Communications Specialist - Consultant

Closing date

Organisation: UNHCR

Title: Communications Specialist

Location: Home Base – 25% time required in Geneva area

Duration: 11 months

Contract Type: Individual consultancy

Closing date: 15 April 2020


In 2016 UNHCR issued its Evaluation Policy and in 2017 an Evaluation Strategy was issued outlining the four pillars of the function- Coverage, Utility, Capacity and Linkages. Communication is one of the approaches the Service has identified as a tool to increase utility and uptake of Evaluations. Evaluation Service is currently developing its global Communications Strategy which will guide its communications approach in disseminating evaluation findings, recommendations and lessons learned.

The global communication function is embedded in the Evaluation Service in UNHCR and the Communications Specialist will be home based, and 25% of the time is required to be in Geneva area. The recruited Communications specialist will work under the supervision of the Senior Evaluation Coordinator in close coordination with Senior Evaluation Officers. S/he will establish technical partnerships with other communications experts in DER and beyond and will ensure coherence with the organizations broader communication strategy. The skilled communications professional will conceive and execute a range of activities (dissemination strategies, stakeholder workshops, multimedia content production, social media engagement and outreach campaigns) as well as promote the evaluation function as a primary tool for learning and accountability both within the Organization, with Member States, partners and other audiences.

All Communications Officers are expected to work strategically in support of UNHCR’s operational and communications objectives for geographic areas as well as global priorities.


  • Develop a plan to operationalize the key dimensions of the Communication Strategy. This should address, inter alia, the key messages, audiences, channels, budget, timeline and a dashboard to track implementation progress.

  • Drive, with support from the Senior Evaluation Coordinator, the implementation of Communications Strategy (under development) for the Evaluation Service, identifying specific situations and special projects; thematic priorities and target audiences to meet Evaluation Service communications objectives.

  • Monitor internal and external communications and popular trends to incorporate evaluation messaging into ongoing conversations; identify key moments for proactive communications.

  • Forge strategic partnerships with individuals and organizations who can help produce and promote evaluation content, activities and messaging as well as provide research insights to improve communications; promote the work of engaged businesses and other stakeholders (eg. Inter-agency collaboration).

  • Contribute to development of an authoritative content to disseminate evaluation findings, recommendations and lessons learned and lead the narrative on the added-value of evaluations (e.g. interviews, flagship reports, stories, multimedia content, digital diplomacy and action-driven campaigns).

  • Research, prepare, fact-check, edit and produce professional media and communications materials for target audiences and ensure their timely dissemination via UNHCR's communications channels, ensuring highest quality standards.

  • Ensure content created reaches maximum impact by developing strategies for distribution from the outset, boosting the visibility of content on relevant internal and external channels.

  • Provide ideas and advice for communications initiatives and professional communications to colleagues in Evaluation Service.

  • Ensure alignment with UNHCR’s global branding and messaging.

  • Closely monitor the implementation of communications projects and adjust accordingly. Benchmark the results of communications projects against set success indicators; build on communications successes.

  • Continually maintain and upgrade communications skills, keeping abreast of emerging platforms and tools, and systematically reviewing media impact results and other measurement tools for learning purposes.

Qualifications and Experiences


  • At least 8 years relevant experience with an Undergraduate degree; or at least 6 years relevant experience with Graduate degree; or 4 years relevant experience with Doctorate degree within the fields(s) of Journalism, International Relations, Political Science, Communications, Public Information, Media Film / Video, or other relevant field.

  • Minimum 4 years of professional experience in journalism and/or communications, mainly at international level.

  • Experience reporting, writing, editing for magazines, newspapers and websites.

  • Experience using digital asset management systems.

  • Experience with measurement and evaluation, especially providing analysis of media coverage, social media engagement, web traffic, etc.

  • Experience developing and implementing communications strategies.

  • Fluency in English and French or Spanish (both written and oral).


  • Experience with digital analytics and performance reporting. Exposure to humanitarian issues related to conflict and displacement – and the main communications channels used by professionals in this area.

Guidelines for submission of proposals

UNHCR is seeking individual applications for the position of Communication Specialist with the composition of skills and experience as outlined in the ‘Essential Skills and Experience’ above. Applicants are requested to submit a motivation letter.

Interested applicants are required to submit a completed UNHCR PHP Form and motivation letter (maximum 2 pages), which includes but is not necessarily limited to:

  • Details of how they meet the ‘Essential Skills and Experience’, including description of past professional experience and evidence of their capacity meet the objectives of this consultancy.

  • Contact details for three references.

UNHCR’s Evaluation Service will contact referees for feedback on services provided by the consultants. Consultants may be asked to provide additional information during the assessment and selection process.


This is a 11 months full time individual consultancy, with the possibility of extension. Payment methods will be on monthly basis and guided by UNHCR’s Policy on Individual Consultancies.

Awarding the contract and payment

Proposals will be assessed on the quality and relevance of consultant qualifications. Short-listed applicants may be requested to participate in a video/ telephone interview, a written exercise, or supply additional references and/or samples of work.

To Apply:

Interested applicants should submit their, completed UNHCR PHP Form and motivation letter with the subject “Last, First Name, Communications Specialist” to:

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS is Midnight Geneva time Wednesday 15 April 2020

How to apply

To Apply:

Interested applicants should submit their, completed UNHCR PHP Form and motivation letter with the subject “Last, First Name, Communications Specialist” to: