Application Deadline :18-Jan-13
Type of Contract :FTA International
Post Level :P-3
Languages Required :
Duration of Initial Contract :one year


The objective of the Directorate is to support the Bureau Director and Assistant Administrator to lead strategic policy direction of UNDP with its mandate for Crisis Prevention and Recovery (CPR) – including the implementation of specific projects/programmes and management of the UNDP Thematic Trust Fund (TTF) for CPR. The Directorate oversees strategic management and coordination of the Bureau, ensuring efficient implementation and coherence through, inter alia, information sharing, convening and managing internal and cross-Bureau meetings, joint trainings and intra-Bureau planning events.

The Directorate is headed by a Chief of Staff who reports to the Bureau Director. The Chief of Staff ensures coherence and coordination of all Directorate staff, including assistants to senior management in substantive divisions and Geneva. Within the Directorate an ‘External Relations Team’ – managed directly by the Chief of Staff – takes the lead on CPR donor relations, resource mobilization and donor reporting (in close liaison with UNDP’s Partnership Bureau) and overall external communications and advocacy for the Bureau.

Under the direct supervision of the Chief of Staff, Directorate, the Communications Specialist is responsible for the design, management and implementation of a communications strategy for BCPR with a view to influence the development agenda of crisis-affected countries, to promote public and media outreach and to mobilize political and financial support for the CPR work of UNDP.

The Communications Specialist also advises BCPR colleagues on the development of publications, the production and dissemination of which he/she oversees at Headquarters. In this context, the incumbent is responsible for maintaining rosters of vendors and translators, develops specifications for bids and ensures quality control in the production of BCPR publications.

The Communications Specialist is responsible for maintaining a close collaboration with the corporate Office of Communications and the Executive Cluster at the working level, and ensuring harmonization between and incorporation within the corporate communications strategy.

The Communications Specialist will also support advocacy and outreach through more intensive media/press coverage by building effective relationships with the media to promote and manage the coverage of CPR as a key practice area within UNDP. The incumbent also supports outreach campaigns, helps drive resource mobilization and donor relations initiatives.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Ensures planning and design of internal and external strategies for communications and outreach geared towards supporting BCPR’s partnership-building and resource mobilization
  • Manages the writing, development, design, production and dissemination of diverse publications and news releases through a variety of media, including print, broadcast and social.
  • Oversees the content development, expansion and continual assessment of the quality and relevance of web-based information services
  • Promotes optimum visibility of BCPR’s activities through effective media relations, placement and distribution of information material and creative partnerships with UN agencies, multilateral and non-governmental organizations and private sector
  • Collaborates closely with External Relations colleagues and facilitates knowledge building and knowledge sharing

Ensures planning and design of internal and external strategies for communications and outreach geared towards supporting BCPR’s partnership-building and resource mobilization, focusing on the achievement of the following results:

  • Planning and elaboration of communications needs assessments for BCPR
  • Well-developed communications and outreach strategy based on the corporate communications strategy
  • Optimal working relations with the External Relations team and other BCPR units
  • Constructive and timely advice on inclusion of communications components in programme formulations to integrate advocacy and communication strategies into all aspects of UNDP and BCPR’s development programme

Manages the writing, development, design, production and dissemination of diverse publications and news releases through a variety of media, including print, broadcast and social, focusing on the achievement of the following results:

  • Well-reasoned innovative suggestions and approaches to address communications issues
  • Elaboration and implementation of the BCPR publications strategy and plan based on the corporate publications policy
  • Identification and development of storylines for publications and substantive articles contributing to debates on key CPR issues (including active seeking and verification of inputs)
  • Coordination and management of all BCPR publication activities, including content management, editing, norms for publishing, design, liaison with printers and other suppliers to oversee production and supervision of publications dissemination
  • Editing, publication and dissemination of materials drafted by other BCPR units
  • Maintenance of a roster of qualified translators and style checkers in main UN languages to ensure high-quality translations (in collaboration with BERA)
  • Advice on the development of a new system for production planning, registration, review and tracking of expenses
  • Monitoring of stocks and usage of BCPR publications and reordering, as required
  • Opportunities to leverage social media to complement BCPR’s messaging identified and used.

