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Communications, Advocacy & Partnerships Expert Consultant


  • Organization: UNHABITAT - United Nations Human Settlements Programme
  • Location: Nairobi
  • Grade: Consultancy - Consultant - Contractors Agreement
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Legal - Broad
    • Political Affairs
    • Communication and Public Information
    • External Relations, Partnerships and Resource mobilization
  • Closing Date: Closed

Result of Service

UNITAC Communications Strategy effectively implemented.

Work Location

Hamburg, Germany

Expected duration

12 months

Duties and Responsibilities

1. About UN-Habitat
The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) is the lead United Nations agency for cities and human settlements. The agency is mandated by the UN General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all and sustainable development. The main documents outlining the mandate of the organization are the Vancouver Declaration on Human Settlements, the Habitat Agenda, the Istanbul Declaration on Human Settlements, the Declaration on Cities and Other Human Settlements in the New Millennium, and UN General Assembly Resolution A/56/206.

UN-Habitat, being the focal point for all urbanization and human settlement matters within the UN system, has a role in delivering the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, adopted by Member States in 2015, specifically goal 11: make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

As our cities and towns grow at unprecedented rates, setting the social, political, cultural and environmental trends of the world, sustainable urbanization is one of the most pressing challenges for the global community in the 21st century. In 1950, one-third of the world’s population lived in cities. Just 50 years later, this proportion has risen to one-half and will continue to grow to two-thirds, or six billion people, by 2050. Cities are now home to half of humankind. They are the hub for national production and consumption - economic processes that generate wealth and opportunity. But they also create disease, crime, pollution and poverty. In many cities, especially in developing countries, slum dwellers number more than 50% of the population and have little or no access to shelter, water and sanitation.

2. United Nations Innovation Technology Accelerator for Cities (UNITAC Hamburg)
The United Nations Innovation Technology Accelerator for Cities is an innovation lab in Hamburg, established in March 2021 by UN-Habitat in collaboration with UN Office for Information and Communications Technology (UN-OICT) and HafenCity University. The Accelerator promotes open and participatory governance of data and digital platforms, innovations related to mapping, spatial analysis and data visualization and people-centered smart cities. UNITAC Hamburg is funded by the Government of Germany for four years.

The Accelerator is creating a team of urban, technology and innovation experts which will develop technologies to solve the world’s most pressing urban challenges and ensure that we speed up progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Goal 11 on sustainable cities and communities.
UNITAC Hamburg works with a bespoke urban technology innovation acceleration methodology that can be used to analyse real urban challenges and urbanization trends. The methodology will be based around three themes: (1) Open, transparent and participatory governance of data and digital platforms (2) Mapping spatial analysis and visualization, and (3) People-centred smart cities. Within these fields, particular emphasis is placed on how to generate knowledge and use cases on smart city governance and the development of frontier technologies with a special emphasis on developing countries and cities with large informal populations.

The solutions developed by UNITAC Hamburg will be tested and piloted through UN-Habitat’s networks across the world with a particular focus on less developed countries. UNITAC Hamburg will also work with the City of Hamburg to establish an urban technology acceleration testbed in Hamburg in which technologies, governance frameworks and approaches can be tested in a simulated urban environment before scaling up internationally. Learning will be documented and published through high-quality guides and toolkits that can be used by policy makers to ensure that smart cities are inclusive, sustainable and people-centered.

3. Objective
The objective of the consultancy is to lead UNITAC Hamburg’s communications systems and strategy, platforms and working approaches, while proactively providing communications, outreach and advocacy support and managing partnerships, networks and advisory groups.

1. Outputs
For this consultancy, UN-Habitat is looking for a Communication and Advocacy Expert to assist with the development of the following outputs contributing to shaping UNITAC’s communication and advocacy engagement for the UNITAC initiative:

1. UNITAC Communication Strategy. Lead the continued implementation and monitoring of the UNITAC Communication Strategy and advice on improvements; identify opportunities to build the visibility of both UNITAC through strategic partnerships, whether through campaigns, events or other initiatives, in line with UNITAC’s brand and ensuring alignment with key initiatives from UNITAC partners, including the City Science Lab, UN-Habitat’s people-centered smart cities programme and UN OICT data and innovation efforts.

