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Communications Officer

Addis Ababa | Addis Ababa

Background Information - UNOPS

UNOPS supports the successful implementation of its partners’ peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world. Our mission is to serve people in need by expanding the ability of the United Nations, governments and other partners to manage projects, infrastructure and procurement in a sustainable and efficient manner.

Working in some of the world’s most challenging environments, our vision is to advance sustainable implementation practices, always satisfying or surpassing our partners’ expectations.

With over 7,000 personnel spread across 80 countries, UNOPS offers its partners the logistical, technical and management knowledge they need, wherever they need it.

A flexible structure and global reach means that we can quickly respond to our partners' needs, while offering the benefits of economies of scale. 

Background Information - Job-specific

Established in 2009, UNOPS Ethiopia Office has been providing services to various partners, including the government of Ethiopia, UN agencies such as WHO, UNHCR and WFP, and other international organizations. In 2014, the UNOPS Executive Director decided to establish the UNOPS Ethiopia Operational Hub (ETOH), which manages and coordinates the UNOPS activities in Ethiopia, Sudan and Djibouti.

UNOPS ETOH activities range from tailor-made administration, operations, human resources and logistics support for implementation of development and humanitarian projects; infrastructure and procurement management services; and advisory services to partners to facilitate effective procurement, supply and financial management.

Under the leadership of the Partnerships Team Leader, the incumbent will work to develop and implement a communications strategy and framework in support of the overall ETOH business development strategy. The incumbent will be asked to work towards preparing and disseminating reports and other resources, as well as organizing events and discussions, to support implementation of this strategy.

In terms of impact on results, the incumbent will be expected to play a key role in managing relationships of the hub with partners, clients and other stakeholders in the region. In line with the UNOPS vision and business strategy, the incumbent will be responsible for supporting the development, implementation and monitoring of the ETOH communications strategy and work plan. Accordingly, the incumbent will be responsible and accountable in taking a lead role towards the ETOH communications efforts with facilitating establishment of ETOH as a preferred service provider and reliable partner of choice for implementation of humanitarian and development projects.

Functional Responsibilities

The Communications Officer will perform the following duties and responsibilities. The work will include tasks relating to the presence of the Operational Hub in all areas of responsibility, currently Ethiopia, Sudan and Djibouti.

Summary of Key Functions:

  •  Under the guidance of the Partnership Team Leader, Lead and contribute the development and implementation of an effective and quality communications strategy and work plan for ETOH;
  • Under the guidance from the Partnerships Team Leader and in close collaboration with Senior Management team work in formulation and implementation of internal and external communications and advocacy strategies, and actively contribute at high level to the Hub  partnerships development efforts ;
  • Lead and facilitate efforts to establish effective and quality networking and communications policies, tools and systems across the operational hub, as well as at the country level;
  • Lead in creation and implementation of the publications strategies, plans and develop systems and processes to improve UNOPS visibility to partners and stakeholders in the hub countries.
  • Ensure communications tools and products, including knowledge management systems, briefing notes, booklets and websites are effectively planned and maintained to reflect UNOPS’s corporate branding.
  • Lead and facilitate effective and systematic knowledge building and ensure wider knowledge sharing is in place.
  •  Coordinate with  relevant units and personnel to ensure that the ETOH services and achievements are communicated to the relevant stakeholders in an effective and timely manner to support strategic positioning of ETOH, and marketing of its solutions to existing and potential partners
  • Prepare tools and conduct of communications needs assessments for UNOPS offices in the hub, including programmes and projects, as required;
  • Contribute to the overall communications, business development and partners engagement efforts of the operational hub, and relevant work of ETOH units and personnel, as required
  • Support Project Managers and relevant units and personnel with creation of the relevant programme and project communications strategic plans, and preparation of relevant tools and documents
  • Manage organization of consultations for development of new engagements and project proposals through discussions with relevant stakeholders of ETOH
  • Liaise regularly with UNOPS Regional Office and relevant HQ units, as well as other UN agencies, to respond to requests in areas related to communications, as well as relevant areas of BD & partnerships.
  • Prepare Terms of Reference for communications’ and other consultants needed for the ETOH Hub offices ;
  • Work in consultation with the Partnership Team leader in management and oversight of communications consultants and service providers
  • Develop partnerships with various individuals, groups and organizations, whose support is essential to the achievement of advocacy and communication objectives.

