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Communications Specialist (Advocacy), NOC, Lilongwe, Malawi # 107661 (OPEN FOR MALAWIAN NATIONALS ONLY)

Apply now Job no: 516279
Work type: Fixed Term Staff
Location: Malawi
Categories: NO-3

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.

And we never give up.

For every child, a fair chance..

UNICEF Malawi Country Programme (2019-2023) is aligned with the Government of Malawi’s Growth and Development Strategy (MDGS III) and the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF). The programme supports the Government of Malawi to meet its commitment to respect, protect and fulfil children’s rights in line with international conventions and standards. The country programme is guided by the principles of children’s rights, equity, gender equality, inclusion and resilience, and supports evidence-based, integrative and innovative programming. The vision is that ‘all girls and boys in Malawi, especially the most disadvantaged and deprived, realize their rights’.  The programme focuses on: early childhood (parenting, high-impact social services, early stimulation and learning), middle childhood and adolescence (learning, multi-sectoral services, active citizenship), communities (decentralized services and systems, community ownership, social norms), programme effectiveness (monitoring, evaluation, HACT, Innovation, Social Protection and Social Policy and External Communication.  The programme is based on ‘leaving no child behind’, realizing ‘rights for all children in Malawi’.

How can you make a difference?

The Communications Specialist (Advocacy) positon is within the Communication, Advocacy and Partnerships team, which supports all UNICEF Malawi pillars (young children, adolescents and communities) and technical specialists (child protection, education, health, HIV, nutrition, social policy, water and sanitation) in the following areas: media relations, public advocacy, youth engagement, partnerships, donor visibility, visits and events, digital and social media.

The purpose of this position is to: develop and oversee implementation of partnerships strategy; identify and engage influential individuals from religious organisations, traditional authorities, private sector and celebrities; manage relationships with UNICEF Malawi partners, including celebrity supporters; and act as officer in charge (OIC) for the Chief of Communication, ensuring continuous smooth functioning of the team.

Currently, the Malawi country office is operating under a matrix-management model, where individuals will have more than one reporting line. While this particular position is not currently “matrixed”, it is possible that this may change depending on programme needs.

Summary of key functions/accountabilities:


Ensure that the Country Office has a well maintained and continually developed contact list of individuals, groups, organizations and fora (including Malawian private sector CEOs, traditional leaders and religious organisations), whose support is essential to/can assist in achieving the advocacy and communication objectives of the communication strategy.

  • Ensure or enhance the quality, consistency and appropriateness of country-specific communication materials, activities, processes and messages shared with partners.
  • Identify opportunities to strengthen the capacity of partners through appropriate advocacy and communication training, access to information, supplies and equipment and through knowledge sharing.
  • Monitor, evaluate and share results and findings with partners.


Ensure that the Country Office has a well maintained and continually developed contact list of appropriate, nationally-known personalities who have been identified, engaged and support UNICEF’s effort and who actively participate in special events and activities that support country programme goals.

  • Develop, maintain and update celebrities contact list/database.
  • Help establish, document, review and refine process of working with celebrities, including special events, media opportunities, field trips etc.
  • Participate in global advocacy activities by planning visits of Goodwill Ambassadors, National Committee representatives, Executive Board members etc. including preparing information materials (e.g., press releases, programme summaries, country fact sheets and media kits), and necessary logistic arrangements. Highlight the achievements of the country programme. Maintain close collaboration with Regional
  • Communication Advisers and HQ Communication Officers for effective overall coordination.

The position is also responsible for the following country office activities:

3. Identify and engage influential individuals from private sector, religious organizations, traditional authorities and celebrities, in support of the following UNICEF Malawi advocacy objectives:

  • Keeping children in school
  • Ending child marriage
  • Child survival
  • Parenting skills

4. Work with the U-Report Manager on a series of Business Forums for the Private Sector, in support of UNICEF advocacy objectives. Work with other UNICEF sections to identify concrete actions that companies can take, and support the implementation of these.

5. Act as OIC for the Chief of Communication, ensuring continuous smooth functioning of the team during annual leave, field trips and other absences.

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…

  • An advanced university degree in Communication, Journalism, Public Relations, or another relevant field is required.
  • A minimum of five years of progressively responsible and relevant professional work experience in partnership management, advocacy or communication is required.
  • *A first university degree in combination with at least seven years very relevant experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
  • Existing connections and networks with Malawian key influencers, especially private sector CEOs, traditional leaders and religious groups, would be an advantage.
  • Fluency in English and Chichewa, the main local language of Malawi, is required. Knowledge of Yao language would be considered as an asset.

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF’s core values of Commitment, Diversity and Integrity and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.

The functional competencies required for this post are:

  • Leading and Supervising [I]
  • Formulating Strategies & Concepts [II]
  • Relating and Networking [II]
  • Persuading and Influencing [II]
  • Applying Technical Expertise [II]
  • Entrepreneurial Thinking [II]

View our competency framework at:


UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.


Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.

Advertised: South Africa Standard Time
Applications close: South Africa Standard Time

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