Cities Alliance is the global partnership for poverty reduction and promoting the role of cities in sustainable development. Partnerships are critical to achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Cities Alliance brings together organisations with different perspectives and expertise on city issues around common goals: well run, productive cities that provide opportunities for all residents. Our members include multilateral development organisations, national governments, local government associations, international NGOs, private sector and foundations, and academia.
The Cities Alliance Secretariat is based in Brussels, and is hosted by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS).
The Cities Alliance adopted a revised Charter in Addis Ababa in 2014, opening up the global partnership to six different constituencies. This process saw new organisations joining Cities Alliance as members, with representation from diverse sectors of the international development community.
Following the Inaugural Assembly in April 2016, which marked the beginning of a new chapter for the Cities Alliance, the Secretariat seeks to engage a consulting company capable of providing a comprehensive external communication and advocacy strategy which integrates resource mobilisation elements and the Members’ Partnership Strategy which is currently being developed and refined (due in Quarter 3 of 2016).
OBJECTIVE OF THE ASSIGNMENT
The overall objective of the consultancy is to increase the visibility, impact and knowledge of Cities Alliance’s work through an external communication and advocacy strategy, which reflects the changing nature of the organisation and integrates the findings from the members’ Partnership Strategy. The strategy should also explore the interface between communication, advocacy and resource mobilisation.
One of the roles of the Secretariat of Cities Alliance has been to improve communication to and between the members (33 as of August 2016). However, there is a need to significantly improve the quality of the external communication of the organisation both to those who are familiar with city development issues and audiences not yet familiar with Cities Alliance’s vision and mandate. The aim would be to highlight Cities Alliance’s niche as the global partnership promoting the role of cities, and the organisation’s role in advocating for the creation of a Sustainable Development Goal on cities – and its implementation – as part of Agenda 2030. It would also be important to highlight that Gender is a corporate priority of Cities Alliance and, as such, the vision, mandate and role of the organisation should be embedded in gender- responsiveness.
To ensure that the communications and advocacy strategy is used by members, it is essential that development and review of the strategy involve concerted engagement of Cities Alliance members, as well as the Secretariat. The external communication and advocacy strategy should therefore also include Cities Alliance’s relationship and communication with its members.
SCOPE OF THE WORK
The development of an external communication and advocacy communication strategy for the Cites Alliance will be led by a consulting company, in close coordination with the Secretariat, represented through the Senior Communications Officer.
The team will be responsible for undertaking the following tasks:
- Consultations with Cities Alliance members, partners and Secretariat staff to identify priority areas for advocacy in 2017 and make an inventory of similar projects and communications tools developed by the organisation;
- Identify specific role of Cities Alliance Management Board, its members and other stakeholders on advocacy and communication in influencing the implementation of policies at global and regional level;
- Ensuring that action points for Cities Alliance to better communicate its commitments and results on gender equality, in line with the Gender Equality Strategy, are included in the development of the external communication strategy (liaising with the Gender Equality Team when necessary);
- Identify innovative ways of communicating Cities Alliance’s mission and vision through new and existing transmission channels (blogs, videos, online communication, press releases, editorial, articles in specialised journals, interviews, etc.);
- Draft an advocacy action plan to be used in communicating, and mobilising partners around better planned and well-run cities, as well as including specific lines on gender and cities (focus on Sustainable Development Goals 5 and 11), outlining funding opportunities for such work in 2017;
- Propose a communication action plan to be implemented by the Cities Alliance Secretariat in 2017 outlining clear objectives, target activities, allies, deliverables and indicators;
- Share the draft external communication and advocacy strategy with stakeholders; and
- Prepare the final Cities Alliance external communication and advocacy strategy including comments and feedback.
Proposal due by October 19 to:
Senior Communications Officer Cities Alliance