Vacancy Details

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Vacancy code VA/2013/B5007/2490
Position title Communications Manager, UN-Water
Level ICS-10
Department/office GPSO, GVAC, Geneva
Duty station Geneva, Switzerland
Contract type Fixed Term
Contract level P3
Duration 1 year, renewable
Application period 05-Jun-2013 to 25-Jun-2013
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
This vacancy is closed.
Background Information - UNOPS

“UNOPS plays a critical role in providing management services for our life-saving, peacebuilding, humanitarian and development operations.”
-Ban Ki-moon, United Nations Secretary-General

UNOPS  mission is to expand the capacity of the UN system and its partners to implement peacebuilding, humanitarian and development operations that matter for people in need.

Working in some of the world’s most challenging environments, our vision is to always satisfy partners with management services that meet world-class standards of quality, speed and cost effectiveness.

UNOPS provides services in sustainable infrastructure, sustainable procurement and sustainable project management, with projects ranging from building schools, roads, bridges and hospitals to procuring goods and services and training local personnel.

By assisting UN organizations, international financial institutions, governments and other development partners, UNOPS makes significant, tangible contributions to results on the ground.

We employ more than 6,000 personnel annually and on behalf of our partners create thousands more work opportunities in local communities. Through our headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark and a network of regional and country offices, we oversee activities in more than 80 countries.

UNOPS is committed to achieving a truly diverse workforce.

Background Information - SWOC

UNOPS in Switzerland is based in Geneva and has excellent links with the international community. Local and international partners call upon the UNOPS Switzerland office for expertise in fund management, project management, procurement of goods and services, and human resources administration to ensure successful delivery of their projects. Focus areas include health, water, and sanitation.

Background Information - UN-Water

UN-Water is the United Nations (UN) inter-agency coordination mechanism for freshwater and sanitation. It was formally established in 2003 building on a long history of collaboration in the UN family. It currently counts 31 UN agencies and organizations as Members and 29 other international Partners. UN-Water complements and adds value to existing UN initiatives by facilitating synergies and joint efforts among the implementing agencies. In doing so, UN-Water seeks to: (a) improve the coherence in UN System actions at all levels, and in particular at the country level; (b) contribute to the global policy debate on water-related issues through active participation in global policy fora and events and the production of assessments and policy briefs; (c) contribute to increased knowledge on water-related issues through relevant monitoring and reporting mechanisms and by serving as an entry point for water-related indicators, data and information; and (d) identify emerging issues related to global water challenges and provide a platform for UN System strategic discussions on how to prepare for and cope with them more effectively. For further information on UN-Water:

The UN-Water Communications Manager supports all corporate media and communications activities of UN-Water. The Communications Manager thus contributes to the One UN Programme by improving the capacity of the UN System to speak with one voice on all freshwater-related matters, including sanitation.

Under the direct supervision of the UN-Water Chief Technical Adviser, the UN-Water Communications Manager is a member of the UN-Water Technical Advisory Unit in the UN-Water Manangement Team.

The job implies internal and external contacts at different levels, including frequent interaction with staff in the UN-Water Management Team and relevant staff in UN-Water Members, Partners, Programmes, and regional arrangements. This interaction facilitates the development of communications messages, strategies and products; ensures coherent plans/policies/input; allows the incumbent to obtain information and/or provide advice; and strengthens cooperation and coordination of joint strategies and activities.

It is important to note that UN-Water communication is conceived as a “federated” system where all relevant UN-Water bodies contribute to the overall delivery of the communication-related activities agreed in the UN-Water Work Programme. The UN-Water Communications Manager directly supports all corporate media and communications activities of UN-Water and he/she acts as the facilitator and catalyser of all other activities in this “federated” system of UN-Water communications. In particular, for all communications actitivities related to the International Decade for Action, “Water for Life”,2005-2015, the UN-Water Communications Manager works in close liaison with the UN-Water Decade Programme on Advocacy and Communications.

The incumbent is responsible to abide by security policies, administrative instructions, plans and procedures of the UN Security Management System and that of UNOPS.

Functional Responsibilities

Within delegated authority, the UN-Water Communications Manager is responsible for the following:

1. Support to UN-Water Management Team

1.1 Work in the UN-Water Management Team on the implementation of communication-related recommendations and decisions made at the UN-Water Meetings and on the implementation of activities described in the UN-Water Work Programmes.

1.2 Serve as the UN-Water Management Team’s focal person for UN-Water’s corporate media and communications activities.

2. Communications activities in UN-Water at large

2.1 Support the revision and implementation of a communications strategy which ensures the visibility of UN-Water and of its activities, especially in view of the elevation of the UN-Water Chair to the level of UN Executive Head and of UN-Water’s role in the processes to define the post-2015 development agenda, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s).

2.2 In consultation with the appropriate UN-Water Members, Partners, Programmes and regional arrangements, based on the communications strategy, coordinate the revision of a communications work plan, with clear roles and responsibilities.

