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Regional Communications Officer, Regional Office, Nairobi

Vacancy #:   6793
Unit:   ESARO - Office of the Regional Director
Organisation:   International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Location:   Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office, Nairobi, Kenya
Reporting to:   Regional Communication and Constituency Manager
Work percentage:   100%
Grade:   P2
Expected start date:   01 May 2024
Type of contract:   Fixed-term (24 months)
Closing date:   04 April 2024


IUCN is the world’s oldest and largest global environmental network - a democratic membership union with more than 1,400 government and NGO member organizations, and almost 15,000 volunteer scientists in more than 160 countries. IUCN’s work is supported by more than 1,000 professional staff in 45 offices and hundreds of partners in public, NGO and private sectors around the world. Its headquarters are based in Gland, Switzerland. IUCN’s work focuses on valuing and conserving nature, ensuring effective and equitable governance of its use, and deploying nature-based solutions to global challenges in climate, food, and development. IUCN supports scientific research, manages field projects all over the world, and brings governments, NGOs, the UN, and companies together to develop policy, laws and best practice.

The IUCN Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office (ESARO) provides vital linkages for IUCN Members, National Committees, Commissions and the Secretariat to governments, African institutions, NGOs, scientists, practitioners, the private sector, and other stakeholders to accelerate the implementation of the national and regional biodiversity plans. It provides knowledge and advise decision makers to improve conservation policy and action, connect and engage.

Launched in 2020, the first phase of BIODEV2030 initiated and supported a dynamic multi-stakeholder dialogue based on science in Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, and Uganda to accelerate the mainstreaming of biodiversity into priority sectors, in close collaboration with each National Focal Point of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Funded by the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and coordinated by Expertise France, the aim of the second phase of the project (2024-2026) is to contribute to the implementation of the Kunming-Montreal agreement by promoting the adoption of production practices that reconcile biodiversity and development. At national level, this will involve supporting national public authorities in their reform of sectoral public policies in priority sectors to encourage this change in practices. At the level of a specific “pilot” landscape, the project will support the stakeholders in collectively identifying the actions to be taken to reconcile development and biodiversity. Projects for the transition to "nature-positive" practices, or even nature-based solutions, will be developed on the basis of the actions identified, and then submitted to potential funders.

The Regional Communications Officer, will be the Communications Focal point in the Region, in particular for BIODEV2030, and other Programme as required. He/she will work under the supervision of the Regional Communication and Constituency Manager and collaborate closely with regional colleagues, with the BIODEV2030 Senior programme officers and with the global teams, based in Gland (Switzerland).

Act as Communications Focal Point for BIODEV2030 and other Programmes in ESARO ensuring all communications products, strategies and knowledge tools are conform with IUCN’s and BIODEV2030’s brand guidelines and policy.
Develop, implement, and monitor the BIODEV2030 Communications and other Programmes for ESARO and proactively contribute to the IUCN ESARO Programme Communications Strategy.
Working closely with the programme teams, and particularly the BIODEV2030 teams, ensure that the BIODEV2030 IUCN ESARO website and other communication products are up to date, relevant to constituents, and reflect IUCN’s and BIODEV2030 desired image and position.
Ensure the strict quality of outputs being developed and communicated through IUCN’s and BIODEV2030’s channels and projects.
Increase IUCN’s brand awareness and visibility and communicate its mission, values and knowledge standards with prioritized target audiences and partners.
Facilitate internal communication to enhance BIODEV2030 team coordination and promote general awareness of ESARO staff.


Lead the development and implementation of a tailored strategic communications plan for IUCN in ESARO with clearly identified action points and outcomes.
In consultation with the IUCN ESARO Director, the Regional Communication and Constituency Manager, and the programme team, develop a set of Key Performance Indicators to monitor and evaluate ESARO’s communications visibility and brand recognition in the region.

Content Development and Digital Engagement;
Produce web stories, articles, shorthand press releases, printed material, video, and audio content, ensuring that they convey strong messages consistent with IUCN’s mission and value proposition.
Manage the IUCN ESARO web page and ensure its content is dynamic, up to date, relevant, and in line with IUCN knowledge products and standards.
Enhance digital presence through IUCN ESARO and other selected social media channels including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube.
Coordinate the design and content for the ESARO annual report and the bi-monthly newsletter “A Voice for Nature” and ensure its enhanced uptake in the region.

Media Relations;
Oversee and coordinate regional media and public relations with a view to ensuring increased recognition and visibility of IUCN and uptake with national and regional media outlets.
Identify media-related development needs and ensure that IUCN staff is acquainted with the principles of media relations, risk, and crisis management, and able to properly manage media queries.