2. Communication outreach and media activities. Function as media contact point and handle media queries and requests; Draft various communication products (including press releases, media messages, media packs and reports, briefings, ect.); Draft and disseminate newsletters and email campaigns to promote UNITAC projects to increase programme visibility and knowledge sharing. Strategically engage media and other partners to amplify the voice, results, leadership and messages of UNITAC among target audiences.

3. Events organising. Organise or participate in the organisation of conferences, forums, press briefings, interviews, etc.; prepare briefing materials for senior officials for to their participation in such events.

4. UNITAC online presence. Oversee the content of UNITAC website and its social media accounts; developing websites for specific initiatives, producing content, commissioning articles and blog posts and managing social media accounts. Ensure alignment with UN-Habitat’s people-centered flagship programme.

5. Communication liaison: Act as the UNITAC communication focal point for liaising with UN-Habitat’s communication focal point network, HQ, regional offices and country offices; liaise with the UN Department for Global Communications, UN-OICT and HafenCity University/City Science Lab communications teams.

6. Project Advisory Group. Act as the secretary to the UNITAC Project Advisory Group, including ensuring regular and accurate communication with the UNITAC Project Advisory Group members; organize meetings of the Project Advisory Group; provide timely reporting; provide outreach to potential new members of the Advisory Group.

7. Communicating the Urban Academy. Develop a communications plan for the urban academy. Lead the development of site architecture, content and UI design for its website. Support in the organisation of events, webinars and online activities. Draft content for the website including stories and reports. Design graphic material for workshops and webinars.

8. Multimedia content creation and design. Production and dissemination of information material; photo and graphic research; editorial content (stories, photo galleries, advocacy images, campaigns, quote cards, video, graphics, etc.) and adaptation for digital platforms; development and coordination of the visual design of reports, websites, templates and general communication products to ensure a common identity for all meeting the institutional guidelines;

9. People-centered smart cities communications. Contribute to communication of the people-centered smart cities programme, including communications outreach, design and online presence.

10. Digital platforms. Support the development of the identity design, UI and web architecture for the Smart City Toolbox website. Provide content and design support to other digital platforms as needed.

2. Deliverables – Results of Service
The consultant will deliver the following:

1. Inception Report and work programme
2. An updated UNITAC communications strategy and plan
3. A UNITAC partnerships plan and database
4. UNITAC Hamburg website and content
5. Smart city toolbox website and content
6. A report on the events organised in collaboration with the UNITAC team
7. A report on media outreach
8. A communications plan for the Urban Academy
9. Urban Academy online presence, including website and social media
10. A database of multimedia assets
11. Reports of the Project Advisory Group meetings
12. At least 12 blog posts and articles

3. Reporting requirements
The consultant will work under the overall leadership of the UNITAC Hamburg Lab Manager. The consultant will closely coordinate with the UNITAC Hamburg team and partner entities. Moreover, the consultant will be part of the UN-Habitat Communication Community of Practice and closely coordinate with the UN-Habitat Communication, Media and Outreach Section.

Qualifications/special skills

An advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in communication, journalism, international relations, social sciences, political science, international development, urban planning, architecture, innovation or related field is required.

A first-level university degree in combination with two (2) years’ experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
A minimum of five years’ experience in communications, journalism or media is required.
Experience in media outreach, engaging with journalists, facilitating interviews. Media/journalist network is desirable.
Strong skills in writing, including writing web copy, press releases, news articles and publications is desirable.
Experience in working with digital platforms and websites, including social media is desirable.
Experience in developing communications strategies and policies is desirable.
Experience in project management desirable.
Experience in graphic design desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this position, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of German is desirable, and another UN language is desirable.

No Fee


This vacancy is now closed.
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