Senior Strategic Communications Expert

at VNG International
Location Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Date Posted May 18, 2022
Category Communication
Job Type Full-time
Currency ETB


Background and job summary:

The Ethiopia Social Accountability Program (ESAP) creates platforms for citizens and local governments to engage in dialogue about citizen-identified priority problems that government, as part of its responsibilities needs to address to improve delivery of basic services.  ESAP operates in all regions and the two city administrations.  The program is in its third phase and focuses strongly on institutionalisation, sustainability and delivering ‘value for money’.  With the COVID-19 pandemic requiring significant strategic changes to implementation, the role of media has become central to ESAP’s activities.  We are looking for an experienced communications expert who can lead the further development of ESAP’s communication strategy for implementation by the program’s large and varied network of partners and who can support the 24 ESAP implementing partners in their communication and media work.  Candidates are expected to bring solid and demonstrable experience in overseeing the implementation of communications strategy and in supporting CSOs in media work.

The position reports directly to the team leader of ESAP’s management agency (MA) and is based in Addis Ababa with regular travel to the regions anticipated.


  •  Where necessary, refine ESAP’s communication strategy for implementation of social accountability (SA) activities that effectively reach communities and governments with information, institutionalizing media-based platforms for dialogue, and the creation of media-supported systems that assist in monitoring the outcomes of the activities.
  • Coordinate media-based SA work into ESAP’s broader strategy to ensure a seamless integration of all work by closely working with other units within the MA.
  • Develop and maintain relations with the media including community, government and commercial radio, newspaper, reputable on-line platforms, and any other platform or channel that can further the ESAP mandate.
  • Provide technical support to ESAP partners that engage in using media for the implementation of ESAP strategy.
  • Contribute to collecting and compiling field stories for ESAP3 printed and on-line publications.
  • Conduct or contribute to ESAP training activities that aim to strengthen the capacity of partners and stakeholders.
  • Organize SA related training to selected journalists and media organizations.
  • Manage and contribute to the ESAP website: regular updating; managing content; ensuring that information is factual and from reputable sources.
  • Manage ESAP’s external communications (PR) and contribute to the program’s visibility by using all media, both domestically and internationally.
  • Contribute to ESAP donor reporting; edit reports and all other documents produced for dissemination and publication.
  • Develop a database of federal, regional and woreda level media institutions including but not limited to TV, newspapers, radio stations, community radios and community newspapers.
  • Any other task assigned by ESAP management.

Successful candidate will be employed by VNG International, an association in The Netherlands, on a contract that is annually renewable.  A competitive benefits package is part of the employment terms.

Job Requirements

  • Master’s degree in communications, journalism, or related field.
  • Six years of progressively responsible experience in communications and communication strategy development, three years of which should have been directly working with or as part of senior management in an international NGO or other organization.
  • Excellent communication, interpersonal and presentation skills.
  • Strong organizational and time-management skills
  • Strong editing skills. Attention to detail and editing skills to ensure that material published on behalf of the organization consistently meets high standards.
  • Proven track record in writing for different audiences.
  • Experience speaking to the media and coaching colleagues on the same highly desirable.
  • Fluent in both written and oral English.
  • Knowledge of multiple Ethiopian local language an advantage.
  • Experience in editing documents produced by project team(s)
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