Communications Specialist, The Defeat-NCD Partnership – UNITAR – Genf, GE

Vacancy type Individual contractors

Duration of the contract

1 September 2020 – 31 July 2021

Indicative starting date

01 Sep 2020

Deadline for submission of applications

18 Aug 2020

Number of vacancies


Organizational Unit

The Defeat-NCD Partnership


USD 7,000 per month. The fees are expressed as a gross monthly figure.

The assignment requires the contractor to be self-sufficient and arrange to be equipped with the requisite professional tools and equipment to carry out this assignment such as a mobile phone and a laptop with standard Adobe and Creative Cloud, Microsoft Office software, and other design and communication needed software.

Developing integrated communications strategies and campaigns, researching, drafting and editing copy, speechwriting, networking, and publishing communication outputs or The Defeat-NCD Partnership, UNITAR.

UNITAR is an autonomous body within the United Nations that was established in 1965 pursuant to a UN General Assembly resolution. UNITAR’s mission is to develop the individual, institutional and organizational capacities of countries and other United Nations stakeholders through high quality learning solutions and related knowledge products and services to enhance decision-making and to support country-level action for overcoming global challenges.

On 28 November 2019, at its 60th session, the UNITAR Board of Trustees took note of and endorsed, the Operations Agreement between UNITAR and The Defeat-NCD Partnership (dated 23″ July 2019) to host the secretariat of the Partnership. UNITAR houses the secretariat of the Defeat-NCD Partnership and other relevant strategic initiatives working in the field of noncommunicable diseases and addressing related risk factors – such as road crashes, deaths and injuries, and assisted technologies for improved health outcomes.

The Defeat-NCD Partnership is a multi-stakeholder partnership anchored in the United Nations and includes governments, multilateral agencies, civil society, academia, philanthropies, and the private sector. It was established in January 2018 to help tackle the most significant global health problems of the age: premature death, sickness, disability, and the associated social and economic impacts of selected non-communicable diseases (NCDs). It is based on the expert guidance and the technical norms and standards issued by the World Health Organization for managing NCDs.

The purpose of this assignment is to develop creative content and ideas, and advance a compelling and consistent narrative for a range of external stakeholders around the Defeat-NCD Partnership’s programme, operational approaches and results.

Brand & Strategy

  • Develop a communications grid and manage outreach and communications activities related to the Defeat-NCD Partnership’s programmatic and operational areas, including identifying key audiences for engaging in our work.
  • Proactively develop timely high-quality written communications as well as produce a range of editorial content and communications material, including blogs, press releases, articles, information sheets, case studies, brochures, newsletters, reports, and key messages.
  • Proactively produce and place timely op-eds to be published on behalf of the Defeat-NCD Partnership in leading publications accessed by relevant key audiences.
  • Lead the development of the Partnership ‘brand’ building on existing design principles and guidelines for all of Defeat-NCD materials and products to ensure their consistency.

Products & Outputs

  • Work with other Secretariat personnel to ensure consistent and high-quality assurance of all internal and external Defeat-NCD Partnership outputs (audio/visual/written/events/social media/website/reports) before they are disseminated.
  • Update and simplify the Partnership’s website and manage its content to increase visibility and connectivity with our key audiences.
  • Create and maintain internal communications platforms to be used by all Defeat-NCD personnel (and partners e.g. NCD teams in programme countries, Defeat-NCD partnership governance etc.)
  • Ensure the Defeat-NCD Partnership social networking (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) and other online media platforms are used to engage key audiences – resulting in an upward trend in analytics (including guidance to personnel for their social media use).

