Vacancy announcement
Home-based, with possible travel to Cyprus

Consultant - SDGs & Communication - Expert (senior) level

Vacancy type Consultant/Individual Contractor
Deadline for submission of applications
31 January 2022
Organizational Unit
Strategic Implementation of Agenda 2030 Unit (SIA 2030)
Fees to be defined in accordance with competences and experience of the candidate (payment for the finished product)
Project title:

Implementation and mainstreaming of the SDGs in the national policy framework

Area of Specialization/Thematic Areas:

SDGs, communication, awareness raising and citizen engagement

Overview (quick description of the funded project and its context):

The Strategic Implementation of the 2030 Agenda Unit is part of UNITAR’s Division for Satellite Analysis and Applied Research. The Unit is supporting the holistic and evidence-based implementation of the 2030 Agenda and SDGs through training, learning, advisory services and multi-stakeholder engagement.

As part of a project funded by the European Union, UNITAR is providing support to the Government of Cyprus in mainstreaming the SDGs through its national planning and monitoring processes and governance. Outcome 1 of the project focuses specifically on strengthening governance and coordination and developing a robust strategic framework for the implementation of the SDGs overall and at sector levels with a roadmap for incorporating social and environmental sustainability issues in the development of the new long term sustainable growth strategy. Outcome 2 will support the design of an effective monitoring framework and coordination mechanism for guiding the implementation of SDGs in a transparent and accountable manner. Outcome 3 and 4 will aim to strengthen capacities of civil servants and raise awareness around the SDGs of various stakeholders respectively.

The Outcome 4 will aim to raise awareness of the general public about the SDGs, the national SDG action plan and how they fit into longer-term national and EU policy context and strategic objectives. An emphasis will be placed on improving the understanding of a) related public policy priorities and how exactly they are expected to affect the wellbeing of society in all its dimensions, also in connection with European and global commitments of the country, and b) the ways in which individuals, private sector companies and other organisations can contribute to the implementation of the SDGs agenda in Cyprus.

General objectives of the contract:

Under the supervision of the Senior Specialist, Strategic Implementation of the 2030 Agenda Unit, the consultant will be involved in developing an SDG communication strategy for Cyprus that will be highly actionable with a specific timeline, outputs and indicators. The work will be implemented in direct collaboration with the national SDG coordinator – Director for Sustainable Development of the Directorate-General for European Programmes, Coordination and Development (DGEPCD), Press and Information Office and the Office of the Commissioner for the Citizen.

Responsibilities/description of professional services:

The consultant will more specifically be responsible for:

  1. Holding meetings with DG EPCD ’s Directorate for Sustainable Development, Press and Information Office and the Office of the Commissioner for the Citizen to discuss strategic objectives and other key requirements to define the scope of the SDG communications strategy and the target audiences;
  2. Collecting information and holding 5-6 qualitative interviews to enhance the contextual understanding of the country’s environment in the area of communications, public information and engagement, major communication channels (both traditional and non-traditional media) and styles, key actors and stakeholders, mechanisms, opportunities and challenges at Member State level when it comes to public information dissemination, informal education and awareness raising campaigns, incl. activities at the local level (February 2022);
  3. Undertaking the analysis of the collected information as a basis for key building blocks of the national communication strategy on SDGs (March 2022);
  4. Based on the above analysis, the assessment of good practices from other countries in area of SDG communication and public engagement, incl. innovative methods, for their relevance in the context of Cyprus (April 2022 2022);
  5. Review the national SDG Platform run by the Commissioner for the Citizen and make further suggestions/recommendations, incl. on the potential integration of the data portal;
  6. Develop an initial draft strategy in collaboration with DG EPCD ’s Directorate for Sustainable Development, Press and Information Office and the Commissioner for the Citizen (April 2022);
  7. Update and finalize the strategy based on the comments from DG EPCD, the Government’s Press and Information Office, the Commissioner for the Citizen and DG REFORM (May 2022)
Measurable outputs/deliverables/schedule of deliverables:
  • Short analytical paper with key conclusions on the national context, key stakeholders, mechanisms, opportunities and challenges, incl. those related to digital tools, for national and local level communication and public engagement, recommendations for the strategy based on good practices from other countries and for the SDG platform;
  • Initial draft SDG communication strategy with specific actions, timeline, responsibilities and indicators/targets and that leverages both traditional and non-traditional media and promotes innovative public engagement approaches;
  • Updated SDG communication strategy reflecting feedback from the Government and the supervisor.
Performance Indicators for evaluation of results:
  • Analysis and assessments are thorough and context-sensitive;
  • Content reflects most-up-to-date information and practice;
  • Feedback from the supervisor and the country properly reflected;
  • SDG communications strategy leverages both traditional and non-traditional media and promotes innovative public engagement approaches;
  • Good practices form other countries fit the country’s context;
  • Methodologies are inclusive and emphasize the importance of participation;
  • Reports articulate well key ideas and methodologies, contain all relevant information presented in an easy-to-read or consult manner (e.g., indicator set with targets), contain proper references and reflect well inputs of other experts;
  • SDG communications strategy is actionable, realistic and sufficiently ambitious;
  • Timeliness of deliverables;
  • Collaborative attitude when working with other experts and the coordinating team.
Reporting structure (name of direct supervisor):

The consultant will report to the Senior Specialist, Strategic Implementation of the 2030 Agenda Unit.

  • Professionalism:  Expert level knowledge of strategic communication, public engagement and awareness raising methods at national and local levels. A thorough understanding of the SDGs and experience in SDG communication and public engagement as well as in the development of the communications or public engagement plans and strategies are required. Ability to listen and understand the perspectives of various stakeholders and help them through in the resolution of issues/problems. Good knowledge of new and traditional media, innovative tools and practices in particular in EU countries when it comes to SDG communication. Exercises discretion as required and is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations. Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.
  • Planning & Organizing:  Based on the supervision received from the supervisor, plans work in a manner consistent with the goals and timeline of the project; allocates appropriate amount of time for completing work; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; uses time efficiently.
  • Accountability: Acts in full consultation and in compliance with instructions from the supervisor and takes responsibility for agreed assignments; is accountable and trustworthy; honours commitments by delivering outputs within prescribed time, cost and quality standards; operates in compliance with organizational regulations and rules; and takes personal responsibility for his/her own shortcomings and shares successes with the team where applicable.
  • Teamwork:  Works collaboratively with colleagues (the team and other experts) to achieve organizational goals; is able to coordinate effectively with other experts and team members by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise and providing relevant inputs in tasks where others lead; is willing to learn from others; places team agenda before personal agenda; very good inter-personal skills and a demonstrated capacity to deal with colleagues and counterparts from different backgrounds, and proven ability to function in a multi-cultural and multi-ethnical environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity.
  • Technological Awareness: Keeps abreast of technology development in the area related to non-traditional media as well as online meetings, surveys, communications; and presentation of strategic documents and result frameworks.
  • Communication:  Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; tailors language, tone, style and format to match audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.
Minimum requirements

Minimum 10-15 years of work experience in communications and public engagement, including experience with SDG communications and public engagement and experience with both traditional and non-traditional media. Experience in EU countries is an added advantage.

Languages - Fluency in written and oral English is required.


How to apply

Please submit your application along with a motivation letter as soon as possible after the vacancy has been posted and well before the deadline stated in the vacancy announcement.

Due to the high number of expected applications, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.