Project, Research and Communications Specialist

$107,251 - $139,922 / YEAR Expired 3 months ago
This job has expired.

JOB DETAIL

Background
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are core principles at UNDP:  we value diversity as an expression of the multiplicity of nations and cultures where we operate, we foster inclusion as a way of ensuring all personnel are empowered to contribute to our mission, and we ensure equity and fairness in all our actions. Taking a ‘leave no one behind’ approach to our diversity efforts means increasing representation of underserved populations. People who identify as belonging to marginalized or excluded populations are strongly encouraged to apply. Learn more about working at UNDP including our values and inspiring stories.
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.
. Background and Organizational Context

The Knowledge Project is a joint initiative between UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Arab States (RBAS) and the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation (MBRF) established in 2008. It aims to promote knowledge societies and policies as transformational means to achieving sustainable development in the Arab States region and beyond. The project builds on the Arab Knowledge Reports, the Arab Knowledge Index, the knowledge4all portal, the Arab Reading Index, the KnowTalks series, the Future of Knowledge Foresight Report series and the Global Knowledge Index (GKI). Moreover, the project has recently launched an ambitious initiative to develop the skills of citizens in the Arab States region.

In 2024, the Knowledge Project has a multifaceted work plan aimed at advancing its mission on multiple fronts. It is set to produce GKI 2024 through a data update. Through the FutureSkills4All initiative, the project is committed to reskilling and upskilling 6,000 learners, empowering them with essential skills for the future. Additionally, the project is set to organize the Knowledge Summit and host a series of engaging KnowTalks events, providing platforms for thought leaders to discuss critical topics and disseminate valuable insights.

To enhance knowledge accessibility, the project will focus on improving its knowledge4all portal and mobile application, making information readily available to a wider audience. Furthermore, the integration of the pilot artificial intelligence (AI) policy tool into the portal represents a significant step toward leveraging AI for knowledge dissemination.

Simultaneously, the Knowledge Project will commence the revision of the GKI ensuring that it remains accurate and relevant, which is scheduled to be launched in 2025 as GKI 2025.

In addition to these efforts, the Knowledge Project will implement a robust outreach and dissemination strategy to maximize the impact of its project outputs, ensuring that its valuable resources reach a diverse and global audience.

Accordingly, UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Arab States is seeking the services of a Project, Research and Communications Specialist to lead and coordinate the development of the Knowledge Project’s knowledge products and publications, including the Global Knowledge Index; create platforms for knowledge sharing; as well as lead the development and implementation of strategic communications, advocacy and stakeholder engagement.

Position Purpose

Under the guidance and supervision of the Chief Technical Adviser/Project Manager, the Project, Research and Communications Specialist will be responsible for providing technical support to the Knowledge Project in the areas of research, project management, and communications.

The Project, Research and Communications Specialist is responsible for the following:

  1. Lead and coordinate the production of the Global Knowledge Index (GKI) and the development of high-quality knowledge products and publications, including research reports, policy briefs, and other analyses in support of the Knowledge Project and UNDP’s policy and programme work.
  2. Lead the knowledge4all portal management and create and manage knowledge sharing platforms and events.
  3. Lead the development and implementation of strategic communications and advocacy.
  4. Lead stakeholder engagement and provide technical assistance and capacity building to project partners and other stakeholders.
  5. Promote innovation and actively lead on effective knowledge management and results-based management.

UNDP adopts a portfolio approach to accommodate changing business needs and leverage linkages across interventions to achieve its strategic goals. Therefore, UNDP personnel are expected to work across units, functions, teams, and projects in multidisciplinary teams in order to enhance and enable horizontal collaboration.

