Consultant Communications Specialist (Environmental Sustainability)

Location : Abuja, NIGERIA
Application Deadline :07-Apr-22 (Midnight New York, USA)
Additional Category :Climate & Disaster Resilience
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :National Consultant
Languages Required :
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract :6 months
Expected Duration of Assignment :6 months with possibility of extension

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.


Nigeria is one of the world's most densely populated countries and is recognized as being one of the most vulnerable to climate change. Climate change and global warming if left unchecked will cause adverse effects on livelihoods in the country especially in the agricultural sector where activities such as crop production, livestock production, fisheries, forestry and post-harvest activities, because the rainfall regimes and patterns will be altered, floods which devastate farmlands would occur, increase in temperature and humidity which increases pest and disease would occur and other natural disasters like floods, ocean and storm surges, which not only damage Nigerians' livelihood but also cause harm to life and property, would occur.

Responding to climate change from both mitigation and adaptation angles requires strategic approaches from policy, regulatory and institutional frameworks and capacities. In general, the effectiveness of environmental and other policies in Nigeria, as well as their potentials to support adaptation and mitigation measures is yet to be fully realized.

The Communications Specialist being recruited will therefore play a central role in supporting ongoing climate efforts by the Ministry of the Environment and the UNDP and will explore new opportunities for sustained advocacy efforts around environmental sustainability in Nigeria.  

Duties and Responsibilities

Under the direct supervision of the Honorable Minister for Environment, with reporting lines to the Deputy Resident representative (DRR-P), sitting within the Ministry of the Environment and UNDP Nigeria communication teams, the successful candidate will lead the planning and implementation of strategic communication, advocacy and media strategies to support effective policy making, public participation and project implementation geared towards environmental sustainability within Nigeria.The Communications Specialist will be responsible for increasing awareness, engagement and knowledge on environmental focused initiatives, priorities and programmes, through:

·        Communication strategy development, planning and implementation

  • Stakeholder management, networking and partnership building
  • Media relations, public outreach and advocacy
  • Innovation, knowledge management and capacity building 

Specific Functions/Results expected:

1.         Communication strategy development, planning and implementation:

  • Takes the lead in the development, planning and implementation of large, complex communication strategies that promotes and raises awareness of Ministry of Environment and UNDP Nigeria environmental priorities, programmes and key messages
  • Design and implement activities included in communication strategies, using a range of innovative tactics such as the production of communication and media assets, writing briefs and human-interest pieces, developing advocacy narratives, delivering creative social media and digital campaigns, and organizing public outreach events.
  • Work closely with programme staff and senior management to ensure clear, coherent and consistent communication and advocacy about the strategic focus and activities of the Ministry of Environment and UNDP Nigeria environment programmes, priorities and initiatives  
  1. Stakeholder management, networking and partnership building
  2. Draft and lead partnership engagement strategies, aligned with the Ministry of Environment and UNDP Nigeria priorities, to enhance environmental advocacy in Nigeria
  3. Undertake stakeholder mapping exercise to identify potential new partners and develop an environmental communications network with key stakeholders to further push advocacy agenda
  4. Design communication and advocacy initiatives as well as coordination mechanisms that strengthen outreach and increase awareness of key environmental initiatives, policies and programmes to relevant stakeholders and partners
  5. Maintain and strengthen existing partnerships by organizing and facilitating regular communication channels and providing accurate information and updates in a timely manner.

3.      Media and public information

  • Leads, develops and supports communication initiatives that positions the Ministry of the Environment and UNDP and its key environmental programmes, priorities and policies in the media
  • Develop and manage media outreach plans for key environmental initiatives, priorities and programmes as well as take the lead on media relations: responding to media requests including the preparation of media materials such as talking points, op-eds, press releases etc.
  • Regularly pitch and engage with media to ensure consistent coverage of environmental sustainability priorities, policies and programmes in Nigeria
  • Identify and coordinate opportunities to highlight the Ministry of Environment and UNDP Nigeria environmental work in the media
  • Develop relationships and establish a network of environmental focused journalists/media houses and develop active communication channels to keep the media informed about key environmental priorities, policies and programmes in Nigeria
  • Act as media spokesperson when needed

4.         Innovation, knowledge management and capacity building 

  • Identification and synthesis of best practices and lessons learned directly linked to Ministry of Environment and UNDP Nigeria environmental programme goals and activities
  • Contribute to knowledge networks and communities of practice including corporate communications repositories
  • Develop and provision trainings for Ministry of Environment and UNDP staff on communications for environmental programmes, priorities, and policies
  • Arrange for the design and web posting (Department of Climate Change) of all the NDC Support Programme deliverables
  • Organize an event to showcase the results achieved by the NDC Support Programme

Institutional Arrangement

The Communications Specialist will report to the Minister for Environment and will require to also have a matrix reporting to the UNDP Deputy Resident Representative for Programmes while working in cooperation with both UNDP Nigeria and the Ministry of Environment team members.

