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Communications Specialists (Retainer), Multiple positions

Home Based - May require travel (Home Based)

  • Organization: UNOPS - United Nations Office for Project Services
  • Location: Home Based - May require travel (Home Based)
  • Grade: LICA-10, Local Individual Contractors Agreement - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Communication and Public Information
    • Documentation and Information Management
  • Closing Date: 2021-10-20

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Background Information - Job-specific

The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) is an operational arm of the United Nations, supporting the successful implementation of its partners' peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world.  UNOPS supports partners to build a better future by providing services that increase the efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability of peace building, humanitarian and development projects.  Mandated as a central resource of the United Nations, UNOPS provides sustainable project management, procurement and infrastructure services to a wide range of governments, donors and United Nations organizations. 

New York Service Cluster (NYSC) supports the United Nations Secretariat, as well as other New York-based United Nations organizations, bilateral and multilateral partners in the delivery of UNOPS mandate in project management, infrastructure management, and procurement management

Sustainable Development Cluster (SDC) supports diverse partners with their peacebuilding, humanitarian and development operations. It was formed by combining the following portfolios: Grants Management Services (GMS), UN Technology Support Services (UNTSS), Development and Special Initiatives Portfolio (DSIP) It provides Services to partners' programmes that are designed, structured, and managed with a global perspective and primarily serving partners that are headquartered in New York.  The SDC has a footprint of approximately 125 countries.

The United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT)/the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCCT) Global Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (PCVE) Programme provides integrated capacity building packages, institutional development and technical assistance to requesting Member States, civil society and the UN system to strengthen individual, community and national resilience to violent extremism and reduced threat of terrorism. The Programme engages in nine substantive and mutually reinforcing portfolios: policy assistance, strategic communications, youth engagement, education, mental health, new frontiers, gender, human rights and coordination.  

This position will primarily support the strategic communications portfolio, which provides practical, evidence-based and locally relevant training on strategic communication, including campaign development, audience analysis, measurement, and evaluation, coupled with timely analysis of the latest trends in terrorist and violent extremist exploitation of communication methods.

This is a position in UNOPS for supporting projects carried out for or in the United Nations Office of Counter Terrorism (UNOCT). The incumbent of this position will be a personnel of UNOPS under its full responsibility.

Functional Responsibilities

The Communications Specialist will provide programme delivery support to the UNOCT/UNCCT Global Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (PCVE) Programme, in support of the Strategic Communications Portfolio,  under the supervision of the Project Manager and in coordination with the UNOCT Global Programme on PCVE Head of Unit and Chief of UNCCT Pillars I and IV.
The Communications Specialist will provide ad hoc support virtually, in the field, and/or at a UN Headquarters for the delivery of workshops, seminars, training programmes and other capacity building activities. The Communications Specialist may be deployed to provide targeted technical assistance, or deliver support remotely. Also, will  be responsible for reporting and providing measurement and evaluation data and other project performance data.

The Communications Specialist will provide technical guidance, at the direction of the UNOCT Global Programme on PCVE Head of Unit and Chief of UNCCT Pillars I and IV, as follows: 

  • Develop evidence-based, effective strategic communications products, content and materials in support of the Programme’s deliverables and results, including training modules, concept notes, reports, guidelines, and toolkits.

  • Support the preparation and facilitation of national and regional workshops and events with Member States, UN entities, civil society and other potential beneficiaries, focused on strategic communications, governance, and institutional development, as it relates to using communications for PCVE.

  • Develop, deliver or assist in the delivery of specialized, tailored technical assistance and training to Member States, UN entities, and other potential beneficiaries on good practice communication methodology including: 

             - Objective Setting 
             - Audience analysis
             - Stakeholder mapping
             - Communications campaign design 
             - Measurement and evaluation
             - Crisis Communications
             - Hate speech as it relates to PCVE 
             - Strategic communication for the reintegration of Returnees
  • Research and gather substantive information on the use of strategic communications for PCVE and VE purposes, in a global and local context, including where possible in local languages identified by the Global Programme on PCVE team.  

  • Draft reports of each training and technical assistance activity, including analysis and assessment of lessons learned and options for improved future delivery. 

  • Consult with Member States, UN entities, civil society, and other relevant stakeholders in country and at UN Headquarters to identify and assess capacity building needs, together with the Programme Manager. 

  • Work with project partners and entities on the implementation of project activities, under the guidance of the UNOCT Global Programme on PCVE Head of Unit. 

