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Consortium Communications Officer - HEAL Project


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Country: Ethiopia
Organization: Vétérinaires Sans Frontières Suisse
Closing date: 23 Oct 2020


Vétérinaires Sans Frontières Suisse (VSF-Suisse) is a politically and religiously neutral humanitarian organization with its head office in Berne. VSF-Suisse fights hunger, poverty, destitution and illness for the benefit of those populations who depend on livestock for their livelihood. VSF-Suisse works both in humanitarian aid and in long-term development in seven countries of West and East Africa.

Together with its partners, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and Comitato Collaborazione Medica (CCM), VSF-Suisse will implement a regional One Health development project known as One Health Units for Humans, Environment, Animals and Livelihoods (HEAL) in Oromia and Somali Regions of Ethiopia, Gedo Region of Somalia and Marsabit County of Kenya. The goal of the project is to improve the wellbeing of pastoralist communities in arid and semi-arid areas of Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya by ensuring healthy people derive their livelihoods from healthy livestock in a sustainably managed environment. The HEAL project Phase 1 will be implemented for 4 years (November 2020 to October 2024) and will be followed by a subsequent 8-year implementation phase. The project is co-funded by Swiss Development Cooperation.

Job responsibilities and key tasks

VSF-Suisse seeks to hire a Consortium Communications Officer will take lead in building and promoting a strong public profile of the HEAL Project to a wide and diverse range of audiences including donors, potential donors, national and local media, governments, academia and the general public in the horn of Africa and globally. S/He will provide support to the consortium partners (VSF-Suisse, CCM & ILRI) in developing and implementing the communication function and is responsible for designing, implementing, managing and directing internal as well as external communication. The Communication Officer is a key member of the senior management team and assists the HEAL Regional Project Manager in the overall management of the Consortium’s communication strategy. The position holder shall be responsible for the HEAL website management, publications production, media relations, social media engagement, public affairs management and event management.

Planning and Management

· Implementing the communications strategy in close liaison with the project partners

· Ensures that reports on communications activities are provided to the Project Management Unit (PMU) and donors as required;

· Develop communication policies and procedures for the HEAL Project

· Updating the HEAL PMU on communications with the network, donors and other stakeholders.

· Preparing the required management and donor reports.

· Regularly reviewing communication processes and tools for continuous improvement.


· Overseeing the development, production and distribution of HEAL 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 project’s communications

· Establishing clear guidelines for what to publish in print form and on the website and ensures that these are achieved within agreed performance standards.

· Overseeing the quality of the content that goes onto the HEAL website.

Marketing, Branding, and Media Management

· Overseeing the implementation of the brand strategy for HEAL that ensures marketing and branding of the project to donors and key stakeholders ensuring constant visibility of the HEAL project at relevant major events and platforms

· Developing a system of targeted information packages for different stakeholder groups and audiences

· Liaise with the HEAL PMU in the development of the resource mobilization strategy;

· Actively seeking opportunities to partner with organizations that support the vision of the HEAL project

· Overseeing the development of promotional material as well as the image and positioning of HEAL to existing and potential donors.

· Coordinating and organizing major HEAL events and conferences in collaboration with the project partners

· Overall management and maintenance of the HEAL 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 HEAL reports and resources are readily accessible on the web; facilitate web-based networking such as social networks, blogs, etc;

· Overseeing the implementation of the social media strategy.

· Ensuring HEAL presence on relevant social media platforms;

· Leading in the development of a vibrant and sustainable social media environment to drive conversations on HEAL programmes with donors, researchers and other key stakeholders.


Essential Criteria

· Degree in Communications, marketing or Public Affairs Relevant Experience.

· Relevant experience in media, publications or (online) communications, ideally in an NGO or similar organization of at least 3 years

· Experience in developing and implementing communications strategies for NGOs

· Knowledgeable in publications, website development, information resources, or journalism

· Good knowledge of international development issues

· An excellent understanding of web-based communications, social networking and social media and their ‘marketing’ potential

· An excellent understanding of public outreach through online platforms and of Social media management tools

· Proven ability to work with communications and presentation software

· Exceptional writing skills with proven ability to produce concise, well-structured and very high-quality written materials

· Excellent presentation, report-writing and networking skills

· The ability to tailor writing towards different audiences

· The ability to multi-task and manage a heavy workload

· Proven team skills, including flexibility and enthusiasm

Skills and Abilities

· Proficient knowledge of English and ideally knowledge of any of the languages spoken in the intervention countries;

· Ability to work with tact and diplomacy with various stakeholders;

· Willing and able to travel extensively in the region;

· Ability to work independently and make rational strategic and routine decisions

· Performance management skills including mentoring and capacity building of field staff in communication skills

· Ideally a national or a resident of Ethiopia, Somalia or Kenya.

How to apply:

Application procedure

What we offer

  • A qualified, dynamic and highly motivated team of colleagues;

  • A unique and relevant project for pastoral communities in the Greater Horn of Africa;

  • The opportunity to actively contribute to the future design of the project implementation;

  • A job with responsibilities in a demanding and challenging environment;

  • A competitive salary as well as a medical and social insurance scheme.

Entry date and contract length

1 November 2020 start date, with a fixed-term contract of four-years.

Application procedure and deadline

We look forward to receiving your application in English. Please add:

1. A motivation letter (maximum 1 page) stating why you are the right person for this position; (For more information on the job description please visit https://www.vsf-suisse.org/category/jobs/?lang=en)

2. *A recent CV of 2 pages maximum;*

3. Scanned copies of your work certificates and relevant university diplomas;

4. *Contact details of three referees. Send your application by e-mail with the position being applied for as the email subject to* heal@vsf-suisse.org *by 23rd October 2020 (midnight).*

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