Vacant Position: Communications Specialist
Introduction: The Agile and Harmonized Assistance for Devolved Institutions (AHADI) is a governance support program of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) / The Department for International Development (DFID) in Kenya and is implemented by The State University of New York / Center for International Development and its partners.
AHADI is designed to support Kenya’s vision and agenda for achieving the promise of devolution.
The program’s interventions aim to promote governance systems that are transparent, accountable, effective in service delivery, and responsive to empowered citizens by working at both the national and county government levels.
AHADI has three key objectives:
- Objective #1: Targeted Counties provide higher quality services through improved governance
- Objective #2: improved representation of citizen interests and oversight of targeted County government performance
- Objective #3: Functionality and effectiveness of the devolved system increased through improved intra-government engagement and cooperation.
The devolution process taking place in Kenya is multi-dimensional and involves administrative, fiscal and political devolution of power. Predictably then the process of devolution involves a large number of stakeholders. Each stakeholder will have their own results and objectives for devolution.
Communication of governance programs in general (and AHADI in particular) require the establishment of effective information gathering systems to enable the collection of systematic, objective information and evidence as a powerful tool for change and programming.
This will be the foundational step of the Communication framework and system and is in line with SUNY/CID’s approach to capacity building through participation.
The project will undertake all Communication activities in a manner that leaves improved capacity within the target counties and civil society organizations (CSOs) and provide partners and their communities with more efficient and effective methodologies to collect, produce, maintain, share and utilize information on program outputs and outcomes, best practices, lessons learned, and effective networking models.
Target CSOs capacity will be enhanced to equip them with the skills to work in collaboration with target counties and their citizens to identify and monitor their own outcomes empowering them to direct their own development and build sustainability in the local governance systems.
The CSOs will be encouraged to develop a citizen monitoring tool on country service delivery. This will be deeply anchored in the principles of performance based Communication. Measures will also be put in place to forward ethical practices while conducting Communications in the program.
AHADI is implementing a communications strategy that is responsive to the needs of USAID/DFID and its partners, to communicate program results, devolution studies and lessons learned.
In this regard, the program is pursuing four communications objectives. The first aims to facilitate a common understanding of the program’s identity and purpose; the second aims to frequently update USAID/DFID and other partners on key program impacts; the third is to customize and disseminate findings from studies undertaken under the Research and Learning Program; and lastly is to promote internal communications and learning.
The program is currently seeking a skilled, diplomatic, effective, and highly motivated Communications Specialist.
Position Summary: The Communications Specialist will be responsible for overseeing and coordinating all aspects of communications and outreach including designing and implementing effective outreach and communications strategies for AHADI and developing interventions to strengthen targeted county media entities in full compliance with USAID/DFID policies and regulations, on-time, within budget, and with maximum impact.
S/he will identify activities for documenting into snapshots and success stories, flickr stories and newsletter articles. S/he will be responsible for knowledge management in the Program.
The main function of the knowledge sharing responsibility will be to help champion organization-wide knowledge sharing, so that the organization know-how, information and experience is shared inside and (as appropriate) outside the organization with clients, partners, and stakeholders.
In addition, s/he will assist the Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist in collecting and synthesizing data and reports to support the AHADI reporting function.
Interrelationships: The Communications Specialist collaborates with AHADI staff, consultants, partners, and beneficiaries.
S/he serves as an in-house resource on media engagement and public relations, as well as on USAID/DFID branding and media policy, for the AHADI team.
Employment Terms: Open contract, subject to availability of funding.
- Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs, Data Management, Journalism, Public Management or related field relevant to the position requirements.
- At least 10 years’ experience designing and implementing communications and outreach programs for donor-funded development programs;
- Demonstrated ability to serve as a principal liaison among development partners, the media, and key government counterparts, both at the national and county level, as well as civil society and private sector leaders;
- Highly developed communication skills (spoken, written and presentational);
- Experience originating, soliciting, writing or editing complex or sensitive materials for distribution in newsletters, websites and reports;
- Solid understanding of cross-cutting issues such as HIV/Aids, gender, youth, and the needs of marginalized communities.
- Demonstrated ability to write clearly and concisely, to work in a fast-changing political environment, to work well under pressure and to handle concurrent projects including organizing media coverage, technical workshops, briefings and interviews.
- Oversee the continuous review and implementation of USAID/DFID AHADI Communications Strategy;
- Serving as the point of contact with USAID/DFID on media and public relations matters, and as the in-house expert on branding, marking, and positioning of AHADI communications materials and deliverables;
- Providing advice to the COP, other staff members, grantees and AHADI partners on media engagement, deliverables, outreach, communications, and public relations issues; and
- Performing other duties as assigned to achieve AHADI objectives and results.
- Establishing and cultivating contacts with GoK officials at all levels (Governors, Senators, and Members and staff of County Assemblies, among others), journalists, and other USAID/DFID implementing partners in order to keep appraised of governance and devolution developments and trends, as well as opportunities to promote AHADI;
- Creating snapshots, success stories, articles, and other outreach materials for external distribution;
- Designing and implementing interventions to strengthen targeted media county entities;
- Collaborating with other AHADI staff and partners to organize, carry out, and report on media interventions;
- Promote knowledge sharing through the organization’s operational processes and systems by, among others, strengthening links between knowledge sharing and the information systems, and improving integration among departments in the Program, to facilitate seamless exchange of information across the program;
- Promote collaborative tools such as activity rooms to facilitate sharing of ideas and work among internal teams and external partners;
- Provide support for the establishment and nurturing of forums where information on programming is shared;
- Share experiences across various departments, beneficiaries on innovative approaches in knowledge sharing, including preparation of case studies;
- Help monitor and evaluate the knowledge sharing program, including external benchmarking and evaluation programs/opportunities;
- Help disseminate information about the organization’s knowledge sharing program to internal and external audiences, including organizing knowledge sharing events (such as knowledge fairs, devolution study groups maintaining communications on knowledge sharing across the organization, and preparation of brochures/presentations.
Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting:
- Serving as a key member of the AHADI research and learning team;
- Collaborating with AHADI staff and partners to support the AHADI learning agenda;
- Support the development of the necessary communications and reporting templates for use by AHADI staff and implementing partners;
- Assisting with editing of AHADI monthly, quarterly and annual reports;
- Providing internal editorial support to ensure that AHADI documents and/or reports are of high quality and comply with the USAID/DFID branding requirements;
- Advising the AHADI M&E Specialist, COP, staff and partners on effective methods for presenting or communicating AHADI data and results.
Location and Duration: The Communications Specialist will be based in the AHADI Nairobi office.
This job description will be valid for one year and upon the end of the contract period (of one year) may be revised and/or renewed by the Chief of Party, SUNY/CID.
Travel: Travel in country is expected. Transportation, accommodations and per diem will be provided by the project in accordance with AHADI and USAID/DFID regulations. It is anticipated that the travel will be between 30%-40%.
How to Apply
If you possess the skills and qualifications as contained in the respective position descriptions, please send (1) a Cover letter (2) CV and (3) References from three Professional Referees, one referee should be previous or current supervisor to Hr@ahadi-devolution.org
Closing date: 15th April 2018.
Please note only short listed candidates will be contacted.
Kindly put the subject line for the position you are applying for.
Applications without the subject line will not be evaluated.
SUNY-AHADI is an equal opportunities employer.
Business and Financial Operations
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USAID AHADI Governance Support Program
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