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Communications Officer Job in Kenya

Mercy Corps AgriFin Accelerate Program

Vacancy: Communications Officer

Program Summary: The AgriFin Accelerate program will operate in three African countries (Kenya, Tanzania and possibly Zambia) utilizing a market ecosystem approach, working with carefully selected partners to build sustainable models, where farm and crop management tools and financial services are "bundled" in affordable, unified platforms on mobile phone channels to promote mass commercial uptake and usage. 

The program seeks to address low farmer productivity and capability, and improve institutional ability to deliver appropriate digital financial services products and build ecosystems to drive scale. 

We work with farmers, banks, mobile network operators, MFIs, research institutes and other ecosystem players in well-defined partnerships to sustainably bundle services, leveraging the offer and outreach of all partners, while increasing the range of services, access points and value for farmers. 

The program works with partners to identify, prototype, test and scale successful mobile-enabled services for smallholders, with a key focus on expanding access to financial services, using a rapid iteration approach to product development and client-centric design techniques.
We are presently looking for a committed and dynamic individual to take up the position of a Communications Officer

General Position Summary: The Communications Officer (CO) will have an in-depth experience in communications, including written, online and social media, along with a working knowledge of communication theory, marketing, dissemination approaches and proposal development preferably in the context of economic development, mobile financial services, technology and/or agriculture. 

A working understanding of data management and analysis would be preferable. 

The CO will report to the Director of Strategic Learning and will be principally responsible for

1) supporting the implementation of a communications strategy and work plan for the program, including event planning; 

2) supporting program work related to all publications including research, blogs, case studies and e-newsletters; 

3) coordinating with the monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) of the program to ensure broad communication of program learning, including consultants deployed for certain written assignments;

4) supporting communication planning, dissemination and implementation activities. 

The CO will work internally to create communications strategies to promote productivity and effective teamwork, as well as excellent coordination of relationships with program partners. 

Externally, the CO will assist the Director of Strategic Learning and the Director of the Program to communicate with the media and other interested parties to announce initiatives and results to build market awareness and use of program learnings and maintain a positive image of Mercy Corps and the program.

Essential Job Functions
Communication and Public Relations:
  • Support the implementation of the program communications plan to capture lessons learned and to effectively engage with program donor and stakeholders to share access to program learning externally through multiple channels.
  • Continuously liaise with the Director of Strategic Learning and program managers to ensure even communications across initiatives and to meet deadlines for blogs and other written and on-line communications.
  • Coordinate delivery of high quality, consistent and relevant content that is both engaging and stimulating for the program's online community. 
  • Assist the Program Data and Information Manager to coordinate and monitor research consultants to meet deadlines and efficiently work with partners and Program Team staff on monitoring and evaluation outputs. 
  • Work with the Program Team to write, edit, assemble, and ensure timely submission of internal and external reports.
Documentation and Communications: 
  • Collaborate with the Program Data and Information Manager to ensure the continuous development and ongoing maintenance of the program website. He/she should also support on content selection, editing, updates and improvements on the AgriFin website
  • Take photos and videos of field activities for publishing online or in case studies and program evaluation reports.
  • Write and coordinate development of blog posts about the program and publish online.
  • With the relevant Program Team members establish and maintain traffic of our Facebook, Twitter & You Tube accounts developing and maintaining a "voice" for the program's online community.
  • Maintain overall program library, as well as global publications and best practices for reference of the program, donors, stakeholders, and Mercy Corps staff. 
  • Oversee the preparation, printing and dissemination of documents, including liaising with authors, printers and graphic designers in support of the Program Data and Information Manager. 
  • Support preparation of reports on M&E findings, as required, working closely with Director of Strategic Learning. .
Liaison with External Parties: 
  • In collaboration with the Program Data and Information Manager respond to the wide variety of information requests from stakeholders in the project area, including the media. 
  • Assist with the work of short-term consultants and research firms, facilitating their access to the information they require and provide other forms of research assistance when required. 
  • Support in event planning and country launches of research reports and project engagements with partners of the program 
  • Participate in external and internal missions and facilitate team members’ and donor’s access to program learnings under the direction of the Director of Strategic Learning. 
  • Understand donor and Mercy Corps’ policies, procedures, branding rules and regulations to assist in communicating learnings across a community of practitioners in the digital finance services sector.
Organizational Learning: As part of our commitment to organizational learning and in support of our understanding that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities they serve - we expect all team members to commit 5% of their time to learning activities that benefit Mercy Corps as well as themselves.
Accountability: Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts towards accountability, specifically to our beneficiaries and to international standards guiding international relief and development work while actively engaging beneficiary communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.
Supervisory Responsibility: None
Reports Directly To: Director, Strategic Learning
Works Directly With: Program Data and Information Manager, Technical teams, Country Managers, Digital Farmer Capability Lab Manager
Knowledge and Experience:
  • Minimum BA/S or equivalent in journalism, public relations, communications, marketing, international development, social sciences;
  • Minimum three years’ relevant working experience required; preference for experience in private sector in marketing, advertising, event planning, research assistance or public relations firm.
  • Excellent oral, writing and presentation skills with relevant experience writing and disseminating formal reports, case studies, blogs, newsletters, and articles;
  • Working knowledge of mobile technology, international development issues and agriculture
  • Excellent interpersonal and cross-cultural communications skills.
  • Strong sensitivity to cultural, religious and gender issues. 
  • Willing to undertake regular field visits and interact with different stakeholders; 
  • Well organized and detail oriented;
  • A self-starter, with demonstrated ability to work successfully in a team, ideally in an international context;
  • Full proficiency with MS Office software (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.) required, and publishing software (MS Publisher, Adobe InDesign, etc.) preferred;
  • Fluency in English required;
  • Enjoys working in teams inside a dynamic customer-centric organization;
  • Sense of humor.
Success Factors: The successful candidate will possess expertise in communications, journalism, research, event planning and web-based information management. 

She/he will have demonstrated experience with professional applications to web presentation and content and the production of multi-media work including impact stories, audio and video editing. 

The most successful Mercy Corps staff members have a strong commitment to teamwork and accountability, thrive in evolving and changing environments and make effective written and verbal communication a priority in all situations.

Interested candidates who meet the above required qualifications and experience should submit a cover letter, detailed curriculum vitae (CV) listing three professional referees (including a recent supervisor) to on or before Friday 11th March 2016 by 4.00pm. 

The email subject line must clearly show the job title. 

Applications without the right subject heading will be automatically disqualified. 

Please do not attach any certificates.

(Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. We will only get in touch with shortlisted candidates)

NB: Mercy Corps AgriFin Accelerate Program does not charge any fee at any stage of the recruitment process

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