Coordinate creation and implementation of the publications strategies and plans to improve visibility

  • In support of the communications strategy and work plan, and within the framework of the overall ETOH business strategy, leads in gathering required inputs and information required for production of relevant publications, as well as plans to coordinate dissemination of these publications and resources
  • Under the guidance from the Partnerships Team Leader, work closely with Project Managers on coverage of UNOPS activities and projects through various media channels, including news stories, fact sheets, website articles; booklets, briefing notes, posters and banners, through service providers such as audio-visual production companies, as well as printing and translation companies lead in development and dissemination.-
  • preparation of relevant background documents and organization of donor and corporate missions, as well as organization of audio-visual and media coverage of project activities and achievements
  • Work with relevant units and personnel in assisting the hub effort to develop proposals and concept notes
  • prepare project briefs, proposals and presentations for further discussion with clients and donors, and for the use of UNOPS management
  • Lead personnel with identification of storylines for publications, and articles on achievements and progress of projects and activities

Produce and Maintain communications tools and products, including knowledge management systems, briefing notes, booklets and websites

  • Lead in the  development and implementation of the UNOPS ETHO Hub  Internal Communications Plan
  • Take the lead for the revision and update of the information available on platforms such as UNOPS intranet and website to improve visibility and promotion of achievements and progress of relevant projects and interventions; facilitate marketing of services to relevant stakeholders
  • Leads and coordinates the documentation of the UNOPS ETOH, i.e. on how the Business Development has developed the grants implementation during its project cycle and record lessons learnt.
  • Lead in organizing relevant events and activities, including organization of press conferences and other events to facilitate visits of high-level officials and delegations
  • Lead in organizing relevant visibility events such as partner workshops, discussions and roundtables, press conferences, briefing sessions and interviews; support relevant aspects of work of high-level delegations and visitors
  • In cooperation with the Partnerships Team Leader and Operations Team, ensure efficient and effective management of communications budget
  • With the guidance of the Procurement Officer and his/ her immediate supervisor, prepare input for tenders for the publicity material (including print, graphics, web, audio and video);
  • Work closely with procurement unit and manage purchasing of communications products.
  • Manage and review quality and responsiveness of communications outputs.

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

  • Coordinate identification of and reporting on best practices and lessons learned for activities and projects, and in line with communications and business development goals and objectives
  • Ensure that a library of reference materials, such as communications tools, booklets and photographs of project activities, is established, regularly updated and documented in a way that is  easy for retrieval
  • Make sound contributions to knowledge networks and communities of practice including corporate communications repositories
  • Brief the senior management regularly on ongoing communications, and coordinate efforts to follow up on identified communications needs, and potential opportunities for improving visibility.
  • Monitor and support regular programme activity reporting and Programme project level stakeholder management, as required by senior management, Partnerships team leader and Project Managers
  • Represent UNOPS on relevant meetings including UN Communications Group and related meetings like UNOPS global and Regional communications group and other partner consultations, as required
  • Organize and conduct training activities on communications activities and resources such as plans and templates, as appropriate
  • Seeks and applies knowledge, information, and best practices from within and outside UNOPS and keep partners and stakeholders Informed. Regular media monitoring in subjects related to UNOPS partnerships mandate areas in the hub countries and communicate periodically (News, loan and grant agreements, new program developments, new official assignments (local and international). 


