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Communications, Outreach, Partnership and Engagement Specialist, IATI

New York City (United States of America)

  • Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: New York City (United States of America)
  • Grade: P-3, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Poverty Reduction
    • Communication and Public Information
    • External Relations, Partnerships and Resource mobilization
    • Public, Private Partnership
  • Closing Date: 2020-07-07

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UNDP is the knowledge frontier organization for sustainable development in the UN Development System and serves as the integrator for collective action to realize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). UNDP’s policy work carried out at HQ, Regional and Country Office levels forms a contiguous spectrum of deep local knowledge to cutting-edge global perspectives and advocacy. In this context, UNDP invests in the Global Policy Network (GPN), a network of field-based and global technical expertise across a wide range of knowledge domains and in support of the signature solutions and organizational capabilities envisioned in the Strategic Plan. 
Within the GPN, the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support (BPPS) has the responsibility for developing all relevant policy and guidance to support the results of UNDP’s Strategic Plan.  BPPS’s staff provides technical advice to Country Offices; advocates for UNDP corporate messages, represents UNDP at multi-stakeholder fora including public-private dialogues, government and civil society dialogues, and engages in UN inter-agency coordination in specific thematic areas.  BPPS works closely with UNDP’s Crisis Bureau (CB) to support emergency and crisis response.  BPPS ensures that issues of risk are fully integrated into UNDP’s development programmes. BPPS assists UNDP and partners to achieve higher quality development results through an integrated approach that links results-based management and performance monitoring with more effective and new ways of working.  BPPS supports UNDP and partners to be more innovative, knowledge and data driven including in its programme support efforts.
The Effectiveness Group assists UNDP and partners to achieve higher quality development results through an integrated approach that links results based management and performance monitoring with more effective and new ways of working.  It seeks to do so by enabling UNDP and others to be more innovative, knowledge and data driven by identifying, testing, learning, sharing and institutionalizing what works. It acts as a hub on quality UNDP programming, all aspects of results-based management and development performance monitoring and analysis, south south cooperation and global effectiveness partnerships (including the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation and the International Aid Transparency Initiative). The Effectiveness Group is composed of the following teams: 
  • Quality programming
  • Results and performance analysis
  • Global partnerships
The teams work closely together to understand and deepen UNDP’s and the international community’s understanding of what works and what does not work in effecting development change at country level in UNDP’s Strategic Plan programme priority areas, and how this understanding can drive knowledge creation and dissemination, innovation and scaling up, and more productive partnerships.
Drawing on the comparative advantages of UNDP in strengthening country capacities to manage and coordinate development cooperation, the Effectiveness Group coordinates the Secretariat of the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI). IATI, a coalition of more than ninety members including donor governments, partner country governments, foundations, and non-governmental and civil society organisations, seeks to address challenges facing a range of development stakeholders (donors, programme country governments, emerging economies, private sector, foundations, civil society, academia) in the sharing and use of information on development cooperation. It was launched at the Accra High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (2008) and since September 2013, UNDP has co-hosted the IATI Secretariat in a Consortium together with UNOPS (which leads on financial management and logistics) and UK-based NGO Development Initiatives (which administers the development of the IATI Standard as well as IATI’s website, tools and technical support). UNDP leads day-to-day management of the Secretariat and outreach and engagement with IATI stakeholders. UNDP also provides substantive support and policy advice to IATI’s governing bodies.
UNDP’s mandate as Secretariat lead is in place until the end of 2022 during which time it will continue its focus on coordination of the Secretariat, as well as strengthening its efforts around communications, outreach, partnerships and engagement with IATI members. To this end, the IATI Governing Board has approved the creation of a Communication, Outreach, Partnership and Engagement (COPE) Specialist position to centralize IATI’s COPE workstream and leverage UNDP’s institutional capacities. This position will be supervised by the IATI Secretariat Coordinator and will work closely with the UNDP IATI Programme Analyst (based in New York) and the Development Initiatives’ Communications Advisor (based in the United Kingdom). 

