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4 Mar 2017

Communications Assistant (SC7) – Open to Somali Nationals Only

Job Description


Communicating in crisis and post-crisis settings has many challenges, one of them being a possible perception of alignment with one party or the other to the conflict. There is often a risk of misunderstanding of the mandate of UNDP. The particular nature of the Somalia situation requires complex messaging to maintain the credibility of the organization and ensure that its work is perceived as serving all Somalis. At the same time, a clear communications strategy and approach that is aligned with the Country Programme strengthens partnerships and supports resource mobilization.

UNDP Somalia delivers two main programmes: Governance and Rule of Law (GROL), and Poverty Reduction and Environmental Protection (PREP) in three areas (South Central, Puntland and Somaliland). To ensure effective and efficient delivery of development programmes in Somalia, UNDP established two Area-Offices: one in Hargeisa (Somaliland) and another in Garowe (Puntland).

It is in this context that UNDP would like to recruit one Communications Assistant for its Hargeisa Area Office to support the implementation of its communication strategy and outreach work in Somalia. The incumbent will form a part of the core Area-Office programme team. Under the direct supervision of the Hargeisa Head of Office and technical guidance of the ACD-Head of Partnership and Planning Unit (PPU), the Communications Assistant will work in close collaboration with the Area-Office programme and project staff.

He/She supports the implementation of the communications strategy of the Country Office at Area Office level, with the aim of increasing the standing and awareness of UNDP with partners, the media and the public in Somaliland.

Under the guidance of the ACD-Head of PPU, the Communications Assistant supports the formulation and implementation of the communications and advocacy strategies at the regional level to increase the standing and awareness of UNDP with partners, the media and the public. He/She promotes a client-oriented approach in UNDP.

He/She works in close collaboration with the members of the Area Office the Partnership and Planning Unit, as well as locally-based project and programme staff.

Duties and Responsibilities

Summary of Key Functions:

Support at Area-Office level the implementation of Country Office communications strategy;
Support the consolidation and packaging of information at Area-Office level to better communicate the impact of UNDP’s work to partners, media and beneficiaries;
Support public information management, including report launches and special public events, awareness and information campaigns, outreach for programmes and projects, the management of media relations, and website content development;
Ensure facilitation of knowledge building and management.

Supports the Area Office implementation of Country Office communications strategy, including:

Support to increased awareness of UNDP’s mandate and goals through dissemination of information, organization of public events at the Area Office level;
In coordination with supervisor and ACD-Head of PPU, develop materials for marketing and awareness-raising including briefing materials and press releases;
Set up and maintain an information database and a photo library at the Area Office that can be accessed by programme and project staff to better communicate the work UNDP does through their projects.

Support the consolidation and packaging of information at Area Office level so as to better communicate the impact of UNDPs work to partners, media and beneficiaries:

Assist in the production of short videos that clearly illustrate the work of UNDP in different project/thematic areas;
Under guidance of the ACD-Head of PPU, advise field staff on communication aspects of their projects/programmes and guide them in developing the clear messages and identifying appropriate channels of communication;
Contribute to the regular consolidation of reports highlighting achievements, results and impact at Area-Office level;
Organize the creation, updating and dissemination of regionally-specific products such as leaflets, monthly or quarterly newsletters and other publications in both English and Somali languages and to the most appropriate recipients/audience;
Organize and support publicity, advocacy, knowledge-sharing and promotional opportunities in support of project activities/milestones in the region;
Support the ACD-Head of PPU to conduct basic communication training for field staff.

Support public information management including design and rollout of awareness and information campaigns, outreach for programmes and projects, report launches and special public events; management of media relations, and website content development:

Report launches, special and regular public events and campaigns
With support from the ACD-Head of PPU, oversee the dissemination of corporate advocacy materials for launching flagship initiatives and publications. This includes media management before, during and after key supporting events;
Support local implementation of joint UN information campaigns (UN Day, World AIDS Day, 16 days of activism, etc), including logistical organization and media management;
Contribute to preparation of and support dissemination of public information materials (eg. Donor bulletin, annual reports, information leaflets) to donors, stakeholders, partners and beneficiaries, where appropriate, to support projects/priority UNDP activities;
Assist in the development of plans to more effectively reach out to the regional audience, in line with the CO’s communication strategy. This may include organizing radio debates, press briefings, book launches, round tables discussions;
Assist in the organization of information sessions with target audiences on specific topics to increase awareness of the work of UNDP. This may include screenings of videos produced.
Media management
Support the ACD-Head of PPU in the drafting of press releases and media advisories to support key launches, milestones and events;
Manage media at project/Area-Office events;
Work with the ACD-Head of PPU to ensure timely and effective responses to inquiries for public information on the work of UNDP in the region;
Play an active role in supporting UN Information Group media events, such as Media Days, briefings and press conferences in order to improve relationship between UN and local media.
Website content development
Contribute content for the CO website through writing human interest stories (news items, features), taking photographs, and recording short videos (Flipcam) on UNDP’s work with communities.

Ensures facilitation of knowledge building and management focusing on achievement of the following results:

Identification and synthesis of best practices and lessons learned directly linked to programme country goals and activities. Using this information write success stories which can be used for the Donor Bulletin, UNDP Somalia website, key public information materials including the Annual Report, and be shared corporately.
Sound contributions to knowledge networks and communities of practice including corporate communications repositories and Team works.
Assisting the ACD-Head of PPU with the organization and conduct of training and workshops on communications for development as appropriate.

Impact of Results:

The key results have a significant impact on the reputation and standing of UNDP in the country and Puntland State of Somalia in particular. High quality information material and well-organized public events enhance UNDP’s position as a strong development partner, and therefore UNDP’s ability to provide the required recovery and development support.

Inversely, failure to communicate appropriate messages, promote results and impact in a timely fashion, and convincingly report to partners and stakeholders on UNDP’s achievements has the potential to negatively affect UNDP’s ability to mobilize resources, develop strong partnerships, and reach recovery and development goals.


Corporate Competencies:

Demonstrates integrity by modeling the UN’s values and ethical standards;
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


Speaks and writes clearly and effectively;
Listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately;
Asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication;
Tailors language, tone, style, and format to match the audience;
Demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.


Actively seeks to improve programmes or services;
Offers new and different options to solve problems or meet clients’ needs;
Promotes and persuades others to consider new ideas;
Takes calculated risks on new and unusual ideas; thinks outside the box;
Takes and interest in new ideas and new ways of doing things;
Is not bound by current thinking or traditional approaches.

Knowledge Management and Learning

Shares knowledge and experience;
In-depth knowledge of development issues;
Seeks and applies knowledge, information, and best practices from within and outside UNDP;
Actively works towards continuing personal learning and development in one or more practice areas, acts on learning plan and applies newly acquired skills.

Development and Operational Effectiveness

Demonstrates excellent written and oral communication skills;
Ability to extract, interpret, analyze data and resolve problems;
Ability to supervise and train support staff;
Demonstrates excellent presentation skill;
Uses Information Technology effectively as a tool and resource.
Leadership and Self-Management
Focuses on results and responds positively to feedback;
Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude;
Remains calm, in control and good humored even under pressure.
Required Skills and Experience


Completion of secondary school;
University Degree (in Social Sciences, Communications or Journalism or similar field) is an advantage.


4 years of relevant experience in communications, public relations;
Experience working for a development or humanitarian organization an asset;
Experience in video production and photography is desirable;
Experience in the usage of computers and office software packages (MS Word, Excel, etc.) essential;
Experience in InDesign and Final Cut Pro desirable.

Language Requirements:

Fluency in Englsih and national language of the duty station (English and Somali Languages).

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