Communications and Media Specialist


UNFPA is seeking Communications and Media Specialist.

Duration: One Year (renewable) (*)

Organizational Setting

The Position

The Communication and Media Specialist will hold a central position within the SWEDD Regional Technical Secretariat, a team that ensures, in conjunction with national teams, high quality regional-level technical assistance and project coordination to nine countries in the region. Specifically, your role will focus on aspects related to traditional communication and social behavior change campaigns carried out at both regional and national level. You will work closely with communication staff in the regional office work. And will report directly to the SWEDD Regional Coordinator.

How you can make a difference

UNFPA is the lead UN agency for delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled. UNFPA’s new strategic plan (2018-2021), focuses on three transformative results: to end preventable maternal deaths; end unmet need for family planning; and end gender-based violence and harmful practices.

In a world where fundamental human rights are at risk, we need principled and ethical staff, who embody these international norms and standards, and who will defend them courageously and with full conviction.

UNFPA is seeking candidates that transform, inspire and deliver high impact and sustained results; we need staff who are transparent, exceptional in how they manage the resources entrusted to them and who commit to deliver excellence in programme results.

Project description

The Sahel Women’s Empowerment and Demographic Dividend Project (SWEDD) is a regional project encompassing Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Benin, Cameroon and Guinea, and is funded by the World Bank’s regional IDA (International Development Association) resources. The project acts on the UN-World Bank commitment and partnership to address the Demographic Dividend in the Sahel. The overall goal of the project is to accelerate the demographic transition, to spur the demographic dividend, and to reduce gender inequality in the participating countries.

The project contributes to achieving the governments of the country member’s objective to increase women and adolescent girls’ empowerment and their access to quality reproductive, maternal, neonatal and child health, and nutrition (RMNCHN) services in selected areas of the participating countries and to improve regional knowledge generation and sharing, as well as, regional capacity and coordination. The project is focused on mainstreaming the dividend demographic in the development agenda of the countries and the region.

The SWEDD Project interventions are structured around 3 primary components:

  • Component (1) Generate demand for RMNCHN services by promoting social and behavioral change and the empowerment of women and adolescent girls;
  • Component (2) Reinforce the regional availability of RMNCHN commodities and qualified health workers;
  • Component (3) Reinforce advocacy and dialogue at high levels and promote policy development and the project’s implementation.

It is in this context, that the Communications & Media Specialist provides required co-leadership and support for Component 1. The objective of this component is to increase demand for RMNCHN services through (i) better awareness of the populations on these services, and (ii) supporting the empowerment of adolescent girls and women. This will be done by supporting regional initiatives and targeted cross-border activities with strong demonstrable effects and potential for scaling up regionally.

Job purpose

Specifically, the Communications & Media Specialist will contribute to Component 1.1 (though contributions are often cross-cutting and may contribute to other components and subcomponents as well), which focuses on communications and social behavior change. The project currently funds a regional communications/SBCC campaign, which is being conducted via social media, radio, newspapers, and other relevant outlets, and at the same time is providing technical assistance and coordination to ensure coherence with campaigns being carried out at the national-level. In addition, the Communications & Media Specialist will work on developing compelling institutional communications tools and materials to inform external partners about the SWEDD Project, and will focus on building media relations. The Communications & Media Specialist will also provide the required support to advocacy, outreach and mobilization activities, as well as knowledge management.

Main Tasks & Responsibilities

You would be responsible for

Leading SWEDD institutional communications activities:

  • Coordinates the development of the SWEDD regional communications strategy and support provides technical assistance to the development of national communications strategies and frameworks
  • Coordinate regional implementation, and provide technical assistance in the implementation, as well as monitoring and evaluation of, regional and national communication plans;
  • Develop SWEDD brand management guidelines and provide advisory and quality control services on issues related to corporate branding, editorial guidelines, media products, communication strategies;
  • Ensuring effective engagement with news and media outlets, and building capacity of SWEDD personnel to develop and maintain relations with relevant media;
  • Leading social and behavior change communication initiatives:
  • Develop and implement the SWEDD SBCC regional strategy, including development of specific SBCC campaigns;
  • Support SWEDD countries in the development and implementation of national SBCC strategies;
  • Develop monitoring and evaluation tools for measuring the impact of national and regional strategies.

Innovation, advocacy, partnerships and resource mobilization:

  • Lead outreach activities, including, participation in special meetings and organization of special events;
  • Support youth, faith-based organizations and other civil society actors in the development of communication plan;
  • Identification of innovative approaches and key partners for last-mile reach (community-based distribution of messaging, etc.);
  • Develop private-sector partnerships and advocacy materials for resource mobilization efforts.
  • Knowledge management and sharing of best practices:
  • Develop a publications plan for the production and dissemination of a wide array of public information products, for both print and digital;
  • Develop, maintain and scale up online and social media communication channels (SWEDD website, blog, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.), in collaboration with UNFPA HQ Communications, ensuring adherence to UNFPA, and ensure monitoring and reporting on analytics;
  • Identification, synthesis and dissemination of best practices and lessons learned directly linked SWEDD programmes/projects;
  • Contribute to knowledge networks and communities of practice including programme communications repositories;
  • Document SWEDD, WCARO and Country specific activities, i.e. reporting/newsletter writing/taking pictures.
  • Carry out any other duties as may be requested by the Office of the Regional Director and the SWEDD Secretariat.

Qualifications and Experience


Advanced university degree in communication, media, journalism, social sciences, and/or other related fields.

Knowledge and Experience

  • A minimum of 5 years’ experience in designing and implementing international communications and SBCC campaigns, strategies or programs;
  • Familiarity with population issues and how this impacts sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and young people, and ability to address a range of issues related to topics of demographic dividend and women’s empowerment;
  • A keen understanding of culture, history and political contexts of West and Central Africa, particularly the Sahel region;
  • Fluent in the use of social media;
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office, Adobe Design suite, Google drive, etc.;
  • A thorough understanding of the UN system in general, and especially the UNFPA mandate, policies and operations, is an asset.


Fluency in English and French is required; knowledge of additional UN languages is an asset.

Required Competencie


  • Exemplifying integrity
  • Demonstrating commitment to UNFPA and the UN system
  • Embracing diversity in all its forms
  • Embracing change

Functional Competencies

  • Advocacy/advancing a policy-oriented agenda
  • Internal and external communication and advocacy for resource mobilization
  • Leveraging the resources of national governments and partners/building strategic alliances and partnerships
  • Communicating information and ideas/knowledge sharing
  • Ability to communicate ideas verbally and orally in a clear and concise manner
  • Innovation and marketing of new approaches
  • Relating, networking, persuading and influencing
  • Creating visibility for the organization

Required Competencies

Core Competencies

  • Achieving Results
  • Being Accountable
  • Developing and Applying Professional Expertise/Business Acumen
  • Thinking analytically and Strategically
  • Working in Teams/Managing Ourselves and our Relationships
  • Communicating for Impact

Closing Date: 2 August 2021 (5 PM, GMT).

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