Under the guidance and direct supervision of the UNDP Resident Representative, the Communications Specialist in a large Country Office implements the corporate communications strategy, designs, manages and facilitates the implementation of the Country Office communications and publication strategies with a view to influence the development agenda, to promote public and media outreach and to mobilize political and financial support for UNDP.

The Communications Specialist supervises and leads the communications staff of the country office and the PUDC which is one of UNDP Senegal management development program of US 400 million. The communication specialist has a strong regular working relationship with the Communications officer of the Minister in charge of the communication of PUDC at the strategic and institutional level. The specialist will supervise the work of two staffs and consultants. The Communications Specialist also works in close collaboration with the Country Director with the Deputy Country Director Operations and with the Program teams including those of the PUDC. The communication specialist will also contribute to the communication efforts of the UN communication group and will work with staff of other UN Agencies, UNDP HQs staff (Communications Office) and Government officials, international and local media, subject matter experts, multi-lateral and bi-lateral donors and civil society ensuring successful UNDP communication strategy implementation.

A communications strategy tightly linked to program priorities helps position the Country Office in key development markets as a thought leader in ways that boost demand for various service lines and increase overall business opportunities and resource mobilization.

Duties and Responsibilities

Summary of Key Functions:

  • Planning and design of internal and external strategies for communications and outreach.
  • Elaboration and implementation of the publications strategy and plan.
  • Supervision of the design and maintenance of the UNDP web site, intranet, CO web-based knowledge management system.
  • Support to business development.
  • Facilitation of knowledge building and knowledge sharing.
  • Effective management of the Communications Office and supervision of Communications staff.

Ensures planning and design of internal and external strategies for communications and outreach focusing on achievement of the following results

  • Planning and elaboration of communications needs assessments for CO (projects, PUDC, country programme and corporate change initiatives, etc).
  • Elaboration of the CO communications and outreach strategy based on the corporate communications strategy.
  • Constructive and timely advice on inclusion of communications components in programme formulations to integrate advocacy and communication strategies into all aspects of UNDP’s development programme.

Ensures elaboration and implementation of the CO publications strategy and plan focusing on the achievement of the following results:

  • Elaboration and implementation of the CO publications strategy and plan based on the corporate publications policy.
  • Identification and development of storylines for publications and substantive articles contributing to debates on key development issues.
  • Coordination and management of all CO publication activities, including content management, norms for publishing, design, liaison with printers and other suppliers to oversee production and supervision of publications dissemination.

Supervises the design and maintenance of the UNDP web site, intranet, CO web-based knowledge management system focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Design of the office web sites based on corporate requirements in cooperation with the ICT staff;
  • Supervision and preparation of the content for the web sites, social media tools ensuring consistency of the materials.

Supports the business development focusing on achievement of the following results:

Launches and campaigns

  • Creation and promotion of campaigns to local and regional media that position UNDP and influences the development agenda based on current programme and new initiatives;
  • Management, promotion and dissemination of corporate advocacy materials for launching flagship initiatives and publications such as the Human Development Report.
  • Creation, promotion and maintenance of public information campaigns on UNDP activities, results of SDGs, UN Reform, etc. in association with other staff from Business Development Team.


  • Promotional activities to position UNDP as a leader within the development space.
  • Increased coverage and understanding of the UNDP’s work in the country or practice area through development and maintenance of media contacts and providing newsworthy information to national public and donors.
  • Formatting, packaging and submission of programme initiatives for donor review in close collaboration with programme staff.
  • Development and maintenance of close contacts with government officials, multilateral and bilateral donors, civil society and private sector for implementation of the communications strategy, organization of roundtable discussions, press conferences, briefing sessions, interviews, launches, etc.
  • Forging of a “one UN” image through publicizing the significance of local UN reform efforts, joint programmes, common services.
  • Ensured access for journalists to subject matter experts.
  • Regular newsletter to donors, donor reports, civic education and community awareness where appropriate to support projects.

Public information

  • Effective responses to inquiries for public information materials.
  • Innovative and creative solutions to sensitive or corporately strategic public communications issues.
  • Advocacy and promotion of UNDP mandate, mission and purpose.

