Communications and Partnership Specialist (UN Job Vacancies) at United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Background and Organizational Context

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.

As Uganda’s partner of choice for development knowledge sharing, building and strengthening national capacities, UNDP continues to ensure that the achievement of the new global Agenda 2030 and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) remains a key item on the national agenda. Although priorities have evolved over the years, UNDP’s commitment to Uganda continues to be to empower lives and build a resilient nation.

Under the leadership, guidance and direct supervision of the Resident Representative, and the day to day supervision of the Deputy Resident Representative, the Communications and Partnerships Specialist will work with the Senior Management to spearhead the Country Office (CO) overall efforts to support Uganda’s Vision 2040, accelerate the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) during the decade of action, the third National Development Plan (NDP III: 2020/21-2024/25), the UN Sustainable Development Framework (UNSCDF) and UNDP’s new Country Programme Document (2021-2025).

In particular, s/he will support building trust and maintaining effective internal and external donor relations, strategic advocacy and partnership development, strategic communications and communication for development (C4D); and facilitating knowledge building and knowledge sharing.

The Specialist will contribute substantively to UNDP’s strategic engagements with development partners, both bilateral and multilateral, to boost UNDP Uganda’s resource mobilization. S/he will undertake strategic donor intelligence and build and sustain strategic partnerships with Development Partners, Private Sector, Civil Society, and within the UN system. The Specialist will also support the development, regular updating and implementation of the CO partnerships and resource mobilization strategy, tools and procedures.

Duties and Responsibilities

Strategic Communication and Communication for Development (C4D)

  • Define and maintain standard internal and external communications processes, methodologies and guidance documents in line with UNDP corporate standards;
  • Support implementation of the Country Office Partnerships and Communication Action Plan (PCAP);
  • Guide the work of consultants related to all communication and creative products such as web design, films, social media products, infographics, publication design, etc;
  • Support coordination and management of all country office publication activities, including content management, editing, norms for publishing, design, liaison with printers and other suppliers to oversee production and supervision of publications dissemination;
  • Provide well-reasoned innovative suggestions and approaches to address communications issues including documenting country office programme undertakings such as field visits;
  • Support the collection, collation and analysis of information on country office projects and programmes for dissemination to interested development partners, government, media and the general public.

 Strategic Advocacy and Partnership Development

  • Manage and coordinate relationships with key partners; provide technical inputs to senior;
  • Set and monitor annual priorities, goals and key performance indicators (KPIs) for CO partnerships;
  • Provide strategic advice on building and maintaining partnerships and positioning with potential donors;
  • Advise on the design and implementation of effective strategies and methods for proactive and strategic targeting of partners and donors;
  • Develop, nurture, and maintain an extensive network of partners within Uganda including diplomatic representations, civil society, think tanks, academia, non-governmental organizations, civil society, think tanks, the private sector, relevant media, UN Agencies.

Build Trust and Maintain Effective Internal and External Donor Relations

  • Analyze donor trends in the UNDP funding landscape;
  • Provide technical support to the Representative and other senior managers in the preparation of missions, meetings and other consultations with donors, including the preparation of notes, briefs and other materials;
  • Analyze donors’ external and internal policies and financial instruments that impact on Uganda and the wider Sub-Saharan African region and pro-actively advise senior management of crucial developments, risks and opportunities;
  • Represent UNDP Uganda in donor engagements and working groups and serve as UNDP’s contact point for engagement with the donor institutions;
  • Promote UNDP Uganda work and its profile within the UN Development System, showcasing country office best practices that support maximizing development results, and in strengthening the institutional partnership between UNDP and all the donors;
  • Design and develop strategic products and initiatives to leverage funding opportunities and identify, map, and engage on key entry points for various donor funding cycles;
  • Undertake ad-hoc donor studies, research, in-depth analysis of donor-specific ODA trends, political and economic developments, aid policies, practices and budget allocations in specific donor countries to identify funding opportunities; update the resources mobilization strategy as needs emerge;
  • Identify concrete opportunities for joint programmatic and other activities with donor’s institutions; stimulate and support the development of a programmatic portfolio, including through leveraging relevant UNDP Uganda/RBA corporate products;
  • Coordinate the submission of high quality and timely reports to Donors: Maintain systems to promote compliance with the terms of grants and agreements, across the region; Provide technical support to programme managers for the preparation of high quality and timely donor reports; and Coordinate with the Monitoring and Reporting Analyst for the collection of information and preparation of results-based reports for external constituencies.

