Communications consultant – analysis of terrorist narratives

Background information – job specific

The Security Council, in its presidential statement of 11 May 2016 (S/PRST/2016/6), requested the Counter-Terrorism Committee, in consultation with the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) and other relevant United Nations bodies and international and regional organizations, as well as interested Member States, to “present a proposal to the Security Council by 30 April 2017 for a ‘comprehensive international framework’, with recommended guidelines and good practices to effectively counter, in compliance with international law, the ways that ISIL (Da’esh), Al-Qaida and associated individuals, groups, undertakings, and entities use their narratives to encourage, motivate and recruit others to commit terrorist acts”. On 24 May 2017, the Security Council adopted resolution 2354 (2017), which endorsed the proposal submitted by the Committee in this area (S/2017/375). The proposal consists of three elements: (i) legal and law enforcement measures in accordance with international law, including relevant United Nations resolutions; (ii) the development of public-private partnerships; and (iii) the development of counter-narratives. The resolution also sets out guidelines to be followed by States in their efforts to counter terrorist narratives and directs the Committee, with the support of CTED, the CTITF and other relevant actors, to facilitate international cooperation to implement the Comprehensive International Framework.

Functional responsibilities

Under the supervision of the Senior Human Rights Officer, and in close consultation with other CTED staff, the incumbent will be responsible for assisting CTED in implementing the work plan developed to assist the Committee to implement the Comprehensive International Framework, in accordance with the guidelines and deliverables set forth in resolution 2354 (2017). The incumbent will help identify the types of thematic narratives, messages and distribution channels needed to counter terrorist narratives and messages, through the analysis of the ways that ISIL (Da’esh), Al-Qaida and associated individuals, groups, undertakings, and entities use their narratives and messages to encourage, motivate and recruit others to commit terrorist acts; identify how those narratives and messages have evolved over recent years, including in relation to relevant political and other events, and consider possible responses and strategies to counter those narratives and messages.

Specific duties will include:

  • Analyse the narratives/messaging used by ISIL (Da’esh), Al-Qaida and associated individuals, groups, undertakings, and entities to encourage, motivate and recruit others to commit terrorist acts in different regions/subregions over the past four years and identify changes and variations in those narratives and messages and their distribution in the context of relevant political and other events
  • Identify the various themes and issues exploited by ISIL (Da’esh), Al-Qaida and associated individuals, groups, undertakings, and entities and categorize them by targeted audience (including gender-specific referencing)
  • Compile and present to CTED a report on the analysis conducted, as a contribution to the effective implementation of the Comprehensive International Framework. (A structure for the report will be provided.)
  • Prepare a user-friendly and visually accessible presentation of the report for public information.

The incumbent will report to the Senior Human Rights Officer and will work under the overall authority of the Deputy Head of the Assessment and Technical Assistance Office (ATAO).



Thorough understanding of messaging and narrative techniques used by ISIL (Da’esh), Al-Qaida and associated individuals, groups, undertakings, and entities, both online and offline; particular expertise in their exploitation of new information and communications technologies (ICTs); strong analytical skills and ability to conduct comprehensive research on a range of issues, including those of a complex nature; demonstrated presentation skills (written and oral); proficiency in drafting and ability to prepare written materials under time pressure; shows pride in work and achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is motivated by professional, rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations. Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.


Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; asks questions to clarify; exhibits interest in having two-way communication; tailors language, tone, style and format to match audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.

Client orientation:

Considers all those to whom services are provided to be “clients” and takes into account clients’ perspectives. Establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect. Identifies clients’ needs and matches them to appropriate solutions. Monitors ongoing developments inside and outside the clients’ environment to keep informed and anticipate problems. Keeps clients informed of progress or setbacks in projects. Meets timeline for delivery of product or services to client.


Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; solicits input by valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others; places team agenda before personal agenda; supports and acts in accordance with final group discussion, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.


Advanced university degree (Masters or Equivalent), in communications, journalism, international relations or other related field.

Work Experience:

Minimum of five years of progressively responsible experience in communications, journalism, or international relations; experience in producing, disseminating and/or evaluating counter-narrative content and strategies is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this post, fluency and oral and written English is required. Knowledge of Arabic and/or another official United Nations language is an advantage.


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise and competency-based interview.

Contract duration:

20 working days

Duty station:


Interested applicants should send their PHP/resume and a cover letter explaining interest to this email address. Please specify “Communications consultant – analysis of terrorist narratives” as the email subject.

The application deadline is 18 August 2017.

2017-08-03T18:00:11+00:00 Thursday, 3 August 2017|Human rights, Countering violent extremism|