Strategic Communications Manager
DAI - Location: Lusaka, Lusaka Province, Zambia, Lusaka
The Feed the Future Southern Africa Seed Trade Project (the Seed Trade Project) facilitates seed trade across the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region by providing technical assistance in the implementation of seed variety testing, registration and release, seed certification and quality assurance, and quarantine and phytosanitary measures for seed. The Seed Trade Project supports activities in Feed the Future focus and aligned countries in the SADC region, including Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe.
It is necessary to inform activities with: 1) the current status of efforts by the government ministries and agencies of member-states to domesticate the SADC Harmonized Seed Regulations (HSR); 2) the current activities and thinking of seed companies and national seed associations to use the SADC varietal registration and seed certification scheme in their business operations in SADC countries; 3) the status of SADC member-state domestication of SADC harmonization and seed company plans to use the SADC varietal registration and seed certification scheme; 4) the presence and programs of other donor and organizational initiatives that are currently working to harmonize seed regulations, build capacities of public seed certification agencies, public phytosanitary inspection and quarantine for seed pests and diseases, private seed inspection and certification services, and improved customs handling and reporting of seed traded across SADC borders.
The Strategic Communications Manager will oversee project communications and reporting, internally and externally. Reporting directly to the Chief of Party and liaising as needed with USAID regional and country mission representatives, other USG organizations, SADC and bilateral national partners and stakeholders, the Strategic Communications Manager is responsible for planning, initiating and managing the full breadth of the marketing and outreach activities of the project, with a strong focus on capturing and promoting the reach and impact of the project. Direction on strategic communication priorities and external stakeholder coordination will periodically be provided by the Chief of Party.
S/he will provide day‐to‐day management of Seed Trade’s communications, reporting, and outreach to Seed Trade’s various stakeholders. S/he will additionally support Seed Trade-sponsored events, such as national and international conferences, by organizing, branding, and producing informational materials and facilitating business participation. Zambian nationals are highly encouraged to apply.
Responsibilities and Key Tasks:
- In coordination with USAID, develop targeted messaging for the project to convey its impact and success in keeping with USAID guidelines and priorities to internal and external stakeholders.
- Follow communications protocols as agreed upon with USAID and the Chief of Party, including receiving approvals for outreach and deliverables
- Support communications with the USAID/Southern Africa Regional Economic Growth Office (REGO), the USAID Director of Communications Office (DOC), USAID bilateral missions, Feed the Future, and other USG agencies regarding project implementation, knowledge management, and information dissemination.
- Develop a communications strategy for the project to highlight achievements and effectively communicate progress. Proactively execute this overall communications strategy (internal and external).
- Manage the process of developing and delivering contractual deliverables including weekly, quarterly and annual reports.
- Provide quality assurance related to informational content and product development including PowerPoints, fact sheets, case studies, brochures, profiles and others.
- Coordinate high-profile events, delegations, and field visits by U.S. government agencies, bilateral missions, international organizations and donors, regional economic communities (RECs), embassies, and local partners and stakeholders.
- Update Seed Trade Project website as needed to ensure information is up to date and progress and events are shared as is appropriate. This may include updating and uploading modules and developing resources for relevant stakeholders to use.
- Develop outreach materials including banners, brochures, reports and other forms of internal and external communications, and manage clearance processes
- Represent Seed Trade at events and meetings as delegated by the Chief of Party and liaise with relevant stakeholders, including institutional and private sector partners, to increase visibility and maximize coordination. Conduct interviews and capture quotes or stories as needed for reporting.
In coordination with USAID, liaise and coordinate closely with the SADC Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources (FANR) Directorate and the SADC Seed Centre regarding informational product Development and distribution.
- Support programmatic events, trade shows, exhibitions and initiatives (e.g., conferences and other events).
- Ensure program materials are branded correctly and consistently in keeping with USAID standards and branding guidelines.
- collaborate with technical staff on integrated project plans; provide communications support to technical staff as needed.
- Assist with the building of the capacity of Seed Trade staff to develop reporting and promotional content from project activities; support staff with templates and reporting guidelines as needed
The Strategic Communications Manager will oversee short-term technical consultants contributing to the communications and knowledge management strategies on the project, such as graphic designers and videographers.
Place of Performance and Reporting:
The Strategic Communications Specialist will be based in Lusaka, Zambia and will report to the Chief of Party.
- At least 8 years of progressively responsible experience in communications, reporting, communications product development, and knowledge management for USAID programs.
- Excellent written and oral communications skills; the ability to write well and produce various informational products under tight deadline.
- Demonstrated experience designing communications plans, developing and implementing knowledge management tools or systems, and developing content for social media platforms.
- Experience working collaboratively with institutional and private‐sector partners and stakeholders In a multi‐country setting, preferably in Southern Africa.
- USAID project reporting experience and USG client relations management and protocol experience.
- Fluency in English to include excellent written and oral communications skills; demonstrated experience preparing well-researched reports.
- Proficiency with MS Office (Word and Power Point), graphic arts and desktop publishing software a plus.
- Excellent interpersonal skills and a strong team player
- Ability to travel domestically or abroad to support project work
Bachelor’s degree in communications, international relations/development or business/marketing is required, Master’s preferred.