Ensures facilitation of knowledge building and management focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Supervise the production of films and radio reporting in order to share information, promote major activities and showing knowledge and results.
  • Identification and synthesis of best practices and lessons learned directly linked to programme country goals and activities.
  • Monitor practices, and project-specific news and developments in order to ensure guidance to the office that reflects the best and most current available information.
  • Provides advice and support to UNDP inputs to CCA, UNDAF, CPD and other documents.
  • Sound contributions to knowledge networks and communities of practice including corporate communications repositories.
  • Organization and provision of training, consultancy and advice to UNDP staff on communications.

Ensures effective management of the Communication Office and supervision of the Communications team focusing on achieving the following results:

  • Effective management of the Communications Office, including preparation of the work plan, management of translations and contractual matters.

Impact of Results

The key results have an impact on creation of effective communications and dissemination of information on UNDP as UN’s global development network. In particular, the key results have an impact on implementation of UNDP communications and publication strategies, as well as reaching resource mobilization targets. Communications becomes a strong component of business development in the CO.


Functional Competencies   

Advocacy/Advancing a Policy-Oriented Agenda
Analysis and creation of messages and strategies

  • Creates effective advocacy strategies.
  • Contributes to the elaboration of advocacy strategies by identifying and prioritizing audiences and communication means.
  • Uses the opportunity to bring forward and disseminate materials for advocacy work.

Building Strategic Partnerships
Identifying and building partnerships

  • Sensitizes UN Partners, donors and other international organizations to the UNDP’s strategic agenda, identifying areas for joint efforts;
  • Promotes UNDP’s agenda in inter-agency meetings.

Promoting Organizational Learning and Knowledge Sharing.

Developing tools and mechanisms

  • Makes the case for innovative ideas documenting successes and building them into the design of new approaches.
  • Identifies new approaches and strategies that promote the use of tools and mechanisms.

Job Knowledge/Technical Expertise
In-depth knowledge of the subject-matter

  • Understands more advanced aspects of primary area of specialization as well as the fundamental concepts of related disciplines.
  • Continues to seeks new and improved methods and systems for accomplishing the work of the unit.
  • Keeps abreast of new developments in area of professional discipline and job knowledge and seeks to develop him/herself professionally.
  • Demonstrates comprehensive knowledge of information technology and applies it in work assignments.

Creating Visibility for UNDP/Supporting UNDP’s Capacity to Advocate
Developing promotional projects and organizational messages

  • Develops promotional activities based on monitoring/evaluation information identifying areas requiring higher visibility.
  • Develops messages for use by UNDP staff when working with partners, internationally and nationally.
  • Reviews documents and materials intended for use within and outside the organization in order to ensure consistency and validity of messages.

Global Leadership and Advocacy for UNDP’s Goals
Analysis and creation of messages and strategies

  • Creates effective global advocacy messages/strategies;
  • Contributes to the elaboration of a global advocacy strategy by identifying and prioritizing audiences and messages;
  • Conceptual Innovation in the Provision of Technical Expertise.

Developing innovative and creative approaches

  • Leverages different experiences and expertise of team members to achieve better and more innovative outcomes.

Client Orientation

Contributing to positive outcomes for the client

  • Anticipates client needs;
  • Works towards creating an enabling environment for a smooth relationship between the clients and service provider;
  • Demonstrates understanding of client’s perspective.

Core Competencies

  • Promoting ethics and integrity, creating organizational precedents.
  • Building support and political acumen.
  • Building staff competence, creating an environment of creativity and innovation.
  • Building and promoting effective teams.
  • Creating and promoting enabling environment for open communication.
  • Creating an emotionally intelligent organization;
  • Leveraging conflict in the interests of UNDP & setting standards;
  • Sharing knowledge across the organization and building a culture of knowledge sharing and learning. Promoting learning and knowledge management/sharing is the responsibility of each staff member.
  • Fair and transparent decision making; calculated risk-taking.

Required Skills and Experience


  • Master's degree in media relations, journalism, publishing;
  • Or License degree plus 6 years’ experience.


  • 5 years of relevant experience at the national or international level in public relations, communications or advocacy;
  • Previous experience with a multilateral or international organization is helpful but not mandatory;
  • Experience in the usage of computers and office software packages, good knowledge and experience in handling of web-based management systems;
  • Strong knowledge and experience of social media (Twitter, Facebook, etc.).

Language Requirements

  • Fluency in French, both written and oral;
  • Knowledge in English is desirable.