Provision of Strategic Communications Services 156 views

Strategic communications services for SDG Impact initiative of UNDP Finance Sector Hub

Opportunity Background:

Anchored in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and committed to the principles of universality, equality and leaving no one behind, SDG Impact is a UNDP flagship initiative focused on supporting mobilization of private sector capital and investments in support of the SDGs. The vision of SDG Impact is “to contribute to a world where all private sector capital flows contribute to the SDGs”. It will do so by providing investors, businesses and others with clarity, insights, tools and capacities required to authenticate their contributions to achieving the SDGs and to identify SDG investment opportunities in emerging economies and developing countries.

SDG Impact is a “start-up” which aims to develop and demonstrate a viable approach for UNDP to support countries to mobilize significant volumes of private sector investments for SDG achievement. The initiative emphasizes experimentation, innovation and partnerships as it focuses on developing prototype products and services that will be tested, refined and brought to the market in a relatively short time frame.

2021 will be a significant year as SDG Impact moves beyond proof of concept to embedding streams of work and driving uptake and adoption of the tools created. This requires a concerted effort in strategic, high-impact communications. There is a need to produce and share coherent, accessible, and inspiring narratives and communications materials on SDG Impact’s work through a variety of outlets to reach target audiences, both internal and external to UNDP.

SDG Impact provides services in three areas:

Impact Management

  • SDG Impact Assurance Standards: Developing a set of global standardsfor how investors and enterprises manage and measure their impacts on the SDGs. There is currently no defined standard that enables auditors to assure that an investor’s impact management practice is of sufficient quality to be considered “SDG-enabling”. This is critical to drive consistency, comparability and accountability
  • SDG Impact Seal: The standards will be codified into a scoring system and provide the basis for a global certification Seal, which will certify that enterprises and investors have processes in place to define, manage, measure and report on their impacts on the SDGs. A process for accrediting independent certifiers will be created. Online training program: A suite of on-line course in impact measurement and management is being developed to convey the standards and to guide investors in developing the type of governance, data collection, and reporting practices needed to make investments that are authentically “SDG-enabling.”

Impact Intelligence

  • SDG Investor Maps: Based on a standardized global methodology, UNDP Country Offices will lead research and preparation of SDG Investor Maps that will translate relevant country level SDG gaps and priorities into private sector investment opportunities. The Maps will provide investors with relevant market intelligence to highlight investment opportunity areas along with data on the expected development impact of such investments. Each Investor Maps will deliver around 20 investment opportunity areas in each country that are underpinned by 17 data points to direct and inform investment decision making.
  • Investor Map Database: The Investor Maps will be showcased on an online database that responds to the needs of the target audience.

Impact Facilitation

  • Based on the SDG Investor Maps, investor forums will be convened to facilitate matchmaking and increase SDG aligned private sector investments in a country. Public-private policy dialogues will also be convened to identify recommendations to improve the enabling environment for SDG aligned investments.

About UNDP

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the UN’s global development network, advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. UNDP is on the ground in 176 countries and territories, working with governments and people on their own solutions to global and national development challenges. Asthey develop local capacity, they draw on the people of UNDP and our wide range of partners that can bring about results. UNDP, as an integral part of its mission to fight poverty and improve the lives of people around the world, is committed to being open, transparent and accountable.

Opportunity Structure:

Purpose of Consultancy

2021 will be a significant year as SDG Impact moves beyond proof of concept to embedding streams of work and driving uptake and adoption of the tools created. This requires a concerted effort in strategic, high-impact communications. There is a need to produce and share coherent, accessible, and inspiring narratives and communications materials on SDG Impact’s work through a variety of outlets to reach target audiences, both internal and external to UNDP. Over the last 18 months the process to develop Standards to align capital to the SDGs has brought together the most developed practice in impact management into actionable guidance for private equity funds, bond issuers and enterprises that want to contribute positively to the SDGs. Businesses and investors are looking for this kind of guidance to help translate their intent to action. The SDG Impact Standards have been designed to meet that need. The Standards promote a shift from reporting current activities differently (i.e. using the SDGs as a reporting filter) to doing things differently.

