Advocacy and Communications Officer

Background

Innovation for Change (I4C) is a global network of people and organisations who want to connect, partner and learn together to defend and strengthen civic space as well as overcome the restrictions placed on basic freedoms of assembly, association and speech.

We are a community-led network inspired by ideas, methods, and technologies from across different sectors. We work together on advocacy, research, network building, education and training, fundraising, digital literacy and technology development.

Our seven connected regional Innovation Hubs are growing in both physical and online spaces across Africa, Central Asia, East Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), South Asia and the Pacific. Here, people exchange ideas and share their successes, challenges and opportunities in incubating social change and building sustainable solutions.

Africa Hub

Launched in 2017, the Africa Hub – based in Nairobi, Kenya – has been working to strengthen the capacity of civil society through promoting home-grown African solutions, and as a result of being part of a global network, offered network members access to the latest thinking, resources and collaborations.

It has become a vital new physical and online space for regional ideas and social innovations, powered by its dynamic, growing community of civic space advocates, including CSOs, technologists, and cross-sectoral partners.

Innovation for Change (I4C) Africa Hub’s main goal is to protect, respect, strengthen, expand and recover civil society space.

Main Duties and Responsibilities

The I4C Africa Hub’s Advocacy and Campaigns Officer will lead the advocacy and public engagement campaigns in the region, from development through co-ordination and direct implementation, the capacity development support to network members and organisations through training and ongoing strategic campaign advice, and the formulation of policy positions.

He/she will also serve as a spokesperson/principal communications and advocacy liaison to media organizations, governmental bodies, national groups, private sector organizations, educational organizations, and international organizations. He/she will develop and maintain strong relationships and strategic partnerships with donors, local government, UN agencies and other external stakeholders to represent the organization’s position and promote long-term objectives.

Specific Duties

1. Advocacy and Campaigning

  • Lead the strategy planning, development and implementation of innovative, impactful and often complex advocacy and campaign strategies within clear budget limits;
  • Develop and collate materials to represent and carry forward I4C Africa Hub’s positioning on key policy issues;
  • Lead campaigns planning and contribute to cross-regional campaigns planning;
  • Assist and support the Hub’s national and regional campaigns to face the restrictive NGOs laws and bills;
  • Support advocacy coordination across the I4C Africa Hub network across the region and with international partners;
  • Liaise with colleagues within I4C Africa Hub’s network and work closely with I4C’s global advocacy and campaigns;
  • Proactively identify and analyze on-going opportunities to advance the I4C Africa Hub’s advocacy and campaigning priorities in conjunction with the regional work-plan;
  • Provide capacity development support to network members through training programmes - including campaign design, policy analysis and digital campaigning - and through providing advice on substantive policy and campaign strategy matters;
  • Collaborate with the Hub team to formulate regional policy positions.

2. Communications

  1. Communication Strategies
  • Develop a comprehensive communications and outreach strategy for the Hub’s activities and mission;
  • Build on the Africa Hub’s: 1) network development/platform engagement strategy for membership mobilization and engagement to engage new and existing Hub members on the Hub’s social media pages as well as its I4C Africa Platform page; 2) regional and national partnerships strategy to foster regional and national level partnerships in conjunction with the I4C Africa Hub’s Board and the Regional Connectors (RCs); 3) inter-regional coordination/partnerships plan with other Innovation for Change (I4C) Hubs to foster collaboration around specialized areas; 4) offline membership strategy for members facing challenges with internet connectivity and low bandwidth.

B. Innovation for Change (I4C) Platform

  • Vote on particular platform features as part of the Platform Working Group (PWG);
  • Assist in carrying out decisions made by the Platform Working Group (PWG).
  • Test and provide feedback on prototyped platform features;
  • Help the I4C Africa Hub get access to new content by supporting the translation process.

C. Network Database Management

  • Ensure the development and maintenance of a comprehensive network/membership database for the Africa Hub;
  • Consistently update the network database with all Africa Hub members;
  • Provide new ideas to the Helper Hub (HH) team on platform features.

D. Online Media

  • Manage the Hub’s I4C Africa Platform page as well as its social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & YouTube);
  • Provide monthly social media statistics/page updates/page insights summary reflecting the I4C Africa Hub’s membership, e.g., facts, figures and/or graphs reflecting the Hub’s membership growth/stagnation via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & YouTube;
  • Develop a social media content calendar;
  • Write op-eds contextualizing the need for attention to the I4C Africa Hub’s key thematic areas, as well as the Hub’s objectives and its regional and national campaigns;
  • Blog post summaries that spotlight the nature of the work on the continent related to the key thematic areas;
  • Develop e-communications including the creation and coordination of a quarterly online newsletters and email campaigns to promote awareness about the I4C Africa Hub’s participation in advocacy work and maintain ongoing connections with the I4C Africa Hub’s partners and existing members;
  • Capture and produce success stories, chart and visuals in coordination with the Development Evaluation Officer to reflect data about the impact of the Hub’s activities.

