Communications and Media Officer Job at Nile Basin Discourse

Job Title:  Communications and Media Officer

The World Bank, as administrator of the Cooperation on International Waterways in Africa (CIWA) Trust Fund has provided support to the Nile Basin Discourse (NBD) for the implementation of a three year project titled: Engaging Civil Society for Social and Climate Resilience in the Nile Basin.

In 2000, the World Bank, IUCN and the WWF also initiated the establishment of the Nile Basin Discourse (NBD) with funding from the World Bank and the MacArthur Foundation. The NBD was established as a civil society network to influence NBI investments. First hosted as an IUCN project, the NBD became an independent, regional NGO in 2002, and has evolved into a network claiming over 800 member organizations throughout the Basin. Member organizations are local and national NGOs working on a range of issues relevant to Nile cooperation, including environmental conservation, gender equity, livelihoods, poverty reduction, and others. The stated mission of the NBD is “to ensure that a fully informed and basin-wide civil society develops and plays a key role in achieving the vision, through pro-active and critical influencing of projects, programs and policies of the Nile Basin Initiative and other development processes.”

The Nile Basin Initiative’s (NBI) development partners have identified engaging communities and addressing the social impacts of Nile basin investments as a priority going forward. In addition, NBI has developed the Nile Cooperation for Results (NCORE) project in line with its strategic plan. With this endorsement, the World Bank agreed to support a technical assistance project to strengthen the capacity of the NBD. The project will complement the NCORE project and aim to engage civil society more actively in Nile Basin water resources development and management issues.

The stakeholder feedback based on interviews with a number of stakeholders confirmed three critical roles for the network: (i) a bottom-up communications pipeline for raising the voices of citizens and civil society up to the governmental and regional levels; (ii) a top-down pipeline for educating and informing citizens and civil society on Nile issues and development projects, etc.; and, (ii) a horizontal pipeline between citizens and civil society organizations both within and across national borders for knowledge and capacity sharing.

Job Summary: The Communications and Media Officer will be providing media and communications services for NBD.

Key Duties and Responsibilities: 

  • Develop strategic communication and marketing plans essential to supporting the goals and objectives of NBD campaigns.
  • Actively facilitate timely knowledge exchange and dissemination NBD’s virtual platform, face-to-face events and publications
  • Publicize NBD work in social media spaces, engage in dialogues and answer questions where appropriate.
  • Monitor the news and seek out rapid response opportunities.
  • Keenly track and report on media coverage attained.
  • Write the content for the quarterly Nile Voices, brochures, flyers, reports and other organizational materials, as assigned.
  • Provide regular communications with partners and interested parties through the Nile Voices, Annual Reports, outreach and targeted consultations
  • Steer the development and implementation of the NBD Communications Strategy and Media Engagement plan
  • Build and maintain relationships with media/reporters. Develop story ideas and strategies to promote organizational activities and pitch media in markets across the Nile Basin.
  • Write and pitch press releases, op-eds, letters to the editor, blogs, magazine articles. Offer a 24/7 on-call media service and respond to all media requests.
  • Prepare talking points, presentations and other written pieces, and providing media training as needed to maximize response to media inquiries and opportunities.
  • Support in event and production planning and execution, including supporting staff in identifying various approaches that may increase media interest and securing media attention as relevant.
  • Oversee social media campaigns and day-to-day activities: online advocacy, writing editorial, community-outreach efforts, promotions, etc.
  • Perform any other communications activities as requested.

Qualifications, Skills and Experience: 

  • The job suitor should possess a good Bachelor’s degree in communications, journalism, media relations, marketing or related field
  • At least five years of progressive experience demonstrating delivery of high-quality communications, knowledge-exchange and networking services, including the production of newsletters, websites, events and materials.
  • Proven experience in securing media coverage.
  • Good knowledge and understanding of international development.
  • Excellent verbal communications, copywriting and editing skills. (Two writing samples required with application, preferably on a relevant topic).
  • Possess the ability to tailor communications to a wide range of audiences and to communicate complex material in a way that is accessible to a broad audience.
  • Ability to work independently with a good attention to detail.
  • Highly organized with the ability to handle multiple projects and priorities and to be responsive to long- and short-lead opportunities.
  • Computer literacy skills i.e. proficiency with MS Office – Word, Outlook, Excel.
  • Excellent communication skills in English – writing, speaking and listening, concise and conversational writer; other languages a plus
  • Highly articulate, creative, passionate, flexible and tenacious
  • Good knowledge and understanding of content management systems, image software (video and still), online communications and main social media tools (Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, youtube, etc)
  • Working knowledge of water resources and sustainability issues preferred
  • Excellent time and project management skills, ability to manage competing demands with grace and to work well under pressure
  • Significant experience in developing and working with networks and partnerships and knowledge exchange projects
  • Past exposure working in an international context and ability to work well with people from different cultures and backgrounds
  • Possess the ability to work as part of a close-knit team and to carry projects forward independently
  • Strong media contacts within the Nile Basin is desired
  • Past experience managing design and print processes.
  • Prior experience producing webpages and HTML e-newsletters.
  • Past experience in social media outreach and campaigns is an advantage
  • Good knowledge and understanding of fundraising.
  • Past experience in securing earned media to advance advocacy objectives is highly preferred
  • Prior experience acting as an organizational spokesperson.
  • Skills and experience in interview skills.
  • A background in a non-governmental organization or related consultancy, or government agency is an added advantage

How to Apply for the job: 

All interested and suitably qualified candidates should send the following attachments in an email with ‘NBD APPLICATION’ as the subject heading to and copy

Please include the following:

  • A covering letter explaining why they are interested in undertaking this work and how they meet the person specification using clear examples from their previous experience.
  • A current CV with email addresses and telephone numbers of two referees.

Deadline:  10th November 2014, 17:00 p.m. Entebbe-Uganda time

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