Writer/Editor – World Conference on DRR

Location : New York (Home based), UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Application Deadline :13-Nov-14 (Midnight New York, USA)
Additional Category :Crisis Response
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 :60 working days

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.


In March 2015, UNDP will participate in the third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR). This conference, which will bring together thousands of practitioners and policy makers involved in disaster risk reduction and recovery, will, amongst other things, give UNDP the opportunity to showcase its work in support of countries and communities.

At the regional and country levels, UNDP supports partners by helping to develop capacity to prevent, mitigate, prepare for and respond to disasters. This includes supporting national and local governments in risk assessments, governance, capacity development, recovery planning and implementation, preparedness, and climate risk management. In order to capture the impact of these efforts and to highlight how UNDP’s work has reduced risk and supported country/community level resilience, UNDP is currently soliciting success stories, case studies, blogs, editorials and other communications materials from country offices and partners worldwide. These materials will be used leading up, and into, the World Conference in March, and will help contextualize the work that UNDP does and the support we offer.

In order to collect, research, draft and best present these materials, a qualified writer/editor will be required to support the teams in New York, Geneva and Tokyo. Working with the Communications Specialist of the Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction Team, the Writer/Editor will help produce success stories, blogs, editorials and other written and video communications materials as required.

Duties and Responsibilities

Objective of the Assignment

The aim of this assignment is to research, draft, edit and present country/regional level success stories, case studies, blogs, interviews and other communications materials for the World Conference on DRR.

Scope of Work:

  • Drafts and edits content for UNDP’s website on disaster risk reduction and recovery, particularly how it relates to UNDP’s support to the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA);
  • Edits briefing notes, background documents, speeches, letters and other corporate communication material  as requested;
  • Prepares/and/or contributes to the preparation of success stories, blogs and other communications materials;
  • Draft and edits media releases, media advisories; op-eds, and other written outreach material as required;
  • Drafts and edits issue briefs, results pagers, fast facts and brochures; and
  • Provides any other editorial support as needed.

Expected Output and Deliverables:

  • At least 10 success stories in disaster risk reduction and recovery prepared;
  • At least 10 blogs/op-eds from regional experts/practitioners and partners supported;
  • Scripts for 4 video-interviews finalized (video length approx. 2-3 mins each);
  • Scripts for 3 signature ‘impact’ videos prepared (video length approx. 3-5 mins each);
  • Media advisories and press releases prepared for WCDRR (1 each);
  • Speeches supported for the Administrator and those representing UNDP (TBD).

Duration of Assignment and Duty Station

The expected total duration of the assignment is 60 working days within a period starting from 01 December 2014 through 15 March 2015.  This assignment is home based. The ideal candiate will be residing in New York with visits to UNDP Headquarter office as required.

Institutional Arrangments

Direct supervision is under the Communications Specialist, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction Team, with overall supervision under the Partnerships Advisor and WCDRR Team Leader.

The consultant shall be paid a daily rate, payable on a monthly basis, for the duration of the contract upon submission of the Certificate of Payment and approval of satisfactory work by the supervisor.


  • Excellent communicator, writer and editor;
  • Ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines
  • Strong team player with belief in UNDP’s mission and mandate;
  • Excellent coordination and organizational skills;
  • Ability to multi-task to meet simultaneous deadlines, follow-up on story leads, and be able to deliver high-quality products while able to work independently with medium to minimal supervision from supervisors;
  • Ability to work under pressure;
  • Creative and confident pitching communication ideas and strategies;
  • Excellent attention to detail;
  • Excellent fact-checking skills, and emotional intelligence.

Required Skills and Experience


  • University degree or equivalent qualification in communications, journalism, public relations, advertising, development,  international relations, social sciences, public administration, or related fields.


  • At least two to five years of experience in communicating complex development results to a broad audience. This must include experience in writing and editing to a high standard for a public audience;
  • Experience in a wide range of media, preferably including social media;
  • Experience with the United Nations system, with development or humanitarian work an asset.  Experience in developing countries will also be considered an asset;
  • Design, layout and photo editing skills, and a working knowledge of design programmes, such as Photoshop, Adobe Creative Suite, Adobe CQ5 and Adobe Indesign 5.5 or 6 will be considered an asset;
  • Experience in reporting writing and development of publications;
  • Working knowledge of DRR and climate risk management.


  • Fluency in English required;
  • Excellent written English skills.

Summary of Selection Process

Appraisal of candidates prior relevant experience (based on details included in the CV and covering letter) and previously published material (50%); appraisal of technical skills through a writing test (50%).

Application Package

Cover letter and CV containing (1) applicant's financial proposal (preferred daily rate); (2) names, phone number and e-mails of three references; (3) earliest start date. Also include 3-6 writing samples of previously published material showcasing the applicant's writing style and highlighting themes relevant to UNDP's work in climate change and disaster risk reduction. Optional: Other previously published material that demonstrates other relevant skills (such as layout or design work, infographics, on-line links to videos made, etc.)


Note: The selection process for shortlisted candidates will comprise of a technical exam (a writing test), a verbal interview, and an appraisal of the incumbent’s prior experience.

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