Communications Specialist

United Nations Human Settlements Programme, Nairobi, Kenya

Skill Required:, Media and Communication
Preferred Experience: 
Above 10 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
10th May, 2021

Job Description


The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) is the United Nations agency responsible for urbanization and human settlements and mandated by the UN General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities.

The World Urban Forum (WUF) is a non-legislative technical forum which has been convened by UN-Habitat biannually since 2002. The forum gathers a wide range of experts from every walk of life. Participants in the Forum include but are not limited to national, regional and local governments, non-governmental organizations, community-based organizations, professional, research institutions and academia, professional, private sector, development finance institutions, foundations, media, United Nations organizations and other international agencies. The WUF is recognized as the foremost global arena for interaction among policymakers, local government leaders, non-governmental organizations and expert practitioners in the field of sustainable urban development and human settlements. The WUF has been identified as a key platform to support implementation of the New Urban Agenda (NUA) adopted at the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III conference). The WUF provides opportunities for stakeholder organizations of all kinds to come together to share the latest in innovative advances in sustainable urban development and projects showcasing the implementation of the NUA.

In the run to the Eleventh Session of the World Urban Forum (WUF11) in Katowice Poland in 2022, the WUF Coordination Office seeks a communications specialist to work on its media outreach, promotion and communications activities anchored within UN-Habitat’s Communications and Advocacy strategies and initiatives.



  • Manage the strategic growth of WUF’s global audiences through various media channels; develop strategic partnerships with key traditional and hybrid media outlets to ensure coverage of WUF related activities, projects and themes; create and maintain networks, including new media partners, of high-level international communications contacts across traditional and online media, governmental agencies, international institutions and other groups and organizations in civil society
  • Develop and maintain networks with journalists and media practitioners and work with them to increase media coverage in the lead up to WUF11, relevant topics and the event itself
  • Act as the focal point of WUF communications in consultation with the WUF Coordination Office and Head of UN-Habitat's communication to develop press releases, backgrounders, newsletters, Q&A briefings etc. This could include working on multi-media outputs for radio, podcasts, video and web-based platforms.
  • Identify global forums and events on relevant issues regarding human settlements, draw up and maintain a communications calendar and foster partnerships that will support and advance the work of WUF by monitoring and analyzing current events, public opinion and press, identifying issues and trends and advising the WUF Coordinator on appropriate action/responses.
  • In consultation with the WUF Coordinator, the Head of Communications and other key staff within UN-Habitat, prepare and draft speeches, OpEds, statements and report forewords that promote the WUF brand while anchoring it to UN-Habitat’s mandate
  • Develop promotional materials and coordinate the distribution in online and offline channels
  • Develop media and website contents on WUF11 and its related events and activities to be shared and uploaded.


  • Mobilize stakeholders and partners to amplify awareness and interest on WUF11.
  • Assist UN-Habitat projects and programmes to identify their target audiences for the WUF and develop communication plans and activities.
  • Perform media outreach functions and promote media coverage related to specific stakeholder groups such as the Private Sector and Civil Society Organizations. This could include targeted advocacy campaigns, press conferences and briefings, interviews addressing information requests, monitoring and reporting on impact of the coverage and undertaking follow up action etc.


  • Develop and maintain WUF’s digital presence including updating and monitoring social media channels and create lively and attractive contents.
  • Ensuring the WUF website is continually updated with lively, relevant materials related to the theme, programme and other relevant aspects of WUF.
  • Design and develop a strategic marketing plan of WUF to promote and highlight its overall branding by linking WUF identity and values with communications to the global audience.

Qualifications/special skills


  • Advanced University Degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) is required preferably in communications; marketing and international affairs or another related field is required. A first-level university degree in combination with the two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.


  • A minimum of 10 years of progressively responsible work experience in media and strategic communications is required. Experience in event promotion, managing multiple processes and projects in a complex environment and high-profile media coverage (preferably in the United Nations and/or a development agency) is desirable.


  • English and French are the working knowledge of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in oral and written English is required. Knowledge of another UN language is an advantage.


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