Sierra Leone nationals: Communications Specialist for Blue Peace/FCC

United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF)
Sierra Leone
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
International Organization
Experience Level: 
3-4 Years
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)
Languages Required: 


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The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) makes public and private finance work for the poor in the world’s 47 least developed countries. With its capital mandate and instruments, UNCDF offers “last mile” finance models that unlock public and private resources, especially at the domestic level, to reduce poverty and support local economic development.

UNCDF’s financing models work through three channels: inclusive digital economies, connecting individuals, households, and small businesses with financial eco-systems that catalyze participation in the local economy, and provide tools to climb out of poverty and manage financial lives; local development finance, that capacitates localities through fiscal decentralization, innovative municipal finance, and structured project finance to drive local economic expansion and sustainable development; and investment finance, that provides catalytic financial structuring, de-risking, and capital deployment to drive SDG impact and domestic resource mobilization. By strengthening how finance works for poor people at the household, small enterprise, and local infrastructure levels, UNCDF contributes to Sustainable Development Goal-SDG 1 on eradicating poverty and SDG 17 on the means of implementation. By identifying those market segments where innovative financing models can have transformational impact in helping to reach the last mile and address exclusion and inequalities of access, UNCDF contributes to a broad diversity of SDGs.

UNCDF Local Finance Development Unit in Western and Central Africa is dedicated to partner with Freetown City Council (FCC - the municipal government of the city of Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, established in 1893) to unable its access to market financing for its development plan “Transform Freetown”, thereby contributing to transforming the City of Freetown for the benefit of Freetown’s residents. UNCDF and FCC will partner through the Blue Peace Financing initiative set up within the framework of UNCDF partnership with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and Geneva Water Hub.

The Blue Peace Movement is a global movement led by the Government of Switzerland that aims to develop a culture of peace and preserve freshwater resources, while achieving equitable and sustainable use of water across boundaries, sectors and generations. Blue Peace Movement promotes solutions from international organizations, governmental agencies, the private sector, NGOs, research institutes, artists and young people. Using a variety of diplomatic, political, technical and financial tools, the Blue Peace Movement advocates for creative and innovative thinking on how to use, manage and invest in water resources.




Under the supervision of the Regional Technical Advisor for Local Development Finance Practice, the Communications Specialist will work on the following areas of intervention:

Item 1: Conceptualize and execute local community engagement strategies around the Blue Peace Freetown initiative:

  • Meet and follow up with community leaders and influencers to ensure active participation in planning and implementing Blue Peace UNCDF-FCC interventions;
  • Identify community-based resources that UNCDF could access to provide education about interventions;
  • Build strategic and accountable partnerships with civil society, community-based organizations and local groups which support buy-in from community stakeholders.
  • Identifies opportunities for greater coordinated community liaison and engagement;
  • Best practice examples on steps to strengthen civilian liaison and engagement and cross-component coordination of community liaison and engagement; and
  • Recommended strategic guidance to enhance cross-component coordination of community liaison and engagement.

Item 2: Lead the development and implementation of creative communication strategy to communicate on the Blue Peace Freetown initiative:

  • Develop and implement communications plans which includes a timeline of key communications material;
  • Develop and maintain close working relations with UNCDF and Freetown City Council (FCC) team;
  • Identify subjects/stories of interest pertaining to UNCDF and FCC’s efforts to develop communications products such as feature stories, press releases and social media posts;
  • Focus on the UNCDF and FCC key audiences, which include communities, public authorities, donors etc.;
  • Set targets, alongside a strong monitoring and evaluation protocol.

