Communications Officer

  • Added Date: Saturday, 12 August 2017
  • Deadline Date: Saturday, 19 August 2017

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As a Small Island Developing State (SIDS) in the Pacific, Samoa has been heavily impacted by increasingly severe tropical storms. Given the topography of the country, these extreme events have caused significant river discharge that results in flooding of lowland areas. Recent tropical storms like Cyclone Evan have caused floods resulting in serious health impacts and significant damage to both public and private assets. The resulting damages have been estimated at US $200 million. Urban infrastructure has suffered considerably and is expected to further degrade as extreme weather events are become more frequent.

The objective of this project is to strengthen the adaptive capacity, and reduced exposure to extreme weather events, of vulnerable communities, infrastructure, and the built environment in the Vaisigano River Catchment area. This is the river that flows through the Apia Urban Area (AUA).

The project represents the GoS’s initial steps in operationalizing a comprehensive flood management solution t. It has three major outputs:

(a) Capacities and information base strengthened for GoS to pursue an integrated approach to reduce vulnerability towards flood-related risks;

(b) Key infrastructure in the Vaisigano River Catchment are flood-proofed to increase resilience to negative effects of excessive water; and

(c) Upgraded drainage in downstream areas to increase capacity and allow for more rapid outflow of flood waters.

In conjunction with GoS co-financing leveraged for this project, GCF resources will be used to address a number of key technical issues including infrastructure; capacity and information based barriers to enhancing the effectiveness of flood management systems. The primary direct beneficiaries include approximately 26,528 people in the Vaisigano river catchment area and 37,000 people indirect beneficiaries.

The Communications Officer works in close collaboration with the GCF Project Management Unit, Government of Samoa Officials and Environment and Climate Change Unit of UNDP to successfully deliver communication services.

The Communications Officer will report to the Project Manager (PM) of GCF and Assistant Resident Representative of Environment and Climate change of UNDP and will be responsible for all communication related activities under the project. The Communications Officer is expected to provide the initial thinking, advice, and inputs to develop a Communication Strategy and Plan and implement the identified activities. As an integral part of developing a communication strategy, the consultant shall pay special emphasis in carrying out a stakeholder mapping exercise and target audience identification in order to develop key messaging to the diverse audiences.  

The Communications Officer will be directly responsible for the following tasks:

  • Undertake a stakeholder mapping exercise, identify communication needs, develop and deliver messages and record feedback;
  • Set up a communication management team in the Project consisting of the Project Director and senior representatives of teams including environmental and social specialists/officers of the PMU and RPs, etc.;
  • Draft and/or obtain services of external experts in preparation and dissemination of brochures, pamphlets, videos, commercials, hoardings, etc.;
  • Manage identification and implementation of strategic communication plans;
  • Lead media relations - including regular information flow, organizing media events and preparing media products such as press releases, op-eds, etc.;
  • Manage the hiring and delivery of a professional website creation and content management firm and be responsible for overall quality and updating of project website;
  • Engage in social media for project information dissemination;
  • Engage with civil society organizations - proactive information flow, hold transparent and timely consultations, and gather and report on feedback;
  • Support the relevant agencies/departments to undertake citizen engagement activities as identified in the Project Appraisal Document and Project Operations Manual;
  • Train Communications staff of RPs in modern communication methodologies;
  • Organize training programmes and awareness building sessions for national and provincial media;
  • Assist the project teams to develop all communication materials including presentations for public awareness and training programmes;
  • Liaise closely with the Communications Team of UNDP for guidance and directions;
  • Ensure timely submission of required communication and knowledge products including case studies and lessons learnt, reports, etc. to the National Project Manager and the Assistant Resident Representative (Environment & Climate Change) of UNDP MCO Samoa;
  • Any other duties assigned by the Assistant Resident Representative (Environment & Climate Change) at UNDP MCO Samoa and the National Project Manager for GCF Project based at Government of Samoa, MoF.

Functional Competencies:              

  • Identifies and communicates relevant information for a variety of audiences for advocating UNDP’s mandate;
  • Maintains a functioning network of contacts with a variety of stakeholders to promote a better understanding of UNDP’s mandate and to support advocacy efforts.

Building Strategic Partnerships

  • Maintains an established network of contacts for general information sharing and to remain up-to-date on partnership related issues;
  • Analyzes and selects materials for strengthening strategic alliances with partners and stakeholders;
  • Establishes and nurtures positive communication with partners.

Promoting Organizational Learning and Knowledge Sharing

  • Generates new ideas and approaches, researches best practices and proposes new, more effective ways of doing things;
  • Documents and analyses innovative strategies and new approaches.

Job Knowledge/Technical Expertise

  • Understands and applies fundamental concepts and principles of a professional discipline or technical specialty relating to the position;
  • Possesses basic knowledge of organizational policies and procedures relating to the position and applies them consistently in work tasks;
  • Analyzes the requirements and synthesizes proposals;
  • Strives to keep job knowledge up-to-date through self-directed study and other means of learning;
  • Demonstrates good knowledge of information technology and applies it in work assignments;
  • Experience and a successful track record in the field of information and communication and a familiarity with development issues;
  • Experience in the field of communication – such as strategic communication, media, social media, advertising, public relations, political campaigns, digital campaigns, social marketing, and related activities;
  • Ability to plan, design and implement communication products and activities (such as print and electronic media products, workshops, stakeholder meetings, focus group discussions, etc.).

Client Orientation

  • Ability to interact with multiple staff in the relevant agencies and respond and liaise with stakeholders;
  • Researches potential solutions to internal and external client needs and reports back in a timely, succinct and appropriate fashion;
  • Organizes and prioritizes work schedule to meet client needs and deadlines;
  • Establishes, builds and sustains effective relationships within the work unit and with internal and external clients.

Core Competencies:

  • Demonstrating/safeguarding ethics and integrity; 
  • Demonstrate corporate knowledge and sound judgment;
  • Self-development, initiative-taking;
  • Acting as a team player and facilitating team work;
  • Facilitating and encouraging open communication in the team, communicating effectively;
  • Creating synergies through self-control;
  • Managing conflict;
  • Learning and sharing knowledge and encourage the learning of others. Promoting learning and knowledge management/sharing is the responsibility of each staff member;
  • Informed and transparent decision making.


  • Bachelor degree in media relations, journalism, publishing or related fields;
  • Master degree in those areas would be a strong asset.


  • For Master graduates, 2 years of relevant experience at the national or international level in public relations, communications or advocacy;
  • For Bachelor graduates, minimum 4 years of experience in those areas;
  • Previous experience with a multilateral or international organization is helpful but not mandatory;
  • Experience in the usage of computers and office software packages, good knowledge and experience in handling of web-based management systems.

Language Requirements:

  • Fluency in English and Samoan both verbal and written.


  • This is a Service Contract for Samoan nationals only and women candidates are encouraged to apply.

Important applicant information

All posts in the SC categories are subject to local recruitment.

Applicant information about UNDP rosters

Note: UNDP reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement.  We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNDP at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.

Workforce diversity

UNDP is committed to achieving diversity within its workforce, and encourages all qualified applicants, irrespective of gender, nationality, disabilities, sexual orientation, culture, religious and ethnic backgrounds to apply. All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence.

Scam warning

The United Nations does not charge any application, processing, training, interviewing, testing or other fee in connection with the application or recruitment process. Should you receive a solicitation for the payment of a fee, please disregard it. Furthermore, please note that emblems, logos, names and addresses are easily copied and reproduced. Therefore, you are advised to apply particular care when submitting personal information on the web.

Contract Duration: initial 12 months with possibility for extension

This vacancy is archived.

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