One UN Communications

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For a stronger and more coherent UN Voice

To answer calls for a stronger and more coherent UN voice on key development challenges in Viet Nam, the One UN Communications Team was established in late 2006. This unique reform initiative brings together a team of communication specialists from UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF, UNAIDS, UN Women and UNV, working together under a single manager. The team follows a common workplan to support the UN-wide advocacy and communication agenda, the internal and external communication needs of the One UN Initiative, and the agency specific communication needs of the six participating organizations.

During the nine years of its existence, the team has helped put key advocacy issues for the UN high on the public agenda, create a clear and strong UN voice where needed and provide high-quality support to the communication needs of the participating organizations. This has helped increase the coherence of UN advocacy messages and has significantly advanced the positioning of the UN on key themes. Finally, the experience of the One UN Communications Team has helped inform the rest of the proposed organizational changes for the UN in Viet Nam under the One UN Initiative.

Achievements

More effective advocacy — By promoting a common UN position on issues that multiple agencies address – such as climate change, human rights, health, poverty reduction and social equity – policy and other recommendations are clarified and strengthened.

Greater harmonization and better use of media — Due to greater collaboration between agencies there is now less competition for the same media space. Media contacts appreciate having one main point of contact for UN communications and contact the team to request interviews, get answers to questions on key UN issues, or inquire about upcoming events.

Clear, targeted and more consistent messages — Messaging by the UN in Viet Nam is now more unified and comprehensive, based on the identified priority advocacy themes for the UN Country Team as a whole, including the Millennium Declaration MDGs and the evolving Post 2015 Development Ageda. Rather than several messages sent to the media from different UN organizations, the communications team coordinates and integrates the positions of various UN agencies, when appropriate, into one media release, press conference or article.

A "one-stop shop" for communication resources and expertise —UN internal communication and much of the UN's external communication, is now handled by one team, providing high quality, professional services. The team has developed strong contacts with the media, written guidelines and tips for better communication and developed processes for how agencies can undertake more effective communication. The size of the team gives staff members greater opportunity to specialize in their area(s) of strength, while exposing staff to a greater learning opportunities.

A catalyst for change — The team consistently promotes and tries to demonstrate in practice the principle of "Delivering as One", and this has generated interest both in Viet Nam and from other UN Country Teams.