Communications Consultant for the UN informal Interagency Task Team for Sustainable Procurement in the Health Sector (SPHS)

Location : Istanbul, TURKEY
Application Deadline :22-Jan-20 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract :03 February 2020 to 31 December 2021
Expected Duration of Assignment :A maximum of 432 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.


The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the UN’s global development network, advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life, as envisaged by 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. We are on the ground in more than 170 countries and territories, working with governments and people on their own solutions to global and national development challenges. As they develop local capacity, they draw on the people of UNDP and our wide range of partners that can bring about results.

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 and help countries to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. 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, South-South and Triangular cooperation initiatives, and engages in UN inter-agency coordination in specific thematic areas. The HIV, Health and Development Group is part of BPPS and supports UNDP’s 2018-2021 Strategic Plan and countries to achieve the 2030 Agenda and making sure no one is left behind.

The UN’s journey towards their own operational climate neutrality began officially on 5th June 2007 when UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon publicly called on all UN agencies, funds and programmes to ‘go green’ and become climate neutral. Driven initially by the UN initiative “Greening the Blue”, with an interest to promote climate neutrality within the UN, the focus was largely on addressing associated greenhouse gas emissions. However, the Sustainable UN Facility in collaboration with sustainability focal points in about 60 UN entities and the High-Level Committee on Management procurement network has extended the focus area onto other critically important purchasing categories as well including the focus on resource depletion and eco- and human toxicity in the context of procurements for the health sector.

Linkages between the health sector procurement and the environment are still only partially understood despite the fact that the important role of procurement in influencing the environmental impact of health sector operations is well acknowledged. For example, studies show carbon emissions by national health systems and global health programmes are closely linked to procurement, especially with regards to pharmaceuticals and other health products throughout their life cycle including production, use and disposal.

The UN informal Interagency Task Team on Sustainable Procurement in the Health Sector (SPHS) was established in May 2012 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Ten SPHS members (UNDP, UN Environment, UNFPA, UHNCR, UNICEF, UNOPS, WHO, Gavi the Vaccine Alliance, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and UNITAID) conduct high volume procurement in the health sector, representing a sizable portion of some segments of the global pharmaceutical and other health products markets. The cumulative purchasing power of SPHS members in the global health aid market is about US$5 billion annually. The aim for establishing the Task Team was to facilitate and coordinate the introduction of green procurement in the health sector among members and to leverage the standard-setting and joint procurement volumes of member agencies to influence the global health sector (governments and other international development partners) and beyond. Thereby the SPHS Task Team intends to act as a driver for transformational change towards greener health systems and inclusive green economies.

Since its start, the SPHS initiative has been supported and coordinated by a Secretariat administered by UNDP. Within UNDP, the Secretariat is linked with the Bureau of Management Services (BMS) (Procurement Team, New York), the Nordic Liaison Office (UN Procurement Hub, Copenhagen), the Bureau of Policy and Programme Support (BPPS) (HIV, Health and Development Team, New York) and the Regional Bureau for Europe and the CIS (RBEC, New York/Istanbul). The SPHS initiative has demonstrated how sustainable health procurement can play a significant role in reducing the environmental and social impact of the health sector. It also has great potential to contribute to inclusive green and ethical economies in the context of Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals. Hence, since January 2018, UNDP HIV, Health and Development (HHD) Team at the UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub (IRH), as a host to the SPHS Secretariat, has been rolling out a 4-year project ‘Sustainable Health in Procurement Project (SHiPP).’ The project aims to reduce harm to people and the environment caused by the manufacture and disposal of medical products and by the implementation of health programmes in developing countries.

To facilitate communications support and inputs to the work of the SPHS Secretariat and strengthen sustainable health procurement in the UN system and in strategic countries, the UNDP HHD Team at the UNDP IRH is seeking the services of an international consultant with a track record of progressively responsible experience in communications, data base management, as well as relationship management, in the field of sustainable consumption and production, sustainable health public procurement or a related area.

This assignment is geared to broaden and deepen awareness of UNDP’s work in strengthening sustainability in the global health, engage with key audiences (donors, suppliers and manufacturers, media, as well as internal SPHS stakeholders), create brand recognition and lift the related UNDP/SPHS supported initiative’s media profile. The communication work will raise awareness of target groups (to be defined in consultation with the SPHS Secretariat and members) in SPHS’s work, particularly on engagement with suppliers and manufacturers on introducing sustainable procurement in the global health sector. The consultancy will aim to strongly support communications efforts related to the 3rd Saving Lives Sustainably Forum 2020, highlight individual projects to different audiences and mobilize partners, stakeholders, and the general public to advocate on results achieved through the portfolio (e.g. via the SPHS online engagement platform).

Objective of the assignment: UNDP is seeking services of an experienced International Communications Consultant for UN informal Interagency Task Team for Sustainable Procurement in the Health Sector (SPHS).

