Ukraine: Communications Specialist (International FTA, P-3)

Organization: UN Development Programme
Country: Ukraine
Closing date: 17 Aug 2016


Ukraine is a middle income country with a high level of human development (81 out of 188 in 2014). It is currently facing its most serious challenges since achieving independence in 1991. From being a relatively stable and rich middle-income country with an advanced process of association with the EU, Ukraine has plunged into political, security and economic turmoil over the past two years. Despite commitments by all sides to the so-called Minsk ceasefire, fighting, shelling and loss of life (including civilians) continue on a daily basis in eastern Ukraine. Thus far, the conflict has cost more than 9,000 lives and the recorded displacement of 1.5 million people.

The UN does not play a political role in resolving the crisis in Ukraine, but from its very initial response, it actively supports the country in three priority areas of assistance: 1. Humanitarian response, including for conflict-affected regions and for internally displaced persons; 2. Recovery, stabilization and rehabilitation for the east and other regions; and, 3.Supporting longer-term country-wide governance reforms to promote the rule of law and strengthen social stability and democratic governance. While UNDP contributes to all three priority assistance areas, it particularly focuses on early recovery support to crisis-affected communities, assistance to internally displaced persons and programmatic interventions addressing local governance and service provision, decentralization, anti-corruption, human rights, parliamentary development, constitutional reform, energy and environment, and more recently health reform. Ukraine currently has one of the largest UNDP programmes in the Europe and CIS region.

Given the scope and complexity of UNDP operations in Ukraine, the country office is looking to hire a Communications Specialist to develop and implement a communications strategy closely linked to program priorities to position the country office in key development markets as a thought leader in ways that boost demand for various service lines and increase overall business opportunities.

Under the guidance and direct supervision of the Country Director, the Communications Specialist designs, manages and facilitates the implementation of the country office communications and publication strategies with a view to influence the development agenda, to promote public and media outreach and to mobilize political and financial support for UNDP.

The Communications Specialist supervises and leads the communications staff of the country office, guides and directs communications staff embedded in UNDP programmes and projects and has a close working relationship with the Regional Communications Manager based in UNDP’s Istanbul Regional Hub. The Communications Specialist works in close collaboration with programme and operations teams in the country office, staff of other UN Agencies, UNDP HQs staff (Communications Office), government officials, international and local media, subject matter experts, multi-lateral and bi-lateral donors and civil society ensuring successful UNDP communication strategy implementation.

Duties and Responsibilities

1) Develop, implement and monitor the country office communications strategy:

  • Develop and implement a communications strategy based on the country office corporate communications goals and priorities;
  • Monitor and measure the impact of the communication strategy and make adjustments accordingly;
  • Design and implement effective national external communications strategies aligned to corporate goals and priorities;
  • Integrate issue-based advocacy into the communications strategy around key priority areas relevant to the country; and
  • Ensure that key results and relevant success stories are incorporated into strategic communications outreach.

2) Market UNDP Ukraine in and outside of the region:

  • Project UNDP/Ukraine as a substantive thought leader promoting its mandate, mission and purpose via effective communication;
  • Promote UNDP/Ukraine’s principles as a tangible value proposition with national and international audiences;
  • Support the attracting and nurturing of key relationships with a variety of institutional partners in the country through targeted outreach and advocacy;
  • In collaboration with the Regional Bureau, increase coverage and understanding of UNDP/Ukraine’s work nationally and internationally through strategic media and/or donor outreach using innovative communication tools and various types of media, including digital and social media;
  • Ensure UNDP Ukraine website and related social media platforms are aligned with corporate goals and messages and used effectively;
  • In collaboration with programme teams and the Regional Bureau for Europe and CIS, develop results-based communications materials for distribution to donors and other key constituents.

3) Lead media outreach in the country working closely with national, regional and international media:

