Communications Lead, Technology For Development

UN Children's Fund, Sierra Leone

Skill Required:, Media and Communication
Preferred Experience: 
5 years
Closing Date for Applications: 
2nd April, 2019

Job Description

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential.

Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone.

Purpose of Activity/Assignment:


Since September 2009, UNICEF Sierra Leone has championed the use of Technology and Innovation to help address the issues that most affect the children and women of Sierra Leone.

Initially focused on Ebola Response and the need for Real Time Information to support and direct activities, the results achieved through Technology for Development (T4D) since 2009 have firmly established UNICEF Sierra Leone’s reputation as an agency committed to, and with expertise in, innovative work around technology and data collection.

Notable achievements include:

  • Rapid rollout of Real Time data collection and coordination platform to a national scale during prolonged L3 Emergency.
  • Pioneering use of Call Data Records (CDRs) Analysis and Modelling to help predict Population Movement.
  • Deploying a next generation CPIMS to supporting Sierra Leone’s Child Protection services and to help with strengthening of Case Management in the country.
  • Coordinated a Mobile Money Cash Transfer Program to 1,800 households affected by Landslide & Flooding.
  • Engaging of ~140,000 U-Reporters across Sierra Leone on UNICEF’s Youth and Community engagement platform.


With the recent establishment of the Directorate of Science, Technology and Innovation (DSTI) by the Government of Sierra Leone, a unique confluence of circumstance have made possible a step change in the use of Technology for Development in Sierra Leone, helping to influence the wider West and Central African region and with potential for more global reach within the Organisation.

UNICEF Sierra Leone has already drafted a workplan for engaging with DSTI to promote and enable the use of T4D in Sierra Leone for improved results for Children, including:

  • Direct UNICEF Sierra Leone Technical Support to DSTI.
  • Enabling a Sierra Leone Drone Testing Corridor.
  • Internal Capacity Strengthening around Machine Learning and Data for Decision Making.
  • Ecosystem Strengthening Support

Purpose and objectives:

Given the growth in work around Innovation and T4D, UNICEF Sierra Leone is seeking a communications expert who will plan, manage and lead the communication of activities by UNICEF Sierra Leone and DSTI.

Methodology and Technical Approach:

  • The Consultant will divide time between T4D section in UNICEF Sierra Leone Country Office in Freetown and DSTI Building at Statehouse.
  • The consultant will closely work with the multi-sectoral T4D team in SLCO, Office of Innovation in New York and DSTI in Freetown to build on cross-sectoral engagement initiatives.
  • The consultancy may require field visits in the regions.

Activities, Tasks, Outputs and Deliverables:

Subject to change based on evolving needs and issues the Office focuses on. This is an example of the types of things you will work on. Some of the duties will include:

  • External for UNICEF: Help raise the profile of UNICEF Sierra Leone and DSTI as innovative organizations by
  • Internal for UNICEF: Working with UNICEF Sierra Leone External Relations Team and Office of Innovation communications team, support internal messaging about new technologies and projects developed and/or deployed in Sierra Leone.
  • Office of Innovation: Engage with the Office of Innovation to ensure that have the appropriate and up-to-date information and messages regarding their support to UNICEF Sierra Leone and DSTI.
  • Strategic Communications: Provide technical advice and support to the implementation of a DSTI Communications Strategy.
  • Press Relations & Media Management: Provide communication advice and support for reputation management in relation to line with UNICEF and GoSL policies and guidelines.
  • Content Development: Create and disseminate relevant content for UNICEF T4D and DSTI events.
  • Multimedia content development: Plan and support the development of muilitmedia content for UNICEF T4D and DSTI.
  • Website Content Management and Social Media Campaigns: Design and implement a web content management strategy that increases audience traffic to and engagement with the relevant UNICEF T4D & DSTI websites.
  • Events: Provide communications advice and support for any specified UNICEF T4D & DSTI event/s arising.

Qualifications and Specialized Knowledge/experience required:

  • University degree in Communication, Journalism, Public Relations; or equivalent professional work experience in the communication area, combined with a university degree in a related field
  • At least six (6) years of progressively responsible experience and a track record of working in print and broadcast media, interactive digital media, internal communications, and/or stakeholder engagement (two of which should be at a management level)
  • Experience working within the development sector, ideally at UNICEF or the UN, and a background/education in international relations
  • Solid understanding of the role technology plays in the development and humanitarian sectors, as well as the UN system
  • Ability to see the big picture and connect multiple story threads into one greater narrative
  • Strong leadership skills; capacity to prioritize and manage a diverse range of partners, projects and activities
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to unite fragmented, and occasionally opposing teams and ideas
  • Project management skills including task prioritization, budget monitoring, and results driven strategies
  • Proactive and organized, must be able to multitask
  • Demonstrated strong writing skills
  • Fluency in English is required and in other UN Languages is an asset


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