Programme Manager (External Affairs and Communication)

Geneva, , CH

Background Information – UNOPS

UNOPS supports the successful implementation of its partners’ peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world. Our mission is to serve people in need by expanding the ability of the United Nations, governments and other partners to manage projects, infrastructure and procurement in a sustainable and efficient manner.

Working in some of the world’s most challenging environments, our vision is to advance sustainable implementation practices, always satisfying or surpassing our partners’ expectations.

With over 7,000 personnel spread across 80 countries, UNOPS offers its partners the logistical, technical and management knowledge they need, wherever they need it.

A flexible structure and global reach means that we can quickly respond to our partners’ needs, while offering the benefits of economies of scale. 

Background information -WSSCC

The Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) is a global, multi-stakeholder membership and partnership organization that works with poor people, their organizations, governments and small-scale entrepreneurs to improve sanitation and hygiene at scale.

Founded in 1990, the Council maintains a membership of over 4,000 water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) professionals from over 80 countries.

The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) is the legal and administrative host of WSSCC.

The mission of the Council is to ensure sustainable sanitation, better hygiene and safe drinking water for all people, with focus on the poorest and most marginalized members of society in developing countries. In order to achieve its mission, WSSCC facilitates sector coordination at national, regional and global levels, supports national sanitation and hygiene programmes through its Global Sanitation Fund (GSF), coordinates knowledge platforms, and advocates on behalf of the 2.5 billion people without a clean and safe toilet to use.

More information on WSSCC can be found at:

Functional Responsibilities

Organizational Context: The incumbent is the Programme Manager responsible for all of WSSCC’s external relations and communications work.

The incumbent works in accordance with the strategic objectives and established guidelines and in professional contact with internal and external professionals in the field of external relations and communications on water and sanitation, and associated fields of health, education, and women’s empowerment. General direction on the tasks and area of responsibility are provided by the Executive Director. The incumbent exercises initiative to translate this guidance into the strategies and activities required to manage this team. The incumbent has the authority to develop or revise guidelines for external relations  and communications activities of the WSSCC.

The incumbent will:
  • Generate the strategies and detailed workplans for WSSCC’s External Relations and Communications work, based on his/her judgment of priorities in consultation with the Executive Director and in collaboration with other colleagues within WSSCC;
  • Lead WSSCC’s external relations work, intended to influence the work of major stakeholders in the water and sanitation sector and associated sectors worldwide;
  • Act as one of WSSCC’s principal spokespersons, together with the Executive Director;
  • Develop and agree strategies for communications, ensuring consistent messaging across all WSSCC’s programmes;
  • Supervise others to develop WSSCC’s communications products, events and media relations; 
  • Support country coordination and engagement among national coordinators and GSF affiliates and policy advocacy focal points; 
  • Line-manage the members of the External Relations and Communications team.
  • Perform other related duties as directed.
  • Creating an empowering and motivating environment;
  • Communicating in a credible and effective way;
  • Producing results; and
  • Ensuring the effective use of resources;
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills;
  • Substantial experience in developing and implementing communications strategies and managing media relations;
  • Substantial experience in advocacy work; and
  • Practical understanding of key issues within the water and sanitation sector.
  • Excellent computer literacy and knowledge of Microsoft products

Master’s degree and professional training in the fields of journalism, communications, development studies or international relations is essential.

Considerable experience (minimum of 10 years) in external relations and/or communications either in the water and sanitation sector or in a closely related development field, including at least 5 years at the international level, and 5 years working on development issues in Africa and/or Asia.

Experience in the UN system is desirable.


Fluent English required.  Good working knowledge of French or other UN languages is desirable. 
Contract type, level and duration

Contract type: Fixed Term Staff Contract
Contract level: ICS12 / P5
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
  • 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 only, 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.