Communications Officer

Geneva, Switzerland 🇨🇭

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), which is hosted by UNOPS, works to improve the lives of poor people by increasing access to sanitation. WSSCC enhances collaboration among sector agencies and professionals around sanitation and water supply and contributes to the broader goals of poverty eradication, health and environmental improvement, gender equality and long-term social and economic development. Its activities are structured in three programme areas: Networking & Knowledge Management, Advocacy & Communications and the Global Sanitation Fund. The consultancy is placed within the Advocacy & Communications programme.

The Advocacy and Communications Department promotes global and national efforts by members and partners to ensure that the issues of sanitation, hygiene and water supply are firmly on the international political agenda. The department’s main functions are the following: 1 Global Advocacy, Partnerships and Public Affairs; 2 Event Engagement; 3 Corporate and Resource Mobilisation Communications; 4 Advocacy and Communications Support to National and Regional Engagement; 5 Development and Production of Print and Audio-visual Materials, and 6 Media Relations, Marketing, Online Communications and Outreach to External and Internal Audiences.

The Department provides dedicated communications supported for WSSCC’s various programmes and activities, including the Global Sanitation Fund. The GSF aims to fund sanitation programmes in up to 25 countries most in need of improved sanitation. It is currently active in thirteen, with preparation activities in a further four, and spending $20-$30 million per year.

UNOPS is the Fund Manager for WSSCC’s multi-donor Global Sanitation Fund (GSF), established in 2008 to improve access to safe sanitation and hygiene in 13 countries, as of 2016. GSF’s donors are currently Australia, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland. GSF works with implementing partners (IPs) such as international NGOs, national NGOs, United Nations agencies, international organizations, and the private sector. For more details, please go

Functional Responsibilities

Under the direct supervision of the Programme Manager, Advocacy and Communications, and in close collaboration with the GSF Programme Director, and in accordance with UNOPS policies, procedures and practices, the GSF Senior Communications and Brand Officer will have the following key functions:

Key functions:

·         Develop and implement an external communication strategy for GSF, setting out the key communications challenges faced by GSF and how these will be addressed. The strategy will include: how key communication issues relating to GSF will be identified; how messages will be developed and agreed; channels of communication among stakeholders; resource needs for communication activities; communications risk management; a monitoring and evaluation framework for communication activities.

·         Communicate GSF’s work, including its activities and results, to a wide range of stakeholders through appropriate channels. This includes:

o    producing GSF’s flagship communications products, its annual and semi-annual reports by: planning and coordinating all contributions to the report (both long and highlights versions), writing sections of the report, editing the overall report, producing both English and Myanmar language versions in a timely manner

o    contributing to the organization of learning events to showcase GSF and its partners

o    organizing report launches and knowledge-sharing events

o    preparing informative material on GSF-funded projects for use by WSSCC’s resource mobilisation team, donors, media and other stakeholders

o    identifying and obtaining feature stories, video, photography and other materials to support GSF and global advocacy efforts

o    ensuring easy web-based access to information about GSF: on GSF policies, WSSCC Steering Committee decisions, results, implementing partner details, types of actions funded, focus areas, grant allocation, funding possibilities and sharing of GSF beneficiary stories

o    ensuring effective use of tools of mass communication and social media

o    Supporting international days with events and materials

·         Lead coordination of all communications activities between the Advocacy and Communications Department and the Senior Programme Officer – GSF Learning and Documentation, and GSF Media and Communications Officer.

·         Support the GSF in ensuring that monitoring and evaluation evidence is used effectively to inform programme and policy development.

o    developing communication and knowledge sharing materials and maintain networks for the dissemination of results, good practice and lessons, based on evidence gathered from GSF implementing partners, studies and other research activities

o    preparing material needed for workshops, seminars, briefings organised by the GSF Programme Director

·         Support the GSF Advisory Committee in key communication tasks, including:

o    ensuring that succinct and accurate minutes are taken of all Advisory Committee meetings

o    ensuring key Advisory Committee, or WSSCC Steering Committee decisions, are communicated effectively to the Programme Director, implementing partners, government and other stakeholders

o    providing good quality monthly updates of GSF activities to the Advisory Committee and Donor constituency

o    providing Steering Committee, donor missions or media visits with high-quality briefing kits before each visit

 ·         Ensure appropriate visibility for GSF and its donors with all stakeholders. This includes:

o    creating and implementing visibility guidelines

o    ensuring that the contributions from donors and the role of UNOPS in GSF are given appropriate coverage and visibility in all publications, promotional activities (e.g. print/media, audio/video, etc.) and on the website

o    providing accurate information to the local press including press statements

o    ensuring rapid co-ordination of responses to questions and queries raised about GSF

o    ensuring appropriate use by the GSF and implementing partners of the GSF logo and the logos of all donors to GSF

·         Assess the communications materials of GSF partners to ensure that they are appropriate and relevant to the communities in which they are used.

Other duties as assigned by the Programme Manager, Advocacy and Communications, in support of the Department’s five work streams identified above


Master degree in communication, media studies, journalism, development studies, international or public relations. A Bachelor’s degree in similar fields combined with 2 years’ additional relevant experience will be accepted in lieu of the Master’s degree


Minimum of 7 years with a Master’s degree or 9 years with a Bachelor degree of relevant working experience in  Fund- and Development-related communications is required

Experience in one of WSSCC’s key regions – Southeast Asia, South Asia, East Africa, or West Africa is required.

Proven ability to write excellent reports, policy briefs, grant proposals and other documents for technical and non-technical audiences, is  required

Experience in advising professional colleagues on advocacy and communications issues is  required

Experience in developing and implementing communications plans and programmes is required

Excellent presentation skills are required 


Strong interpersonal communication, facilitation and advocacy skills, both oral and written

Previous work and a sound understanding of field of communications

Ability to defend and explain difficult and complex issues to a diverse range of stakeholders

Ability to conceptualize and convey strategic vision, adapted to a  changing external environment

Ability to establish good working relationships with a diversity of stakeholders

Ability to work with minimal supervision in a complex political environment

Sensitivity to culture, gender and local environment

Willingness to undertake regular field visits in difficult conditions

Ensuring the effective use of resources


Fluency in both written and spoken English is required
Contract type, level and duration

Contract type: International Individual Contractor Agreement (I-ICA)
Contract level: I-ICA 3
Contract duration: 1 year

For more details about the ICA contractual modality, 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.