21 May 2014

Engagement and Communication Officer – East Africa Job Vacancy

Development Initiatives works to end extreme poverty by 2030 by making data and information on poverty and resources transparent, accessible and useable. We help
decision-makers use information to increase their impact, for the poorest people in the most sustainable way

We work at every level:

  • Supporting local partners in East Africa and Nepal to use data
  • Providing information and analysis to inform national and regional decision-making.
  • Offering technical and political support to help improve international systems.
  • We are international organisation with staff in Brazil, Kenya, Nepal, Uganda, the UK and the US.
  • This model allows us to be agile and flexible in our approach to drive change.

Role Function:

  • The post holder will work with the Head of External Relations (based in the UK), to develop, deliver and manage communications, public relations and engagement activities for Development Initiatives (DI) Africa Hub. They will manage external and internal
  • communications and implement engagement strategies to target and influence decision
  • making to achieve DI’s goals.
  • The post holder will offer creative and innovative ideas for delivering key messages to target audiences, organise and participate in events, foster new
  • relationships and networks and strengthen existing ones with key stakeholders, including the media, in order to raise the profile of the Hub and attract funding through the Hub’s work.
  • They will co-ordinate website content development with the Content and Publications Manager (based in the UK), preparing in a timely manner, focussed, highly readable written
  • materials, edit copy, briefs, reports, factsheets and blogs.
  • The post holder will provide support for fundraising activities and offer advice to the DI Africa Hub team in engagement.
  • They will package and communicate key messages to diverse audiences in a creative and engaging way at the sub-national, national, regional and global levels.
  • Programme:
  • The post holder will work within the DI Africa Hub team in collaboration with the DI engagement and communications team based in the UK.
  • They will provide crossfunctional support and share key learning across other DI teams such as Global Humanitarian Assistance (GHA), InfoTep, analysts, contracted consultants and other teams
  • members as may be identified.
  • In order to achieve this, the post holder will devise ways of working creatively with DI partner organisations and with key programme stakeholders.

Person specification


  • Minimum Bachelors University Degree in communications, journalism, international relations or development studies with a strong bias for engagement and communications.
  • A Masters Degree in the above fields is preferable but not essential.
  • Experience of developing and delivering engagement and communication strategies in the development or policy environment.
  • At least 3-5 years proven and hands on experience in engagement and communications in a not-for-profit organisation or development organisation.

Knowledge/technical competencies

  • An understanding of the African development sector and the policy environment and how change occurs within this environment through effective communications and engagement.
  • An interest in or previous experience engaging and communicating on data/statistical findings; transparency; accountability and participatory issues or processes; international development topics e.g. poverty, risk, vulnerability, development cooperation.
  • Understanding of global politics as well as how regional, national and sub-national governments operate and how engagement and communications can influence their agenda.
  • A proven ability to write and deliver effective, audience-focused messages that influence behavioural or policy change.
  • Ability to communicate clearly in English in writing and in person with clear sense of intuition.
  • The ability to understand complex issues (including those related to statistics, financial flows and IT) and the ability to articulate these in a simple, easy-to-read way including using case studies and illustrations e.g. strong journalistic skills for diverse audiences.
  • A capacity to write and edit a wide range of materials including speeches, leaflets, briefing papers, web stories, press releases, newsletters and detailed reports.
  • Proven experience of conviction and ability to ‘sell’ attractive stories to journalists to secure media coverage.
  • Experience in developing and delivering high impact presentations e.g. PowerPoint and a flair for articulating issues in a coherent manner to large high profile audiences.
  • The ability to conceptualise and develop multiple mode delivery approaches of the same message in order to reach audiences of different capabilities e.g. general public, government officials, development partners, NGOs, CBOs, etc.


  • Ability to use graphic design or web design packages (familiarity with Adobe Creative Suite).
  • The ability to use digital media, such as web, email and social media, to influence and build support (experience of working with html/content management systems.
  • Additional language skills.

Personal skills/qualities

  • Very confident with natural communication skills and an ability to transmit key messages in a variety of ways, appropriate to different audiences.
  • An ability to influence others to see your point of view.
  • Excellent interpersonal and networking skills, coupled with the ability to build strong and nurture lasting relationships with key stakeholders and colleagues.
  • A self-starter who can work independently with minimal support, but can work well in a team environment.
  • Energetic with ability to work under pressure and deliver on time.
  • Attention to detail and accuracy and a keen eye for picking out errors in copy.
  • Can recognise, create and seize opportunities to put ideas into practice.
  • Approaches projects methodically.
  • Flexibility and willingness/ability to travel (including abroad) often at short notice, for specified periods.
  • Willingness to be contacted during out of office occasionally as duty may call.

