TERMS OF REFERENCE FOR AN INDIVIDUAL CONSULTANT (6 months fulltime, starting in April 2022)

Under the direct supervision of the Director for Strategies and Policies in the field of Communication and Information, and in close collaboration with other colleagues from the Communication and Information (CI) Sector, the consultant (hereafter referred to as individual specialist) shall:

Co-ordinate the UNESCO initiative on media viability, in close co-ordination with colleagues from the IPDC Secretariat, the Freedom of Expression and Safety of Journalists’ Section (FEJ), and the Media and Information Literacy and Media Development Section (MID), and with key partners like WANIFRA, GFMD and FPU.

This initiative is supported by UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC), which supports media development through training, research, capacity building, law reform and more. It also contributes to the production and outreach of UNESCO’s flagship
series World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development.

The individual specialist will:

1. Ensure the impact of the research outputs of the initiative.
2. Ensure the mobilisation of national and international networking to build momentum for national mechanisms to investigate and secure national solutions.
3. Oversee consultations on specific interests in transparency of Internet companies, from the point of view of media viability.
4. Implement a fundraising strategy for actions on media viability.
5. Ensure visibility of UNESCO’s media viability activities.

In more detail, this means:

1. Maximise impact of normative resources and research outputs:

In collaboration with UNESCO and partners develop, oversee and implement a strategy to promote visibility, across a range of stakeholders in different regions, of:
– Windhoek+30 follow up
– The World Trends Report chapter on journalism as a public good
– National consultations on solutions to promote media viability while preserving media independence (FPU report)
– The Economist Impact report (to be published in April)
– UNESCO’s Policy Brief on Media Viability (to be published in April)

2. National and international networking to build momentum for creating national mechanisms:

Ensure momentum on media viability with a specific focus on 8-10 countries (amongst the following: Brazil, El Salvador, Indonesia, Jamaica, Lebanon, Namibia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal and Tunisia), by making use of the research outputs discussed above, and by coordinating the organization of two
roundtables in each of the 8-10 countries, with ideas for mechanisms seeded and then taken forward autonomously. The primary purpose of the first round table will be to

(a) raise awareness of the Windhoek+30 Declaration, the Economist Impact national research, and the FPU report chapter on the

(b) ask for, and record, feedback that can be sent to GFMD, UNESCO and FPU;

(c) create a sense of momentum for follow-up in the second round table.

The second round table will be aimed at:

(a) assessing the relevance of recommendations in the UNESCO Brief on Media Viability, at national level;

(b) set in motion process/es for next steps by stakeholders.

This work will involve liaising closely and providing guidance and feedback to the selected implementing partner for the organization of the roundtables and/or to the responsible field office, and ensuring information and cross-pollination between these national initiatives.

Convene an international roundtable of key stakeholders in the viability debate to exchange information about their work in media viability to be held at UNESCO possibly between 11 and 13 May, to exchange information.

3. Oversee consultations on specific interests in transparency and viability:

As a follow-up to the Special Allocation approved by the Bureau of the International programme for the Development of Communication in June 2021, organise a first expert consultation event with WANIFRA experts in April 2022.

Organise a second expert consultation side-event at World Press Freedom Day (2-5 May 2022)

Organise a side event to the 11-13 May roundtable, as a third consultation on transparency and viability
Provide a narrative report on all the consultations for the IPDC Bureau meeting in June 2022

4. Fundraising:

Develop and bring to fruition a proposal to identified donors on support to activities related to media viability and policy, including in regard the ten countries covered in the FPU and Economist Impact research

5. Visibility:

Develop and implement a visibility and outreach strategy to ensure that the activities under 2 and 3 are visible with key constituencies, including donors.


1. By 20 April 2020, submit to UNESCO for approval:

(i) the plan for the promotions strategy for the resources; (ii) A detailed plan, timeline and concept note for the consultations on transparency and media viability. materials and update on the fundraising efforts, and draft report for consideration by the IPDC bureau.

2. By 20 May, submit for UNESCO’s approval reports on the viability-transparency roundtables at World Press Freedom Day and with Wan-Ifra

3. By 1 August, submit for UNESCO’s approval:

(i) a narrative report on the country-level roundtables.
(ii) a report on the consultations about viability interests in transparency

4. By 30 September, a final report that includes a visibility report.

Note: deadlines may be adjusted according to the dates on which the deliverables are received and changing conditions for project implementation. Any modifications to the deadlines will be first discussed with the individual specialist.



  • Advanced university degree (Master’s or equivalent) in social sciences, economics, communications, journalism, media studies, public policy, statistics or relevant field.

Work Experience

  • At least 5 years of relevant experience in research, analysis, editing, and/or project management. This may include experience gained while pursuing an advanced degree.

Required experience includes:

  • At least two years of experience related to freedom of expression and/or media
  • Experience with event organization.


  • Strong research and editing skills.
  • Subject matter expertise in issues related to freedom of expression and media development.
  • Excellent communication skills (written and oral) and ability to exchange information on complex issues.
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships in multicultural environment with external and internal partners.
  • Excellent organization and planning skills, including the ability to organize own work priorities and deadlines. Ability to work under pressure.


  • Excellent knowledge of English.



  • PhD in social sciences, economics, communications, media studies, public policy, statistics or relevant field.

Work Experience

  • Experience in project management
  • Record in successful fundraising
  • Experience in event management
  • Experience with UNESCO and/or the United Nations system and understanding of their functioning and procedures would be an asset.


  • Subject matter expertise of media economics.


  • Good knowledge of French/ Knowledge of other official languages of UNESCO (Arabic, Chinese, Russian, Spanish) would be an additional asset.

Interested candidates should complete the online application and submit the following as one single Word file to IPDC.Secretariat@unesco.org by 31 March (any queries may also be sent to the same email):

Part 1. A Technical Proposal consisting of:

  • Completed UNESCO Employment History Form
  • Up-to-date CV, including two references that may be contacted
  • Motivation letter indicating how your qualifications and experience make you suitable for the assignment
  • Approach and methodology for the assignment, a work plan and comments on the Terms of Reference, if any (in brief)
  • List of relevant publications, with a link to view online. Two should be selected as samples relevant to the current assignment.

Part 2. Financial Proposal:

The amount to be charged for the assignment (or breakdown by deliverables) which should be quoted in US dollars or in euros only.