Duties and Responsibilities
Lead and coordinate the production of the Global Knowledge Index (GKI) and the development of high-quality knowledge products and publications, including research reports, policy briefs, and other analyses in support of the Knowledge Project and UNDP’s policy and programme work:
  • Lead and coordinate the entire process of the GKI production, ensuring alignment with strategic goals and quality standards;
  • Coordinate the development and revisions of the GKI, involving the identification of Advisory Committee members, peer-reviewers and other stakeholders to ensure a comprehensive and inclusive approach;
  • Undertake research on conceptual and methodological areas of knowledge to support the GKI framework;
  • Conduct and coordinate background research for the GKI, coordinating with researchers and contributors to gather necessary data and insights;
  • Draft sections of the GKI, contributing to the articulation of findings and insights;
  • Coordinate and participate in various rounds of proofreading of chapter drafts, fact-checking, ensuring consistency of data throughout the report, and checking for proper referencing;
  • Lead in-person consultations and meetings with key stakeholders to discuss collaborations, seek advice on the GKI’s statistical, structural, and strategic aspects, and ensure stakeholder buy-in and support;
  • Identify and liaise with authors of background papers, drafting terms of reference for research, commenting on contributions received, and integrating them into the report chapters;
  • Oversee the work of the GKI Advisory Committee, consultants, and the commissioning of papers, coordinating the review and feedback process;
  • Monitor and keep records of the research team’s work, including feedback from peer-reviewers, readers groups, Advisory Committee, Regional Bureaux, and other entities.
  • Lead the quality assurance efforts for the GKI, ensuring the final product meets high standards of accuracy and relevance;
  • Contribute to the finalization of the report by interacting with the editing and production teams, overseeing the dissemination of final products;
  • Design, coordinate, and implement research initiatives supporting the Knowledge Project and UNDP’s policy work;
  • Conduct qualitative and quantitative research and analysis on key knowledge for development issues in the region, draft reports and other knowledge products;
  • Guide the research of team members involved in both quantitative and qualitative analysis;
  • Develop and maintain close research collaboration with academics, and researchers in various universities and research institutions, as well as with UN system partners;
  • Ensure quality assurance, relevance, and impact evaluation of knowledge products and project outputs.
Lead the knowledge4all portal management and create and manage knowledge sharing platforms and events:
  • Lead the management and revamping of the knowledge4all portal and mobile application, ensuring these platforms are user-friendly and serve as effective tools for knowledge dissemination;
  • Lead the development of a content strategy that ensures the portal provides timely, relevant and high-quality content. This includes curating articles, research findings, and multimedia resources;
  • Implement a system for regular content updates and revisions to keep the portal dynamic and informative;
  • Oversee the conceptualization and implementation of different IT tools and portal modules to enhance the accessibility and functionality of the knowledge4all portal;
  • Oversee UX/UI reviews to ensure the portal and mobile application are intuitive, engaging, and accessible to users of varying technical skills;
  • Ensure analytics tools are utilized to track user behaviour, content popularity, and engagement levels on the portal;
  • Ensure performance indicators are set to regularly assess the portal’s impact and user satisfaction, adjusting strategies as necessary to improve outcomes;
  • Design and manage digital and in-person platforms that facilitate discussion, exchange of ideas, and knowledge dissemination;
  • Organize events such as workshops, seminars, talks, and conferences to promote dialogue on key issues, including the Knowledge Summit and KnowTalks;
  • Develop a strategic approach to content creation that aligns with the goals of the knowledge sharing platforms and events. This includes identifying key themes and topics that resonate with the target audience and reflect current knowledge trends and challenges;
  • Curate high-quality content to provide valuable insights and stimulate thoughtful discussions among participants;
  • Collaborate with thought leaders, subject matter experts, and practitioners to contribute to events and activations, ensuring a diverse range of perspectives and expertise is represented;
  • Establish a coordination framework to manage the collaboration between different stakeholders involved in the organization and execution of events and platform activities;
  • Ensure the smooth operation of events and platforms, overseeing logistical aspects and fostering a conducive environment for discussion;
  • Moderate and facilitate discussions and activities on these platforms and during events, ensuring discussions are aligned with the events’ objectives;
  • Implement interactive elements in digital platforms and events, such as live Q&A sessions, polls, and interactive workshops, to enhance participant engagement;
  • Foster partnerships with organizations, academic institutions, and industry groups to co-create content, sponsor events, and provide platforms for networking and collaboration among participants;
  • Implement mechanisms to collect and use feedback from participants and stakeholders on both the content and the overall experience of the knowledge sharing platforms and events.

Lead the development and implementation of strategic communications and advocacy:

  • Lead the development and execution of effective communications strategies across various channels to promote the work of the Knowledge Project and increase its visibility. This includes communications plans and materials such as social media content, newsletters, web stories, and other communications products;
  • Coordinate communications activities with project partners, monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of these strategies to ensure they effectively promote the project’s goals;
  • Advocate for key policy positions or programme initiatives across various communication mediums to inform and influence relevant audiences;
  • Deliver presentations effectively and actively engage in discussions;
  • Represent the project professionally, effectively communicating its mission and work.

Lead stakeholder engagement and provide technical assistance and capacity building to project partners and other stakeholders:

  • Implement inclusive strategies to engage disadvantaged and vulnerable population groups, ensuring their voices are heard and their needs are addressed;
  • Establish and maintain partnerships with relevant organizations, fostering a sense of shared commitment and mutual support;
  • Engage with a diverse range of stakeholders, including community members, government officials, and partners, to ensure their views and needs are considered in the project’s activities and outputs.
  • Provide guidance and support on technical matters related to the projects, such as research methods, methodologies, tools, or best practices.
  • Troubleshoot issues that arise during project implementation, working collaboratively with team members and partners to find effective solutions.
  • Continuously update technical knowledge and skills, ensuring that advice and support remain relevant and up to date.
  • Develop and deliver training workshops and other capacity building activities.
  • Provide technical advice and guidance to project partners and monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of capacity building activities.

