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UNDP’s HIV, Health, and Development (HHD) global programme includes pillars emphasizing the reduction of inequalities and social exclusion that drive HIV and poor health as well as the promotion of effective and inclusive governance for health. Globally and within Africa, this work includes an emphasis on populations that are marginalized and excluded because of their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or sex characteristics (LGBTI populations).
In 2020, UNDP HHD established the #WeBelongAfrica (WBA) programme which integrates two projects, namely the Inclusive Governance Initiative (IGI) and the Southern Africa Young Key Population (YKP) Initiative. The programme is designed to support state entities in sub-Saharan Africa to become increasingly accountable and responsive to, and inclusive of, LGBTI people and young key populations, which in turn will contribute to better laws, more responsive public sector services, and social norms that affirm these populations’ perspectives, needs and rights.
WBA, therefore, intends to contribute to the strengthened commitment and capacity of African decision makers to be responsive and accountable to, and inclusive of, sexual and gender minorities and young key populations; to understand and support their rights and perspectives; and to promote equitable sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and HIV outcomes.
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WBA aims to achieve the following outcomes:
- Strengthened capacity of LGBTI and YKP activists and allies from other SDG-focused social movements (gender equality, poverty alleviation, health for all, etc.) to sensitize and influence relevant decision-makers and to hold authorities to account.
- Increased inclusion, participation, representation, and influence of diverse African LGBTI populations and young key populations, and their allies, in relevant laws, policy, strategies, and decision-making.
- Relevant national-level plans, strategies and guidelines related to HIV and SRHR that increasingly reflect countries’ international human rights and public health commitments.
- Increased use of African ideas, evidence and innovations that support LGBTI and YKP inclusive governance and related work.
- Sustained and increased international donor funding for LGBTI and key population regional work in Africa.
Over the last 2 years, the programme has implemented several interventions that promote the inclusion of LGBTI issues in the SDGs; created awareness on the importance for “inclusion”; including publishing knowledge products aimed at guiding and influencing SDG-related policy reform processes. An online LGBTI community hub has also been established for increasing visibility of LGBTI issues and access to relevant information.
A communications officer (Intern) is therefore required to work with the WBA communications team to scale up dissemination of published products on social media and LGBTI CSO online community hub (#WeBelongAfrica | SparkBlue); create new digital content related to LGBTI issues in sub-Saharan Africa; promote the work of WBA to external and internal stakeholders, including governments, the donor community, civil society, media, academia, and the UN system; and lastly mobilize attention to LGBTI rights in the context of the SDGs, including increasing visibility of WBA on social media and other platforms.
Duties and Responsibilities
- Working closely with the WBA communication team, the intern will lead in the planning and launch of a full-scale social media platform that promotes the work of WBA, aimed at increasing visibility of results, and dissemination of evidence-based knowledge products produced by WBA.
- To ideate, produce and oversee the social media account, as well as design and produce high-impact social media content in multiple formats (e.g., infographics, GIFs, video, etc.), that effectively informs and engages external audiences and supports advocacy on LGBTI inclusion.
- To coordinate, develop digital and social media analytics and evaluation, gauge reach, engagement and feedback on access and use of WBA products. Recommend strategies for increasing the profile of and access to WBA social media pages.
- Participate, where appropriate in WBA regional meetings, and create original text and video content aimed at promoting regional events, manage posts and respond to followers.
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- Working closely with the WBA communication team, monitor current events and trending topics and spot strategic opportunities for meaningful engagement and increased visibility for WBA.
- Assist in identifying key stakeholders, and influencers for potential engagement with WBA including parliamentarians, senior civil servants, and key development NGOs in the region focused on the SDGs and LGBTI rights.
- Research relevant content and stories to post on WBA social media platforms, keep track of the key performance indicators (KPI’s) for each network.
- Support drafting press releases, op-eds, blogs, stories, and other text-based outreach materials, as well as provide copywriting and proofreading.
- Support the development and ongoing maintenance of the WBA contact list, including supportive journalists in the region and ensure continuous engagement.
- Provide support to any other activities related to WBA.
- Understanding of LGBTI issues in developing countries and sensitivity to working with front-line activists.
- Extensive experience in using multiple social media platforms and building audience interaction.
- Understanding of strategic communication and how it can contribute to the achievement of specific development goals.
- Ability to engage with a wide range of partners and forge productive working relationships.
- Strong organizational skills and the ability to multi-task.
- Responsible, responsive, enthusiastic.
- Strong attention to detail; and
- Excellent oral and written communication skills.
Required Skills and Experience
Interns are selected on a competitive basis. Applicants to UNDP internships, must at the time of application meet one of the following academic requirements:
- Be enrolled in the final academic year of a first university degree programme (minimum bachelor’s level or equivalent).
- Be enrolled in a graduate school programme (second university degree or equivalent, or higher).
- Have graduated with a university degree (as defined in (a) and (b) above) and, if selected, must start the internship within one-year of graduation.
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- Additionally, must be active on one or more social media sites with a substantial following.
- Field of study: communications, journalism, marketing, international relations, political science or equivalent. (Preferred but not required)
- Communication: Ability to summarize a large amount of information and translate it into a compelling product for a public audience.
- Software skills: Strong IT skills including full competency in MS Office/365. Good knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite, including Adobe Premiere Pro, Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop, as well as social media management software is an asset.
- Language skills: Fluency in English is required and additional proficiency in French and/or Portuguese is a strong asset.
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