2.3 Build and maintain relations with UN-Water related communications focal points of UN-Water entities, including arranging regular meetings (e.g. virtual meetings) and networking opportunities. Develop and maintain effective mechanisms for internal communications. Design, produce and circulate relevant internal information products.

2.4 Identify opportunities for and support UN-Water’s involvement and presence at relevant international events and processes, including maintaining an overview of UN-Water’s participation in relevant event (e.g. compiling list of UN-Water side events) and coordinating the preparation and implementation of the UN-Water Pavilion, as necessary, comprising the timely registration of booth and shipment of materials..

2.5 Support corporate communications linked to the the processes to define the post-2015 development agenda and the SDG’s.

2.6 Contribute to the preparation of UN-Water Annual Reports (e.g. manage interviews, oversee layout).

2.7 Develop external corporate communications products for appropriate communications channels, including managing UN-Water Newsletter, assisting social media activities and other web and printed promotional and information materials.

3. Chair’s action

3.1 Write and edit speeches, speaking points, news and press releases, presentations and articles.

3.2 Develop/strengthen media relations, respond to media, donor and public questions and queries, manage interviews.

4. Appropriate branding of UN-Water activities and products

4.1 Strengthen UN-Water branding, including providing guidance on the use of the UN-Water visual identifier, supporting the development of editorial guidelines for UN-Water publications and related copyright issues. Ensure visual consistency of UN-Water products.

4.2 Oversee corporate products’ promotional activities (e.g. print/media, audio/video) including content management; preparation for publishing, design; liaising with printers, translators, editors and other suppliers for the production and dissemination of the end product. Supervise desktop publishing activities.

5. World Water Day campaigns

5.1 Act as main resource for the World Water Day campaigns, including managing the website content, the newsletter and supervising social media channels.

5.2 Support the development and implementation of the annual campaign strategy and workplan. Support the development of campaign materials and tools.

6. UN-Water corporate website and web-services

6.1 Manage the content of the UN-Water corporate website and web-services, prepare and post contents on a regular basis.

6.2 Monitor visits to UN-Water website, downloads of publications and presence in the media.

6.3 Assess and provide options to improve UN-Water website and web-services.

7. General

7.1 Represent UN-Water, as necessary, at relevant meetings.

7.2 Perform other related duties, as required, necessary for the final delivery of UN-Water services.


Professionalism: Knowledge of the full range of communications approaches, tools, and methodologies essential to planning and executing effective campaign strategies and programmes, e.g. campaign management, media operations, marketing and promotion, audience outreach, message targeting. Ability to rapidly analyze and integrate diverse information from varied sources. Ability to identify public affairs issues, opportunities and risks in an international environment. Ability to diplomatically handle sensitive situations with target audiences and cultivate productive relationships. Knowledge of relevant internal policies and business activities/issues. Ability to produce a variety of written communications products in a clear, concise style. Ability to deliver oral presentations to various audiences. Shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations. Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.

Communication: 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 audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.

Creativity: Actively seeks to improve programmes or services; offers new and different options to solve problems or meet client needs; promotes and persuades others to consider new ideas; takes calculated risks on new and unusual ideas; thinks “outside the box”; takes an interest in new ideas and new ways of doing things; is not bound by current thinking or traditional approaches.

Teamwork: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others; places team agenda before personal agenda; supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.

Technological Awareness: Keeps abreast of available technology; understands applicability and limitation of technology to the work of the office; actively seeks to apply technology to appropriate tasks; shows willingness to learn new technology.

Planning and Organizing: Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; uses time efficiently.

Accountability: Takes ownership of all responsibilities and honours commitments; delivers outputs for which one has responsibility within prescribed time, cost and quality standards; operates in compliance with organizational regulations and rules; supports subordinates, provides oversight and takes responsibility for delegated assignments; takes personal responsibility for his/her own shortcomings and those of the work unit, where applicable.



·        Speech Writing

·        Communications Strategy Development

·        Communications Strategy Implementation

·        Branding

·        Online Content Publishing

·        Graphic Software

·        Leading Media Campaigns




Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in communication, journalism, international relations, public administration or related field.


·        A minimum of five years of progressively responsible experience in public information, journalism, international relations, public administration or related area, of which at least three years in water-related fields at the international level.


·        Work experience in/for the UN System.

·        Understanding of international development issues, key players and processes.

·        Experience in building and promoting good working relationships and collaboration across cultures and distance.


Fluent English is required. Fluent French is highly desirable. Working knowledge of other UN languages is desirable.
Contract type, level and duration

Contract type: Fixed Term Appointment
Contract level: ICS10 / P3
Contract duration:one year initially, renewable subject to satisfactory performance and funding availability

For more details about United Nations staff contracts, please follow this link: 
Additional Considerations

  • Please note that the closing date is midnight Copenhagen time (CET)
  • 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.
  • For staff positions UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post
  • 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.

This vacancy is closed.