Duties and Responsibilities

1.Communications (25%)
  • Lead the IATI communications work, including developing a robust Communications Strategy that responds to the IATI Strategic Plan (2020-2025). This document should serve as a roadmap for communications priorities, setting out strategic, measurable, and impactful communications activities on an annual basis.
  • Provide substantive oversight of communication products, including the IATI external website, strengthening their utility for key development stakeholders. Responsible for quality assurance of communications and knowledge products.
  • Leverage UNDP’s internal communications resources, including media contacts and extensive in-house communications expertise to support the IATI Communications work stream.
  • Develop high quality presentation materials containing key IATI statistics and information and ensure these are regularly updated to support IATI’s communications and outreach activities. 
  • Develop content and lead the preparation of IATI flagship materials such as the Annual Report.
  • Research and develop thought pieces, editorials, policy papers, and knowledge products to position IATI in the international open data conversation. 
2.Outreach and Knowledge-Sharing (25%):
  • Act as focal point for identification and pursuit of opportunities for outreach policy influence and collaboration, including on how to anticipate and respond to partners’ concerns and priorities and ensure IATI is well-positioned and represented in relevant international fora; 
  • Draft position papers, substantive briefings, policy papers, etc. on issues around open data, development cooperation, or other relevant areas as requested.
  • Contribute to UN system-level discussions around use of IATI data in monitoring of Sustainable Development Goals. Convene and provide secretariat support to the UN Inter-agency Group on data and transparency.
  • Follow trends and developments and map relevant initiatives within the UN system in relation to open data and transparency and provide advice on IATI’s positioning in order to create synergies and reduce reporting burdens.
  • Design and conduct events for promoting the use of IATI data to national and sub-national government officials, CSOs, journalists, etc.
  • Prepare and give detailed presentations on IATI to prospective members, publishers and / or data users.
  • Utilize the IATI Data Use Fund to work though UNDP country office and project structures to implement outreach and advocacy activities.
  • Promote knowledge management initiatives that strengthen the positioning of IATI at the regional and national level and encourage peer learning and the sharing of best practices by IATI stakeholders.
3.Partnerships (25%):
  • Represent IATI at international events, engaging bilaterally with current or prospective partners to strengthen political commitments to IATI. 
  • Build and maintain strategic partnerships with other data and reporting standards related to development and humanitarian activities and work to ensure that IATI data is widely used by other platforms and tools. 
  • Liaise with media and other advocates for the right to access to information (UNESCO, CSOs, RSF, etc.) to promote IATI as a source of information on development and humanitarian activities. 
  • Built strategic partnerships with selected private sector actors and develop clear messages and information material for private sector actors and engage in relevant fora. 
  • Under the direction of the IATI Governing Board, act as Focal Point for construction of a collaboration and knowledge-sharing platform to complement (TBC).
4.Engagement (25%)
  • Develop engagement strategies, knowledge products and other materials to enhance IATI’s visibility and influence with existing and prospective partners and Partner Countries, especially to promote the use of IATI data at the country level.
  • Conceptualize and develop knowledge and / or policy products based on user-communicated needs and external consultations. 
  • Work to ensure that Partner Countries and other participants from the global South actively participate in IATI’s governance processes.
  • Work with providers of development assistance, especially the key players in terms of financial resources and political influence to ensure they support and champion IATI.
  • Work through UNDP’s country office structure to engage with Partner Country focal points and beyond (CSOs, parliamentarians, local IT networks, etc.).
  • Seek to increase the visibility and reputation of IATI among its members and increase the value for membership. 
  • Develop and implement a network strategy for strengthening the IATI community of practice.
  • In addition to external engagement activities, participate as a full member of the IATI Secretariat, contributing as needed to project management activities such as work planning, monitoring and reporting, budget preparation and regular cycle of internal consultations.


Corporate competencies:
  • Ability to make new and useful ideas work.
  • Ability to persuade others to follow.
People Management:
  • Ability to improve performance and satisfaction.
  • Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform.
  • Ability to get things done while exercising good judgement.
Knowledge Management:
  • Ability to efficiently handle and share information and knowledge.
Effective Development Cooperation:
  • Capacity Development - Ability to support partner countries' capacity to manage ODA resources effectively and harmonize with national policy and financing frameworks.
Quality Assurance:
  • Ability to ensure that quality requirements and goals are fulfilled.
  • Ability to engage with other agencies, donors, and other development stakeholders and forge productive working relationships.

Required Skills and Experience

  • Master’s degree in international development, international relations, or related field.
  • At least 5 years professional work experience in a government, civil society organization, or international organization (preferred) working on development, transparency, open data or development-cooperation related issues is required. 
  • Demonstrated experience leading communications, knowledge management, outreach and partnership-building activities, especially in a multi-stakeholder initiative / environment is required.  
  • Strong analytical and communication skills, including the ability to produce high quality reports, knowledge products, and communications materials; and demonstrated ability to communicate complex technical concepts to non-expert audiences is required.
  • Strong networking / partnership-building abilities. 
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Familiarity with IATI would be considered a strong asset.
Language Requirements:
Fluency in English is required;
Knowledge of French would be an advantage.


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. 

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

UNDP is committed to achieving diversity within its workforce, and encourages all qualified applicants, irrespective of gender, nationality, disabilities, sexual orientation, culture, religious and ethnic backgrounds to apply. All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence.

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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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