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UNV Communications Officer



Under the direct supervision of the UN Coordination Specialist, the Communications Officer:

Supports the design, management and implementation of UN communications strategies. The Communications Officer works in close consultation and collaboration with the UN Communications Group, UN Country Team, Programme and Operations Teams, Government Officials, international and local media, multi-lateral and bi-lateral donor partners, Non-Government Organizations and Civil Society Organizations. 

Through his/her support to the UN Communications Group, the Communications Officer works closely to ensure that key stakeholders, including the public, Government, other key stakeholders and UN organizations, are kept abreast of UN’s development assistance in Lesotho and aware of progress within the Delivering as One initiative. Furthermore, he/she is responsible in making sure that public opinion on the UN is collected, synthesized and circulated to all UN Staff. 

Duties and Responsibilities

The Communications Officer will undertake the following specific tasks:

1. Ensuring the development and implementation of the UN Communications Strategy and its annual work plans, focusing on the achievement of the following results:

  • A coordinated and active UN Communications Group which gives the UN Country Team quality communication support
  • Maintained, updated as required, and used key messages on the work of UN Lesotho and key development issues
  • Joint UN publications and advocacy materials, for both internal and external use, developed and distributed
  • Speeches and press releases prepared for joint UN activities and RC functions
  • Coordinated preparation and implementation of International Days commemorations
  • Media contacts maintained and nurtured

Summary of key functions:

  • Ensuring planning and design of internal and external strategies for communications and outreach for SDGs focusing on achievement of the following results:
  • Planning and elaboration of communications needs assessments
  • Elaboration of the communications and outreach strategy for the SDG related initiatives.
  • Constructive and timely advice on inclusion of communications components in programme formulations to integrate advocacy and communication strategies
  • Ensures elaboration and implementation of the communication and advocacy strategy and plan for SDGs focusing on the achievement of the following results:
  • Elaboration and implementation of the strategy and plan
  • Identification and development of storylines for publications and substantive articles contributing to debates on key development issues.
  • Coordination and management of all activities, including content management, norms for publishing, design, liaison with printers and other suppliers to oversee production and supervision of publications dissemination.
  • Supervises the design and maintenance web-based knowledge management system focusing on achievement of the following results:
  • Design of the office web sites in incoordination with IT staff.
  • Supervision and preparation of the content for the web sites ensuring consistency of the materials
  • Supports the business development focusing on achievement of the following results:
  • Management, promotion and dissemination of advocacy materials for launching flagship initiatives and publications regarding UN agencies work, SDGs and other;
  • Increased coverage and understanding of the projects work through development and maintenance of media contacts and providing newsworthy information to national public and donors;
  • Formatting, packaging and submission of programme initiatives for donor review in close collaboration with project staff;
  • Development and maintenance of close contacts with government officials, multilateral and bilateral donors, civil society and private sector for implementation of the communications strategy, organization of roundtable discussions, press conferences, briefing sessions, interviews, launches, etc.;
  • Regular newsletter to donors, donor reports, civic education and community awareness where appropriate;
  • Ensures facilitation of knowledge building and management focusing on achievement of the following results:
  • Identification and synthesis of best practices and lessons learned directly linked to project goals and activities.
  • Monitor practices, and project-specific news and developments in order to ensure guidance to the office that reflects the best and most current available information.
  • Update project information materials such as Project Fact Sheet/project summary and project website and social media sites

2. Supervising the design, maintenance and development of the UN Website and future intranet, focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • A well-functioning, regularly updated and frequently used UN website
  • Content for the website prepared and edited to ensure consistency of the material

3. Supporting the business development focusing on achievement of the following results:

Programme support

  • Communication needs assessed for UN projects, programmes, corporate change initiatives, etc
  • Communications and outreach strategies based on the UN Communication Strategy is updated as needed
  • Support developing programme proposals for donor review packaged and submitted in collaboration with programme staff and supervisors

