Communications Specialist

Location : Home-based
Application Deadline :19-May-22 (Midnight New York, USA)
Additional Category :HIV, Health and Development
Type of Contract :IPSA (Regular)
Post Level :IPSA-10
Languages Required :
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract :12 months

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.


Instructions to Applicants: Input your information in the appropriate Sections: personal information, language proficiency, education, resume and motivation. Upon completion of the first page, please hit "submit application" tab at the end of the page. Please ensure that CV or P11 and the Cover letter are combined in one file.

The following documents shall be required from the applicants:

Personal CV or P11, indicating all past positions held and their main underlying functions, their durations (month/year), the qualifications, as well as the contact details (email and telephone number) of the Candidate, and at least three (3) the most recent professional references of previous supervisors. References may also include peers.

A cover letter (maximum length: 1 page) indicating why the candidate considers him-/herself to be suitable for the position.

Managers may ask (ad hoc) for any other materials relevant to pre-assessing the relevance of their experience, such as  reports, presentations, publications, campaigns or other materials.

Background Information

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the knowledge frontier organization for sustainable development in the UN Development System and serves as the integrator for collective action to realize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). UNDP's policy work carried out at HQ, Regional Hubs and Country Office levels, forms a contiguous spectrum of deep local knowledge to cutting-edge global perspectives and advocacy. In this context, UNDP invests in the Global Policy Network (GPN), a network of field-based and global technical expertise across a wide range of knowledge domains and in support of the signature solutions and organizational capabilities envisioned in the Strategic Plan.

Within the GPN, the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support (BPPS) has the responsibility for developing all relevant policy and guidance to support the results of UNDP's Strategic Plan. BPPS's staff provides technical advice to Country Offices, advocates for UNDP corporate messages, represents UNDP at multi-stakeholder fora including public-private dialogues, government and civil society dialogues, and engages in UN inter-agency coordination in specific thematic areas. BPPS works closely with UNDP's Crisis Bureau (CB) to support emergency and crisis response. BPPS ensures that issues of risk are fully integrated into UNDP's development programmes. BPPS assists UNDP and partners to achieve higher quality development results through an integrated approach that links results-based management and performance monitoring with more effective and new ways of working. BPPS supports UNDP and partners to be more innovative, knowledge and data driven including in its programme support efforts.

The 2030 Agenda for SDGs and the pledge to leave no one behind reflect the interconnectedness of health and sustainable development, including widening economic and social inequalities, the climate crisis, rapid urbanization, the continuing burden of HIV and other infectious diseases (e.g., malaria, tuberculosis), the growing burden of non-communicable diseases and the emergence of health threats. The scope and scale of delivering health and well-being for all demands innovative partnerships and financing. As affirmed in the Political Declaration of the 2019 High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage (UHC), the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance (Gavi) and others are critical partners for delivering on the health-related goals of the 2030 Agenda. Stronger Collaboration, Better Health: Global Action Plan for Healthy Lives and Well-being for All outlines how a dozen multilateral health, development and humanitarian agencies, including UNDP, the Global Fund, Gavi and others will collaborate to be more efficient and effective in supporting countries to deliver UHC and achieve the healthrelated SDG targets.

UNDP’s partnership with the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund), in line with UNDP’s HIV, Health and Development Strategy 2022-2025: Connecting the Dots, makes a vital contribution to UNDP’s Strategic Plan 2022-2025, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the SDGs and the pledge to leave no one behind. 

As a long-standing partner of the Global Fund, UNDP’s value proposition lies in providing an integrated package of development solutions to strengthen institutions to deliver health services. Through its contributions as interim Principal Recipient (PR) and provider of technical assistance to Global Fund grants in 53 countries since 2003, UNDP’s provision of integrated policy, implementation and capacity development support to countries has yielded significant health and development results in challenging operating environments.

Based on demand from Country Offices, and building on the relationships, expertise, systems, partnerships, including across the UN family, and comparative advantage established through the Global Fund partnership, the GPN/BPPS/Global Fund Partnership/Health Implementation Support Team (GF/HIST, Global Fund Partnership Team) is providing support to Country Offices through three overarching modalities: 1) the Global Fund portfolio, 2) health procurement and supply chain management support, and 3) other health implementation support beyond the Global Fund, including Gavi-funded activities and Smart Facilities initiative. A critical role of the Global Fund Partnership Team is knowledge building and management focusing on communication and information sharing across Country Offices and regions and with UNDP’s health and development partners.

Under the overall guidance of the Policy Specialist, GF/HIST (Geneva), the Communications Specialist will be working as part of the team responsible for strategic partnership with the Global Fund and other health and development partners. S/he will contribute to the country team approach and will collaborate closely with the Headquarters, Regional and Country Offices’ colleagues to ensure communications strategies, media relations and organizational outreach efforts are aligned with corporate communications policies and initiatives. The Communications Specialist leads the Global Fund Partnership Team’s communications strategy, as well as in the design, management and implementation of the strategy which is geared to influence the heath and development agenda and mobilize political and financial support. The Communications Specialist also collaborates with HHD Group and GPN colleagues to support outreach campaigns, resource mobilization and donor relations initiatives

Duties and Responsibilities


Lead the development and implementation of communication and outreach/advocacy strategies and plans, with a specific focus on media:

  • Develop an annual communications work plan and budget;
  • Conduct communication needs assessments for Country Offices, including projects, programmes and corporate change initiatives;
  • Design, develop, and implement communication and outreach/advocacy strategies, including media strategies; ensure gender perspective;
  • Integrate communication, advocacy and outreach strategies into proposals for project/programmes and other initiatives;
  • Monitor and analyze print and social media and prepare reports;
  • Launch corporate and local/regional campaigns and special events; and
  • Provide advice and guidance to and coordinate with Country Offices, Regional Services Centres.


