Communications Specialist

Application Deadline :18-Feb-15 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :FTA International
Post Level :P-4
Languages Required :
English   Spanish  
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract :One (1) Year
Expected Duration of Assignment :One Year (renewable)

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.


The Sustainable Development Goals Fund (SDG-F) is a new development cooperation mechanism created in 2014 by UNDP, on behalf of the UN system, with an initial contribution of Spain to support sustainable development activities.  It builds on the experience of the previous MDG Achievement Fund (MDG-F,, 2007-2013), which supported 130 joint programmes in 50 countries, while expanding its activities towards sustainable development, a higher attention on public-private partnerships and updating its operational framework to the effective development co-operation principles.

The SDG-F Secretariat is the operational coordination unit for the Fund and services the SDG-F Steering Committee.  The Secretariat sits in the Bureau of External Relations and Advocacy of UNDP Headquarters.  The Secretariat is delegated by the Steering Committee to ensure that policies and strategies decided by the Steering Committee are implemented and adhered to.

The Communications Specialist in coordination with the SDG-F Directorate and with the support of the Communications Group, BERA will be responsible for developing and implementing a strong communications plan for this initiative, including webpage, videos, Op Eds, etc to be implemented/presented/shared globally.  He/she will be a key contributor to design and implement SDG-F’s communication and advocacy and will prepare materials for global distribution as needed and requested ensuring messages’ coherence and impact as well as their alignment with broader corporate advocacy goals. The incumbent will ensure that SDG-F’s website is attractive, user-friendly and up-to-date.  Under the supervision of the SDG-F director, he/she will play a supporting role in ensuring that success stories and results from the Joint Programmes/JPs are provided on a regular basis for use on the UNDP/SDG-F website. S/he will also support SDG-F advocacy activities to position the SDG-F as part of the post 2015 agenda. He/she will supervise the work of the SDG-F webmaster and IT developer, content strategist, web editors and communication interns, in addition to graphic designers, videos editors, printers and communication and advertising firms that provide communication services to the SDG-F.

The Communications Specialist will develop and implement SDG-F global communications strategy support national JPs communication plans, focusing on key products. In coordination with the UNDP communications team at HQ and country offices, the incumbent is responsible for arranging and managing the SDG-F Director’s communication outreach (statements, speeches and talking points, print and broadcast interviews, press conferences, and other news and social media relationships).

Duties and Responsibilities

Develop, Implement and Promote SDG-F Communications Strategy:

  • Develops and implements a global communications strategy for positioning the SDG-F with international donors (including the European Union), Member States, UN Agencies, global think tanks, NGOs and research centers; This will include but not limit itself to: the development of a global webpage and international social media channels; global advocacy initiatives, development and placement of Op-Eds in high-profile international and national media;
  • Seeks to promote and arrange strategic high-profile international media opportunities for the SDG-F among media schedule in strategic and logistical consultation with rest of the team;
  • Coordinates press outreach and coverage during SDG-F Directorate’s visits to Country Offices and participation to international events;
  • Position the SDG-F in global events as an effective development cooperation mechanism, including global instances such as the Post 2015 Summit in New York or the Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa;
  • Provides draft media guidance and/or talking points for the SDG-F prior to press interviews or other public appearances before news media; prepare and update briefing notes and reports for a variety of audiences;
  • Monitors and analyzes international and regional press coverage of the SDG-Supports the SDG-F social media networks, including twitter account;
  • Supervises the editors and designers for the communications initiatives and the preparation of materials for the SDG Fund in accordance with the SDG strategy;
  • Drafts and manages press releases, the SDG-F bulletin, Op-Eds, and other public material, as appropriate; and
  • Support country offices to design and implement joint programme communication and advocacy strategies that adapt locally the global communication strategy) and establish and nurture media and communications partnerships with strategic partners.