Promote innovation and actively lead on effective knowledge management and results-based management:

  • Foster a culture of innovation, seeking out and promoting new approaches and tools to improve project outcomes;
  • Identify strategies for improving processes, tools, or outputs, promoting efficiency and effectiveness;
  • Manage knowledge resources, ensuring they are stored, organized, and shared appropriately to maximize their impact;
  • Track the use and impact of knowledge products, using insights to continuously improve knowledge management practices;
  • Support effective implementation of the Knowledge Project through monitoring project implementation and ensuring adherence to planned activities and timelines;
  • Produce progress reports and conduct other reporting exercises as needed;
  • Draft project documents including but not limited to proposals, concept notes, briefing notes, terms of references, and performance evaluation reports.

The incumbent performs other duties within their functional profile as deemed necessary for the efficient functioning of the Office and the Organization.

Supervisory/Managerial Responsibilities:

The Project, Research and Communications Specialist will directly supervise a team of four (04) staff members.

Competencies
Core
  • 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.

People Management

UNDP People Management Competencies can be found in the dedicated site.

Cross-Functional & Technical competencies 
Business Direction & Strategy
  • System Thinking: Ability to use objective problem analysis and judgement to understand how interrelated elements coexist within an overall process or system, and to consider how altering one element can impact on other parts of the system.

Business Development

  • Portfolio Management: Ability to select, prioritize and control the organization as programmes and projects, in line with its strategic objectives and capacity; ability to balance the implementation of change initiatives and the maintenance of business-as-usual, while optimizing return on investment.
  • Knowledge Facilitation: Ability to animate individuals and communities of contributors to participate and share, particularly externally.
  • Collective Intelligence Design: Ability to bringing together diverse groups of people, data, information or ideas, and technology to design services or solutions.
  • Human-centred Design: Ability to develop solutions to problems by involving the human perspective in all steps of the problem-solving process.

Business Management

  • Communication:
    • Ability to communicate in a clear, concise and unambiguous manner both through written and verbal communication; to tailor messages and choose communication methods depending on the audience.
    • Ability to manage communications internally and externally, through media, social media and other appropriate channels.

Communications

  • Advocacy strategy and implementation: Ability to create and implement advocacy strategies which lead to impactful change.
Required Skills and Experience
Education:
  • Advanced university degree (master’s degree or equivalent) in a Social Science field, Economics (especially development economics), Sociology, Political Science, and Communications, is required; or
  • A first-level university degree (bachelor’s degree) in the above-mentioned fields of study, in combination with an additional two years of qualifying experience will be given due consideration in lieu of the advanced university degree.
Experience:
  • A minimum of 7 years (with master’s degree) or 9 years (with bachelor’s degree) of relevant professional experience in research, project implementation, and communications in the field of sustainable development.
  • Proven experience in developing knowledge products and managing projects related to international development issues is required.
  • Demonstrated excellent analytical and research skills is desired.
  • Previous experience working on composite indices is highly desirable.
  • Previous experience working on areas such as education, research and development, ICT and economy is highly desirable.
  • Demonstrated experience in strong communications skills, including experience in developing communications strategies and materials for diverse audiences is desired.
  • Extensive experience working in the Arab States region is highly desirable.
  • Previous UNDP experience is highly desirable.

Language Requirements:

  • Fluency in oral and written English and Arabic is required.
  • Working knowledge of French is highly desirable.

Please upload copies of your academic qualifications and 3 latest Performance Evaluations (if applicable).

Please note that continuance of appointment beyond the initial 12 months is contingent upon the successful completion of a probationary period.
Disclaimer
Under US immigration law, acceptance of a staff position with UNDP, an international organization, may have significant implications for US Permanent Residents. UNDP advises applicants for all professional level posts that they must relinquish their US Permanent Resident status and accept a G-4 visa, or have submitted a valid application for US citizenship prior to commencement of employment.
UNDP is not in a position to provide advice or assistance on applying for US citizenship and therefore applicants are advised to seek the advice of competent immigration lawyers regarding any applications.
Applicant information about UNDP rosters
Note: UNDP reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement.  We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNDP at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.
Non-discrimination
UNDP has a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual exploitation and misconduct, sexual harassment, and abuse of authority. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.
UNDP is an equal opportunity and inclusive employer that does not discriminate based on race, sex, gender identity, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, pregnancy, age, language, social origin or other status.
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Amman, Jordan
This job has expired.