Duties and Responsibilities

Under the guidance of the SPHS Associate Coordinator and under the overall supervision of the SPHS Coordinator, and in close collaboration with the UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub HIV, Health and Development (HHD) Team and the SPHS members, the Communications Consultant will:


  • Maintain the SPHS online engagement platform News & Stories page, strategically developing key content (with identification of key partners), and liaising with the SPHS Global Leaders (also known as the SPHS Voices) ensuring constant receipt of the Voices’ blog posts and further dissemination of those vlog pieces through the SPHS Secretariat communication channels;
  • Analyse and select on a daily basis the most relevant sustainable health care news by countries/regions and subjects for each SPHS focus areas, update the highlight section and events, summits, seminars and publications of interest;
  • Ensure regular content creation for the SPHS’s newsletters, and prepare monthly alert message to announce the monthly updating of the web; edit and adapt file formats of photographs for web and social media use; adapt video and multimedia files to the required formats and upload to YouTube, when requested;
  • Apply innovative communication approaches via social media platforms and build on and advance the program's digital presence through social media channels, especially through the SPHS Twitter account (@UN_SPHS), or other planned and/or existing social media platforms such as the SPHS members regional and corporate social media channels;
  • Liaise with Programme partners, UNDP and SPHS Member Agencies communication officers and focal points in respective UNDP country offices;
  • Undertake communications activities to promote the Inter-Agency Engagement Statement with Suppliers and Manufacturers on Sustainable Procurement, and the UNDP Regional HHD other technical documentation on climate-smart health care; liaise with both internal and external media, and key relevant partners;
  • Developing short stories/best practice stories and articles to be published in online platforms;
  • Conduct research and data collection for publications, articles, blogs, reports, etc.;
  • Regularly track the web and social media statistics and prepare regular reports;
  • Effectively monitor and evaluate various communications tools and activities, to measure the impact on achieving the overall objective;
  • Perform other related duties as required.

SHiPP Engagement:

  • Develop and implement the communications strategy related to the Sustainable Health in Procurement Project (SHiPP), with a focus on liaising with media for press releases and events, establishing media connections, with an aim to get maximum media attention for press releases, special events, press interview either through broadcast or print;
  • Based on the proposed communications strategy, prepare and implement a communications plan outlining the concrete actions to be taken and the results to be achieved to enhance SHiPP and SPHS visibility, increase its impact with a view to continuously improving UNDP’s online outreach;
  • Develop and pre-test appropriate messages, tools and materials. This will include development of: advocacy kits for policy and decision-makers, senior program managers, various key influencers; materials for different media/target audience, , illustrative leaflets, posters, and other materials. Subsequently, all messages, tools and materials will be pre-tested according to agreed protocol. The messages, tools and materials may need to be modified/ improved periodically based on review/ monitoring reports.

Expected Outputs and Deliverables 





Delivery date

Expected Number of Days



Detailed work-plan (1-2 pages)




Developed the SPHS 2019 Annual Report




Developed and implemented a communications action plan for the launch and dissemination of the SPHS 2019 Annual Report (communications strategy, press releases, social media strategy, social media posts, and multimedia material)




Conducted research and obtained relevant high-resolution photos from UNDP and its partners




Revised the visual design and tested functionality of the Phase 3 of the SPHS Online Engagement Platform and attended team meetings




Identified new SPHS Voices and facilitated posting of their blog posts on the SPHS platform




Created content and maintained the online SPHS platform News & Stories page and SPHS social media channels




Developed and implemented communications plan, stories and press releases for various international days, events, conferences, forums and meetings (5-6)




Developed a communications action plan for the rollout and implementation of UNDP’s Sustainable Health in Procurement Project (SHiPP)




Organised 3 SPHS virtual sessions focusing on key SPHS thematic areas




Developed and implemented a communications strategy for the 3rd Saving Lives Sustainably Forum and supported the organizing committee




Participated in the 3rd Saving Lives Sustainably Forum as part of the organizing committee





Applied innovative communication approaches via SPHS social media platforms and advanced the initiative’s digital presence through social media channels





Supported the development of the 3rd Saving Lives Sustainably Forum Report




Developed and disseminated newsletters relevant to the SPHS mandate (5-6)




Conducted research and data collection for the SPHS Steering Committee Meetings and relevant publications, articles, blogs, reports, GIFs, etc.




Developed the SPHS 2020 Annual Report




Developed and implemented a communications action plan for the launch and dissemination of the SPHS 2020 Annual Report (communications strategy, press releases, social media calendar, social media posts, and multimedia material)




Supported the organisation of 3 SPHS virtual sessions focusing on key SPHS thematic areas




Supported the HHD Team Leader on SHiPP and SPHS activities for various events, meetings, conferences, forums, etc.




