Communications Specialist

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Background
The Malawi Government, through an Act of Parliament, established the National Planning Commission in 2017 as an independent public entity to serve as a “think tank” that would principally spearhead the crafting of long and medium-term national development plans as well as coordinate their implementation. The National Planning Commission (NPC) has now provided a permanent home for the national development planning function in Malawi and will foster consistency, continuity and commitment to the prioritization of the national development plans beyond sitting government’s tenure of office. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Malawi is working with the National Planning Commission (NPC) to provide upstream policy advisory services as well as technical and financial support aimed at enhancing effective development planning, implementation and monitoring. As part of its support to the Commission, UNDP intends to engage the services of a Communications Specialist to support NPC to achieve its mandate by supporting the implementation of the Commission’s communication, public outreach and branding strategy.

Duties and Responsibilities
Under the supervision of the UNDP’s Senior Economic Advisor, and direction of the Director General- National Planning Commission (NPC) the key highlights of the position of Communications Specialist are as follows:

  • Develop and manage the successful implementation of the Commission’s communication, public outreach and branding strategy as well as communication/branding activities to support achievement of the Commission’s mandate.
  • Innovate effective branding, communication, advocacy strategies and public outreach activities to support the organization’s resource mobilization efforts.
  • Identify and establish opportune events, networks, partners that provide the Commission the platform to participate and contribute to debates on key development issues.
  • Manage the strategic communication ‘calendar’ that anticipates and create opportunities for the Commission’s engagement to build relationships and further organizational goals,
  • Provide support during High Level Forums, Special Events to ensure that the events are well covered with a view of reaching all the target audiences.
  • Support officers of the Commission in packaging and articulating strategies for building partnerships with various partners (state and non-state; local and international).
  • Establish communication activities to strategically position the Commission by identifying effective communication channels and appropriate audiences through planned activities and media strategies (press conferences, interviews and other special speaking opportunities and events).
  • Package a market value proposition for the Commission and disseminate this to key audiences, potential clients including donors and partners.
  • Work with local, national and international media outlets and cultivate relationships with reporters, bloggers, editors and other media professionals to publicize and communicate the Commission’s mandate and strategic priorities.
  • Formulate and manage social media platforms to increase continuous engagement of the Commission with stakeholders.
  • Oversee the development, maintenance and continuous improvement of the Commission’s website using best practices.
  • Oversee the drafting, production and dissemination of information materials, multimedia products (photo galleries, videos, and audio materials).
  • Identify, build and maintain partnerships through networking and pro-active collaboration with the media, academia, pan-African organizations, and journalists to promote NPC’s achievements, key priorities, success stories. Build the capacity of junior communication officers to be recruited by the commission including other officers that would have a strong link to the communication-related functions of the NPC.

Competencies
Core Competencies

Innovation (Ability to make new and useful ideas work)
Adept with complex concepts and challenges convention purposefully

Leadership (Ability to persuade others to follow)
Generates commitment, excitement and excellence in others

People Management (Ability to improve performance and satisfaction)
Models independent thinking and action

Communication (Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform)
Synthesizes information to communicate independent analysis

Delivery (Ability to get things done while exercising good judgement)
Meets goals and quality criteria for delivery of products or services

Technical/Functional Competencies

  • Outstanding oral and written communication and presentation skills, with demonstrated skills in the development of print, online and broadcast information, communication material, documentation and publication,
  • Excellent professional proficiency of English language (fluency in written and spoken Chichewa will be an added advantage),
  • Having a positive mind-set, motivation and enthusiasm on spearheading a ‘wealth creation for all’ agenda,
  • Exceptional planning and organizing skills,
  • Must be good at teamwork and collaboration,
  • Should respect organizational, intercultural and ethical values,
  • Should be motivated towards Learning and Innovation,
  • Have strong communication skills, ability to analyze, negotiate and resolve issues both orally and in writing,
  • Ability to handle large volumes of assignments accurately and thoroughly while balancing multiple agendas.

Required Skills and Experience

  • Advanced university degree (Masters Degree) in Communication, Journalism, Public Relations, Marketing or related field.
  • At least 5 years experience in branding and communications with an established track record and portfolio in communications, public out-reach, branding, web management and social media skills.
  • English proficiency is required

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