Communications Specialist (UX/UI Design) (Retainer)

Website UN Global Pulse


Deadline to apply: 14 August 2023

UNOPS supports partners to build a better future by providing services that increase the efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability of peace building, humanitarian and development projects. Mandated as a central resource of the United Nations, UNOPS provides sustainable project management, procurement and infrastructure services to a wide range of governments, donors and United Nations organizations.

The New York Portfolios Office (NYPO) supports the United Nations Secretariat, as well as other New York-based United Nations organizations, bilateral and multilateral partners in the delivery of UNOPS mandate in project management, infrastructure management, and procurement management.

The Sustainable Development Cluster (SDC) supports diverse partners with their Peacebuilding, humanitarian and development operations. It was formed by combining the following portfolios: Grants Management Services (GMS), UN Technology Support Services (UNTSS), Development and Special Initiatives Portfolio (DSIP). It provides Services to partners’ programmes that are designed, structured, and managed with a global perspective and primarily serving partners that are headquartered in New York. The SDC has a footprint of approximately 125 countries.

UNOPS has signed an agreement with the United Nations to implement the project activities for UN Global Pulse.

UN Global Pulse 

UN Global Pulse is the Secretary-General’s Innovation Lab. We work at the intersection of innovation and the human sciences to inform, inspire, and strengthen the ability of the United Nations family and those it serves to anticipate, respond and adapt to the challenges of today and tomorrow.

Our teams are spread across the world, with hubs in Uganda, Indonesia, Finland and the United States. Drawing on more than a decade of experience with digital innovation in the UN family, UN Global Pulse unites specialists from the digital and social sciences in search of solutions to the world’s most pressing problems, from conflict to climate change.

We aim to reduce the risks that innovation involves and move towards the opportunities. We restore public trust in technology by making it inclusive, accessible and ethical. Our input brings value to the work of the UN and external partners in protecting the vulnerable and defending human rights.

The goals of the UN Global Pulse Network are: i) Support efforts to advance innovations ii) Contribute to the development of global frameworks, and iii) Support the transformation of the UN family.

The incumbent of this position will be personnel of UNOPS under its full responsibility.

 Functional Responsibilities

In May 2022, UN Global Pulse launched its new strategy, now serving as the Secretary-General’s Innovation Lab, and reframing its value-add in the context of the UN system. In light of the bold opportunities outlined within the new strategy and recent recruitments undertaken, UN Global Pulse looks to build out the Creative Communications and Design portfolio extensively to better communicate its work and use creative practices to further drive change and support its mission of innovating for our common future.

The Creative Communications and Design portfolio will serve as a “creative studio” to not only support corporate communications but reimagine how creative and science-based communications can be applied to bridge art and organizational change. The portfolio focuses on three strategic pillars across multiple levels of the system UN Global Pulse operates, including the UN Global Pulse Network, the wider UN system and our ecosystem of partners working to use values-based innovation approaches to catalyse collective action.

The three pillars supporting the Creative Communications and Design portfolio are:

  • Demonstrate the value, lessons learned, and examples of innovation;
  • Build a culture for creative communications and design to drive transformative change;
  • Reimagine and experiment with how we communicate and undertake design activities.

As Global Pulse deepens its work on Creative Communications and Design, it is requested that we increase resources to expand the core Creative Communications and Design team to support wider communications needs of Global Pulse Finland activities and the wider UN Global Pulse network.

As UN Global Pulse seeks to build out this portfolio of work over 2022-2023, there is a specific need to support the development of the portfolio’s digital platforms and online presence. In light of UN Global Pulse’s new strategy and its shift towards transformation across the UN system, significant support is needed to update and reposition the organization’s reputation and brand externally.

The Communications Specialist (UX/UI Design) supports the work of UN Global Pulse under the direct supervision of UN Global Pulse’s Creative Strategy Lead and will work in close collaboration with other teams across the network. The Communications Specialist (UX/UI Design) will be responsible for the following activities:

Creative Communications and Design Portfolio: UX/UI and On-going Web Design Support

  • Support the design and development of UN Global Pulse’s digital strategy for its web presence and undertaking workshops and consultation as needed from the wider team;
  • Manages the user interface design, development of wireframes, back-end and front-end development and overall technical design of UN Global Pulse’s new website;
  • Create touchpoints and feedback sessions throughout the website development process to ensure there is stakeholder buy-in and mutual collaboration;
  • Contribute to the technical support of UN Global Pulse’s web presence, testing and building solutions to on-going requests and technical challenges;
  • Act as a collaborator and thought partner for the Creative Communications and Design portfolio through on-going collaboration and advising on the latest developments in the context of UX/UI, web and digital innovation;
  • Support incremental and on-going changes to the UN Global Pulse website in line with the Accessibility Guides for UN Websites;
  • Ensure that UN Global Pulse’s website is technically up-to-date and provide on-going maintenance as required;
  • Undertake research and action to improve Search Engine Optimization across UN Global Pulse’s website;
  • Coordinates research, design and implementation on how UN Global Pulse can better center accessibility and ecological / sustainability considerations across its digital ecosystem;
  • Produce quarterly reports outlining website analytics, insights and recommendations for UN Global Pulse’s content and digital ecosystem;
  • Produce thought leadership articles, reflection pieces and/or other types of content / stories that provide insight into on-going projects, experiments and lessons learned for the wider UN system;
  • Support, as needed, strategic approaches to other areas of work across the portfolio including emerging technologies, futures-oriented approaches to innovation, digital storytelling, and the latest trends and developments in digital transformation.

Perform other duties as may be reasonably required and in line with the incumbent’s scope of services above.

Monitoring and Progress Controls

The selected candidate will be working on a retainer basis.

The Communications Specialist (UX/UI Design) will meet regularly with the Creative Strategy Lead to outline ongoing deliverables and ensure that projects and engagements have realistic deadlines and workflows.

In coordination with the Creative Strategy Lead, the Communications Specialist (UX/UI Design) will report on progress to ensure the timely deliverables of the agreed outputs. The Communications Specialist (UX/UI Design) is expected to exercise flexibility in the consultancy assignment regarding the potential of dynamically changing delivery requirements.

 Education/Experience/Language requirements


a. Education:

  • A first level university degree (Bachelor’s or equivalent), preferably  in interaction design, service design, user experience design, web development or a related discipline is required
  • A high school diploma or technical professional diploma, in combination with additional years of relevant work experience may be accepted in lieu of a university degree.

b. Work experience: 


  • Minimum of seven (7) years experience in one or more of the following: user experience, design research or interaction design is required.
  • Experience working or collaborating in the context of the UN system or international organizations.

Desirable: The following experience is optional. Candidates who do not have it are welcome to apply

  • Experience in developing and improving digital products and services for a variety of organizations, businesses, brands, and systems.
  • Experience in public sector innovation, social innovation or humanitarian innovation projects.
  • Experience in monitoring and measuring the performance of digital products, websites and other products.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively within a creative team.

C. Language:

  • Fluency in English (write, read, speak) is required.
  • Knowledge of another official United Nations language is an asset.
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