The Chief Communications and Policy Outreach Officer will be responsible for raising the visibility and brand of AERC, by ensuring that AERC’s products and services reach out across Africa and beyond, in French as well as in English. The holder is expected to help position AERC as a premier organization for the advancement of research and training to inform economic policies in Africa. S/he will also be responsible for connecting the network members with the array of information available on economics and AERC research and training. The holder will ensure that the information needs of the AERC research and training programmes in both languages are well served. The position will also play a critical role in Resource Mobilization and will also support in the monitoring of AERC’s internally developed funding reports.
The ideal candidate will hold a Master’s degree in Communications, marketing or Public Affairs.
Significant experience in policy outreach and strategic dissemination of policy relevance
Professional qualification in Electronic Publishing
Knowledgeable in publications, website development, information resources, or journalism
Eight (8) years of relevant experience in management with at least three (3) years at senior management level.
Experience in managing outsourced service providers is an added advantage.
Experience in developing and implementing communications strategies for NGOs
Experience in resource mobilization.
Policy dissemination skills - Able to translate the technical reports from the Research department into a story that diverse stakeholders can relate with.
Excellent team leadership and management skills; has the ability to get the team to work collaboratively with other teams.
Able to manage a significant Communications budget - two to three million US dollars
Cross-cultural experience – can live and work with diverse cultures and especially African culture.
Ability to communicate in French is an added advantage.
1. Planning and Management
Implementing the communications strategy approved by the Board in close liaison with the Communications Agency
Overall responsibility of the management of the Communications Department and oversees day to day activities including the supervision of departmental staff;
Ensures that the Communications Department serves the Consortium according to established policies and procedures using internal and external performance criteria and within a value for money culture;
Works with the other departments and divisions of the Secretariat to ensure the smooth functioning and high performance of AERC and to exploit successful linkages;
Ensures that reports on Communications activities are provided to the AERC Board, donors, Programme advisory committee and management as required;
Reviewing & updating policies and procedures for the AERC Communications and Policy Outreach Division
Establishing performance standards and targets for the Division and ensuring that adequate records are maintained to assess the Division’s performance in each of the key areas in which it is tasked
Updating the Management on communications with the network, donors and other stakeholders.
Preparing the Division annual budget and revisions and directing the implementation of the Division’s Program of Work and Budget.
Preparing the required management and donor reports.
Managing all assets under the Division.
Regularly reviewing communication processes and tools for continuous improvement.
Overseeing the operation and performance of the outsourced publications function in terms of existing SLA’s and contracts as well as the development, production and distribution of AERC corporate and promotional materials, including annual reports, brochures, and newsletters.
Reviewing all communications material to ensure that it is of the highest standards and enhancing the overall impact of the organization’s communications internationally.
Establishing clear guidelines for what to publish in print form and on the website and ensures that these are achieved within agreed performance standards.
3. Information Resources Management
Overseeing the day-to-day running of the online library to ensure it serves the needs of AERC, its network and partner institutions.
Negotiating key contracts for subscriptions to electronic journals with a view to providing access for researchers and trainees.
Overseeing the quality of the content that goes onto the AERC website.
4. Alumni Relations
Building and enhancing the AERC alumni network to drive the AERC agenda to its key stakeholders notably donors, governments, universities, etc.
5. Marketing, Branding, Media and Public Relations / Public Affairs
Overseeing the implementation of the brand strategy for AERC that ensures marketing and branding of AERC to the various publics ensuring constant visibility of the AERC brand at all the partner universities including their websites.
Leading the development of on-going relationships with key national and regional media outlets that result in an increased positive representation of AERC programmes, research outputs and events.
Engaging and building a robust network with mainstream media outlets and involve them in AERC events to publicize the events, milestones and achievements as well as research outputs impacting public policy.
Monitoring AERC’s media presence and prepare quarterly reports on the effectiveness of the organization’s PR and media campaigns.
Implementing a public affairs programme for AERC which includes information for civil society and the media as well as for policymakers, and which encompasses web-based and event-based activities.
Developing a system of targeted information packages for different stakeholder groups and audiences and integrates the different resources and media of the Communications Division.
6. Resource Mobilization and Donor Relations
Liaise with Senior Management Team (SMT) in the development of the resource mobilization strategy;
Setting fundraising targets,
Actively identifying and developing new sources of income, approaching and negotiating partner relationships with donors and coordinating fundraising activities.
Actively seeking opportunities to partner with organizations that support the vision of AERC outreach/brand AERC.
Deepening and broadening relations with donors through informed dialogue and assist the Executive Director in maintaining effective relations with donors and network members
Ensuring creation of synergies between activities in different departments that will enhance fundraising efforts.
Representing AERC in meetings with key donors/ partners to push the fundraising agenda for the organization and following up on the implementation of recommendations and agreements.
7. Events Coordination and Policy Outreach
Overseeing the development of promotional material as well as the image and positioning of AERC to existing and potential donors.
Coordinating and organizing major AERC policy outreach events and conferences, including the AERC Senior Policy Seminar and National Policy Workshops.
Working closely with the Executive Director and Program Directors in developing intellectual content for the Senior Policy Seminars and National Policy Workshops, including commissioning of papers.
Collaborating closely with Research & Training Directors in planning for workshops and seminars, such as the Biannual Research Workshops and Thesis dissemination workshops
Using events such as Biannual Workshop, and Senior Policy Seminar, Thesis Dissemination Workshops as a strategic platform for dissemination of policy research to the body of stakeholders and place emphasis on positioning and packaging the outputs from Research favorably to donors.
Overseeing the implementation of the ICT strategy and implementing operational plans within the framework of the strategy approved by the Board
Ensuring development, implementation and maintenance of all policies related to ICT services, including project management, ICT security and an active business continuity plan.
Overseeing the implementation of ICT activities to ensure that ICT is used to achieve effective program implementation and efficient operations of the Secretariat including outreach and dissemination.
Responsible for maintenance of current information on AERC website. Review material submitted for publication to ensure quality and accurate content. Assess content for compatibility and consistency with the site as a whole and make recommendations for improvement.
Ensuring AERC knowledge resources are readily accessible on the web; facilitate web-based networking such as social networks, blogs, etc; support learning events, workshops and senior policy seminars
9. Social Media Management
Overseeing the implementation of the social media strategy.
Ensuring AERC presence on relevant social media platforms;
Leading in the development of a vibrant and sustainable social media environment to drive conversations on AERC programmes with students, donors, researchers and other key stakeholders.
10. Secondary Responsibilities
Undertake any other duties as may be directed by the Executive Director
: Post-graduate education
Required relevant work experience
: 7 years
English (Spoken: fluent | Written: fluent)
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