Oversees the content development, expansion and continual assessment of the quality and relevance of web-based information services, focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Website contents strongly and effectively reflect BCPR principles and priorities
  • Regularly updated information on the website
  • Innovative ways of enhancing BCPR’s information dissemination using the internet

Promotes optimum visibility of BCPR’s activities through effective media relations, placement and distribution of information material and creative partnerships, focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Stronger relations with UN and other UN system agencies
  • Strategic partnerships formed with media counterparts at other UN agencies, UNTV and with external media networks, strengthening internal capacity for media outreach and technical expertise
  • Enhanced media/press coverage of UNDP/BCPR and its strategic areas, positions and issues, in line with corporate communications strategies
  • Opportunities for press conferences identified and press conferences organized; interviews with senior managers and CPR practice focal points facilitated
  • Press releases, advisories, background information, press/media kits and updated information and stories drafted and disseminated to inform media and general public of BCPR work programme initiatives, results and successes, and other achievements
  • Advice and technical support to HQ units and regional teams in developing media campaigns and initiatives, strategies provided for effective media relations

Collaborates effectively with External Relations Team and other BCPR colleagues and facilitation of knowledge-building and knowledge sharing, focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Strong working relationships formed and maintained with Directorate colleagues, enhancing results of the Directorate and its impact on BCPR performance
  • Timely contributions of knowledge, expertise and information to External Relations and BCPR initiatives, leading to quality and high-impact outcome, support and input to corporate and organizational processes
  • Enhancement of BCPR’s credibility as knowledge provider on Crisis Prevention and Recovery

The key results of this job have a critical impact on the smooth functioning and overall effectiveness and efficiency of the Directorate and External Relations team. In particular, they will facilitate the creation of effective communications and dissemination of information on BCPR, as well as enhance media relations and strengthen resource mobilization efforts and advocacy.


Functional Competencies:

Building Strategic Partnerships

  • Displays initiative, sets challenging outputs for him/herself and willingly accepts new work assignments
  • Takes responsibility for achieving agreed outputs within set deadlines and strives until successful outputs are achieved

Promoting Organizational Learning and Knowledge Sharing

  • Makes the case for innovative ideas documenting successes and building them into the design of new approaches
  • Identifies new approaches and strategies that promote the use of tools and mechanisms

Job Knowledge/Technical Expertise

  • Understands more advanced aspects of external relations and communications, as well as the fundamental concepts of related disciplines
  • Continues to seeks new and improved methods and systems for accomplishing the work of the unit
  • Demonstrates comprehensive knowledge of information technology and applies it in work assignments

Client Orientation

  • Keeps the client informed of problems or delays in the provision of services
  • Uses discretion and flexibility in interpreting rules in order to meet client needs and achieve organizational goals more effectively

Core Competencies:

Ethics & Values: Demonstrating/Safeguarding Ethics and Integrity. Is familiar with and acts in accordance with the standard of conduct for international civil servants, ethics and UN/UNDP values.

Organizational Awareness: Demonstrate corporate knowledge and sound judgment Understands the structure and hierarchy of UN/UNDP, process flows throughout the organization, products and services, their measures of effectiveness, and perceptions of clients. 

Developing & Empowering People/Coaching and Mentoring: Self-development, initiative-taking. Takes initiative and seeks opportunities to initiate action

Working in Teams: Acting as a team player and facilitating team work.  Works collaboratively with team members sharing information openly and displaying cultural awareness and sensitivity.

Communicating Information and Ideas: Facilitating and encouraging open communication in the team, communicating effectively.  Uses tact and sensitivity when delivering sensitive information or resolving delicate issues.

Self-Management & Emotional Intelligence: Creating synergies through self-control Fosters a positive outlook and maintains focus during period of stress and heavy work load, inspiring and guiding others towards goal achievement.

Conflict Management/Negotiating & Resolving Disagreements: Managing conflict. Remains calm, composed and patient, regardless of his/her own state of mind in the face of conflict.

Knowledge Sharing & Continuous Learning: Learning and sharing knowledge and encourage the learning of others
Actively seeks learning opportunities, adopting best practices created by others.

Appropriate and Transparent Decision-making: Informed and transparent decision making.  Makes decisions within his/her own span of control, recognizes issues requiring more advanced judgment and refers them to the appropriate level

Required Skills and Experience


  • A minimum of a Master’s degree or equivalent in communications, journalism, public relations, social sciences, international relations, or related field


  • At least 5 years of relevant professional experience in communications at the national or international level, including experience in media relations
  • Experience in the UN system desirable

Language Requirements:

  • Fluency in English, both oral and written, is required; working knowledge of other UN official language (preferably French and/or Spanish) is an asset  

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