External engagement

  • Organize and coordinate the Partnership’s interactions with the media, including providing background information, keeping track of media mentions, and proactively creating media relations with key journalists and other influencers and act as a moderator/spokesperson when requested to help put non-communicable diseases on the top of the public agenda.
  • Keep track of events and conferences of interest to the Partnership that might help expand the Partnership’s outreach, and develop key messages and corporate material for the participation of key senior Defeat –NCD Partnership personnel at these events.
  • Write speeches and draft talking points for the CEO and other senior partners (e.g. government ministers, and CEOs) for high profile engagements
  • Provide a daily summary regular briefs to the CEO on significant communications activities of current and potential partners, environment scanning for opportunities for engagement
  • Draft and produce high quality communications annual work plan (consolidating all communications outputs) for the Defeat-NCD Partnership (by 15 September 2020).
  • Refresh and keep updated the Defeat-NCD Partnership website, social media platforms, and other internal and public-facing communications outputs (by 15 October 2020, and ongoing).
  • Database/communications grid maintained with information on all media partners and opportunities for external engagement (by 15 October 2020 and ongoing).
  • Draft speeches, briefing notes, and opinion pieces for engagement at the World Health Summit and World Economic Forum, World Health Assembly, United Nations General Assembly, and other events as required (ongoing).
  • Develop a template for daily environment scanning briefing to the CEO, along with an updated list of contacts/ institutions that are monitored (15 September 2020).
  • Ensure all outputs (reports, presentations, etc.) conform to a consistent brand identity and style (ongoing).
  • Manage the entire production schedule (design and layout, proofreading content, printing, dissemination) of all Defeat-NCD Partnership publications.
  • Timely and quality submission of deliverables.
  • Activities implemented with a high degree of effectiveness and efficiency.
  • High degree of professionalism demonstrated by the individual contractor.
  • Experience of leading an interdisciplinary communications teams across content creation, digital and social media, media and PR, stakeholder engagement and events.
  • Demonstrable writing and editing skills, and a native speaker of English, with an ability to convey complex ideas in a creative, clear, direct and lively style
  • Experience of devising and implementing strategic communications plans, including in setting objectives, driving and monitoring activities and measuring successes.
  • A sound track record in delivering communications campaigns, a good news sense and the ability to quickly familiarize oneself with the opportunities and risks associated with Defeat-NCD Partnership’s work, profile and position in the sectors it works in.
  • Senior experience in handling media enquiries, issue management and crisis communication responses.
  • Organized, with the ability to prioritize and ability to work under pressure, often to tight deadlines. Strong communications skills with the ability to manage multiple stakeholders.
  • Self-motivated, proactive, and creative with a proven ability to work as part of a small team and in a pressurized and changing environment.

Minimum requirements

a. Education

  • An advanced degree in Communications, Journalism, Public Information, Marketing, Public Relations Branding, Media Studies, or any relevant field is required.

b. Work Experience

  • A minimum 7 years of progressively responsible senior level professional experience in the field of communication, print, broadcast, or new media, within the public, development, or private sectors.
  • Track record of effective writing though report writing, speech writing, articles, is required.
  • Experience with using content management systems, digital marketing, and analytics software, to create, edit and update the Defeat-NCD Partnership corporate website.
  • Experience of managing external agencies and/or suppliers.
  • Knowledge of, and experience in, video and audio production is an asset.

c. Languages

  • Fluency in oral and written English to native-speaker level is required.

The incumbent will report to The Director of The Defeat-NCD Partnership.

General conditions of contracts for the service of Individual Contractors apply.

Individual Contractors are responsible for determining their tax liabilities and for the payment of any taxes and/or duties, in accordance with local laws. UNITAR does not reimburse Individual Contractors for any taxes, duty, or other contribution payable by the Individual contractor on payments made under the Individual Contract.

The Institute does not provide or arrange life or health insurance coverage for Individual Contractors, and Individual Contractors are not eligible to participate in the life and health insurance schemes provided by the UN for its staff members.

How to apply

Send a letter of motivation and P11 form or Curriculum Vitae to [email protected] with the following subject line: “Communications Specialist – The Defeat-NCD Partnership”

Due to the high number of expected applications, UNITAR will only contact shortlisted applicants.


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