  • Advise on the project’s overall strategic direction and use ongoing findings and results from implementation of activities to develop and improve the project’s methodology and approach.

  • Identify opportunities to improve visibility and implementation of activities. 

  • Contribute to the project’s Measurement and Evaluation framework and apply lessons learned.

  • Perform other duties as may be reasonably required and in line with the incumbent’s scope of services above. 

Monitoring and Progress Controls

The Communications Specialist will:

  • Develop strategic communications products including training, guidelines, and toolkits, at the direction of the UNOCT Global Programme on PCVE Head of Unit and Chief of UNCCT Pillars I and IV. 

  • Develop, deliver, and provide direct assistance for the delivery of capacity building activities, including regional, national and subnational workshops, technical assistance, and advisory services, at the direction of the UNOCT Global Programme on PCVE Head of Unit and Chief of UNCCT Pillars I and IV. 

  • Assist and deliver scoping missions to support the programme’s outcomes. 

  • Contribute to the continued development and incorporation of good practice and lessons learned into programme delivery. 

  • Contribute to the project’s Measurement and Evaluation framework.

Education/Experience/Language requirements



  • Advanced university degree (Master's degree or equivalent) preferably in communications, political science, international relations, public administration, strategic public relations, or another relevant field.

  • Bachelor’s degree with additional two (2) years of relevant experience may be accepted in lieu of an advanced university degree.

Work Experience 

  • A minimum of five (5) years of progressively responsible experience in strategic communications is required. 

Desirable (The following experience is optional. Candidates who do not have it are welcome to apply):
  • Two years (2) of experience in PCVE or other related areas of peace and security is highly desirable. 

  • Experience developing training, running large and small capacity building workshops, designing and providing technical assistance, and providing advisory services, as it relates to strategic communications to a range of audiences is highly desirable.

  • Experience developing strategic communications products, materials, guidelines, and toolkits is highly desirable.      

  • Experience building relationships with strategic partners and stakeholders that include national governments, community leaders, the private sector, religious leaders, and influencers is highly desirable. 

  • Experience in devising, developing and managing behaviour change communication campaigns is desirable.

  • Experience using digital strategic communications analysis tools and producing analysis and reports is desirable.


  • Fluency in English (write, read, talk) is required. 

  • Knowledge of other UN working languages is desirable. Fluency in Arabic, French, Swahili, Tagalog, Bengali, Basaa, Russian, and Portuguese is highly desirable. 

Contract type, level and duration

Contract type: Local Individual Contractor Agreement  (LICA) Retainer - A retainer contract is issued for a period of time during which the services of the individual contractor are required intermittently. The individual contractor agreement on retainer basis will specify a “unit price” per day worked. For budgetary purposes, a monetary cap will be determined when the contract is awarded and issued. Please note that the retainer contract will not provide for a minimum, and payment will be made only after completion of work
Contract level: Local Individual Contractor Agreement (L-ICA 10) 

Contract duration: Open-ended (renewable subject to funds availability and satisfactory performance)

For more details about the ICA contractual modality, please follow this link:


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.(for levels IICA-2, IICA-3, LICA Specialist- 10, LICA Specialist-11, NOC, NOD, P3, P4 and above)
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.

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.
  • UNOPS seeks to reasonably accommodate candidates with special needs, upon request.
  • Work life harmonization - UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands. We have a progressive policy on work-life harmonization and offer several flexible working options. This policy applies to UNOPS personnel on all contract types
  • For staff positions only, UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post
  • For retainer contracts, you must complete a few Mandatory Courses (around 4 hours) in your own time, before providing services to UNOPS.
  • 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.

Background Information - UNOPS

UNOPS is an operational arm of the United Nations, supporting the successful implementation of its partners’ peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world. Our mission is to help people build better lives and countries achieve sustainable development.

UNOPS areas of expertise cover infrastructure, procurement, project management, financial management and human resources.

Working with us

UNOPS offers short- and long-term work opportunities in diverse and challenging environments across the globe. We are looking for creative, results-focused professionals with skills in a range of disciplines.


With over 4,000 UNOPS personnel and approximately 7,000 personnel recruited on behalf of UNOPS partners spread across 80 countries, our workforce represents a wide range of nationalities and cultures. We promote a balanced, diverse workforce — a strength that helps us better understand and address our partners’ needs, and continually strive to improve our gender balance through initiatives and policies that encourage recruitment of qualified female candidates.

Work life harmonization

UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands.

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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