Communications Specialist, Home-Based

Organization: FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Country: Home-based

Closing date: Wednesday, 30 September 2020


Communications Specialist

Job Posting: 14/Aug/2020

Closure Date: 30/Sep/2020, 9:59:00 PM

Organizational Unit : SFS

Job Type: Non-staff opportunities

Type of Requisition : Consultant / PSA (Personal Services Agreement)

Grade Level : N/A

Primary Location: Home-Based

Duration : 11 months

Post Number : N/A

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Please note that Closure Date and Time displayed above are based on date and time settings of your personal device

FAO is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender and nationality

People with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply

All applications will be treated with the strictest confidentiality

The incumbent may be re-assigned to different activities and/or duty stations depending on the evolving needs of the Organization

Organizational Setting

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (‚FAO‘ or ‚Organization‘) is an intergovernmental organization with more than 191 member nations. Since its inception in 1945, FAO has worked to alleviate poverty and hunger by promoting agricultural development, improved nutrition and the pursuit of food security. FAO operates at country, sub-regional and regional levels with its headquarters based in Rome.

The FAO Sub-regional Office for Southern Africa (SFS), based in Harare, Zimbabwe, is a subsidiary of the FAO Regional Office for Africa (RAF). The principal function of SFS is the identification, planning and implementation of FAO’s priorities based on the needs of the countries in the sub-region . SFS supports member states in implementing strategies for addressing priorities related to sub-regional food and nutrition security, agriculture and rural development. SFS also plays a very important liaison role to a large number of important development partners based in the subregion.

Reporting Lines

Working under the overall supervision of the FAO Representative for Southern Africa (SFS), the incumbent will work closely with the regional communication team in RAF, and in line with the Office for Corporate Communication (OCC), to ensure compliance with corporate guidelines and regional initiatives.

Technical Focus


Tasks and responsibilities

Develop, maintain and update a communication strategy and workplan, in line with programme priorities and the corporate communications strategy;
Coordinate effective communications activities by FAO communications focal points in countries in the SFS sub-region;
Research and produce communications materials including news releases, human interest stories, newsletter content, brochures, opinion articles and talking points;
Support the production of communications material, such as web stories, by the communications focal points within the sub-region;
Cultivate relations with the media, organise and facilitate media coverage for events, guide media engagement for technical experts;
Monitor and analyse media coverage of current events and public opinion, and alert management to any relevant issues or risks.

Edit texts of a technical nature in order to ensure accuracy, clarity, cohesion and conformity with FAO house-style English, policy and practice;
Manage the FAO Zimbabwe webpage;
Develop and coordinate production of multimedia products (video and radio) in liaison with the Office of Corporate Communication (OCC).

Represent FAO in the UN Communications Group and ensure that FAO’s priorities are reflected;
Lead communications for World Food Day and other campaigns;
Develop a social media strategy for FAO Southern Africa and manage the office’s social media presence in conformity with the corporate guidelines;
Tags agricultural development continuous improvement current events food and nutrition food security journalism knowledge sharing nutrition security programme priorities public opinion rural development southern africa transparency

Ensure visibility of FAO in project partners‘ materials and publications, and provide guidance on the correct use of the FAO logo, in line with corporate guidelines;
Monitor progress and evaluate the results of communication activities to help improve performance.

Perform other related duties as required.


Minimum Requirements

University degree in journalism or communications, or equivalent work experience in the field of communication combined with a university degree in a related discipline.

A minimum work experience of 5 years in communications or related field;
Working knowledge of English and limited knowledge of one of the other FAO languages (French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Russian) for Consultants. Working knowledge of English for PSA.SBS.

FAO Core Competencies

Results Focus



Building Effective Relationships

Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement

Technical/Functional Skills

Experience working in Africa, and ideally southern Africa;
Knowledge of food and nutrition security, and key stakeholders;
Demonstrated ability to communicate ideas clearly and effectively, and to analyse and communicate technical topics and data;
Maturity and ability to work in a team in a dynamic and changing environment.

Please note that all candidates should adhere to FAO Values of Commitment to FAO, Respect for All and Integrity and Transparency


FAO does not charge any fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview, processing)

Please note that FAO will only consider academic credentials or degrees obtained from an educational institution recognized in the IAU/UNESCO list If you are in possession of language certificate/s from UN accredited external providers and/or FAO language official examinations (LPE, ILE, LRT), please attach the certificate/s when submitting the application.

For more information, visit the FAO employment website


To apply, visit the recruitment website at Jobs at FAO and complete your online profile. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Only applications received through the recruitment portal will be considered.

We encourage applicants to submit the application well before the deadline

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