Lead the development and dissemination of advocacy materials in the country/regions:

  • Develop and produce communication and advocacy instruments and materials, including briefing materials, press releases, and articles and coordinate its dissemination through effective channels;
  • Identify and launch information opportunities, activities, approaches and platforms and partners;
  • Provide advice on advocacy materials and coordinate launching flagship initiatives and publications in the region;
  • Lead the engagement and supervision of video producers and other communication specialists to produce audio/ visual material on UNDP’s work; and
  • Develop brochures, factsheets, stories from the field to inform media and general public at the regional level.

Manage media relations for the COs:

  • Lead relationship building with press in country; maintain and update database of relevant press;
  • Respond timely and clearly to media inquiries and to a variety of inquiries and information requests; prepare related correspondence; identify topics, background information, news-related development and coverage of interest;
  • 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/health partnerships 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;
  • 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.

Build and maintain partnerships and maintain relations with donors:

  • Identify and develop new communication partnerships and alliances to enhance UNDP/health partnerships visibility;
  • Liaise with advocacy partners and undertake outreach to civil society organizations, governments, and other groups to ensure that newsworthy information reaches the public and donors;
  • Guide and collaborate closely with communication colleagues in other offices to ensure consistency with corporate policies, messaging and initiatives; and
  • Submit packages for programme initiatives for donor review.

Oversees the content development, expansion and continual assessment of the quality and relevance of web-based information services and facilitate knowledge building and sharing:

  • Provide training and workshops on communication and advocacy as appropriate;
  • Oversee and maintain websites, social networks, including developing design and content;
  • Coordinate Country Office web-presence in the line with corporate web policy; and
  • Oversee and manage social media accounts in line with corporate social media policy.
  • Generate innovative ways of enhancing UNDP’s health portfolio information dissemination using the internet; 
  • Identify and synthesize best practices and lessons learned from Country Offices.                
  • Any other activity assigned by the Policy Specialist, GF/HIST (Geneva

Institutional Arrangement

The Communications Specialist will work under the direct supervision of the Policy Specialist, GF/HIST (Geneva)


Travel costs are covered only in the event that the function will be undertaken physically in the duty station and excludes working from home arrangements.

The Contractor may also be expected to undertake duty travel associated with performing the functions.


Expected Demonstration of Competencies



Achieve Results:


LEVEL 3: Set and align challenging, achievable objectives for multiple projects, have lasting impact

Think Innovatively:


LEVEL 3: Proactively mitigate potential risks, develop new ideas to solve complex problems

Learn Continuously


LEVEL 3: Create and act on opportunities to expand horizons, diversify experiences

Adapt with Agility


LEVEL 3: Proactively initiate and champion change, manage multiple competing demands

Act with Determination

LEVEL 3: Think beyond immediate task/barriers and take action to achieve greater results

Engage and Partner


LEVEL 3: Political savvy, navigate complex landscape, champion inter-agency collaboration


Cross-Functional & Technical competencies (insert up to 7 competencies)

Thematic Area



Business Development

Knowledge Generation

Ability to research and turn information into useful knowledge, relevant for context, or responsive to a stated need

Business Development


Ability to communicate in a clear, concise and unambiguous manner both through written and verbal communication; to tailor messages and choose communication methods depending on the audience

Business Management

Working with Evidence and Data

Ability to inspect, cleanse, transform and model data with the goal of discovering useful information, informing conclusions and supporting decision-making

General (across the functions)

Public Relaitons

Ability to develop media relations across all aspects of media work including relationships with media and preparing media materials such as messages



Advocacy strategy and implementaton

Ability to create and implement advocacy strategies which lead to impactful change


Media Relations

Ability to develop media relations across all aspects of media work including relationships with media and preparing media materials such as messages

HIV, Health and Development

Access to treatment and services

Knowledge of access to treatment and services policy and principles and strategic and/or practical situations for communicable and non-communicable diseases


Required Skills and Experience

Min. Academic Education

Master's degree in communications, media relations, journalism, publishing or related field.


Min. years of relevant Work experience

5 years of relevant experience at the international level in public relations, journalism, communications or advocacy.

Required  skills and competencies

Demonstrated experience in developing content that clearly communicates development ideas for media, web, print production, and audio-visual productions.

Experience in the usage of computers and office software packages, good knowledge and experience in handling of web-based management systems.

Desired skills and competencies

Previous experience with a multilateral or international organization.

Experience with UN communication departments.

Experience in conceptualizing and managing the production of printed materials, including detailed reports.

Experience in developing video and photographic materials in-house and in commissioning films.

Demonstrated experience in designing and implementing communication and/or media outreach plans in support of overall corporate goals.

Experience in health and development communications.

Experience in overseeing translation work.

A second UN language.

Required Language(s) (at working level)

Excellent English language skills (written and oral).


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