Communications Advisor (External Relations) (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, there is a specific need to support UN Global Pulse’s external communications framework and implementation, alongside launch of external facing products and platforms. With the upcoming launch of UN Global Pulse’s new website, visual identity and brand design and other major external-facing projects in the next twelve months, we require a specialist to support the strategic development and implementation of on-going external communications outputs and strategy.

The Communications Advisor (External Relations) 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 others across the network. The Communications Advisor (External Relations) will be responsible for the following:

Creative Communications and Design Portfolio: External Communications Framework and Ongoing Deliverable Support

  • Support the design and implementation of UN Global Pulse’s External Communications Framework which includes defining external communications objectives, the development of key messages, strategic communication tactics, outlining the team’s preferred channels / platforms, identifying key audiences and outlining measures of success;
  • Support and undertake interviews, feedback sessions and opportunities for colleagues to provide insight on how best to align and implement the UN Global Pulse External Communications Framework to local contexts;
  • Advise and develop opportunities for UN Global Pulse to engage with relevant media and communication formats to better amplify the organization’s impact and on-going collaborations;
  • Advise and develop strategies for the External Communications Framework to be implemented through regional lenses including adapting workflows, platforms and tools of engagement for a network-wide approach;
  • Support the implementation and roll out of large externally facing creative products and milestones such as Global Pulse’s new website and visual identity;
  • Advise the Creative Communications team on the structure of the Creative Communications team – identifying skills gaps and possible opportunities that support a long-term vision of the team;
  • Advise and support wider Creative Communications research activities, outputs, products and processes, as required;
  • Advise and support on how to best capture information, data and insights on the creative communications, in collaboration with Global Pulse’s MEL Specialist.

Monitoring and Progress Controls

The selected candidate will be working on a retainer basis. The Communications Advisor (External Relations) will meet regularly with the Creative Specialist to outline ongoing deliverables and ensure that projects and engagements have realistic deadlines and workflows.

In coordination with the Creative Specialist, the Communications Advisor (External Relations) will report on progress to ensure the timely deliverables of the agreed outputs. The Communications Advisor (External Relations) is expected to exercise flexibility in the assignment regarding the potential of dynamically changing delivery requirements.

 Education/Experience/Language requirements



a) Education:  

  • Advanced University degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) preferably in communications, social sciences, political science, design or in a field related to the role is required.
  • A first-level university degree (Bachelor’s degree) with 2 years of additional relevant experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

b) Work Experience:

Required Experience:

  • A minimum of (7) years of progressive experience in one or a combination the following: creative communications, external relations, public relations and / or journalism.
  • Experience in developing and implementing communications and / or brand strategies for the United Nations, international institutions, movements and / or NGOs.
Desirable: The following experience is optional. Candidates who do not have it are welcome to apply

  • Experience in developing global strategies to manage internal communication workflows across different continents, languages and teams;
  • Experience in media engagement and relationship management for global communications teams;
  • Experience in developing external relations products such as videos, campaigns, press releases, multimedia material and other external-facing products for specific audiences;
  • Experience in how to manage global communications teams and building structures for collaboration and localized approaches;
  • Experience in how to monitor, analyse and build strategic frameworks for measuring the impact of communications outputs and products.

c) Language:

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


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