of Albert Einstein in 1933 to assist refugees fleeing Nazi Germany, the International Rescue Committee’s (IRC) roots are firmly planted in Europe. At the end of World War II, the IRC was one of the few organizations ready and able to assist the millions of refugees in need of sanctuary. And, when Hungary’s refugees amassed on Austria’s borders in the 1950s, the IRC was there to provide aid and secure shelter across Europe and in the U.S. From Hitler’s Germany to World War II to Hungary’s red revolt to the break-up of the former Yugoslavia, the IRC provided safe haven and assistance for refugees fleeing war and oppression across the continent. The IRC has since become a global humanitarian organization with programming in 40 countries around the world. In the U.S., the IRC is at work resettling refugees in 29 cities.
More than 1 million refugees have fled to Europe over the last three years, seeking to escape conflict in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.
The IRC restarted programming in Europe in July 2015 in response to the escalating humanitarian crisis on Greece’s shores as hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing conflict sought sanctuary in Europe. Since then, the IRC has expanded its response to the Balkans, working through partners to ensure that refugees have the services they need, and more recently to Germany, where the IRC provides technical assistance on effectively integrating refugees into local communities. Across Europe, building on 83 years of experience aiding refugees, and over 40 years’ experience resettling and integrating refugees in the United States, the IRC is establishing partnerships with local actors – government and otherwise – who are now at the forefront of resettlement and integration in Europe.
The IRC currently manages several regional projects. The largest one is an IRC-led consortium of partners providing shelter, protection services, and alternative care solutions for unaccompanied & separated children and minors who are stranded in Greece and other Balkan route countries. They face acute protection needs and are at significant risk of smuggling or trafficking as they try to continue onward to reach their families.
IRC’s US Programs designed and secured funding for the EURITA project, which started in October 2016. The project seeks to share best practices from refugee resettlement and integration in the US with practitioners in 10 European countries who are developing or interested in developing resettlement and integration programs, through a series of workshops and tool sharing with local actors. It provides an important opportunity for the IRC to develop a strong understanding of the integration landscape in these countries, develop a network of local partners, and identify potential avenues for new program and business development to expand the IRC’s engagement in this area.
Situations of forced or voluntary displacement are often characterized by lack of or contradictory information, which can easily put people further in harm's way. If refugees and displaced populations have relevant and credible information about their rights, laws, and the availability of age- and gender-appropriate services, they regain power to make choices that protect themselves, their families and each other.
The IRC, in partnership with Mercy Corps, developed Refugee.Info in response to the need for reliable information for refugees. This was initially provided through an accessible website, but has since evolved into a platform which includes an interactive Facebook page, a blog, and an app (currently in English, Arabic, and Farsi). The platform aims to increase the safety of displaced men, women, and children – whether they are on the move, in camps, or in urban settings.
Scope of Work
Refugee.Info is a digital platform built by the IRC in collaboration with Mercy Corps through which humanitarian organizations provide vital information on rights, laws, safe movement and services available to refugees, migrants and asylum seekers.
The Refugee.Info Facebook page plays a crucial role in disseminating information in an engaging, balanced and platform-appropriate manner. It also allows refugees to engage in two-way communication through a team of Facebook moderators.
The Refugee.Info platform aims to increase the safety of displaced men, women, and children – whether they are on the move, in camps, or in urban settings.
According to recent assessments conducted by the IRC in Italy there seems to be a consensus among those interviewed that there is a lack of coordination that negatively impacts the fieldwork. Information on services remains confused, with several sources citing lack of reliable information for new arrivals. This presents a clear opportunity to introduce Refugee.Info.
As part of the editorial team, the Social Media Officer will work with the Refugee.Info Field Editor and IRC programme officer based in Italy and the Social Media Manager and Senior Editor based in Belgrade. She/he is responsible for analyzing the digital landscape inhabited by refugees in Italy, analyzing the behavior of refugees (from multiple different social groups) online and developing a Refugee.Info social media strategy for Italy that effectively targets all the relevant groupings of refugees in the region specified by IRC Italy, with support from the Social Media Manager.
The strategy will include audience profiles outlining refugees information needs, (developed in collaboration with the Refugee.Info Italy Field Editor and programme officer) with analysis gleaned from focus groups, visits to the field, online surveys and observations.
The strategy will recommend the best way to deploy content to effectively engage with refugee populations on social media. After developing the strategy, the successful candidate will implement the social media strategy to build an audience for the Refugee.Info Italy Facebook page.
She/he is also responsible for creating engaging digital content for dissemination primarily on this Facebook page (in written, photographic, graphical and video formats).
The successful candidate will be a passionate, dynamic, creative thinker and team-player who is eager to learn and be part of a team that is committed to improving the lives of refugees currently in Italy. Vibrant and creative communications are essential to this goal.
The Social Media Multimedia Officer will be line-managed by the IRC Social Media Manager, based in Belgrade. S/he is part of the IRC Italy Program team and the Refugee.Info content team. S/he works closely with the IRC Italy Programs staff, Mercy Corps field staff, and their beneficiaries to create content to be presented on Refugee.Info.
- Lead on the mapping of the digital landscape of refugee populations in Italy.
- Analyze the digital behaviors of refugees in Italy.
- Develop the social media strategy for Refugee.Info Italy, that includes audience profiles and recommendations for deploying content in a way that engages with different refugee populations on social media. Including: the structure of posts, format of content, tone etc.
- Work with Social Media Manager to implement the Refugee.Info social media strategy.
- Lead on social media marketing for Refugee.Info Italy.
- Put effective Facebook targeting in place.
- Create innovative written, photographic, graphic and video content for Refugee.Info social media channels, that keeps up with ever-evolving social media best practice.
- Follow humanitarian best practices and IRC’s Code of Conduct and guidelines, especially while engaging with refugees.
- Work closely with the Senior Editor and Social Media Manager to ensure that all social media content is tone-appropriate and accurate.
- Ensure that all materials adhere to Refugee.Info branding requirements.
- Regularly pitch ideas for new social media content to Editorial Team.
- Continuously analyze data and audience behavior to inform future content creation.
- Ensure all queries received from refugees on social media are referred to the relevant information.
- Ensure Facebook moderation is completed on all Facebook posts by Refugee.Info moderation team.
- Develop and maintain an in-depth, nuanced understanding of the humanitarian context in Italy through staying abreast of reports and current literature and traveling to sites and other locations.
- A master’s/bachelor’s degree in communications, journalism, English, public relations or other related field from an accredited university.
- 2-4 years of experience in a similar capacity, managing social channels and creating compelling digital content (in written, photo and video formats).
- Experience of writing, or collaborating on a social media strategy.
- Experience of building an audience.
- Experience of creating content for a range of different audiences.
- Experience in social media marketing and targeting different audiences.
- Strong understanding of the digital landscape, social media platforms and what makes digital content work.
- Photography/Video skills.
- Proficiency in Adobe Creative Cloud, in particular Premiere Pro and Photoshop (In Design is a bonus).
- Proven ability to learn quickly.
- Ability to proactively seek out and stay abreast of trends and developments in social media best practice.
- Familiarity with humanitarian principles; familiarity with refugee and migration issues in Europe.
- Ability to analyze data and audience behavior to inform content creation.
- Ability to work well both within a team and independently, and in a challenging, fast-paced, multicultural environment.
- Willingness and ability to travel extensively to visit field sites and document findings.
- Excellent time-management.
- Strong attention to detail.
- Excellent oral and written English skills required.
- Ability to teach us something new.
- Native Arabic, Dari/Farsi, Urdu and/or Pashto a big advantage.