  • Promote UNDP/Ukraine’s work in the country with special attention on results and impact through media outreach, using new types of media, including social media platforms and communication tools as appropriate;
  • Promote, advocate and raise awareness around UNDP/Ukraine activities, results, flagship initiatives through a variety of communication vehicles, such as roundtable discussions, press conferences, briefing sessions, interviews, report launches, etc.;
  • Manage and maintain UNDP’s reputational and communications risk for sensitive programmes and projects, notably the medicine procurement project;
  • Enhance understanding and knowledge of journalists and key interlocutors on development issues through substantive regional workshops and training sessions using UNDP reports, data and experts;
  • Proactively market UNDP Ukraine’s program work in the media by regularly pitching success stories and placing UNDP Ukraine experts for interviews and commentaries in print and multimedia outlets;
  • Draft and/or edit a range of materials, including press releases and advisories, speeches for UNDP management, news briefs, fact sheets for inclusion in media kits and further public outreach;
  • Guide timely responses to reputational management inquiries raised by media and donors, in close consultation with the Regional Bureau and HQ as appropriate;
  • Monitor and analyze national and international media and share information with the Regional Bureau;
  • Develop, recommend and issue responses to negative press about UNDP Ukraine and UNDP mitigating risk to institutional reputation;
  • Provide communications support to UNDP senior management visiting the region; and
  • Foster outreach partnerships with new media, innovation groups and social media influentials who can help UNDP/Ukraine achieve its national goals.

4) Facilitate capacity-building, knowledge-sharing and quality control with UNDP Ukraine communications team:

  • Manage the work of the UNDP country office communications team and provides guidance and directions to communications staff of UNDP programmes and projects;
  • Work closely with country office communications and programme staff to communicate success stories and results, offering mentoring and advice;
  • Provide guidance, coaching and mentoring to country office communications staff, especially in the design and implementation of national communications strategies;
  • Provide or facilitate communications training to programme staff and managers based in the country office, as needed;
  • Provide training to country office communications staff and introduce new, cost-effective digital technologies for the more rapid collection and dissemination of multimedia materials;
  • Ensure quality control over country office publications, including compliance with UNDP Communication toolkit; and
  • Continuously review work produced by country office communications staff and ensure it is of the highest standards of UNDP.




Ability to make new and useful ideas work

Level 3: Apply & Adapt (Recognized contributor with demonstrated ability)


Ability to persuade others to follow

Level 3: Apply & Adapt (Recognized contributor with demonstrated ability)

People Management

Ability to improve performance and satisfaction

Level 3: Apply & Adapt (Recognized contributor with demonstrated ability)


Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform

Level 3: Apply & Adapt (Recognized contributor with demonstrated ability)


Ability to get things done

Level 4: Originate (Peer Regarded Lead Expert)



Multimedia writing/editing

Ability to originate or edit written content for media and the general public to be disseminated through press or other online outlets

Level 4: Originate (Peer Regarded Lead Expert)

Media Relations:

Ability to form and maintain meaningful working relationships with various members of the media.

Level 4: Originate (Peer Regarded Lead Expert)

Brand and Quality Management

Ability to position a UNDP brand and uphold it to a high level of quality

Level 3: Apply & Adapt (Recognized contributor with demonstrated ability)

Graphic Design

Ability to communicate visually and create appealing UNDP graphic products

Level 4: Originate (Peer Regarded Lead Expert)

Strategic Planning

Ability to make decisions that align with strategy, vision, and mission

Level 3: Apply & Adapt (Recognized contributor with demonstrated ability)


Ability to engage with other agencies and forge productive working relationships

Level 3: Apply & Adapt (Recognized contributor with demonstrated ability)


Ability to communicate the value of a product or service

Level 3: Apply & Adapt (Recognized contributor with demonstrated ability)


Knowledge of analytical tools and methods for undertaking substantive research on various policy related issues

Level 3: Apply & Adapt (Recognized contributor with demonstrated ability)


Ability to ascertain need, plan, design, and execute training.

Level 3: Apply & Adapt (Recognized contributor with demonstrated ability)


Knowledge Management

Ability to efficiently handle and share information and knowledge

Level 3: Apply & Adapt (Recognized contributor with demonstrated ability)

Learning and Development:

Knowledge of enterprise learning and development issues, concepts, and principles, and ability to apply them to enhance the fulfillment and performance of employees

Level 3: Apply & Adapt (Recognized contributor with demonstrated ability)

UN System

Knowledge of the UN System and ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations

Level 2: Execute & Learn (Perform defined tasks)

Required Skills and Experience


Master’s degree or equivalent in communications, PR, marketing, media relations, journalism, international relations, development or another relevant field;

First degree is acceptable with 7 years of relevant work experience.


A minimum of five (5) years of relevant experience in one or more of the following areas: public relations, communications, journalism, marketing or advocacy, of which at least 3 years at the international level required;

Demonstrated knowledge and experience in media relations and/or advocacy campaigns at the international level, using traditional and social media, multi-media and a variety of platforms required; and

Understanding of international development issues and previous experience with a multilateral or UN organization is a strong asset.

Language Requirements:

Fluency in English is required; knowledge of Russian and/or Ukrainian is an asset.


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