Item 3: Design relevant media, communication and engagement materials to support communication on Blue Peace Freetown initiative:

  • Conceptualize a set of new engaging documents to inform stakeholders and the general public about UNCDF and FCC co-response and collaboration, co-develop, as relevant, high quality media tools, including audio-visual, photographic and printed materials, television and radio programmes, multimedia presentations, social media, videos and press releases, bulletins etc., to promote Blue Peace Freetown’s visibility, achievements and success stories;
  • Conceptualize, draft and coordinate the development of innovative visual assets such as infographics, animations and video clips with colleagues, vendors and partners;
  • Organize interviews and filming opportunities to support high visibility of Blue Peace UNCDF-FCC project achievements through television, radio and newspapers, etc.
  • Re-package, write, edit, re-write, and commission of information/stories including those submitted by UNCDF and FCC for dissemination via UNCDF-FCC major non-UNCDF/FCC channels to global audiences;
  • Prepare communication materials to be used for Resource Mobilization in convincing and encouraging donors;
  • Organize learning events, press interactions and meetings to increase the visibility of UNCDF and FCC and knowledge about their co-response and collaboration;
  • Ensure highest standards of accuracy and editorial content in all external outputs;
  • Maintain an up to date database of partners, journalists and media organizations, respond to media enquiries (requests for interviews, statements) on deadline, and build dialogue with individual journalists, editors and news-desks;
  • Perform any other communication specific related duties, as required by the functional supervisor.


  • Communication targets have a good understanding and visibility on actions and benefits of the Blue Peace Freetown initiative;
  • Support provided to the UNCDF-FCC team on communication related matters such as press releases, news stories and blogs;
  • Provide leadership and strategic vision to activities promoting community engagement in municipal governance.
  • Strengthen capacity of local officials to engage with citizens, include them in participatory planning processes, and incorporate their priorities into planning documents.
  • Facilitate citizen participation in collaborative decision making, management, and monitoring related to municipal service delivery.
  • Promote productive interactions between communities, civil society, and municipality that facilitate upward flow of information on community needs and priorities.
  • Contribute to work plans, donor reports, success stories, and other deliverables.
  • The successful implementation of various communication activities;
  • The successful organization of key events around the Blue Peace Freetown initiative;
  • The enhancement of the visibility and positioning of UNCDF WCA as the leading agency on local development finance matters.

Travel across the sub-region and other relevant locations may be required and will be compensated on reimbursable basis and following the UNDP/UNCDF rules and regulations which states that consultants shall only be paid the most direct and most economical ticket, as will be quoted by the official UN travel agency. Any amount in excess of the said quotation, such as class and airline preference of the consultant, shall be borne by the consultant and the daily living allowance will be paid in amounts not exceeding the UN established Rate.

Please note that UNCDF cannot guarantee residence permits or visas for consultants. Consultants are responsible for securing their work documentation. In the case of national consultants, applicants that are not nationals of the duty station requested will have to prove their residence status.

Please note that consultants residing in the duty station will not be compensated for living expenses.


  • The Communications Specialist will work under the direct supervision of the Regional Technical Advisor for Local Development Finance Practice based in Dakar;
  • Payments will be made based on the percentage of contract price, in line with the payment schedule below, and upon confirmation of UNCDF’s Regional Technical Advisor that the individual has delivered on the contract obligations in a satisfactory manner based on the completed deliverables stated under the Section 2 above;
  • Final payment shall require a signed performance evaluation of the consultant.


Core ompetencies include:

1.  Innovation : The ability to make new and useful ideas work; possesses analytical and conceptual abilities to formulate a plan with positive impact; this competency is not only focused on having visionary ideas  or conceptual thinking, but also involves turning ideas into action. 

2. Communication: The ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform - effective in working with peers, partners, and others, to positively impact business performance. Explaines process to clients, listens and eager to develop professional voice, shares information, and listens to develop awareness for client needs; avocates and build trust and creates lasting partnerships. 

3. Delivery: The ability to get things done; drives for continuous improvement of business results and sustainable growth; meets goals and timelines for team deliverables, understands responsibilities and expectations


Interested individual consultants must submit the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualifications. (Note: the system does not allow multiple uploads of documents. Applicants must make sure to upload all documents in one PDF file).

All applications must contain the following information:

  1. Duly accomplished Letter of Confirmation of Interest and Availability;
  2. Personal CV or P11, indicating all past experience from similar projects, as well as the contact details (email and telephone number) of the Candidate and the names of at least three (3) professional references (e-mail addresses, telephone numbers);
  3. Brief description of why the individual considers him/herself as the most suitable for the assignment, and a methodology, if applicable, on how they will approach and complete the assignment.
  4. Signed Financial proposal for the assignment outlining: All-inclusive fee (including professional fees and?other professional expenses, such as housing, insurance, taxes, etc.). Available at?

