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28 Nov 2013

United Nations Office for Project Services Job Vacancy in Kenya : Communications Specialist


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Vacancy code VA/2013/B5303/4281 Position title Communications Specialist Level ICS-10 Department/office AFO, KEOH, Kenya Duty station Nairobi, Kenya Contract type International ICA Contract level IICA-2 Duration 1 year (renewable subject to performance and availability of funds) Application period 26-Nov-2013 to 10-Dec-2013 Print United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity Background Information – Job-specific

The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) mandate is to act as a project delivery platform for UN system agencies, funds and programs, international and regional financial institutions, intergovernmental organizations, donor and recipient governments, and non-profit non-governmental organization. As a self-financing entity within the UN system, UNOPS must ensure that the projects it delivers meet client expectations in terms of cost, quality and time, while at the same time ensuring that these collectively meet a broader array of success criteria. The Program Management Office has been established at the Nairobi Operational Hub (NAOH) to support achievement of project level results that contribute to Program level success. The PMO team comprises of a Team Leader as well as a number of Project Officers, Project Associates and Project Assistants.

The Communications Specialist will be working on a specific project titled ‘Implementing Integrated Water Resource and Waste water Management in Atlantic and Indian Ocean Small Islands Developing States (IWRM AIO SIDS)’. The project is funded through the Global Environment Facility (GEF), jointly implemented by UNEP and UNDP, and executed by UNOPS.

The geographic scope covers the Indian and Atlantic Oceans, focusing on 6 Small Island Developing States (SIDS). The Goal of the project is to contribute to sustainable development in the Atlantic and Indian Ocean SIDS through improvements in natural resource and environmental management. The overall objective is to accelerate progress on the World Summit of Sustainable Development (WSSD) targets and the IWRM and Water Use Efficiency (WUE) plans and the water supply and sanitation Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for the protection and utilization of groundwater and surface water in the participating countries.

Purpose and Scope of Work

Under the supervision and guidance of the IWRM Regional Coordinator (RC) and working closely with the rest of the Regional Coordination Unit (RCU) personnel, institutional focal points, specialised UN Agencies, international, regional and sub-regional agencies and organizations, the Communications Specialist (CS)is responsible for the information capture, exchange and networking between a wide range of participants in the IWRM AIO SIDS Project, including the RCU,government officials, scientists, non-governmental organizations and the public at large. S/he will also be responsible for supporting the implementation of the regional components of the project relating to the Monitoring and Indicator Framework (Component 2), the Policy and Institutional Reforms for IWRM(Component 3) and communications, outreach and training (Component 4).

The Communications Specialist will provide high-level support to the PCU and other members of the team with a focus on accuracy and consistency of work. S/he will represent the PCU on occasion; advise the team where necessary on communication related issues; ensure quality control on all communication material produced; manage the project’s public information products; and provide internal and external communication and project support as delegated by the RC.

The CS will be expected to travel and spend time in each of the project locations.

Background Information – UNOPSIn December 2010, the United Nations General Assembly reaffirmed UNOPS mandate ‘as a central resource for the United Nations systems in procurement and contracts management as well as in civil works and physical infrastructure development, including the related capacity development activities.’ UNOPS mission is to expand the capacity of the UN system and its partners. As an operational arm of the United Nations, UNOPS is currently supporting a range of partners including UN agencies, funds and programmes, international and regional financial institutions, intergovernmental organizations, donor and recipient governments, and non-profit non-governmental organizations in the implementation of more than $1 billion worth of peace building, humanitarian and development projects every year. With its headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark, a network of five regional offices and a further 20 operations and project centers, UNOPS oversees activities in more than 80 countries and often implements projects in the most challenging environments,while maintaining world class standards of quality, speed and cost effectiveness. By managing around 1000 projects for our partners at any given time, UNOPS makes significant, tangible contributions to results on the ground. UNOPS employs more than 6000 personnel and on behalf of its partners,creates thousands more work opportunities in local communities.

