International Consultant – Public Relations Expert for EU/UNDP Black Sea Project: “Improving Environmental Monitoring in the Black Sea, Phase 2 – EMBLAS II”


Location : home based, with travels in the Black Sea region
Application Deadline :18-Feb-16 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Duration of Initial Contract :estimated February 2016 – December 2016
Expected Duration of Assignment :approximately 30 working days

Background

The Black Sea is one of the most vulnerable regional seas in the world given its limited exchange of water with the open oceans and the large area of continental Europe from which it receives the drainage. The four strongly interlinked priority trans-boundary problems of the Black Sea are eutrophication - nutrient enrichment, changes in marine living resources, chemical pollution (including oil), and biodiversity/habitat changes, including alien species introduction - as well as the underlying root causes like industrial activities, agriculture, domestic wastewater, sea transport (oil spills, ballast water), and coastal zone degradation (urbanisation, tourism). The Convention on the Protection of the Black Sea against Pollution (Bucharest Convention) addresses these problems through enhanced cooperation among its signatories. The development/improvement of a monitoring network and data collection to provide for ecosystem-based and knowledge-based decision-making is considered to be a management target of high priority. Further coordination in policies and legislation between the Black Sea countries is of common interest in the region and specifically to the EU's partners countries – being also members of the Black Sea Commission (BSC) - in so far it influences their own ability to comply with EU legislation and policies, notably the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) and the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). 

The overall objective of the project is to help improve the protection of the Black Sea environment. This objective will be pursued through the implementation of those initiatives that were elaborated and planned during the preparatory phase of this project (EMBLAS-I).
The specific objectives are as follows: i) to improve availability and quality of Black Sea environmental data in line with the MSFD and Black Sea Strategic Action Plan 2009 (BS SAP 2009) needs; ii) to improve partner countries' ability to perform marine environmental monitoring along MSFD principles, taking into account the Black Sea Diagnostic Report II recommendations on capacity building.

The following activities are carried out in the Phase 2 of the project – EMBLAS II:

  • Project Activity (PA) 1: Continue support to the implementation of countries’ obligations under the Bucharest and other related Conventions and Agreements;
  • Project Activity 2: Implementation of cost-effective and harmonised marine environmental monitoring programmes in accordance with reporting obligations under multilateral environmental agreements, the WFD and the MSFD;
  • Project Activity 3: Large scale implementation of training programmes on monitoring methods and quality assurance adhering to the ISO 17025 standard;
  • Project Activity 4: Implementation of Joint Surveys and environmental assessment of the Black Sea along the lines of the WFD and the MSFD;
  • Project Activity 5: Operate the web-based Black Sea Water Quality Database;
  • Project Activity 6: Dissemination of Knowledge and Best Practices, Public Awareness and Visibility.

The project will strengthen capacities of the respective national authorities for biological and chemical monitoring of the Black Sea, taking into consideration the requirements of EU water related legislation (EU WFD and MSFD). Significant effort will be put into training and other capacity building activities. In order to promote ownership, engagement of local experts and organizations is foreseen. 

Location

Home based, with travels in the Black Sea region for the project events, particularly for the monitoring cruises (Odessa, Batumi). The project will be implemented in Georgia, Russia and Ukraine


Duties and Responsibilities

The Expert for Public Relations will support the project implementation in the activities related to public communication and promotion of project results, with particular attention to the PR activities related to the monitoring cruises organized in May/June 2016. He/she will work under the direct supervision of the Project Team Leader (PMA) and UNDP Regional Technical Advisor for International Waters, who will have the overall supervision role on the project from the UNDP side.  

The PR Expert will closely cooperate with the other international, national experts and partner organizations working on the project, as well as other relevant UNDP staff –water programme analyst from UNDP Regional Centre for Europe and the CIS, project assistant and UNDP Country Offices staff responsible for communication.

In detail, the PR Expert will have the following tasks in the project:

  • In the activity 6, the consultant will be responsible for the input to the Project Communication Strategy and Dissemination Plan, project visibility products specifically related to the monitoring cruises held in May/June 2015 (incl. newspapers, press releases, PR material, etc.), preparation of the public events, i.e. press conferences organized for the project monitoring cruises, ensuring attendance by key national media and relevant stakeholders.

The consultant will prepare several deliverables in cooperation with the project experts, within the following time frame and payment schedule:

February 2016 (30% of payment):

  • Final draft of the Project Communication Strategy and Dissemination Plan;
  • Concept for the visibility  & PR products for the monitoring cruises, which will be organized in May 2016;
  • Draft project leaflet. 

May 2016 (50% of payment):

  • Organize press conference in Ukraine and Georgia during the monitoring cruise, in close cooperation with relevant staff from UNDP Country office and EC Delegation representatives;
  • Press releases.