If an Offeror is employed by an organization/company/institution, and he/she expects his/her employer to charge a management fee in the process of releasing him/her to UNCApplications will be rated on both technical and financial submissions. The following selection method will be used: Highest rated proposal using the combined scoring method, which assigns the weight distribution between the technical and financial proposals. The overall combined score will be 100 points, where weight distribution shall be 70% technical (30% desk review + 40% interview) and 30% financial.DF under Reimbursable Loan Agreement (RLA), the Offeror must indicate at this point, and ensure that all such costs are duly incorporated in the financial proposal submitted to UNCDF.


Applications will be rated on both technical and financial submissions. The following selection method will be used: Highest rated proposal using the combined scoring method, which assigns the weight distribution between the technical and financial proposals. The overall combined score will be 100 points, where weight distribution shall be 70% technical (30% desk review + 40% interview) and 30% financial.

Step I: Screening:

Applications will be screened and only applicants meeting the following minimum criteria (listed under education and experience) will progress to the pool for shortlisting:

  • Master’s Degree in Communications, Political Sciences, Public Information, International Relations is required.
  • Minimum of 4-years’ experience in Communications and Community engagement.
  • Experience in developing creative communication strategies
  • Experience in conceptualizing community engagement plans
  • Proven experience in designing communications products and using fundraising tools.
  • Proven experience in taking photographs or filming video which are of professional quality.
  • Prior working experience with Local authorities, UN or with an international nongovernmental organization;?
  • Fluency in both French and English

Step II: Shortlisting by Desk Review (100 points)

UNCDF will conduct a desk review process to shortlist and technically evaluate candidates as per the following criteria:

  • Education (20 points):
    • Master’s Degree in Communications, Political Sciences, Public Information, International Relations is required.
  • Experience (50 points):
    • A minimum of 4 years of relevant experience in:
      • Developing creative communication strategies. This involves communications plans which includes a timeline of key communications products, a set of targets and channels, alongside a strong monitoring and evaluation protocol. (15 points)
      • Conceptualizing and executing community engagement plans (15 points)
      • Taking photographs or filming video which are of professional quality (10 points)
      • Organizing key events (workshops, conferences, field visits, etc). (10 points)
  • Additional Competencies (20 points):
    • Demonstrates ability to (10 points):
      • Use graphic design and video/photo editing software packages as well as web-based management systems;
      • Manage social media accounts;
    • Basic Knowledge of (10 points):
      • UNCDF mandate/mission;
      • Local Development Practice area. This includes good understanding of key actors, opportunities and challenges;
      • Resources Mobilization is a plus.
  • Language (10 points):
    • Fluency in both French and English

As applicable, only the first top 3-4 ranked applicants achieving minimum 70 points shall be invited for an interview.

Step III: Technical interviews

A competency-based Interview shall be conducted with the top three or four candidates who score the highest in Step II (minimum of 70 points). Candidates will be tested on the same key work areas, in greater depth, with the same weighting, namely:

  • Relevant experience
  • Communications technical skills
  • Understanding of the organization/mission

Only candidates obtaining a minimum of 70% on the total of Step II: Desk Review and Step III: Interview will be considered as technically qualified and will be reviewed further for financial evaluation.

Step IV: Financial Evaluation:

The following formula will be used to evaluate financial proposal:

Lowest priced proposal/price of the proposal being evaluated x 30%.

Step V: Award Criteria:

The contact shall be awarded to the applicant whose offer have been evaluated and determined as:

  • Responsive/compliant/acceptable vis-à-vis the requirements of the TOR and the project operating environment; and
  • Having received the highest score out of a pre-determined set of weighted technical (70%) and financial (30%) criteria.

Both individual consultants and individual employed by a company or institution are welcome to apply.

Any individual employed by a company or institution who would like to submit an offer in response to a Procurement Notice for IC must do so in their individual capacity (providing a CV so that their qualifications may be judged accordingly).

Women candidates or women-owned businesses are strongly encouraged to apply.

UNCDF is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.