Afrobarometer(AB) is an independent, non-partisan, pan-African research network that provides reliable data on African citizens’ experiences and evaluations of democracy, governance, the economy, quality of life and many related issues. We believe that African societies thrive when African voices count in public policy and development.
AB envisions a world in which Africa’s development is based on a deeper understanding of the realities and preferences of its people; where governments, policymakers, thought leaders, funders, business leaders, and activists anchor their work in reliable and timely data on what African citizens really need and care about; and where citizens know that their voices count and claim their stake in the making of policies that affect their lives.
AB has been incorporated as an independent organization registered in Ghana with its own governing board, international advisory committee, and management structures. Starting in 1999, AB operated as a loose network for two decades, with its project management unit housed at the Ghana Center for Democratic Development.
In addition to the AB Secretariat, based in Ghana, the Afrobarometer network is comprised of three Core Partners, each of which manages survey fieldwork and communications activities for a region or regions of the continent (based in Nairobi, Cape Town and Accra), and National Partners in each country where AB works, who are the lead implementers of surveys and in-country communications. AB Support Units are located at the University of Cape Town and Michigan State University.
The Director of Communications (DoC) oversees the strategy, planning, and execution of all AB communications, including wide dissemination of AB findings at the country, continental and global level, as well as efforts designed to advance the AB brand, promote constructive narratives about the need to centre citizen voice in policymaking and advocacy, and enhance the uptake and use of AB data and analytic outputs by key stakeholders and user groups. The DoC will engage with key senior-level stakeholders and target audiences that include: governments and inter-governmental institutions; policy and development actors in Africa and globally; media; researchers/academics; and civil society groups and advocacy organizations, as well as ordinary African citizens. The DoC will also be responsible for overseeing efforts to help National Partners to strengthen their writing, communications, and outreach/engagement skills; engaging with key, senior-level stakeholders in media, government and advocacy organizations among others.
We are looking for a data-driven storyteller with primary responsibility for:
• Planning and production of AB outputs, including customized outputs designed to reach specific target audiences.
• Overseeing country-level communications/dissemination activities implemented by AB National Partners in each country under the supervision of Regional Communications Coordinators;
• Fostering partnerships and engagement with media to broadly convey the voices of African citizens to intended audiences.
• Developing institutional partnerships (both governmental and non-governmental) with potential users of AB data such as regional/continental inter-governmental bodies, advocacy organizations and think tanks.
• Overseeing the management of the AB website and other digital media platforms, including social media.
The DoC will interface with all AB Units to ensure consistency of AB external engagements and communication.
They will also be responsible for drafting and/or reviewing and finalizing speeches for the CEO and members of the governing board and international advisory council who represent AB in various policy and development fora.
What You Will Do
• Develop and execute a comprehensive and integrated communications strategy that advances the overall mission and goals of AB. The strategy would spell out the key elements of AB’s internal and external communications.
• Increase engagement with target audiences across all communication platforms, including in-person and virtual meetings/events, social media, website, and other digital channels, with the goal of building both awareness and use of AB data.
• Work with all AB units/directorates to build strategic external engagements.
• Synthesize and analyze data from various sources to inform enhancements of AB communications and programming.
• Provide strategic leadership and mentor a high-impact team of communications professionals.
• Develop effective internal coordination that leverages and maximizes individual team members’ capabilities.
• Establish a system of reports and communications for continuous performance improvement and increased impact.
Content Creation and Outreach
• Lead the creation and ongoing development of AB policy influence and related stories.
• Lead efforts to place AB content in high-profile media outlets.
• Identify speaking opportunities for AB leadership and staff to share data and analysis with relevant policy and development actors.
• Grow awareness of AB’s brand to reinforce AB values across the network and among target audiences.
• Continually identify, test and scale new communications and stakeholder engagement channels and ideas that drive meaningful progress toward key metrics and goals.
• Partner with colleagues in Analysis, Surveys, Capacity Building, and Fundraising to develop and deliver cohesive external messaging. Examples include:
• Working with Surveys Unit on questionnaire content that supports communications objectives • Collaborating with Analysis Unit to co-develop outputs that meet the needs of key stakeholders and target audiences
• Coordinating with Capacity Building Unit on efforts to build communications skills of National Partners and others
• Engaging with Fundraising Unit to build visibility case studies that support fundraising objectives.
• Bilingual in English and French; Portuguese and Arabic are also advantages.
• Training in social science concepts.
• Experience working in or with governments and/or designing campaigns to change narratives and policies.
• Quantitative analysis skills.
• Excellent speaking and writing skills.
• Proficiency in various digital communications platforms.
• Experience translating goals into multi-media communications plans.
• Experience synthesizing and analyzing data from various sources to improve programming.
• Ability to effectively amplify the voices of people in policymaking and development decisions.
• Maturity and leadership with the ability to engage in discussions at strategic and tactical levels.
• A good understanding of governance and development issues in Africa and an ability to integrate analysis of these issues into AB communications.
• Ability to effectively communicate and collaborate across a geographically dispersed team.
• Proven track record of driving exceptional external communications for organizations. Personal Characteristics
• Passion and commitment to promoting citizen voices in public discourse
• Critical thinking and problem-solving skills
• Excellent time and project management skills
• Well organized, detail-oriented, ability to multitask
• Strong interpersonal skills and ability to collaborate well
Who You Are – Education/Experience:
• You have 8-10 years experience in strategic communications with mission-driven organizations.
• You are an exceptional storyteller and able to translate complex ideas into clear, compelling, and thoughtful messaging.
• You are a writer and can help others improve their writing.
• You have experience with writing that hinges on the use of quantitative data.
• You have a record of success in increasing audience engagement and brand affinity across numerous platforms.
• You have a record of success in amplifying an organization’s thought leadership in public discussions.
• You have experience leading a high-performing team of professionals.
• You have experience negotiating and placing content in high-profile media outlets.
• You are a proven leader in the field of communications.
• You centre equity and fairness in your leadership.
• You have an advanced degree in communications, public relations, or a relevant field.
Submit a cover letter, resume, and one writing sample to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Applications close 29 July 2022.
Afrobarometer is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Note: This job description does not restrict management’s right to assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to this job at any time. This job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of all activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee.
Consideration will be given to qualified candidates on an ongoing basis until the position is filled. All inquiries will remain confidential until the establishment of mutual, serious interest and provision of references for review.