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Communications Specialist

Baghdad

Background

UNDP’s Funding Facility for Immediate Stabilization (FFIS) supports stabilization priorities as identified by local authorities in areas liberated from control of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).  The aim is to help improve conditions in highly sensitive areas and lay the groundwork for the return of people displaced by violence. FFIS is being used to finance key public infrastructure including clinics, police stations, water facilities, power grids, government buildings and access roads. Short-term employment through public work schemes is being provided to local households and returning families and small grants are being given to businesses to jump-start local economies. A special component of the Facility provides micro-credit grants to community organizations working on reconciliation.
 
The complexity and scope of stabilization efforts are expanding quickly. To ensure the international community is able to keep pace with priorities in newly liberated zones, UNDP is exploring the possibility of adapting FFIS to include a second channel for meeting “expanded” needs at the Governorate level.  This second channel will be geographically focused and cover a longer period, up to 36 months. The two channels are envisioned as operating sequentially, with FFIS supporting priority cities during the first 3-4 months after liberation, and the Expanded Facility (FFES) supporting Governorate-level priorities over the medium-term to ensure that the gains made during immediate stabilization are not endangered by the slower pace of reform and reconstruction. Both channels will operate using fast-track modalities to ensure that progress is rapid and visible on the ground.  
 
To enhance resilience for affected populations and institutions in liberated areas, UNDP builds on and complements the live-saving humanitarian support carried out by other partners’ through the Iraq Crisis Response and Resilience Programme (ICRRP), which provides immediate and longer-term responses in the protracted crisis and any new crisis that occur. ICRRP fosters functioning crisis response coordination mechanisms at central, regional and governorate levels across Iraq. It also enhances basic service delivery, institutional responsiveness and accountability at the district and sub-district levels and provides livelihoods and local economic recovery support to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), refugees and their host communities. Strengthening protection mechanisms for vulnerable communities in Iraq, specifically for women and youth, is another key component of the ICRRP’s work towards the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals, as well as the promotion of social cohesion through dialogue and capacity.
 
As part of the response to one of four global Level Three (L3) humanitarian emergencies, the Stabilization and Crisis Response teams have pioneered a strategy to stabilize areas previously occupied by the Islamic Sate of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and promote resilient communities by providing support to help rehabilitate civic infrastructure, kick-start local economies, boost government capacity and promote community reconciliation. 
 
The main objective of the work of the Communications Specialist (Capacity Support) is to provide capacity support to the local authorities in Anbar, Salah al-Din, Ninewah and Diyala to promote returns of civilian populations and build confidence of the civilian population in stabilization efforts of the Government of Iraq. The Communications Specialist will, inter alia, shape key messages for media and external partners, write press releases, and prepare presentations for high-level national and international meetings. The Communications Specialist supervises and leads the communications activities of FFIS, and supervises national communications staff embedded in four Governorate Offices where FIFS operates.

Duties and Responsibilities

Develop, implement and monitor the FFIS communications strategy:
  • Developing a strategic communications strategy for media (including TV, radio, newsletters, website and social media) for each of the four governorates where FFIS operates.
  • Drafting content for the above-noted strategy.
  • Monitor and measure the impact of the communication strategy and make adjustments accordingly;
  • Support to reporting and ensure the quality of the reporting from GoI partners.  
  • Design and implement effective national external communications strategies aligned to corporate goals and priorities;
  • Ensure that key results and relevant success stories are incorporated into strategic communications outreach.
  • Conducting media monitoring of relevant news items and disseminating to relevant interlocutors (Government of Iraq, UN, international community).
Lead media outreach in the FFIS Governorates and the National Level, working closely with national, regional and international media:
  • Liaising with communications focal points in the international community (ex. UNDP, US Embassy) to coordinate and consolidate efforts.
  • Promote UNDP/FFIS’s work in the country with special attention on results and impact through media outreach, using new types of media, including social media platforms and communication tools as appropriate;
  • Proactively market UNDP/FFIS’s program work in the media by regularly pitching success stories and placing UNDP Iraq’s experts for interviews and commentaries in print and multimedia outlets;
  • Develop, recommend and issue responses to negative press about UNDP Iraq and UNDP mitigating risk to institutional reputation;
Supervise capacity-building, knowledge-sharing and quality control with communications teams embedded in Governorate Offices:
  • Support to Government of Iraq (GoI) communications’ focal points as required.
  • Support planning and designing of external strategies for communications and outreach at municipal and community level in FFIS locations.
  • Constructive and timely advice on inclusion of communications components in program formulations to integrate advocacy and communications strategies into all strategies of the program
  • Management of local Communications and Outreach Officers embedded in Governorate and Municipal institutions.
  • Provide guidance, coaching and mentoring to Governorate communications staff, especially in the design and implementation of Governorate stabilization communications strategies;
  • Provide or facilitate communications training to relevant staff and counterparts;
  • Provide training to Governorate and FFIS communications staff and introduce new, cost-effective digital technologies for the more rapid collection and dissemination of multimedia materials;
  • Ensure quality control over FFIS publications, including compliance with UNDP Communication toolkit

Impact of Results

The results have an impact on strengthening citizen confidence in the safe and sustainable return to their homes in Iraq, and strengthened capacity of Government of Iraq in communicating stabilization activities and results to citizens. 

Competencies

Corporate Competencies:
  • Demonstrates integrity by modeling the UN’s values and ethical standards
  • Advocates and promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP
  • 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 and contributes to overall stabilization and resilience programmes in Iraq
  • Develops deep knowledge in Practice Areas
  • Actively works towards continuing personal learning and development in one or more Practice Areas, acts on learning plan and applies newly acquired skills 
  • Networks in Government, NGOs and private sector
  • Demonstrates good knowledge of the Iraq and international media environment
Development and Operational Effectiveness
  • Ability to elaborate and implement communications and publications strategies
  • Demonstrated effectiveness in developing media campaigns, including well-written information about the designated objectives and activities  
  • Ability to effectively manage an advocacy campaign
  • Demonstrates excellent ability to write and communicate orally with accuracy and professionalism
  • Communicates sensitively and effectively across different constituencies.
  • Demonstrates strong IT skills.

Required Skills and Experience

Education
  • Master's degree in media relations, journalism, public policy, business administration, or related area of study; or
  • A bachelor’s degree with an additional two years of relevant experience is accepted.
Experience
  • Five years of relevant experience at the national or international level in public relations, communications, advocacy, local governance, or a related field. 
Language Requirements
  • Fluency in English is required
  • Fluency in Arabic is desired
 
Summary of Critical Competencies for Immediate Response situations:
  • Highly effective written and verbal communications skills;
  • Effective organizational skills;
  • Ability to work under pressure and demonstrates high tolerance for change, complexity and unpredictability.

Disclaimer

Important information for US Permanent Residents ('Green Card' holders)

Under US immigration law, acceptance of a staff position with UNDP, an international organization, may have significant implications for US Permanent Residents. UNDP advises applicants for all professional level posts that they must relinquish their US Permanent Resident status and accept a G-4 visa, or have submitted a valid application for US citizenship prior to commencement of employment. For more information please click here and here.

UNDP is not in a position to provide advice or assistance on applying for US citizenship and therefore applicants are advised to seek the advice of competent immigration lawyers regarding any applications.

Applicant information about UNDP rosters

Note: UNDP reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement.  We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNDP at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.

Workforce diversity

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  • Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: Baghdad
  • Grade: P-3, International Professional - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Communication
  • Closing Date: 2017-10-03
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