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Communication consultant - Youth employment in the digital economy


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Organization: International Labour Organization
Closing date: 15 Jul 2021

The ILO is seeking the support of a consultant to provide advice and practical support to scale up communication activities of the ILO/ITU/AU Joint Programme on Boosting Decent Jobs and Enhancing Skills for Youth in Africa’s Digital Economy.

1. Background

Technical context:

Africa is home to nearly 363 million young people and their numbers are projected to double by 2050. However, the full potential of young Africans remains untapped and many young people remain without access to decent work. The COVID-19 pandemic is having severe socioeconomic consequences for Africa and the impacts on young people are systematic, deep and disproportionate.

At the same time, digital technologies are transforming societies and labour markets, with the potential to create new jobs in the digital economy and build back better. If young people are to benefit from the growth in Africa’s digital economy, while at the same time now addressing the socio-economic challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, critical supply and demand-side challenges need to be addressed. The majority of learning institutions, formal and informal, do not provide young people with the skills that are needed in the market now and in the future. For example, very few national curricula include topics such as computational thinking or regularly train schoolteachers to teach these skills.

As African countries continue to advance in their drive towards an increasingly digital economy, attention must be paid to ensuring that Africa’s youth are able to benefit from new opportunities, and in turn that their energy and creativity can be harnessed by expanding digitally based industries. This requires focusing on three areas:

  1. Labour demand: an enabling policy and regulatory environment for job creation for young people

  2. Labour supply: ensuring that young people have relevant capacities and (digital) skills

  3. Labour intermediation: preparing employment services for the digital era.

Context of the assignment:

To create decent employment and enhance skills for youth in Africa's digital economy, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), with the support of the African Union (AU), have initiated a programme with continental reach. The ILO/ITU/AU Joint Programme on Boosting Decent Jobs and Enhancing Skills for Youth in Africa’s Digital Economy has been launched under the aegis of the Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth and focuses initially in six African countries (Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, more information available here).

The programme framework at the continental and national level was developed in consultation with young people, governments, workers’ and employers’ organizations, educators and public and private actors of the digital economy. The programme will operate through an iterative cycle of implementing interventions to create jobs, strengthen digital skills and improve employment services; establishing partnerships and networks, and providing policy advice using new diagnostic tools and data showing what best boosts youth employment. Informed by digital economy priorities and plans at the national level, the programme will facilitate the exchange of information and learning across six target countries and beyond.

The Joint Programme’s goals for 2021 are two-fold:

Pilot implementation:** operationalise the partnership in the six target countries through successful implementation of pilot implementation plans. The plans will lay the groundwork for scaling-up interventions and continuing to build partnerships including in support of ongoing resource mobilisation efforts.

Partnership development: ILO and ITU are seeking to establish long-lasting partnerships to mobilize resources for programme implementation at the continent and country levels. This includes financial and/or technical support for the implementation of innovative and tailored interventions in the target countries. It comprises as well garnering convening and brokering support in mobilizing public and private partners to establish shared-value partnerships and networks and to strengthen youth engagement.

2. Objective of the assignment

The objective of the assignment is to provide advice and practical support to scale up communication activities of the ILO/ITU/AU Joint Programme on Boosting Decent Jobs and Enhancing Skills for Youth in Africa’s Digital Economy (hereafter “the Joint Programme”).

The deliverables of this assignment will enable ILO and its partners to inform key audiences (young people, national stakeholders, development partners) about envisioned and realized results and impacts of the Joint Programme. Communication products will embrace a human-centred and story-telling approach around young people’s decent work opportunities in the digital economy. This approach allows communication activities to be scaled-up together with the Joint Programme over the medium and long term.

3. Scope of work

The scope of the assessment comprises the following tasks listed below. Kindly note that unless explicitly indicated professional copy-editing, layout/graphic design and translation services are not expected to be performed by the consultant who is expected to work with a larger team of ILO staff and ILO collaborators that will finalize and disseminate communication products and materials. It is expected that all work can be undertaken remotely.

Undertake consultations to develop key messages for the Joint Programme’s communication products and activities.

This task implies:

  • Conducting a series of consultations with ILO staff and experts of partner organizations (including the ITU, the AU and a select number of national stakeholders) to identify a number of key communication messages that highlight the vision, main elements and added value of the Joint Programme in the context of promoting youth employment in the digital economy in Africa;

  • Following the consultations develop a note (max 5 pages) that contains key messages (divided by topic, communication channel and audience). ILO expects that key messages will be subsequently integrated into communication activities and products.

Develop content drafts for communication products and materials.

