Communications Officer, Colombo, Sri Lanka

Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme

Country: Sri Lanka

City: Colombo, Sri Lanka

Office: UNDP Sri Lanka

Closing date: Friday, 11 September 2020

Job ID: 32436


Vacancy End Date: (Midnight New York, USA) 11/09/2020

Duty Station: Colombo, Sri Lanka

Education & Work Experience: G-Bachelor’s Level Degree - 3 year(s) experience, I-Master’s Level Degree - 0 year(s) experience

Languages: English

Sinhala, Tamil

Grade: SB4

Vacancy Type: Service Contract (SC)

Posting Type: External

Bureau: Asia & the Pacific

Contract Duration: One year with a possibility of extension

Open for Sri Lankan Nationals only.

The shortlisted candidates only will be informed of the next steps of the recruitment process.


UN Women, grounded in the vision of equality enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, works for the elimination of discrimination against women and girls; the empowerment of women; and the achievement of equality between women and men as partners and beneficiaries of development, human rights, humanitarian action and peace and security.

The UN Women Sri Lanka office is aligned to the UN Women Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific. It focuses on six priority areas: increasing women’s leadership and participation; ending violence against women; engaging women in all aspects of peace and security processes; enhancing women’s economic empowerment; making gender equality central to national development planning and budgeting; and supporting inter-governmental processes, such as the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) and CEDAW review processes.

Reporting to the Country Focal Point/Programme Analyst, the Communications Officer is responsible for assisting in the planning and implementation of the Office communications and advocacy strategies to increase the standing and awareness of UN Women with partners, the media and the public.

The Communications Officer works in close collaboration with the Programme, Operations and technical teams in the SL PPO, HQ/Regional communications teams, staff of other UN Agencies, Government officials, media, multilateral and bilateral donors and civil society.

Duties and Responsibilities

Plan and design communication and outreach/advocacy strategies and plans

Prepare and conduct communication needs assessments for the SL PPO, including projects, programmes and corporate change initiatives;
Analyze requirements and synthesize proposals for elaboration of communication strategies; ensure gender perspective;
Integrate communication, advocacy and outreach strategies into proposals for project/programmes and other initiatives;
Monitor and analyze print and social media and draft reports;
Coordinate in-country UN Women/ UN system corporate and local campaigns and special events;
Represent UN Women in the UN Communications Group and support the development and implementation of joint UN advocacy initiatives on GEWE.

Coordinate and implement the development and dissemination of advocacy materials in the country

Develop and produce communication instruments and materials, including briefing materials, press releases, and drafts of articles, and manage its dissemination;
Identify and propose information opportunities, activities, approaches and platforms and partners;
Promote and disseminate corporate advocacy materials for launching flagship initiatives, publications, and campaigns;
Manage the translation/adaption/rewriting of information received, printing and dissemination of publications and audio-visual materials;
Follow guidelines from HQ and RO.

Coordinate media relations for the SL PPO

Manage relationships with press in country; maintain and update database of relevant press;
Respond to a variety of inquiries and information requests; prepare related correspondence;
Organize roundtable discussions, press conferences, and briefing sessions for press, as required;
Draft talking points.

Build and maintain partnerships and maintain relations with donors

Identify and develop new communication partnerships and alliances to enhance visibility;
Liaise with advocacy partners and undertake outreach to civil society organizations, governments, and other groups to ensure that newsworthy information reaches the public and donors;
Provide inputs to packages for programme initiatives for donor review.

Maintain the PPO’s web/ online presence

Develop content for RO website (such as human interest stories, photo essays etc.), including innovative platforms/tools;
Support the management of dedicated websites developed for the NAP on WPS and the G7+ Working Group on WPS;
Develop content for RO’s social media accounts in line with corporate social media policy;
Coordinate with the RCO to amplify UN Women content (global, regional and local, as required) on UN Sri Lanka website and social media platforms;
Upload information to knowledge management system on a regular basis, including news, updates, and resources.

Facilitate knowledge building and sharing

Identify and synthesize best practices and lessons learned directly linked to programme country goals and activities;
Provide training and workshops on communication and advocacy, as appropriate.

Key Performance Indicators

Quality inputs and analysis into the communications strategy for the office

Timely monitoring of current events and trends

Quality and relevant advocacy materials and content

Timely coordination to update website and available social media platforms

Timely dissemination of materials as shown by knowledge of UN Women’s activities in country

Regular interactions with mass media, as shown by coverage


Core Values

Tags content development current events development planning empowerment of women gender perspective graphic design human rights journalism knowledge management mass media media relations needs assessment peace and security press releases public relations sri lanka translation violence against women women and girls

Respect for Diversity



Core Competencies

Awareness and Sensitivity Regarding Gender Issues


Creative Problem Solving

Effective Communication

Inclusive Collaboration

Stakeholder Engagement

Leading by Example

Functional Competencies

Ability to communicate sensitively, effectively and creatively across different constituencies

Good knowledge of web-based knowledge management systems

Strong understanding and skills in production, graphic design and photography standards

Good knowledge of social media platforms and experience in social media outreach

Good knowledge of local country media landscape

Excellent communication, presentation, networking and advocacy skills

Ability to be strategic and analytical

Knowledge of gender and human rights issues desirable

Ability to work within a diverse team as well as carry out tasks independently;
Strong planning and organizing skills with ability to identify priority activities and assignments and to use time efficiently;
Strong problem-solving skills;
Ability to take decisions and manage political/cultural sensitivities;
Proficient IT skills.

Required Skills and Experience

Education and certification

Master’s degree (or equivalent) in communications, public relations, journalism or relevant field is required

A first-level university degree in combination with three additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.


At least 3 years of professional work experience at national or international level in public relations, communications or advocacy;
Experience in media relations is an asset;
Experience in the use of social media;
Experience in graphic design (Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop or other relevant software) is an advantage;
Experience in high-quality content development;
Experience in developing and rolling out of advocacy campaigns;
Familiarity with the UN system and UN Women’s advocacy on GEWE is desirable.

Language Requirements

Fluency in English and Sinhala/Tamil is required;
Working knowledge of another UN official working language is an asset.


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.

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