Develops and implements sustainable business strategies, thinks long term and externally in order to positively shape the organization. Anticipates and perceives the impact and implications of future decisions and activities on other parts of the organization.
Treats all individuals with respect; responds sensitively to differences and encourages others to do the same. Upholds organizational and ethical norms. Maintains high standards of trustworthiness. Role model for diversity and inclusion.
Acts as a positive role model contributing to the team spirit. Collaborates and supports the development of others. For people managers only: Acts as positive leadership role model, motivates, directs and inspires others to succeed, utilizing appropriate leadership styles.
Demonstrates understanding of the impact of own role on all partners and always puts the end beneficiary first. Builds and maintains strong external relationships and is a competent partner for others (if relevant to the role).
Efficiently establishes an appropriate course of action for self and/or others to accomplish a goal. Actions lead to total task accomplishment through concern for quality in all areas. Sees opportunities and takes the initiative to act on them. Understands that responsible use of resources maximizes our impact on our beneficiaries.
Open to change and flexible in a fast paced environment. Effectively adapts own approach to suit changing circumstances or requirements. Reflects on experiences and modifies own behavior. Performance is consistent, even under pressure. Always pursues continuous improvements.
Evaluates data and courses of action to reach logical, pragmatic decisions. Takes an unbiased, rational approach with calculated risks. Applies innovation and creativity to problem-solving.
Expresses ideas or facts in a clear, concise and open manner. Communication indicates a consideration for the feelings and needs of others. Actively listens and proactively shares knowledge. Handles conflict effectively, by overcoming differences of opinion and finding common ground.

Functional competencies

Functional Competencies


  • Very good written and oral communication skills to communicate key messages to partners and stakeholders effectively and ability to formulate written information clearly and persuasively.
  • Public speaking clear and focused, with ability to effectively communicate complex ideas to a non-specialist audience.
  • Asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication.
  • Tailors language, tone, style and format to match the audience; markets UNOPS services with context and client needs in mind.
  • Demonstrated external relations  or media management skills at a high level.
  • Demonstrated donor coordination skills.

Building Trust

  • Provides an environment in which others can talk and act openly
  • Operates with transparency; has no hidden agenda
  • Places confidence in colleagues, staff and clients
  • Gives proper credit to others
  • Follows through on agreed-upon actions
  • Treats sensitive or confidential information appropriately

Client Orientation

  • Considers all those to whom services are provided to be "clients" and seeks to see things from clients' point of view; establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients and potential partners by gaining their trust and respect
  • Ability to establish and maintain excellent contacts with colleagues, senior government officials, donors and UN agencies
  • Identifies clients' and potential partners’ needs and matches them to appropriate solutions’ builds strong relationships with clients and external actors
  • Monitors ongoing developments within and outside the office to adjust strategies and plans accordingly and outside the clients' environment; and keeps informed regarding issues and challenges
  • Keeps clients informed of progress or setbacks in projects; meets timeline for delivery of products or services to clients
  • Focuses on impact and result for the client and responds positively to feedback

Technological Awareness

  • Holds high level of computer literacy and the demonstrable ability to work with relevant tools, including MS Office packages and other relevant software like MS Publisher, photo shop etc…  
    • Keeps abreast of available technology
    • Understands applicability and limitations of technology to the work of the office
    • Actively seeks to apply technology to appropriate tasks
    • Shows willingness to learn new technology

Education/Experience/Language requirements

A.  Education:

  • Master’s Degree or equivalent in Journalism and Communications, Foreign Language, International Relations or related discipline.
  • University Degree (bachelor’s degree / first level) with a combination of 2 additional years of relevant professional experience may be accepted in lieu of the Master’s degree.

B. Work Experience:

  • Minimum 5 years of progressive experience at national and international level in advisory or Management of   communications, Media/public relations, program/project development, Information management or a mix of similar roles.
  • PRINCE2 Foundation Certification and/or similar project management certification may be considered as an advantage.

C. Language Requirements: Fluency in spoken and written English is required. Working level knowledge of French and Arabic will be considered an asset. Knowledge of local language of the duty station is required. 

Additional Considerations

  • Please note that the closing date is midnight Copenhagen time
  • 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 only, 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.

Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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  • Organization: UNOPS - United Nations Office for Project Services
  • Location: Addis Ababa | Addis Ababa
  • Grade: Mid/Senior
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Communication
  • Closing Date: 2017-06-05

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