Outreach and Partnerships Officer (COP16), P4

UN Convention to Combat Desertification
  • Location
    Bonn, Germany
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Sep 14

Position description

Org. Setting and Reporting

Desertification, along with climate change and the loss of biodiversity, were identified as the greatest challenges to sustainable development during the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. Established in 1994, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is the sole legally binding international agreement linking environment and development to sustainable land management. The Convention seeks to support countries to address desertification, land degradation, and drought.

The functions of the secretariat are, among others, to make arrangements for sessions of the Conference of the Parties (COP) and its subsidiary bodies. In addition, the secretariat also provides assistance to Parties in implementing the Convention. UNCCD COP16 is scheduled to take place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, from 2-13 December 2024. COP16 will bring together leaders from governments, the private sector, civil society and other key stakeholders from around the world to accelerate progress in sustainable land management and drought resilience.

The mission of the Communications, External Relations and Partnerships (CERP) unit is to elevate the UNCCD issues on the global agenda and build coalitions for action to address desertification, land degradation and drought. To achieve this goal, the unit communicates relevant and persuasive policy messages, promotes the brand and overall reputation of the institution, bridges the science-policy interface, and builds partnerships that expand the UNCCD’s reach with key stakeholders such as civil society, the media and the private sector.

This position is located in the UNCCD Headquarters in Bonn, Germany. The incumbent reports to the Chief, CERP Unit.


Within delegated authority, and under the guidance and direct supervision of the Chief of Unit, Outreach and Partnerships Officer (COP16) will be responsible for the following duties:

  • In the context of the broader UNCCD Partnerships Strategy, contributes to the effective engagement with UNCCD non-Party stakeholders, including UN entities, civil society organizations (CSOs), faith-based groups, youth, local and regional authorities, parliamentarians and the private sector. Provides substantive inputs for the development of strategic partnerships with key constituencies to solicit support for and maximize impact of programmatic and advocacy objectives;
  • Facilitates the participation of non-Party stakeholders in UNCCD COP16, including managing the accreditation process, preparing official documentation on accreditation of observers to be submitted to the COP for consideration and action, and advising on administrative and technical aspects of engagement with non-Party stakeholders in support of the implementation of the UNCCD Strategic Framework 2018-2030 and biennial work programme;
  • Develops frameworks and workplans for COP16 engagement for targeted stakeholders including parliamentarians, youth, private sector and regional and local authorities in collaboration with relevant units of the UNCCD secretariat and the Global Mechanism and COP16 Host Country. Takes the lead on all programmatic and organizational aspects of non-Party stakeholder events at COP16, including the Business, Civil Society and Youth Forums;
  • Contributes to the development and implementation of effective outreach strategies and plans to enhance the visibility of UNCCD COP16, including engagement with high-profile personalities, youth, private sector and civil society leaders and influencers;
  • Represents UNCCD at external meetings and events (upon request from the Chief of Unit), on relevant initiatives/issues, fulfils speaking engagements and makes presentations to groups on UNCCD activities and advocate issues of concern, and organizes public and stakeholder events to raise UNCCD visibility and promote collective action to address desertification, land degradation and drought;
  • Contributes to the planning and carries out the work plan under his/her responsibility, determining priorities, and allocating resources for the completion of outputs and their timely delivery; ensures that the outputs produced by the Unit meet high-quality standards and support relevant UNCCD mandates;
  • Undertakes or oversees the programmatic/administrative tasks necessary for the functioning of the Unit, including preparation of budgets, reporting on budget/programme performance, staff recruitment and management. Fosters teamwork and communication among staff in the Unit and across organizational boundaries;
  • Performs any other job-related activity required to achieve the goals and objectives of the UNCCD and as required by the Executive Secretary.


  • Professionalism: Knowledge and understanding of theories, concepts and approaches relevant to the subject. Ability to identify issues, analyze and participate in the resolution of issues/problems. Ability to establish and foster successful partnerships and collaborations. Ability to identify strategic opportunities for achieving the agenda of the Department. Shows pride in work and in achievements. Demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter. Is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results. Is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns. Shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations. Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work;
  • Planning and organizing: Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies. Identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required. Allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work. Foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning. Monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary. Uses time efficiently;
  • Communication: Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; asks questions to clarify and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; tailors’ language, tone, style and format to match audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed;
  • Vision: Identifies strategic issues, opportunities and risks; clearly communicates links between the Organization’s strategy and the work unit’s goals; generates and communicates broad and compelling organizational direction, inspiring others to pursue that same direction; conveys enthusiasm about future possibilities.


  • Advanced university degree (master’s degree or equivalent) in international relations, management, economics, social sciences, law or related area is required. A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying work experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

  • A minimum of seven (7) years of progressively responsible relevant experience in external relations, project or programme management is required, of which at least two (2) at the international level;
  • Experience in building strategic alliances and partnerships with stakeholders (e.g., youth, parliamentary, private sector) on environment and sustainable development issues is required;
  • Experience working in intergovernmental and/or inter-agency processes is required;
  • Experience in event management is desirable.


  • For this position, fluency in oral and written English and working knowledge of another UN official language is required.


Application instructions

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