Background Information – Kenya

The UNOPS Nairobi Operational Hub (NAOH) plays a critical role in supporting projects on behalf of partners and creating real results that matter for people in need. NAOH is implementing projects worth more than $30 million in East Africa and is helping partners achieve project goals in project management,procurement, infrastructure, human resource management and advisory services.

Functional Responsibilities

Below are some of the functionalities. The specific areas of support to the project are as follows;

  • Finalise and subsequently keep the IWRM AIO SIDS internal and external communications and stakeholder engagement plan updated.
  • Explore, evaluate and operate the modalities articulated in the communication and stakeholder engagement plan within the project participating countries and beyond (to and from) other SIDS regions. This will include the following activities:
  • Support the creation of a network between local communities, project implementation managers and decision-makers on a national and regional level; to link and share knowledge across geographically dispersed and socially diverse local communities
  • Stream line knowledge exchange within and between national and regional institutions using appropriate communication media and new resources;
  • Disseminate information and experiences within the project, and with the GEF SIDS regional partners (Caribbean and Pacific Ocean groupings) and GEF Distance Learning and Information Sharing Tool (GEF DLIST) projects;
  • Analysis and utilization of the most appropriate tools to be used for communicating and sharing information;
  • Share information between other SIDS regional groups (with particular consideration being given to promoting the Joint Program for Action between the Pacific and Caribbean SIDS, and expanding this to include the Atlantic and Indian Ocean SIDS);
  • Develop key messages for all communication materials in all media formats – print, web, social media, and presentations;
  • Raise awareness of water resource and environmental stress issues using demonstration project impacts and lessons learned;
  • Knowledge exchange,learning and replication between participating SIDS through website and PCU support mechanisms;
  • Help facilitate informal and formal partnerships for IWRM on the national, catchment and community level;
  • Improve public awareness and media campaigns raising awareness on water issues, including public water services delivery as part of improved governance holding national services to account;
  • Support the development of templates and subsequent reporting and documenting of lessons learned with guidance provided by the regional PCU, and the feeding of these lessons into an IWRM Resource Centre for wider regional dissemination;
  • Facilitate transfer of IWRM regional practice from one SIDS to another;
  • Prepare comprehensive documentation of all phases of the project towards replication,including case studies and lessons learned from demonstration projects, as well as templates, best practices and tool kits developed under all components;
  • Support feeding of outputs and outcomes from each demonstration project into a virtual and hard copy library within a regional knowledge warehouse facility which will be located at an IWRM Resource Centre for dissemination.
  • Manage a writing team: select and assign communication work as appropriate and provide quality control.
  • Provide quality control of the graphics and website to ensure public information products convey the right message to the right audience, and are completed on time.
  • Equal language representation throughout the design and dissemination of public information products in the three languages used in the project through media management,partnerships, mail outs, and provide support to website planning, and social media strategy and implementation
  • Build relationships with counterparts and teams in the participating countries,relevant UN and Government departments and external partners to gather information and provide advice on communications products and outreach.
  • Media sensitization:draft media releases, organize press briefings, IWRM and WUE issues workshop,etc. for media outlets, linking project interventions to the broader environmental agenda (MDG goals, etc.).
  • Support capacity building among project personnel and project partners in communication in general, and writing and editing in particular for sustainability and continuation of communication beyond project duration.
  • Assist in the preparation of Terms Of Reference for the development of a video documentary;
  • Support in the preparation of the Annual Operations Plan: Provide inputs to Annual Operations Plan, particularly related to regional components and communications.
  • Perform other related duties as required.