December 2016 (20 % of payment):

  • Update of the Project Communication Strategy and Dissemination Plan (reflecting the actual project results);
  • Project news-letter summarizing the results from the monitoring cruises.

The assignment will require travel in the region, upon request by UNDP (to be covered separately). The consultant will travel for the press conferences in Ukraine (Odessa) and Georgia (Batumi). 


Competencies

Functional Competencies:

  • Excellent communication and management skills and demonstrable capacity to work with a multi-national team and to work with government institutions;
  • Demonstrated ability to develop strategies and communication plans;
  • Openness to change and ability to receive/integrate feedback;
  • Ability to work under pressure and stressful situations;
  • Strong analytical, reporting and writing abilities.

Corporate Competencies:

  • Demonstrates integrity by modeling the UN’s values and ethical standards; 
  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP; 
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability; 
  • Treats all people fairly without favoritism;
  • Fulfills all obligations to gender sensitivity and zero tolerance for sexual harassment.


Required Skills and Experience

Education: 

  • Minimum Master Degree in one of the fields: economics, international relations, social sciences, public relations. 

Experience: 

  • At least 3 years of experience in working for the environmental projects (preferably in the Black Sea region), in particular related to one of the following fields - integrated water resources management, EU water legislation (Water Framework Directive or Marine Strategy Framework Directive);
  • Particular experience in preparation of  Communication Plans / Strategies, reporting & visibility in line with the requirements for EU funded projects, including communication with the project partners and stakeholders;
  • Experience with organization of public events, meetings, presentations, press-conferences, etc.

Language:

  • Excellent writing, editing and oral communication skills in English; 
  • Working knowledge of Russian is an asset. 

Evaluation of Applicants:
Individual consultants will be evaluated based on a cumulative analysis taking into consideration the combination of the applicants’ qualifications and financial proposal. The award of the contract should be made to the individual consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:

  • Responsive/compliant/acceptable; and
  • Having received the highest score out of a pre-determined set of weighted technical (P11 desk reviews and interviews) and financial criteria specific to the solicitation.

Only those candidates, who will receive at least 70 % of technical points based on the P11 desk review will be invited for the interviews. Candidates who obtained at least 70% of points in each of the steps of the process will be considered for financial proposal evaluation.

Technical Criteria - 70% of total evaluation – max. 70 points:

  • Criteria A – academic qualification / education – max points: 10;
  • Criteria B – experience in working for the environmental projects (preferably in the Black Sea region), in particular related to one of the following fields: integrated water resources management, EU water legislation (WFD or MSFD) – max points: 15;
  • Criteria C – experience in preparation of Communication Plans / Strategies, reporting & visibility in line with the requirements for EU funded projects, including communication with the project partners and stakeholders and a relevant writing sample – max points: 20;
  • Criteria D – Experience with organization of public events, meetings, presentations, press-conferences, etc. – max points: 15
  • Criteria E – interview (communication skills) – max points: 10.

Financial Criteria - 30% of total evaluation – max. 30 points.

Application procedure:
Qualified candidates are requested to apply online via this website.

The application should contain:

  • Cover letter explaining why you are the most suitable candidate for the advertised position. Please paste the letter into the "Resume and Motivation" section of the electronic application;
  • Filled P11 form including past experience in similar projects and contact details of referees (blank form can be downloaded from http://europeandcis.undp.org/files/hrforms/P11_modified_for_SCs_and_ICs.doc ); please upload the P11 instead of your CV;
  • Financial Proposal - specifying a total lump sum amount in USD for the tasks specified in this announcement. The financial proposal shall include a breakdown of this lump sum amount (number of anticipated working days and any other possible costs); travel costs for missions must not be included in the financial proposal as they will be paid separately according to the UN rules and regulations;
  • Writing sample relevant to the assignment in English;
  • Incomplete applications will not be considered. Please make sure you have provided all requested materials. Please combine all your documents into one (1) single PDF document as the system only allows to upload maximum one document.

Please note that the financial proposal is all-inclusive and shall take into account various expenses incurred by the consultant/contractor during the contract period (e.g. fee, health insurance, vaccination and any other relevant expenses related to the performance of services...). Travel costs for missions will be covered separately according to UNDP rules and regulations.

Payments will be made only upon confirmation of UNDP on delivering on the contract obligations in a satisfactory manner.
Individual Consultants are responsible for ensuring they have vaccinations/inoculations when travelling to certain countries, as designated by the UN Medical Director. Consultants are also required to comply with the UN security directives set forth under dss.un.org. General Terms and conditions as well as other related documents can be found under: http://on.undp.org/t7fJs.

Qualified women and members of minorities are encouraged to apply. Due to large number of applications we receive, we are able to inform only the successful candidates about the outcome or status of the selection process.


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.


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