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United Nations recruiting Advocacy and Communication Adviser

Geneva, Switzerland, 24 July 2014


The Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) is a global, multi-stakeholder membership and partnership organization that works with poor people, their organizations, governments and small-scale entrepreneurs to improve sanitation and hygiene at scale. Founded in 1990, the Council maintains a membership of over 4,000 water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) professionals from over 80 countries.

The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) is the legal and administrative host of WSSCC.The mission of the Council is to ensure sustainable sanitation, better hygiene and safe drinking water for all people, with focus on the poorest and most marginalized members of society in developing countries. In order to achieve its mission, WSSCC facilitates sector coordination at national, regional and global levels, supports national sanitation and hygiene programmes through its Global Sanitation Fund (GSF), coordinates knowledge platforms, and advocates on behalf of the 2.5 billion people without a clean and safe toilet to use.

WSSCC has a substantial track record on global advocacy. When the Millennium Development Goals were set, there was no reference to WASH. WSSCC was a key player in the coalition of organizations that successfully lobbied for the inclusion, in 2002, of a target to halve, by 2015, the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation. Since then, working in collaboration with national advocacy coalitions and other regional and global development partners, WSSCC has been active in speaking out about the need to put the issues of sanitation, hygiene and basic drinking water high on the political agenda, and to take action that prioritizes the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable. WSSCC both leads and develops its own global advocacy strategies, campaigns and materials and serves as a resource to the sector to deliver collaborative advocacy efforts.

In 2013, WSSCC was asked by the UN Office of the Secretary General, to partner with the UN Millennium Campaign (UNMC) to develop a communications campaign to support the Deputy Secretary-General’s call to action on sanitation. In consultation with a range of other organizations working on WASH, and social and economic development more generally, WSSCC and UNMC have recruited a leading global creative agency and developed a communications campaign, which was launched in May 2014.  The campaign is UN-led, but the intention is that it be adapted and used by a range of partners all over the world, both within and outside the UN system. The aim of the campaign is to break the silence around open defecation, thus increasing the amount of discussion and understanding of the issue. In this way, the campaign provides an enabling environment for advocacy efforts aimed at increasing the priority of sanitation on both the global and national development agendas, and for efforts being made to change sanitation-related behaviours and reduce the number of people without access to safe sanitation.

The purpose of this position is to support the roll-out of this campaign. The consultant will support the WSSCC Programme Manager, Advocacy and Communications, to identify and follow up on opportunities to build partnerships and use events to implement the campaign.  To do so, the consultant will liaise closely with other key partners, particularly staff in the EOSG and the UN Department of Public Information (DPI). Preferably based in New York, the consultant will facilitate communications and collaboration with New York-based staff of important partners such as UNICEF, the UN Foundation, and the UN Office for Partnerships. Further, the consultant will help coordinate the profiling of the campaign at milestone events that will occur in New York in 2014, including the meeting of the UN General Assembly and the New York concert being organized by the Global Poverty Project (both in Sept) and World Toilet Day activities in New York (November).

The consultant will work flexibly, varying the number of days per week that are worked according to the workflow (e.g. more days just before key events). The consultant will work remotely, but it is expected that there will be frequent participation in meetings in New York.

Functional Responsibilities

Identification of key partners and implementation of the campaign

  • Conceptualize, design and execute implementation of the campaign and identification of partners;

  • Liaise with core campaign partners (WSSCC, UNMC, EOSG, DPI) to document and prioritize expressions of interest from new partners to become involved in the campaign.

  • Following agreement with core partners, develop plans for follow up with selected new partners, including through meeting with them and exploring the ways that their mandates and networks can be used to promote the aims of the campaign.

  • As needed, support the partners to adapt the campaign materials to their needs and to put their campaign-related activities into motion.

  • Document the impact of the partner activities, and feed this information into the overall evaluation of the campaign.

  • Assess the overall effectiveness of the strategy and programmes and make needed changes in approach and technique.

Campaign roll-out at key New York-based events

  • Contribute to development of plans for campaign promotion.

  • Lead on, and be the key, New York-based point of contact for planning around the UN General Assembly, the Global Poverty Project concert and the New York World Toilet Day event.

  • Provide advice to organizers of the events as appropriate.

  • Develop or oversee the development of high profile multi-media communications campaigns;

  • Manage outreach activities linked to events, including media outreach.

  • Evaluate the success of events, and feedback on lessons learned, so that future events can be improved.

Development of materials and messages

  • Lead on development of a strategy to ensure that messaging evolves and that the increased awareness is channelled into greater learning about the issue of open defecation.

  • Set quality and production standards for information dissemination;

  • Lead and direct the partners to adapt campaign materials, including the drafting and review of new campaign materials for particular events, or for use by new partners.

  • Provide diverse materials (briefings, speeches, questions and answers) for use by partners’ senior officials and other campaign personnel;

  • Provide technical and policy advice on highly complex public information and communications issues; develop and disseminate best practices.

  • Lead on the development of media outreach materials, including press releases and briefing kits.

Perform other related tasks as directed.

Contract duration: Up to 50 working days within 1 year.

Deadline:  3 August 2014

View the ECN Sub-Contracting Notice (accessible by ECN Executive and Expert Members - Login to View).

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