Key Performance Indicators

Deliverables and payment milestones:

Payment Milestone 1: 20% payment on submission of:

  • Communication plan/Roadmap and Training for HME office/Ministry of Environment;
  • At least 3 major environmental/climate change campaigns working with CSOs;
  • A Communication roadmap for COP 27 for high visibility Nigeria environmental/climate change programmes 

Milestone 2: 30% payment on submission of:

  • Contextualized key messages around all major environmental/climate change global celebrations/days. 
  • 6 Op-ed for the Honourable Minister in national and international media  
  • A well developed and executed communication training proposal for the Minister’s core team and Directors 

Milestone 3: 30% payment on submission of a report detailing:

  • consistent visibility on social media trend/visibility  
  • measures taken to ensure Ministries website overhauling and functionality 
  • Production Documentaries/Docuseries 
  • Coordination of national media team and framework for engagement with local / media outlets 
  • Syndication of High profile interviews/features  

Milestone 4: 20% payment on submission of a report detailing:

  • Development and production of Knowledge products  
  • Design Women outreach/Youth outreach/private sector tailored programmes 
  • Drive implementation of NDC Communication Plan/strategy and visibility of Climate Promise Phase 2 in Nigeria 
  • Liaison with Communications focal persons of relevant Donor partners 


Job Knowledge and Expertise— Demonstrated understanding of development and enviornmental issues; Demonstrated ability to draft concise and informative copy in English for a range of uses from detailed progress reports to media releases; Demonstrated ability to analyze complex information and to draw out the key points and issues and to present these in a way that can be easily understood; Able to work independently to identify information and knowledge sharing opportunities and to engage a wide range of colleagues in realizing these opportunities; Uses Information Technology effectively as a tool and resource.   

Professionalism—Discretion and judgment in applying expertise to complex and/or sensitive issues; ability to speak on behalf of the organization on issues relevant to development and environment sustainability in Nigeria; ability to effectively advocate key messages to a variety of stakeholders; Generates creative, practical approaches to overcome challenging situations.

Planning and Organizing—Demonstrated ability to focus on impact and results; Demonstrated ability to develop clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; effectively identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; uses time efficiently and meets deadlines.

Communication—Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; able to handle complex information and data and convey clear messages; excellent writing skills; able to adapt content and style for different audiences

Teamwork—Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; Builds and sustains relationships with key constituents (internal/ external/bilateral/multilateral/public/private)

Core Values - Demonstrates integrity by modeling the UN’s values and ethical standards;  Advocates and promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of the UN; Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;

Required Skills and Experience

Required Skills and Experience


  • Advanced degree or equivalent in journalism, public relations, environmental studies, political or social sciences or comparable academic preparation.
  • A first-level university degree in combination with five additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.


  • At least 8 years of relevant experience at the national level in public relations, communications or advocacy is required;
  • Previous experience in dealing with multiple stakeholders, namely stakeholder engagement in consultation processes;
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills and ability to work and handle stressful conditions;
  • Strong experience drafting user-friendly communication and advocacy strategies and products for social media, websites, traditional media such as fliers, articles, success stories, etc;
  • Experience in the usage of MS Office software packages (MS Word, Excel, etc.) some relevant simple design software and web[1]based management systems;
  • Experience engaging at senior government and management level;
  • Working knowledge of the UN Principles, SDGs and international development in Africa;
  • Experience in the United Nations system or a comparable international organization is desirable;
  • Excellent analytical and writing skills;
  • Experience with inter-agency or multi-stakeholder collaboration is desirable;
  • A high degree of political and cross-cultural sensitivity.


  • Fluency in written and spoken English.


Relevant experience:

  • At least five (5) years of progressively responsible and relevant professional work experience in advocacy and communication is required: (25 marks)
  • Demonstrated experience in leading the development and implementation of advocacy and communication strategies, with clear theories of change, specific, measurable, and time-bound objectives, and performance indicators.   (20 marks)
  • Demonstrated experience deploying communication, advocacy and outreach campaigns specifically for environmental issues, policies and programmes    (20 marks)
  • Excellent knowledge of climate and environmental policies, programmes and dynamics in Nigeria: (10 marks)
  • Proven experience in building strong relationships with traditional and social media entities and using media relations and channels to engage public audiences. (10 marks)
  • Demonstrated experience in building and maintaining a network of external stakeholders, and in working with coalitions. (5 marks)
  • A track record of using communication and advocacy tactics to achieve or contribute to tangible policy change.  (5 marks)
  • Experience in leading the development, implementation, and monitoring of digital strategies.: (5 marks)

                                                                                                                                                                                         TOTAL:  100

  • Interested contractors must provide a technical proposal and a financial proposal based on the activities listed in the Scope of Work section.
  • Submissions will be reviewed and rated based on both technical and financial evaluations, providing a weight of 70% to the technical component and 30% to the financial component. Only contractor(s) achieving at least 70% from the technical evaluation shall be considered for financial evaluation.
  • Along with technical and financial evaluations, Offerors are required to provide a portfolio of work highlighting previous experience executing similar work.
  • Offerors are required to clearly outline the proposed methodology and demonstrate rationale including timelines of each of the proposed activities in response to the brief provided.
  • Offerors are required to provide the financial breakdown and cost of each activity listed in the ‘Assignment’ section of this TOR.

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