Project Support and Coordination;
Support project managers from BIODEV2030 and related projects in designing and implementing a set of appropriate communications activities, including the development of relevant communication tools, to enhance project implementation and increase IUCN’s brand awareness and visibility in the region.
Ensure that ESARO communications and messaging are consistent across all programme areas and in line with IUCN’s mission and values.
Coordinate and lead relevant ESARO communications at major events, including the preparation and coordination of partner and media relations.
Serve as the primary liaison with the IUCN Global Communications Unit, thematic programmes, regional offices, and members, and ensure the visibility of ESARO communications and media relations.

General Responsibilities;
Comply with project financial, administrative, and reporting schedules, including contributing to financial and technical reports for the communication components of projects.
Ensure ESARO staff understand and adhere to IUCN communications policy, guidelines, and procedures – as well as BIODEV2030’s guidelines as provided by Expertise France where relevant - and are informed about any changes thereof.
Support staff orientation and onboarding and ensure that new staff are familiar with IUCN communications policy and procedures.
Carry out other communications tasks on request and agreement with the line manager.

Education & Experience;
Advanced Degree in Communications, Journalism, Marketing, or similar field.
8+ years of significant work experience in designing and implementing communication strategy, managing public relations and/or major events in working with diverse stakeholders (including Ministries, private sector, NGOs) in field of conservation and/or sustainability.

Skills & Competencies;
Excellent knowledge of the media environment and of key stakeholders and their public relations representatives in the Region.
Experience in using advanced tools for online publishing, including content management systems, design and content creation tools, and social media analytics would be a plus.
Strong interpersonal skills, high adaptability to different people
Excellent communication and organizational skills
Strong team player and good ability to use internal and external networks.
Evidence of agile proactive thinking
Ability to draft compelling stories and policy briefs.
Budget management with a good knowledge of the requirements of the main international donors
Graphic design skills are a must.
Fluency in written and spoken English.

Required Behavioral Skills;
Adheres to IUCN’s values: transparency, public participation, full respect for human rights, rule of law, promoting gender equality and empowerment of women, commitment to excellence, environmental responsibility, integrity, and ethical behavior.
Proactive approach to meeting deadlines and delivering results with limited supervision.

Working Relationships;
Internal: The Regional Communications Officer – BIODEV2030 will work closely with the Regional Communication and Constituency Manager, the BIODEV2030 teams (Regional and Global), the regional programme teams and relevant IUCN network staff
External: media at regional and national levels, public relations representatives of public authorities from the regional to the local level, business leaders, professional and sectoral associations, CSOs and CSO networks, academics, financial players

Core Competencies;
Transparency: Able to build trust and contribute to informed and responsible decision making by carrying out the work of IUCN in a transparent manner; provides clear guidance to ensure that objectives and desired measurable results are understood by members of the team.
Inclusiveness: Understands and accepts cultural diversity, and provide a tolerant, positive, and supportive working environment that fosters respect for diversity, demonstrates ability to work in a multicultural, multiethnic environment and to maintain effective working relations with people of different nationalities and cultural backgrounds.
Professionalism: Promote the organization’s interests, objectives, and values in a diligent and professional manner.
Accountability: Takes responsibility for individual and collective actions, promotes the IUCN One Programme approach.

Functional competencies;
Adheres to IUCN core values of Transparency, Inclusiveness, Professionalism and Accountability.
Ability to develop and implement communications activities as well as communication products based on co-developed communication strategies.
Ability to manage multiple communications channels (such as websites, social media, blogs, publications, media relations, and events), and ensuring responsive communications coordination among partners and stakeholders.
Be willing to undertake frequent travel and interact with different stakeholders from diverse cultures.

Applicants are requested to apply online through the HR Management System, by opening the vacancy announcement and pressing the "Apply" button.

Applicants will be asked to create an account and submit their profile information. Applications will not be accepted after the closing date. The vacancy closes at midnight, Swiss time (GMT+1 / GMT+2 during Daylight Saving Time, DST). Please note that only selected applicants will be personally contacted for interviews.

Other job opportunities are published in the IUCN website: https://www.iucn.org/involved/jobs/

About IUCN

IUCN is a membership Union uniquely composed of both government and civil society organisations. It provides public, private and non-governmental organisations with the knowledge and tools that enable human progress, economic development and nature conservation to take place together.

Created in 1948, IUCN is now the world’s largest and most diverse environmental network, harnessing the knowledge, resources and reach of more than 1,400 Member organisations and around 16,000 experts. It is a leading provider of conservation data, assessments and analysis. Its broad membership enables IUCN to fill the role of incubator and trusted repository of best practices, tools and international standards.

IUCN provides a neutral space in which diverse stakeholders including governments, NGOs, scientists, businesses, local communities, indigenous peoples organisations and others can work together to forge and implement solutions to environmental challenges and achieve sustainable development.

Working with many partners and supporters, IUCN implements a large and diverse portfolio of conservation projects worldwide. Combining the latest science with the traditional knowledge of local communities, these projects work to reverse habitat loss, restore ecosystems and improve people’s well-being.