Knowledge Management

  • Contribute to the development of knowledge products and mechanisms to effectively position UNDP Uganda;
  • Share knowledge and enhance organizational learning in UNDP Uganda on partnership building and resource mobilization;
  • Organize and conduct trainings on Resource Mobilization and partnerships building in the Country Office;
  • Monitor emerging issues that could affect partnerships and resource contributions at the national or regional levels (risk management);
  • Contribute to knowledge networks and communities of practice;
  • Regularly organize meetings and engagements to foster mutual knowledge and experience between UNDP and Donors;
  • In close cooperation with the Communications team prepare, update and systematically disseminate relevant informational materials, actively promote visibility products and campaigns, contribute to disseminating project results to Donors and other strategic partners in government and private sector, including by use of social media;
  • Formulate, initiate and develop capacity-building efforts in the Country Office on Donors reporting, on all aspects of Donor-UNDP cooperation (policies, programmes, projects, visibility); develop, coordinate and deliver Country Office training programmes in relevant areas;
  • Develop and implement a strategy for UNDP policy dialogue, outreach and resource mobilization with the Donors in close cooperation with the RBA Directorate and the Strategy and Partnerships Team.       

Institutional Arrangement

The Communications and Partnership Specialist will directly report to the Partnerships, Communication and Resource Mobilization Team Leader.

Core competencies

  • Achieve Results:  Level 3: Set and align challenging, achievable objectives for multiple projects, have lasting impact
  • Think Innovatively: Level 3: Proactively mitigate potential risks, develop new ideas to solve complex problems
  • Learn Continuously: Level 3: Create and act on opportunities to expand horizons, diversify experiences
  • Adapt with Agility: Level 3: Proactively initiate and champion change, manage multiple competing demands
  • Act with Determination: Level 3: Think beyond immediate task/barriers and take action to achieve greater results
  • Engage and Partner: Level 3: Political savvy, navigate complex landscape, champion inter-agency collaboration
  • Enable Diversity and Inclusion: Level 3: Appreciate benefits of diverse workforce and champion inclusivity

Cross-Functional & Technical competencies

  • Advocacy strategy and implementation: Ability to create and implement advocacy strategies which lead to impactful change
  • Brand & quality management: Ability to position a UNDP brand and uphold it to a high level of quality
  • Emerging partnerships: Ability to engage with emerging partners, develop and manage a strategy and develop approaches to developing and managing these new strategic partnerships
  • Strategic engagement: Ability to capture and sustain attention, interest and agreement of high-level, influential policy and decision makers and secure their buy-in of high-level vision and objectives
  • UN policy knowledge: ethics Knowledge and understanding of the UN Staff Regulations and Rules and other policies relating to ethics and integrity

Required Skills and Experience


  • Master’s degree in Communication, Journalism, Public Policy or relevant field.
  • Bachelor’s degree in related fields with additional years of qualifying experience will be given due consideration in lieu of the advanced degree.


  • Minimum five years (Master’s degree) or seven years (Bachelor’s degree) of relevant professional experience in communication/partnership building, including at the country-level;
  • Experience in strategy development and donor and UN partnerships/public relations at the international level; specialized experience in development financing and/or South-South cooperation an asset;
  • Experience in design and implementation of UN/UNDP communications policies and procedures;
  • Track record of successful engagement and direct experience of strategic engagement with the donors;
  • Demonstrated expertise in donor engagement and development cooperation;
  • Demonstrated track record in communication for development (C4D) and strategic advocacy and communications of country programmes;  
  • Outstanding analytical capability, ability to position UNDP politically and
  • strategically, and knowledge and competency to shape corporate policy;
  • Proven oral and written communications skills and demonstrated presentation and facilitation skills;
  • Strong teamwork, and proven ability to work in a complex multi-cultural environment;
  • Very strong initiative-taker. Capacity to move complex processes forward to achieve articulated results, work at varying levels and on different projects simultaneously (personal organization, and ability for multi-tasking). Ability to work under pressure, and to live comfortably with change;
  • Superior networking capability, paired with strong interpersonal and diplomatic skills; substantive ability and presence to represent UNDP, as well as to interact effectively with senior management and with other units around results; and
  • Supervisory skills and experience; ability to work as part of a team in a constantly evolving work environment.


  • Fluency in both written and spoken English is required.

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