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Policy and Strategic Communications Manager


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Country: Kenya
Organization: World University Service of Canada
Closing date: 4 Oct 2020


Displaced and Refugee youth Enabling Environment Mechanism (DREEM)

In the context of the ‘Displaced and Refugee youth Enabling Environment Mechanism (DREEM)’ initiative, funded by the MasterCard Foundation, WUSC is seeking to hire a Policy and Strategic Communications Manager - to provide strategic guidance, technical advice, effective coordination and capacity building for components of the ‘Displaced and Refugee youth Enabling Environment Mechanism (DREEM)’, a five year project based in northern Kenya and funded by the MasterCard Foundation.


World University Service of Canada (WUSC) is a leading Canadian international development organization that works with and through its southern partners to promote sustainable development. Founded in 1957 and currently working in more than 20 countries worldwide with an annual budget of approximately $45 million dollars, WUSC fosters youth-centered solutions for improved education, economic, and empowerment opportunities to overcome inequality and exclusion. We believe youth have the potential to provide for their families, build strong communities, and create positive social change for future generations. Globally, WUSC has a network of higher education institutions, civil society organizations, private sector partners, professionals, students, volunteers, faculty, and community leaders that can be leveraged to support our work. **

WUSC’s members are Canada’s most globally engaged post-secondary institutions. WUSC offers a dynamic international work environment with a diverse intercultural workforce. We offer employees exciting opportunities to apply their skills and gain experience all while making a difference for youth around the world. Employees at WUSC work hard to create lasting change in education, employment and empowerment.

Displaced and Refugee youth Enabling Environment Mechanism (DREEM) project

WUSC through the DREEM project will play a unique role as a technical assistance and strategic learning partner to the Mastercard Foundation and Mastercard Foundation partners. The DREEM project will contribute to the Mastercard Foundation’s commitment to meaningfully include refugee and displaced youth in their Scholars project and Young Africa Works project. As the Mastercard Foundation also works to develop a new refugee and displaced youth strategy, the DREEM project will engage with the Foundation to ensure that the project continues to support the overall goals of the Foundation.

The DREEM project will focus on three key pillars:

  1. Support Scholars project (SP) partners and staff with the knowledge, capacity and networks to meaningfully recruit and serve refugees and displaced youth in higher education and transition to work and to work towards more inclusive societies;

  2. Support Young Africa Works (YAW) country partners and staff in Kenya to gain the knowledge, capacity and networks to meaningfully include and develop programming that meets the unique training and employment needs, opportunities and aspirations of refugee and displaced youth, especially young women;

  3. Strengthening Economic Opportunities for Refugees (SEOR) to complement WUSC’s existing Learning through Education and Access to Employment Pathways (LEAP) project and provide refugee entrepreneurs, especially young women with improved access to market-oriented business support services that improve business and employment outcomes in Kenya.

Job Role

Under the supervision of the Nairobi-based DREEM Director, the Policy and Strategic Communications Manager will work closely and in collaboration with the WUSC team in Kenya, the WUSC Advisory Team based in Canada and the Mastercard Foundation team.


  • In collaboration with the Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning Lead, develops policy and research priorities and a Research and Policy Strategy;

  • Rolls up knowledge on national-level policy challenges and shares this within the networks;

  • Seeks strategic opportunities for the network to support policy action and strategic communications;

  • Supports the development of communications and public education materials across the program; develops policy briefs and business cases;

  • Coordinates and convenes strategic policy discussions with multiple stakeholders nationally to advance policy goals related to refugee inclusion;

  • Develops and manages a web platform for resource sharing;

  • Condenses resources and learning materials for public dissemination and manages any social media related to the DREEM program;*Works with and manages external consultants when necessary (e.g., graphic designers/web developers);

  • In collaboration with the Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning Lead, develops policy;

  • Work closely with team members and external partners ;

  • Work collaboratively with DREEM team members to shape the strategic direction for the project and translate strategy into action plans that prioritize continuous learning and adaptive management;

Line Manager


Director - DREEM Project

Position Requires Close Collaboration with:


Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, and Learning (MERL) Team

Livelihoods and Economic Opportunities (LEO) Advisor

Gender Equality & Social Inclusion (GESI) Advisor

Learning through Education and Access to Skills for Employment Project Team

Senior Management Team (Operations Manager, Finance Manager, Education project Manager)


Senior Manager, Durable Solutions

Inclusive Economies Advisor

MERL Advisor


  • A Masters’ Degree in Communications, Media or International Relations or another relevant discipline

Experience & Competencies

The ideal applicant will combine technical expertise in one or more of DREEM’s sectors (higher education, durable solutions for refugees, vocational and technical training, support to entrepreneurs and businesses), a familiarity with the East African refugee context, a strategic and analytical mindset, excellent listening and interpersonal skills, and an ability to get things done.

Specific competencies:

  • 7 years’ experience in strategic communications with development cooperation/ technical assistance projects;** Experience developing policy briefs and business cases to advance policy objectives and systems change;

  • Relevant experience on projects that promote livelihoods and economic inclusion for displaced/ refugee youth; entrepreneur support within a refugee setting, tertiary or technical education for displaced/ refugee youth;

  • An intimate working knowledge of the processes and inner workings of legislative and political processes in Kenya; the ability to analyze the impact of legislation on the DREEM project and develop strategies to the project objectives forward;

  • Experience providing technical support to partner organizations and a commitment to a participatory partnership approach to capacity development;

  • Demonstrated capacity to generate and facilitate a “learning environment” among colleagues, partners and beneficiary communities;

  • Good understanding of challenges faced by displaced and refugee youth;

  • Understanding of the higher education landscape in Sub-Saharan Africa is also an asset;

  • Diplomatic skills and experience with representation with a wide range of key stakeholders;

  • Experience working on a Mastercard Foundation project will be an added advantage;

  • Complete fluency in English is essential, ability to write articulately and cogently, and to edit at a similarly high level;

  • Adherence to gender equality and social inclusion principles; proven knowledge of and commitment to the concept of gender equality and intersectionality within programming;

  • Curious, enthusiastic and willing to innovate and adapt;

  • Commitment to WUSC’s mission of building a better world for all young people, particularly displaced and refugee youth.

Other requirements

  • The role will require regular travel (up to 20%) to field sites in Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kalobeyei Settlement, and nearby communities in northern Turkana, as well as occasional international travel for conferences, workshops and meetings;

  • Ability to work a flexible schedule.

How to apply:

WUSC’s activities seek to balance inequities and create sustainable development around the globe; the work ethic of our staff, volunteers, representatives and partners shall correspond to the values and mission of the organization. WUSC promotes responsibility, respect, honesty, and professional excellence, and we will not tolerate harassment, coercion, sexual exploitation or abuse of any form. Successful applicants will be required to undertake an enhanced criminal record check where appropriate.

Only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted. WUSC is an equal opportunity employer. We welcome and encourage applications from people with disabilities. Accommodations are available on request for candidates taking part in all aspects of the selection process. If you wish to apply for this exciting role, please submit your resume and covering letter here.

Only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.

WUSC does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process.

Applicants must have the relevant immigration status to work in Kenya.

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