United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Development Coordination Officer (Communications and Advocacy)

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Job Description

Organizational Setting and Reporting Relationships: The position is located in the United Nations Resident Coordination Office (RCO) in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates and reports to the RCO Team Leader.
The position also maintains a working relationship with the Development Coordination Office (DCO) Communications team in New York and the United Nations Department of Global Communications (DGC), which sets the communications and advocacy priorities of the United Nations around the world.
UN Resident Coordinator (RC): The UN Resident Coordinator is the head of the United Nations in the country, the highest ranking senior official.
United Nations Country Team (UNCT): The UNCT is the UN’s coordination body at country-level. The UNCT is comprised of the Heads of UN agencies.
UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF): the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework is the UN’s strategic document, an agreement between the UN and the host government—determines and reflects the UN development system's contributions in the country and shapes the configuration of UN assets required inside and outside the country. Duties and Responsibilities

Within delegated authority, the Communications and Advocacy Officer, Development Coordination, will be responsible of the following duties:

Summary of Functions:

1. Strategic Communications: Designs the joint Strategic Communication Strategy in collaboration with various UN agencies in UAE and national stakeholders for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
2. Advocacy: Provides substantive input on how the UN should communicate its branding, engagement with UN and national partners and advocacy for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
3. Branding management: Plans and facilitates substantive support for publications and branding management and advises on financing for digital communications, expanding public engagement for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in line with the Decade of Action.
4. Knowledge-sharing: Promotes knowledge management, builds communication channels to capture lessons learned from outreach initiatives, and promotes network development activities.

Description of Functions:

1. Strategic Communications
• Provides guidance on the development and implementation of the UN Joint Advocacy and Communication Strategy in alignment with and support of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development;
• Conducts liaison and coordination with UN entities at country, regional and HQ levels, to help package and define UN communication strategies, including differentiated value propositions, to attract partners, both traditional and non-traditional, including government, civil society, private sector, development partners and others on the collective 2030 Agenda and the related role and impact of the UN’s work in country;
• Develops and maintains close working relationships with the media, including editors and journalists in key national and international news outlets; develops, maintains and updates media relations contact list/database;
• Plans, leads and manages the work of the UN Communications Group throughout the stages of the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework cycle;
• Plans and facilitates the Design, formulation, implementation, monitoring and reporting of joint programmes and programming processes for use in joint communication;
• Leads strategic communications initiatives for the UN system in country, ensuring global messaging is communicated nationally and strategic positioning of UN and advocacy of UN norms and standards are also effectively communicated and disseminated.

2. Advocacy
• Analyzes trends and emerging tools for digital communication, provides advice on new and innovative funding mechanisms for communication and advocacy activities, to reach a wider, younger audience;
• Provides advice on funding and in-kind support and partnerships that could be leveraged for promoting local, regional and global campaigns;
• Prepares briefing papers and discussion points, speeches, statements, press releases, op-eds and presentations as necessary on issues related to advocacy on development policies for consideration by RC/UNCT;
• Prepares infographics and other graphic communication materials to ensure strategic messaging for the United Nations;
• Plans and facilitates engagements with external stakeholders - including the national government, international financial institutions and others;
• Prepares innovative partnership proposals to mobilize resources for the advocacy and events on the SDGs;
• Plans, leads and manages public engagement on the UN’s role and work in country, including through programme visits showcasing the UN’s development impact;
• Plans and facilitates dialogues with partners to improve public engagement and participatory approaches to increase understanding about the UN’s work in UAE;
• Undertakes regular liaison with other partners for Content Development, information exchange, collaborative communication efforts, and innovative communication and advocacy tools, as assigned;
• Identifies, adapts, and institutes communication tools with innovative approaches and keeping pace with emerging technology to garner largest outreach and effectiveness of UN communications.

3. Branding management
• Plans and facilitates substantive support for publications and branding management and advises on financing for digital communications, expanding public engagement for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs);
• Prepares inputs for the RC and UNCT on the use of the UN joint brand at country level across UN content and products, both offline and online;
• Develops and maintains external and internal digital communications platforms and inputs for including inter alia: the UN country team website, official UN country team social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, etc.), Intranet and on-line collaboration platforms, infographics, etc;
• Supports UN Resident Coordinator on their professional social media profile, strategy, and implementation;
• Provides advice and guidance for the production and distribution of marketing materials and publications to raise awareness about the UN’s development impact and opportunities for working with the United Nations in UAE;
• Strengthens the UN brand via events, media and public relations opportunities targeted to the diverse partners, in close collaboration with the UN Communications Group;
• Manages the project implementation, including financial management and reporting for any assigned initiatives under the Resident Coordinator Office.

4. Knowledge-sharing
• Conducts educational outreach activities, including the engagement with Model United Nations conferences and organizing public-speaking opportunities at local educational institutions with support from and/or the participation of the UN Resident Coordinator and/or the UN Country Team;
• Manages and directs strategic UN initiatives identified to be led by the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office, including support to UN Day, dissemination on role of the UN, information on UN careers, etc;
• To meet communication targets, continuously captures lessons-learned and share what is working and what is not for further improvement;
• Contributes to knowledge networks and Communities of Practice at national, regional and global levels;
• Compiles and analyzes communication experiences and shares findings with country, regional and HQ communication colleagues so that best practices benefit the UN’s communication work;
• Attends, summarizes, and shares findings from relevant UN agency webinars and trainings;
• Develops expertise and maintains database of the knowledge sources and resources across the UN system for retrieving UN data and references, graphics, infographics, photos, and for UN Communication Officers;
• May undertake Spokesperson duties when designated by, and in close coordination with, the UN Resident Coordinator and the Head of the RC Office.


• Professionalism: Ability to apply sustainable development theories, concepts, and approaches. Ability to conduct independent research and Analysis on sustainable development topics, determine suitability, validity and accuracy of data provided by different sources. Shows skill in developing sources for Data Collection. Shows pride in work and in achievements; 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. Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.

• Communication: 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; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.

• Teamwork: 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; shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.

• Creativity: Actively seeks to improve programmes or services; offers new and different options to solve problems or meet client needs; promotes and persuades others to consider new ideas; takes calculated risks on new and unusual ideas; thinks “outside the box”; takes an interest in new ideas and new ways of doing things; is not bound by current thinking or traditional approaches.

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; shows willingness to learn new technology.

Required Skills and Experience

Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent degree) in communication, journalism, international relations, information management, content development, or related area. A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

A minimum of five years of progressively responsible experience in strategic communications and advocacy in the context of international development is required; a minimum of seven years of experience if applicant holds a first-level degree. A minimum of two years of experience managing resources, including personnel and/or budget, to support communications and advocacy activities in a local context, is required. Experience as spokesperson in an international organization is desirable. Experience working in the Arab States region is desirable. Experience working with or within a United Nations Country Team is a strong asset.

Language Requirements:
For the position advertised, fluency in both English and Arabic is required. Knowledge of another UN official language is an advantage.

Open for all nationality residents of the duty station (UAE) with valid residency in the UAE


Important applicant information

All posts in the SC categories are subject to local recruitment.

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