E. Media Relations

  • Lead in organizing media outreach;
  • Conduct media relations program for selected events or activities;
  • Arrange all media contacts, press briefings, and interviews; provides talking points and other materials as needed with the I4C Africa Hub Regional Manager;
  • Provide sound advice and services in dealing with substantive matters concerning public information operations;
  • Write and distribute press releases;
  • Pitch the local and national media to secure media placement;
  • Maintain media archives;
  • Create and maintain a comprehensive press list.

F. Print Materials

  • Design layout (for printing/production) of logo, campaign poster, and pamphlet for all the I4C Africa Hub’s events;
  • Manage the creation and production of printed publications for awareness and development purposes (such as annual reports, overview documents, and information packets);
  • Manage the I4C Africa Hub’s in-house style manual;
  • Develop and monitor procedures to ensure that all printed and digital materials remain on-brand.

3. Administration

  • Attend regularly scheduled meetings to share information, brainstorm solutions and coordinate priorities. Attend relevant meetings, briefings and presentations in the region and report back to the I4C Africa Hub Regional Manager;
  • Develop and implement a creative approach to major communications campaigns and ensure effective design and delivery of information products in accordance with overall objectives and policies;
  • Collaboratively manage and coordinate the creation and update of web-content; responsible for content-related protocols to keep web site up-to-date;
  • Provide organization-wide e-communications (particularly social media) support;
  • Assist with I4C Africa Hub’s efforts to remain up-to-date and effective in electronic communications through convening regular meetings and conversations;
  • Actively monitor the I4C Africa Hub’s online reputation;
  • Collect photos and/or videos taken at I4C Africa Hub events and maintain photo files for online use; create, edit, and upload photos and videos onto the I4C Africa Hub’s page on the I4C platform/website and social media outlets;
  • Track online analytics and support internal and external data reporting needs;
  • Respond to media inquiries quickly and effectively;
  • Support organizational capacities in improving the advocacy skills of network members;
  • Develop strategic partnerships with key constituencies to elicit support for and maximize impact of promotional objectives;
  • Provide regular written updates on work progress and outputs/impact;
  • Participate in evaluation meetings to reflect about the progress of ongoing campaigns.

Knowledge and Skills

  • Bachelor’s degree or postgraduate studies in social sciences (international diplomacy/relations, political sciences, law, economics etc.), journalism or communication;
  • At least 5 years of progressive, demonstrable experience in implementing impactful advocacy projects and campaigns on local, national and regional level within the African region;
  • 2 years minimum experience working in an NGO environment, civil society sector preferred with a good understanding of different Global South regions and civil society issues;
  • An inspiring, energetic leader from a civil society, campaigning, legal or technology background;
  • A passionate advocate for civil society, human rights, innovation and technology and for finding solutions to civic space issues across the African continent;
  • Demonstrated experience of maintaining deep networks and partnerships with civil society on a national and preferably regional level, and demonstrated experience in movement-building and participating in regional networks;
  • Proven track record in the development and sustaining of engaged online communities, through network growth strategies, grounded in good member management and content development practices;
  • Effectiveness and responsiveness facing new situations;
  • Ability to grasp issues quickly and analyze complex information (including research reports) and pick out salient points for further work;
  • Ability to thrive in a highly dynamic environment and adapt quickly;
  • Ability to liaise with different stakeholders in a multicultural setting and work in diversified environments.
  • Exceptional team management skills, able to build and empower Hub members;
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills. Ability to work in a team, adapt message to culturally diverse audiences and solid analytical skills to solve problems and issues;
  • Ability to deal with people with tact and diplomacy;
  • Compelling writer, especially of case studies;
  • Ability to build on relevant knowledge within and outside the I4C Africa Hub as well as actively share her/his experience and expertise with colleagues and partners;
  • Ability to work under time pressure and meet deadlines. Excellent management of competing priorities with tight deadlines;
  • Strong organizational, project management, and cross-functional coordination skills;
  • Effective communication and organization skills, as well as advocacy and networking skills;
  • Full written and spoken fluency in English and French; preferably in Swahili, Arabic, and Portuguese too;
  • Maintains commitment to the aims and values of the I4C network;
  • Ability to work independently with a minimum of supervision, as well as a member of a team;
  • Ability to work a flexible schedule and regularly on evenings and weekend.

Experience

  • Experience using a range of campaign planning methods, advocacy and influencing and public engagement strategies;
  • Experience of using co-design and Design Thinking methodologies in campaign; design would be beneficial;
  • Experience using advocacy and campaigns to influence a political agenda;
  • Strong digital strategy experience, working with email and social media channels;
  • Strong writing and production experience, from reports to website and social media content;
  • Strong analytical skills and experience in formulating policy positions on a diverse range of civic space issues;
  • Experience of recruiting and working with volunteers;
  • 365, Google Apps, and web-based research tools, M&E tools and excel proficiency;
  • Ability to travel up to 30% domestically and internationally (includes remote and difficult locations).
Innovation for Change - Africa Hub
https://innovationforchange.net/
Nairobi, KE