Liaised with programme partners, UNDP and SPHS Member Agencies communication officers and focal points




Regularly checked and produced reports of the overall communications statistics of SPHS




Documented case studies and good practice examples in introducing sustainable health procurement and production practices in SHiPP project countries




Analysed and selected the most relevant sustainable health care news by subjects for SPHS focus areas




Developed end-of-consultancy report highlighting lessons learned and key recommendations






Scope of Price Proposal and Schedule of Payments

Payments shall be done monthly based on actual days worked, upon verification of successful outputs delivery and approval by the IC’s supervisor of a Time Sheet indicating the days worked in the period.

The candidates must quote based on an all-inclusive daily fee including all foreseeable expenses.  Candidates are advised not to include any travel related costs in their financial proposal.

Institutional Arrangements:

  • The Consultant will be office based;
  • The Consultant will report to and be directly supervised by the HHD Team Leader;
  • The Consultant will be given access to relevant information necessary for execution of the tasks under this assignment;
  • The Consultant will be responsible for providing her/his own laptop
  • Individual Consultants are responsible for ensuring that 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
  • Reporting: The consultant will regularly evaluate progress in meeting the set targets and deliverables with the Eastern Europe and Central Asia HIV, Health and Development Team Leader.

Travel: Participate in the 3rd Saving Lives Sustainably Forum 2020. In the case of any other unforeseeable travel, payment of travel costs including tickets, lodging and terminal expenses should be agreed upon, between the respective business unit and Individual Consultant, prior to travel and will be paid in accordance with UNDP rules and travel policy.







  • Demonstrated ability and knowledge in the design and management of websites and complex information management systems;
  • Is conscientious in observing deadlines and achieving results;
  • Demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter;
  • Is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results;
  • Is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns;
  • Shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations; and
  • Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.


  • Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately;
  • Asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication;
  • Tailors language, tone, style and format to match audience; and
  • Demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.

Technological Awareness:

  • Keeps abreast of available technology;
  • Understands applicability and limitation of technology to the work of the office;
  • Actively seeks to apply technology to appropriate tasks; and
  • Dhows willingness to learn new technology.


  • Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals;
  • Solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise;
  • Is willing to learn from others; places team agenda before personal agenda;
  • Supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; and
  • Shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility.

Required Skills and Experience


  • Minimum qualification is a Master’s degree in Communications, Public Relations or relevant area.



  • At least 4 years of relevant experience in generating communications, communication strategies, social media and advocacy material via various media (i.e. print, multimedia, websites); in sustainable consumption and production or sustainable public health procurement;
  • At least 4 years of working experience with UN organization or any other international organisation in the field of communications in sustainable procurement in the health sector;
  • At least 3 years of experience in development of annual and progress reports in the field of sustainable procurement in the health sector and implementation of communication plans;
  • Demonstrated experience in the organization activities of international forums and conferences on sustainability in the health sector;
  • Demonstrated experience in communications work in the context of international relations tailored to different audiences and background in journalism are distinct advantages;


Language skills:

  • Fluency and ability to communicate and perform complex tasks in English; and
  • Knowledge of another UN official language is desirable.


  • Applicants will be screened against qualifications and competencies specified above through a desk review. Applicants will be evaluated based on: Cumulative analysis method that combines the results of technical and financial evaluation results. 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 and financial criteria specific to the solicitation.

Evaluation Criteria:

Technical Criteria - 70% of total evaluation - max. 56 points:

  • Education -  6 points
  • At least 4 years of progressively responsible experience in the field of communications, communication strategies, social media and advocacy material via various media (i.e. print, multimedia, websites) in sustainable consumption and production or sustainable public health procurement; - max. 20 points
  • At least 4 years of working experience with UN organization  or any other organisation in the field of communications in sustainable procurement in the health sector; - max 10 points
  • At least 3 years of experience in developing annual and progress reports in the field of sustainable procurement in the health sector and implementation of communication plans; – 5 Points
  • Demonstrated experience in organization of international conferences - max 5 points;
  • Previous hands-on experience in both traditional (print) and social media platforms – max 5 points;
  • Proven ability to work on complex issues in English as demonstrated by CV – max 5 points.

Financial Criteria - 30% of total evaluation – max. 24 points.

Presentation of offer

  • Duly accomplished Letter of Confirmation of Interest and Availability using the template provided by UNDP; Reference ID 62446
  • Personal CV or P11, indicating all past experience from similar projects, as well as the contact details (email and telephone number) of the Candidate and at least three (3) professional references;
  • Brief description of why the individual considers him/herself as the most suitable for the assignment.
  • Financial Proposal that indicates the all-inclusive fixed total contract price, supported by a breakdown of costs, as per template provided.  If an Offeror is employed by an organization/company/institution, and he/she expects his/her employer to charge a management fee in the process of releasing him/her to UNDP under Reimbursable Loan Agreement (RLA), the Offeror must indicate at this point, and ensure that all such costs are duly incorporated in the financial proposal submitted to UNDP. 

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