Strengthen SDG-F’s strategic outreach, branding and public information capacity through Internet Communications:

  • Devise tools and systems to ensure regular communications and feedback in the four levels of operations (Global, regional, national and subnational).
  • Prepares or oversees preparation of a diverse range of internet-based products in support of SDG-F development work directed to global audiences;
  • Ensures that stories highlighting UNDP’s work in the SDG-F areas of work are regularly provided for the corporate website and/or corporate publications;
  • Regularly reviews website design and functionality; makes recommendations to improve design and functionality and ensure quality implementation. Ensures that information on the SDG-F web site is presented in an attractive and easily accessible way;
  • Supervises web editors, translators and designers of the materials for the web page;
  • Works closely with SDG-F and UNDP colleagues (at headquarters, regional and country offices) as required to develop appropriate strategies and messages on the work of SDG-F and ensure these are accurately reflected in global, regional and local communications; and
  • Evaluates results and impact of the SDG-F Internet site through user surveys and other methods.

Provide SDG-F, UNDP  & Steering Committee a wide range of  bilingual communications services and tools:

  • Develop high-quality communications materials for the Fund.
  • Manages SDG-F’s creative task list; assesses requests, prioritizes, expedites and monitors creative tasks;
  • Provides communications expertise and recommendations to all projects as needed;
  • Develops and executes innovative means to communicate SDG-F news;
  • Drafts statements, speeches, presentations and talking points for the SDG-F and develops press and communications materials for media events and key publications launches;
  • Makes media arrangements for the SDG-F, during missions in the field
  • Monitors and reports on the effectiveness of SDG-F communications vehicles;
  • Develops and manages business relationships with external providers of communication resources, specifically graphic designer, web designers, editors and other vendors;
  • Plans content, writes and edits publications, such as newsletter, brochures;
  • Supervises the work of the translators of the editors and tools in both languages;
  • Edits copy and coordinates design and production phase of SDG-F publications;
  • Supports the development of internal presentations;
  • Develops and nurtures strategic partnerships with key international media organizations and other constituencies in the Joint Programmes/JPs and donor countries, as well as responds to queries from the media on UNDP's involvement in the countries in which the Fund is working;
  • Works in close collaboration with the UNDP communications team in BERA to help enhance SDG-F’s strategic communications capacity in the countries and ensure continuous information- sharing between HQ and the regions; and
  • Provides strategic media and communications support to the SDG-F’s to raise the international profile of UNDP’s work.


Core Competencies:



  • Ability to make new and useful ideas work.


  • Ability to persuade others to follow.

People Management

  • Ability to improve performance and satisfaction.


  • Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform.


  • Ability to get things done.


  • Knowledge of anti-corruption concepts, principles and policies and the ability to apply in strategic and/or practical situations.

Problem solving skills:

  • Proven networking, team building, organizational and communication skills.

Planning and Execution

  • Elaborates work plans that prioritize action steps, set time lines and monitor performance.

Shows strong corporate commitment

  • Complies with UNDP rules , regulations and code of conduct.



Brand & Quality Management

  • Ability to position a UNDP brand and uphold it to a high level of quality.

Public Policy Orientation

  • Working in a demand-driven environment, motivated by a willingness to respond rapidly and effectively to the needs of the SDG-F’s Directorate.

Project Management

  • Ability to plan, organize, and control resources, procedures and protocols to achieve specific goals.

Public Relations                :

  • Ability to manage the spread of information between the UNDP and the Public.

Strategic Planning

  • Ability to make decisions that align with strategy, vision, and mission.


  • Excellent communication skills. Proven ability to communicate complex concepts, ability to prepare written reports that are clear, concise and meaningful.

Ability to build and sustain effective partnerships

  • Advocate effectively, communicate sensitively across different constituencies.


Knowledge Management

  • Ability to efficiently handle and share information and knowledge.

Strong Strategic, analytical and research skills

  • Ability to analyze audiences, attitudes, communications products and messages and translate them into the design and implementation of an effective communication strategy.

Required Skills and Experience


  • Master’s Degree in communications, journalism or social science;
  • Ph.D. will be an asset.


  • 7 years of relevant experience in journalism or public relations in an international environment;
  • Professional experience in deadline writing and editing;
  • Special attention will be paid to experts with an extensive background on institutional communication;
  • Experience in creation and elaboration of products of institutional communication;
  • In-depth knowledge of the SDG-F, excellent understanding of the vision, mandate and work of the UN in general and UNDP in particular;
  • Excellent IT skills, experience of website maintenance and/or development. 

Language Requirements:

  • Fluency in English and Spanish required.


  • Non-Smoking environment.

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