Communications Consultant of the UNDP-GEF Global ABS Project

Advertised on behalf of :

Location : Home-based
Application Deadline :10-Aug-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 :Estimated 20 August 2020 – 10 December 2020
Expected Duration of Assignment :Approximately 40 working days


The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the UN’s global development network, an organization advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience, and resources to help people build a better life. Since 1966 UNDP partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and to drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life of everyone. On the ground in more than 170 countries and territories, we offer global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations.

The Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization (ABS), an agreement under the Convention on Biological Diversity, was adopted on 29 October 2010. It provides a transparent legal framework for the effective implementation of the 3rd objective of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

The UNDP-GEF Project “Strengthening human resources, legal frameworks, and institutional capacities to implement the Nagoya Protocol” (Global ABS Project) is a 3-year project that specifically aims at assisting 23 countries (Albania, Belarus, Botswana, Colombia, Comoros, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Honduras, India, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Mongolia, Myanmar, Panama, Rwanda, Samoa, Seychelles, South Africa, Sudan, Tajikistan and Uruguay) in the development and strengthening of their national ABS frameworks, human resources, and administrative capabilities to implement the Nagoya Protocol. The project seeks to achieve this through its 4 components namely:

  • Component 1: Strengthening the legal, policy and institutional capacity to develop national ABS frameworks;
  • Component 2: Building trust between users and providers of genetic resources to facilitate the identification of bio-discovery efforts;
  • Component 3: Strengthening the capacity of indigenous and local communities to contribute to the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol;
  • Component 4: Implementing a Community of Practice and South-South Cooperation Framework on ABS.

The fourth component of the UNDP-GEF Global ABS Project aims to promote the exchange of experiences and knowledge sharing among the participating and non-participating countries (i.e. government institutions, private sector entities, research and academic institutions, UNDP regional and country offices, international organizations, among others) through a south-south cooperation framework and it is implemented in partnership with UNV.

The project website and the community of practice on ABS leverage synergies, disseminate key information, promote connectivity, and facilitate a spirit of collaboration among its different members as a global community. This approach will allow ABS and the Nagoya Protocol to inform and ensure their contribution to sustainable development in all the involved fields through concrete case studies, stories, pilots, experiences, and knowledge products.

Duties and Responsibilities

The UNDP-GEF Global ABS Project is seeking an International Communications Consultant to support the UNDP-GEF Global ABS Project in the organization and development of the communications for the Global Conference on ABS, the project final event that will take place at the end of October 2020.

This conference will gather ABS practitioners from all around the world (countries, focal points, experts, IPLCs leaders, representatives of scientific and research institutions, academia, and private sector). It represents a great opportunity to (1) celebrate the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the Nagoya Protocol, (2) showcase the impact of the Global ABS Project, (3) continue building trust between providers and users of genetic resources for the development of an integral and successful post-2020 agenda; and (4) increase knowledge and visibility of the Global ABS Community.

In this regard, the Communications Consultant will be responsible for the following aspects:

  • Overall support to communications related to the Global ABS International Conference to achieve stated conference objectives and to ensure effective communication to key audiences;
  • Branding and leading the overall marketing and promotion of the Global ABS International Conference;
  • Creation of conference communications and effective promotion of conference assets such as blogs, articles, publications, multimedia, and basic communications materials;
  • Management of conference media engagement and digital presence, including promotion on social media (Gifs, flyers, infographics);
  • Promoting consistent branding application in conference publications and conference communication documents;
  • Drafting, editing and design of annual highlight reports.
  • Handover strategy and management of the final event.
  1. Scope of work and deliverables

The consultant will be home-based working under the supervision of the Manager of the UNDP-GEF Global ABS Project and the Knowledge Management and Communication Specialist, with regular virtual meetings to guarantee the envisaged deliverables. The Consultant will work with the Global ABS Project team and is expected to be able to interact during EST schedule (Panama time). The incumbent will be responsible to ensure the completion of the following tasks:

Planning and follow-up (15 days)

  • Elaborate the communication strategy and work plan for the final conference, which will be used during the development of the consultancy. The UNDP-GEF Global ABS Project team will validate these documents;
  • Develop conference brand identity;
  • Identify and analyze the key needs of the UNDP-GEF Global ABS Project regarding knowledge and visibility of ABS. This includes providing innovative ideas and recommendations on the UNDP-GEF Global ABS Project communications strategy and editorial content management plan;
  • Organize and undertake virtual meetings and/or working sessions concerning the progress of the present consultancy with the UNDP-GEF Global ABS Project team, and other partners;

Development of the work plan prior to the event (two months)   

  • Support the design of the conference micro website in collaboration with the Global ABS team and the web content consultant;
  • Prepare content for the conference website to be built including but not limited to videos, testimonies, photo galleries, success stories, surveys, interactive activities, guidelines to use zoom, brochures, FAQs on the Nagoya Protocol on ABS;
  • Preparing conference collateral material: save-the-date postcards, invitations, brochures, agenda/programme, etc.;
  • Prepare and design factsheets for target audiences (ABS sensitized audiences, journalists, and private sector);
  • Prepare and manage content for social media: cards, gifs, videos;
  • Participating in team and coordination calls;
  • Support the design and development of the UNDP-GEF Global ABS Project publication;

Support the day to day implementation of the communication strategy of the conference (one month)

  • Deliver advice and technical support for organization of press conference, interviews, and engagement of journalists;
  • Support the coverage of the event, preparing and managing content for social media and micro website;
  • Edit videos on the conference highlights, including testimonies as part of the Conference communications package;

Monitoring and evaluation (two weeks)

  • Write and edit a report on the results framework;
  • Handover of diverse Communications Products.

Expected outputs and deliverables timelines

Estimated duration to complete and payment percentage (40 working days; 100% to be divided as follows)

1st deliverable by 15 August 2020 – 5 days / 12.50% of total value of the contract

  • Communication strategy, work plan, timeline, conference brand identity prepared and validated;
  • First version of the ABS event microsite prepared and presented.
  • Support and advice on editorial content management plan, including the institutional video and progress report, provided;
  • Participating in team and coordination calls;

2nd deliverable by 30 September 2020 – 15 days/37.50% of total value of the contract

  • Final version of the event microsite updated with content (videos, testimonies, photo galleries, success stories, surveys, interactive activities guidelines to use zoom, brochures, FAQs on the Nagoya Protocol on ABS, social media kit to share (cards, gifs and hashtags);
  • Final version of conference collateral materials prepared and validated: save-the-date postcards, invitations, brochures, agenda/programme, zoom banners among others;
  • Lead and follow up of social media campaign;
  • Manage media coverage in coordination with CO;
  • Participating in team and coordination calls;

3rd deliverable by 15 October 2020 – 5 days/12.50% of total value of the contract

  • Final version of factsheets for target audiences (ABS sensitized audiences, journalists, and private sector) prepared and validated (prior the event);
  • Technical support for organization of press conference, interviews and engagement of journalists provided;
  • Participating in team and coordination calls;

4th deliverable by 30 November 2020 – 15 days/37.50% of total value of the contract

  • Support on the organization of the final event provided;
  • Coverage of the event delivered, including materials such as articles, stories, and interviews;
  • Post conference engagement content for social media prepared and validated;
  • Video on the conference highlights, including testimonies, edited, validated, and delivered;
  • Performance report on the results framework prepared, validated, and delivered;
  • Final report of the consultancy with a link to folders with all materials prepared delivered;

Management and organizational arrangements:

  • The consultant will work under the guidance and technical supervision of the Global Project Manager and the Knowledge Management and Communication Specialist;
  • The consultant will be given access to relevant information necessary for execution of the tasks under this assignment;
  • The consultant will work from home;
  • The consultant will be responsible for providing her/his own working station (i.e. laptop with licensed products such as Adobe Creative Cloud, internet, phone, scanner/printer, etc.) and must have access to reliable internet connection;
  • Given the global consultations to be undertaken during this assignment, the consultant is expected to be reasonably flexible with his/her availability for such consultations taking into consideration different time zones. The time zone of the Global team is based on US Eastern Standard Time;
  • Payments will be made upon submission of the deliverables and according to the payment schedule defined in the Terms of Reference and approval by the Global Project Manager.