Launches and Campaigns

  • Public information campaigns on UN Activities, UN Reform, SDGs, promoted and maintained
  • UN flagship initiatives and publications promoted and disseminated


  • Support a “One UN” image forged through publicizing the significance and results of local UN reform efforts, joint programmes, common services, and change management
  • Subject matter experts accessible for journalists
  • Regular newsletter to key stakeholders developed, drafted and disseminated
  • Where appropriate, donor reports as well as civic education and community awareness campaigns supported

4. Ensuring that effective flow of information from UN to the public is maintained, focusing on the following results:

  • Contact with and outreach to the media upheld and developed
  • UN’s work in Lesotho understood among key stakeholders including on SDGs, humanitarian response and preparedness
  • Roundtable discussions, press conferences, briefing sessions, interviews, launches etc organized on newsworthy and/or key activities
  • Trainings held for and capacity built of the communications focal points
  • Public opinion on UN activities, programmes and other initiatives collected shared with all UN Staff

Furthermore, UNV volunteers are encouraged to:

  • Strengthen their knowledge and understanding of the concept of volunteerism by reading relevant UNV and external publications and take active part in UNV activities (for instance in events that mark IVD);
  • Be acquainted with and build on traditional and/or local forms of volunteerism in the host country;
  • Reflect on the type and quality of voluntary action that they are undertaking, including participation in ongoing reflection activities;
  • Contribute articles/write-ups on field experiences and submit them for UNV publications/websites, newsletters, press releases, etc.;
  • Assist with the UNV Buddy Programme for newly-arrived UNV volunteers
  • Promote or advise local groups in the use of online volunteering, or encourage relevant local individuals and organizations to use the UNV Online Volunteering service whenever technically possible.
  • Participate in the Lesotho Volunteer Forum/Lesotho Youth Volunteer Forum and actively engage in the promotion, advocacy and integration of the volunteer ethos across all sectors;
  • Schedule, as part of your work plan, participation in key volunteer dates, for example, 12 August (International Youth Day); 24 October (UN Day) and 5 December (International Volunteer Day) and others as they may arise during the course of your UNV volunteer placement;
  • Report, as and when required, to UNV Lesotho and to UNV


Corporate Competencies

  • Demonstrates integrity by modeling the UN’s values and ethical standards
  • Advocates and promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of the UN
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability
  • Treats all people fairly without favoritism

Functional Competencies

Knowledge Management and Learning

  • Shares knowledge and experience
  • Develops deep knowledge in UN Practice Areas including Delivering as One concept
  • Actively works towards continuing personal learning and development, acts on learning plan and applies newly acquired skills

Development and Operational Effectiveness

  • Ability to implement communications and publications strategies
  • Ability to advocate effectively
  • Communicates sensitively and effectively across different constituencies
  • Demonstrates excellent ability to write and communicate orally with accuracy and professionalism
  • Good knowledge of current development issues particularly those pertinent to UN in Lesotho.
  • Ability to conceptualize issues and analyze data
  • Demonstrates strong IT skills

Management and Leadership:

  • Focuses on impact and result for the client
  • Leads teams effectively and shows conflict resolution skills
  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude
  • Builds strong relationships with clients and external actors
  • Demonstrates openness to change and ability to manage complexities 

Required Skills and Experience

Master's degree or equivalent in media relations, journalism, or communications

A minimum of 3 years relevant experience in public relations, communications and/or advocacy

Previous experience with a multilateral or international organization is helpful but not mandatory

Experience in the usage of computers and office software packages, good knowledge and experience in handling of web-based management systems

Proven track record of previous communication achievements

Experience in publishing, marketing or graphics designe

Fluency in English and Sesotho are essential 


United Nations Volunteers is an equal opportunity programme which welcomes applications from qualified professionals. We are committed to achieving diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture.

United Nations Volunteers reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this announcement.  We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this opening for other openings with United Nations Volunteers with similar assignment description, experience and educational requirements.

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: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: Maseru
  • Grade: Mid/Senior
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Communication
  • Closing Date: 2017-09-08

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