Monitoring and Progress Controls

  • Present the finalized IWRM AIO SIDS internal and external communications and stakeholder engagement plan within the first three months of assignment.
  • Develop initial templates for experience notes and case studies within the first three months of assignment; review experience notes and case studies;
  • Knowledge and information materials for decision makers and the wider public – regular newsletters, project bulletins, feature media articles, poster series.
  • Development of TORs for one long or several short documentaries based upon project implementation.
  • Radio and Television Public Service Announcements developed, produced and disseminated
  • Support to all demonstration projects in the countries as requested and/or deemed necessary by the RCU in collaboration with the Results and Knowledge Management Specialist,including recommendations on how they can improve capture of best practices and lessons learned;
  • Maintain up-to-date communications repository in all three languages, including communications materials from all participating countries, for management review and archiving purposes;
  • Further develop the Project web site and include training materials for courses and workshops organized by the project and a photo gallery;
  • Prepare the communications related budget component for fiscal year in a timely manner for partners and RC approval;
  • Maintain up-to-date communications financial data for management review; ensure project financial reports are prepared on monthly basis or as requested and presented to partners;
  • Ensure RC and the Project Finance Manager are informed of any variation in project budget and expenditure and advise for remedy or budget revision in time;
  • Ensure checkpoint reports are prepared on a bi-weekly basis; communications highlight reports are prepared on monthly basis or as requested and presented to partners;
  • Provide support for all training programmes and workshops organized by the project;


  • Communication – the ability to read and write effectively in English and French/Portuguese is essential. This requires the ability to translate complex messages and concepts into simple language that is easy to understand. Abilities to conceive story angles, perform interviews, research and solicit newsworthy material relating to IWRM on SIDS issues for feature stories and other external publications are required.
  • Teamwork – the incumbent must work closely and reliably with colleagues in the project and all partner countries, as well as with UNOPS, UNEP and UNDP as organizations. The ability to follow directions and maintain adequate transparency while doing so is required. Almost every communication material will require input and ideas from colleagues from several entities. Sensitivity to other people’s cultural and religious norms and the ability to easily blend with others is also essential.
  • Planning and organizing – the incumbent will be required to work independently with minimal supervision and to prioritize work to ensure that the IWRM AIO SIDS projects goals are realized within planned time frames.
  • Accountability – the incumbent’s output represents the external interface of the IWRM AIO SIDS project and thus UN and GEF guidelines. S/he is thus accountable if any of the materials published do not conform with UN or GEF guidelines or with the implementing and executing organization’s policies and political environment,and would have to verify the accuracy of materials produced. The incumbent will also be responsible for ensuring that material is published in a timely manner.
  • Partner orientation – The incumbent will be expected to provide a high quality service to partners e.g. in developing materials pertaining to partner units, in writing feature stories originating in partner offices, ensuring that the messages are conveyed accurately and in a timely fashion to designated audiences.
  • Judgment/Decision-making – the incumbent will be expected to judge what material is newsworthy and worth publishing and deciding what material to keep and what to discard. The incumbent would also guide staff in the RCU and advise partners in the countries on the application of editorial standards and policies.

Education/Experience/Language requirements

  • An advanced university (Master’s degree or equivalent) in the fields of journalism, public information, communications, or related fields is required. A first-level university degree (Bachelor’s degree) in combination with required qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
  • Additional education in environmental/natural resources management and/or international development an advantage.
  • At least seven years of experience in journalism, public information or communications. (if combined with a BA degree)
  • At least five years of experience in journalism, public information or communications. (if combined with a MA degree).
  • Previous experience with UNOPS/the UN or international development, or related to natural resources management would be considered a strong asset.
  • Good documentation and presentation skills, good written and verbal communication skills in the language English and French is required ;
  • Fluent in written and oral Portuguese is an asset.

Contract type, level and durationContract type: Individual Contractor Contract level: LICA 2 Contract duration: 1 year (renewable subject to performance and availability of funds) For more details about the ICA contractual modality, please follow this link: Considerations

  • Please note that the closing date is midnight Copenhagen time (CET)
  • Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.
  • Only those candidates that are short-listed for interviews will be notified.
  • Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • For staff positions UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post
  • The incumbent is responsible to abide by security policies, administrative instructions, plans and procedures of the UN Security Management System and that of UNOPS.

It is the policy of UNOPS to conduct background checks on all potential recruits/interns. Recruitment/internship in UNOPS is contingent on the results of such checks.

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