The overall purpose of this assignment is to develop and implement a comprehensive communications strategy to increase awareness, understanding and adoption of SDG Impact’s Standards and market intelligence products and services to target audiences. There is a need to showcase SDG Impact’s products to mainstream investors, companies, and international organizations through tailored, inspiring, coherent and accessible communications content. The outcome of the work should include:

  • UNDP is broadly recognized as a standard-setter and facilitator for SDG-enabling investment
  • SDG Impact’s significance and potential are understood and clear to internal and external stakeholders and partners
  • SDG Impact’s products (Standards, trainings, seal, investor maps, impact facilitation, online platform) are understood and adopted by the target audiences (internal and external).

Scope of Work

  • Design a strategic communications plan detailing approach for communicating to different key audiences, including message development, collateral needs, target channels for communication and timeline. This should be done as a co-creation exercise with the SDG Impact team, led by the consultancy firm.
  • Undertake communications tasks on a monthly basis in accordance with the strategy, including:
    • Develop 4-6 opinion pieces for prominent publications
    • Produce 2-3 newsworthy reports incorporating the views of industry actors from finance and business for print and online sites to drive awareness and adoption of SDG Impact services
    • Write a monthly newsletter
    • Identify opportunities for placing SDG Impact messages in UNDP and external communications sources
    • Devise ways to share the SDG Investor Map findings in appealing ways to key audiences
    • Produce one-pagers on the SDG Impact Standards for different audiences, with concrete examples to facilitate understanding
    • Develop infographics for sharing on social media
    • Produce videos of SDG Impact’s work and its significance for driving investment for the SDGs
  • Develop an evaluation report on the impact of the strategic communications activities undertaken, including social media statistics, trends, attitudes and recommendations for further improvements.

Competitive Scope:


The Vendor should be a communications agency with a proven track record of designing and carrying out impactful communications and/or advocacy strategies.

The selected Service Provider should demonstrate:

  • Involvement in running a similar communications effort for an ambitious, global initiative
  • Strong storytelling, design, writing, and social media skills, including ability to produce high quality and concrete stories from complex data and advanced technical topics
  • Experience and understanding of the financial sector, sustainable development and investing for impact
  • Experience communicating on impact management and measurement, ESG-investing, or impact investing preferred
  • Strong creative capabilities
  • Strong in-house expertise in the above-mentioned topic
  • Strong network with prominent publications and news outlets

The selected Service Provider shall provide a core team comprising of a Team Leader and at least 2 experienced communicationsstaff. The team should demonstrate strong ability in strategic thinking, organizational skills, and fluency in English.

Agency profile requirements:

  • Minimum five years of professional experience in communications, public relations, journalism, marketing, or a related field
  • Capability and proven experience in crafting and implementing public relations and communications strategies/plans
  • Capability and proven experience crafting high impact content in various formats (press releases, content for websites, video, blog, social media posts, audio, etc., storytelling, ability to spot a newsworthy story, etc.) targeting different audience segments regarding the single project
  • High proficiency in recognizing the news-worthy stories and ability to take initiative and proactive
  • Attitude in finding the creative ways to communicate with the desired audiences (Government partners and private sector)
  • Ability to understand the brand, programme goals and deliver high quality outputs within the agreed timeframes
  • Familiarity with the technical advancements and its application in everyday life; tech savvy staff preferred

Deadline for Submission 11 February 2021 (18:00 hours – NY time)

  • To help us with our procurement effort, please indicate in your email where ( you saw this tender/procurement notice.
Share this tender

UNDP works in more than 170 countries to simultaneously reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development that leads to transformational change, and brings about real improvements in people’s lives. We promote an integrated approach to achieve sustainable development that tackles the connected issues of multidimensional poverty, inequality and exclusion, and sustainability, while enhancing knowledge, skills and production technologies to reduce risks and sustain development gains for both people and the planet. We help countries build their capacity to integrate environmental considerations into development plans and strategies, including through managing and sustainably using natural resources; ensuring that natural wealth is used to improve people’s lives; promoting economic recovery and livelihoods; and developing social inclusion policies and social protection for those in need, thus supporting the achievement of 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development.

Connect with us


Subscribe our newsletter for quick response

Contact Info