This task implies:

  • Getting familiar with the Joint Programme, including its vision/objective, projects at the country level and operational structure. This will include participating in briefings with ILO staff and reviewing key documentation of the Joint Programme (either available online or to be shared by the ILO upon the start of the assignment): (i) overview brochure (available in FR and EN); (ii) finalized Concept Notes for the six target countries of the Joint Programme; (iii) 2021 Pilot Implementation Plans available for five target countries; (iv) Resource Mobilization Strategy.
  • Drafting 6 short country information notes (1 per target country, 2-3 pages) based on existing documentation and on consultations with ILO and ITU staff at regional and country level. The country notes will highlight the specifics of the Joint Programme in each country, including objectives, current activities and opportunities for partners.

  • Develop first scripts for 2 animated videos highlighting the objectives of the Joint Programme. Videos are being produced in collaboration with an external service provider. ILO will provide further guidance on the objectives and modalities of the videos.

  • Review scripts (to be provided by ILO) of up to 2 impact stories about the vision and results of the Joint Programme;

Support the design of the Joint Programme webpage (as sub-pages of the website of the Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth, here). This task implies:

  • In close collaboration with the ILO develop content drafts for up to 7 web pages (1 general web page and 6 pages for the target countries that will follow the same format)

  • Liaise with external service providers that are designing and programming the webpage, provide feedback on initial and advanced drafts;

  • Getting familiar with the content management system of the webpage with a view to curating content and integrating new communication materials (brochures, flyers, videos, social media posts).

Support communication efforts for partner engagements and Joint Programme events.

This task implies:

  • Tailor and customize PowerPoint Presentations ahead of bilateral meetings with key partners at the global, regional and national level. Participate in meetings and draft follow-up messages with a view of communicating the added value of the Joint Programme;

  • Support the preparation of communication products in the run-up to and during stakeholders meetings at the national or regional level. The consultant is expected to support at least four events (1/2 day each) of technical working groups that take place in Q4 2021.

4. Assignment deliverables and timeframe

Duration of the Assignment: 40 non-consecutive working over the period August to December 2021 (dates TBC)

Deliverable 1: Note on key communication messages (5 pages) for the Joint Programme following stakeholder consultations (Deadline 30 September 2021, 5 working days)

Deliverable 2: Final content drafts for 6 country information notes (2-3 pages per country) are available (Deadline: 30 September 2021, 7 working days).

Deliverable 3: Scripts for 2 animated videos are available and scripts for 2 impact stories are reviewed. (Deadline: 31 October 2021, 5 working days).

Deliverable 4: At least 7 web pages for the Joint-Programme are available and online. (Deadline: 31 October 2021, 8 working days).

Deliverable 5: Customized presentations and follow-up material for at least 10 stakeholder consultations (bilateral meetings) available. (Deadline: 15 December 2021, 5 working days)

Deliverable 6: Adapted communication products for at least 4 stakeholder events/workshops available (Deadline: 15 December 2021, 10 working days)

5. Payment Terms

Payments will be made in relation to this contract as follows:

  • The first payment of 30 per cent of the total contract value will be made upon submission of deliverables 1 and 2 to the satisfaction of the ILO and presentation of the invoice

  • The second payment of 30 per cent of the total contract value will be made upon submission of deliverables 3 and 4 to the satisfaction of the ILO and presentation of the invoice

  • The third and final payment of 40 per cent of the total contract value will be made upon submission of deliverables 5 and 6 to the satisfaction of the ILO and presentation of the invoice

6. Roles, reporting and specific clauses.

The service provider will report to Jonas Bausch (bausch@ilo.org), Youth Employment Officer, ILO Regional Office for Africa, Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire

Throughout the course of this assignment, the service provider will remain in regular exchange with the ILO for coordination and follow-up. For this purpose, a detailed workplan might be elaborated a the beginning of the assignment. If it appears necessary to modify the tasks of work the service provider must discuss the circumstances with the ILO and obtain prior written approval.

All data and information received from the ILO for the purpose of this assignment are to be treated confidentially and are only to be used in connection with the execution of these Terms of Reference

7. Required skills and experience

  • Post-graduate qualification in a relevant field (communication, social science, social policy, economics, development studies, etc.).

  • At least 5 years of progressive experience in programme management and communications of development interventions in the areas of employment promotion, youth employment and decent work

  • Understanding of future of work trends in particular around digitalisation and the digital economy would be considered an asset

  • Exceptional organizational and communication skills, ability to work independently in order to meet deadlines.

  • Excellent English communication and drafting skills. At least working knowledge of French required, excellent drafting skills in French preferred.

How to apply:

Interested applicants are invited to apply by sending a technical proposal (max 2 pages, plus an overview of past relevant/related work), a daily rate and an indication of their availability in the period August to December 2021 to Jonas Bausch (bausch@ilo.org) by 15 July 2021 23:59 PM CEST.

· Type of Contract: External collaborator contract (consultancy)

· Duration of the Assignment: 40 non-consecutive working over the period August to December 2021 (dates TBC)

· Deadline: The application deadline is 15 July 2021 23:59 PM CEST.

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