Travel arrangements:

  • No travel is expected under the current consultancy.


Corporate competencies:

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

Functional competencies:

  • Strong interpersonal skills, communication and diplomatic skills, ability to work in a team;
  • Openness to change and ability to receive/integrate feedback;
  • Ability to work under pressure and stressful situations;
  • Strong research analytical, reporting and writing abilities.

Required Skills and Experience

Academic Qualifications/Education:

  • Minimum Bachelor’s degree in communications or other closely related field.

Specific Experience:

  • At least 5 years’ experience in communications or the media at an international level; 
  • Proven experience in communications on Access to genetic resources and Benefit Sharing (ABS);
  • Experience in development and implementation of communications strategies;
  • Experience in communications with multi-stakeholder, complex projects is an advantage;
  • Working experience with UNDP or other related organizations and familiarity with their branding and visibility identity requirements is required;
  • Experience managing and producing multimedia content is essential;
  • Experience branding international initiatives and projects is required;
  • Exceptional writing, editing and communications skills are needed;
  • Up to date with the most recent approaches for online communication with proven experience in supporting virtual meetings/conferences.

Language skills:

  • Excellent writing, editing, and oral communication skills in English;
  • Spanish is an asset.

Computer skills:

  • Fully competent management of the MS Office package (particularly MS Word, MS Excel, MS PowerPoint, MS Outlook, MS TEAMS) and Adobe Creative Cloud;
  • Competency using graphic design and video editing tools iare both required;
  • WordPress knowledge 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:

a) responsive/compliant/acceptable, and

b) 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 obtain min. 70% of points will be invited for the next stage of the technical evaluation and financial proposal evaluation. 

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

  • Criteria A - Relevant education background – max points: 5
  • Criteria B – 5 years of proven experience in communications at an international level. Previous work experience with UNDP or other UN agency and familiarity with their branding and visibility identity requirements is an required  - max points: 10
  • Criteria C – Proven experience in communications on Access to genetic resources and Benefit Sharing ABS - max points: 15
  • Criteria D – Proven experience in development and implementation of online communication strategies, outreach, and online advocacy campaigns – max. points: 5
  • Criteria E – Proven experience in development of multimedia content and management of online events – max. points: 5
  • Criteria F – Past work sample – experience in online advocacy & outreach campaigns – minimum of 2 - max. points: 5
  • Criteria G – Past work sample – experience with graphic design, publishing programmes and video editing – minimum of 2 - max. points: 5
  • Criteria H - Written Test – excellent writing and editing skills, experience in communications strategies, communications, and outreach on Access to genetic resources and Benefit Sharing -_ max. points: 10
  • Criteria I - Interviews – max. points: 10 (experience in communications strategies at an international level, communication on ABS,  online communication & advocacy campaigns, management of online events, development of multimedia content, videos, graphic design, infographics, social media content, reports, excellent oral communications skills in English)

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

Application procedures

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 and pprevious work sample (Links to developed websites or web solutions shall be submitted with the technical proposal;)). Please also 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; please upload the P11 instead of your CV.
  • Financial Proposal in USD* - 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).
  • Applicants must reply to the mandatory questions asked by the system when submitting the application.
  • Incomplete applications will not be considered. Please make sure you have provided all requested materials.


*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, personal security needs and any other relevant expenses related to the performance of services...).

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

General Terms and conditions as well as other related documents can be found under:

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.

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.

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