Technical duties

  • Work with the Head of External Relations in the UK to develop, deliver and manage engagement and communications strategies, plans, and activities that align with the DI Africa Hub programmes and projects.
  • Scope out and offer innovative ideas for reaching out to key stakeholders and delivering effective messages that spark critical thinking and debate, influence decision making and resource allocation and prompt action by diverse actors at the sub-national, national, regional, African and global levels.
  • Plan and execute key engagement and communications activities including launch events, breakfast meetings, glasshouse meetings, national and regional roundtable forums.
  • Participate in assigned forums, document and pick out relevant key issues for follow up, including researching on emerging trends, issues and advising management on these.
  • Develop a stakeholder plan for the Hub and capture interactions with stakeholders
  • Write and edit copy for engagement and communications products on and offline.
  • Give verbal and written presentations to influence others to see DI’s point of view.
  • Plan and supervise production of key reports, publications, corporate branded materials, ensure brand equity and quality assurance by adhering to the set brand guidelines and set templates.
  • Coordinate, develop and upload content to DI websites and platforms (training will be provided if not proficient in this area).
  • Use digital communications to achieve high impact and buy-in to DI’s work.
  • Develop and implement media outreach, including drafting briefs and proactively engage with media contacts to obtain visibility through coverage for DI’s work in traditional and social media, in line with institutional policies.
  • Work with the communications, engagement and external relations team in the UK and other DI offices to share key learning and create linkages that facilitate local to global and global to local communications and engagement to achieve organisational goals.
  • Mobilise and interact with hub team members to brainstorm on ideas, extract impact stories, document and package these in a way that effectively communicates our aspirations and work.
  • Strategically establish networks and linkages with like-minded institutions, research institutions, academia, universities, think-tanks, regional and pan-African institutions and marginalised communities.  Monitor ongoing engagement and communications activities such as responding to inquiries, maintaining calendar of events, inputting into the DI forward planning document, developing stakeholder mailing lists and evaluating the impact of key communications tools.
  • Capture evidence of key activities and moments including photographs, videos and reports, consolidate this into an organised and easy to retrieve portfolio gallery and also post this on the DI website as may be required.
  • The officer will be responsible for providing monthly impact reports on all Africa Hub external relations activity in line with DI ME&I framework and make sure the framework is fully up-to-date and all achievements recorded.
  • Contribute regular news and case studies for DI corporate materials especially the impact report and support the Hub in the production of material for local use.
  • Pay attention to detail, possess a creative mind and eye for innovative concepts that deliver messages and raise the profile of the Africa Hub.
  • Contribute to the overall work and goals of Development Initiatives, including a drive to eliminate poverty by 2030, by sharing in a wide range of tasks as part of the wider team, both within identified programmes and beyond.
  • You may be required to carry other reasonable duties and responsibilities from time to time as may be assigned.

General responsibilities

  • Be aware of and take personal responsibility for any health and safety issues and obligations
  • Uphold all aspects of Company policies and procedures and legal requirements in relation to personal conduct

Contractual details
Start date: ASAP Location: Nairobi, Kenya or Kampala, Uganda Probation: 3 months
Leave: 25 days plus all bank/public holidays
Benefits: Refer to web page

Application details
Your CV (no more than 3 pages) and covering letter which should detail your skills and evidence of experience and how it relates to the job description, should be emailed to: Mariam Ibrahim (Office Manager) at, quoting ref: E&CO HUB in the email subject line.

Your letter should also include your salary expectations, notice period/available start date and where you saw the job advert.

Closing date: 9th June 2014 Interviews: Week commencing 16th June 2014


  • We welcome applications from all sections of the community.
  • We have a duty to prevent illegal working by checking potential employees’ documents, before employing them, to ensure they have the right to work in the Country in which this post is based.
  • We are unable to offer sponsorship for a work permit/Visa application. Evidence of right to work will be requested.
  • Due to the volume of applicants that we receive, we regret to say that we will be unable to acknowledge receipt of your application and if you do not hear from us within 4 weeks of the closing date, please assume that your application has been unsuccessful.
  • Development Initiatives is an equal opportunities employer and in line with our policies, we aim to ensure that no job applicant receives less favourable treatment on the grounds of race, colour, nationality, religion, ethnic or national origin, age, gender, marital status, sexual orientation or disability.

We find it helpful for all applicants to complete our Diversity Monitoring Form found on our web page at

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