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National Communications Specialist

Mbabane (Eswatini)

  • Organization: FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
  • Location: Mbabane (Eswatini)
  • Grade: Consultant - Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Communication and Public Information
  • Closing Date: 2021-01-31

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FAO seeks gender, geographical and linguistic diversity in its staff and international consultants in order to best serve FAO Members in all regions.

Qualified female applicants and qualified nationals of non-and under-represented member countries are encouraged to apply.

Persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply.

All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

Organizational Setting

The Food and Agriculture organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Government of Eswatini have partnered since the country joined the Organization in 1971. FAO assistance has covered the formulation and implementation of food security and nutrition policies, including risk reduction and management strategies, and activities to increase agricultural productivity. More recently, cooperation has included a focus on market access and agricultural competiveness, with support to smallholders’ transition from subsistence to commercial agriculture. Emphasis is also given to the sustainable management of natural resources.

FAO Eswatini is implementing a number of Technical Cooperation Programmes (TCP) projects and Emergency programmes. The TCP provides assistance in all areas pertaining to FAO’s mandate and competence that are covered by the Strategic Framework to respond to governments’ priority needs. These short-term, catalytic and sustainable projects are driven by the demands and priorities of member countries, addressing critical gaps in hunger and malnutrition eradication, sustainable production, rural poverty reduction more efficient and inclusive food chains and building resilience to crisis. TCP projects catalyze change, foster capacity development and assist countries in mobilizing resources, in line with the Country Programming Frameworks agreed to with governments. Currently FAO Eswatini is supporting a number of TCPs with the Ministry of Agriculture and jointly collaborating with other Ministries as related to projects.

The position is located in Mbabane in Eswatini. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Eswatini focuses its efforts on poverty reduction, food security, sustainable livelihoods and rural development. FAO has partnered with the Government of Eswatini on research and development, training, extension services and strengthening of the staff capacity in planning and policy making. FAO has supported improvements in agricultural policy analysis, strengthened institutions. Enhanced integrated area development and expanded participation of marginalized and vulnerable communities in sustainable development.

Moreover, with the current situation regarding COVID-19, it is expected that all FAO projects will also contribute towards addressing the impacts of the COVID-19 disease in the relevant thematic areas.

Reporting lines

The consultant shall be under overall supervision of the FAO Representative for Eswatini (FAOR), the direct supervision of the Assistant FAOR/Programmes

The post is located in the FAO Eswatini office.

Technical Focus

  • Capacity to prepare and implement annual & quarterly communication/visibility plans
  • Generation of content from technical programmes, policies and program/projects reports and news report.
  • Preparation of annual results report and update of county program framework and any publicity materials required for internal and external workshops.

Tasks and Responsibilities

  • Develop/update and implement FAO Eswatini communications strategy in line with FAO global corporate communications strategy and assist and supervise with the development and implementation of similar plans at FAO Eswatini projects’ levels.
  • Introduce new and creative approaches to improve the internal and external communication at FAO Representation, Field Offices, and Projects; including improving communications between different sections/ departments and projects for synergizing objectives and goals; Lead the FAO-Eswatini communications team.
  • Ensure FAO Eswatini’s participation in FAO HQ and RAF communication initiatives with the objective of highlighting the work of FAO projects in Eswatini when required.
  • Ensure eligible staff meet their Senior Official Media Initiatives (SOMI) requirements through media coverage and submit report to FAO reports.
  • Recommend and carry out communication campaigns to mark international days significant to the work of FAO in Eswatini such as the World Food Day, World Water Day, World Forestry Day, Reduction of Poverty Day and others.
  • Contribute to UN joint communications products and general partners (including UNCG)
  • Draft and assist in the preparation of talking points and speeches for FAO Representative or head of Office in Eswatini including exclusive media engagements such as op-eds and TV, radio and newspaper interviews.
  • Lead in inviting UN agencies, media houses / journalists to cover field tours and other FAO events at community or national level. Prepare Media Briefs.
  • Supervise and provide support to communication staff at FAO Eswatini project offices including arranging media coverage in national media on need basis. Explore the use of social media at country level within the policy of FAO.
  • Develop and distribute press releases, success stories, newsletters, brochures flyers, documentaries, social media posts and publications. Prominently engage in outreach and advocacy campaigns, including with local and international media.
  • Contribute to the development of communication products such as the publicity materials and products in close association with the multimedia artist/graphic designers and consultants (e.g. briefs, talking points, brochures, posters, power- point presentations etc.), to enhance the quality and outreach of FAO programme visibility and messaging to a diverse range of stakeholders, including general public, government of Eswatini, media, FAO headquarter and Regional office;
  • Contribute to the development and regular updating of the FAO Eswatini’s web pages; including the generation of content and uploading a range of public domain publications (e.g. assessment reports, agriculture guidelines) and multimedia products reflecting FAO Programme activities, priorities and areas of expertise;
  • Ensure that all communication products and publications are compliant with FAO policies and guidelines (publishing at FAO, FAO style and terminology, quality control criteria, logo policy and other guidelines for specific products)
  • Perform other related duties, as assigned by the supervisor


Minimum Requirements

  • A University Degree in Mass Communication, Journalism or Media Studies or related studies.
  • At least five (5) years of progressively responsible work experience at the national /international levels in a related field.
  • Strong writing & communications skills.
  • A good knowledge of the English language and ability to work in multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural teams is essential.
  • National of Eswatini

FAO Core Competencies

  • Results Focus
  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Building Effective Relationships
  • Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement

Technical/Functional Skills

  • Extent of experience in Communications and media relations;
  • Experience work in International Organizations or similar settings would be considered an asset but not a requirement;
  • Extent of experience in digital strategy and storytelling
  • Excellent writing, editing, and speaking skills in English and Siswati.
  • Extent of experience in creating content for various communication products
  • Extent of experience in communication, diffusion strategies and techniques, reporting and documentation, and media

Selection criteria

  • Work experience in more than one location or area of work.
  • Extent and relevance of experience in trade policy analysis and international trade.
  • Experience in the field of nutrition issues and food systems in Southern Africa and Eswatini in particular.
  • Experience with advising governments and/or agricultural sector stakeholders on trade and markets issues.
  • Extent and relevance of experience in project formulation and technical backstopping and leading multidisciplinary teams for technical implementation.
  • Capacity to work effectively as part of a multi-disciplinary team.
  • Demonstrated ability to synthesize complex information and present ideas and recommendations in a clear and understandable manner.
  • Ability to work independently, strong analytical skills and problem-solving
  • Computer literacy with Word, PowerPoint and basic spreadsheets (Excel).
  • Excellent communication (both written and oral) and presentation skills in English and Siswati


Please note that all candidates should adhere to FAO Values of Commitment to FAO, Respect for All and Integrity and Transparency.


We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
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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