Advocacy and Communications Director

JOB TITLE:  Advocacy, Campaign, Communication and Media Director

TEAM/PROGRAMME: Sierra Leone Country Office Senior Management Team

LOCATION: Freetown, Coordination

GRADE: 1

Type of Contract: National Fixed Term 

POST TYPE: 12 months with possiblity of extension

CHILD SAFEGUARDING:

 Level 3 - the responsibilities of the post may require the post holder to have regular contact with or access to children or young people

 ROLE PURPOSE: 

As a member of the Senior Management Team (SMT) in Sierra Leone, the Advocacy, Campaign, Communications and Media Director shares in the overall responsibility for the strategic direction and coordination of the Country Office and leads policy influencing and visibility in the country.  The role provides overall senior leadership, management, and strategic direction to the advocacy and communications work in Sierra Leone. The Advocacy, Campaign, Communications and Media Director will be responsible for the development and implementation of an advocacy and communications strategy that will influence government and other institutional policies and practice to achieve positive and lasting changes to fulfil children's rights in both development and emergency contexts.

SCOPE OF ROLE: 

Reports to: Country Director

Dimensions: Save the Children has been operational in Sierra Leone since 1999, providing support to children through humanitarian and developmental relief programmes delivered both directly and through local partners. Current programming focuses on child protection, education, health, livelihoods, and climate change. Our programmes aim to ensure that by 2023 no child under the age of five dies from preventable diseases, they access quality basic education and violence is no longer tolerated against children. We now work in seven districts which include Western Area Urban, Western Area Rural, Pujehun, Kailahun, Kenema, Bo and Bonthe.

Staff directly reporting to this post: 4

Advocacy Policy and Campaign Manager

Communication and Media Coordinator

EAA Advocacy and Communication Coordinator

GAC Foundations Advocacy and Communication Officer

KEY AREAS OF ACCOUNTABILITY:

As a member of the Senior Management Team, contribute to:

  • Leadership of the Sierra Leone Country Office
  • Support the development of an organisational culture that reflects our dual mandate values, promotes accountability and high performance, encourages a team culture of learning, creativity and innovation, and frees up our people to deliver outstanding results for children and excellent customer service for our Members and donors
  • Help design and implement a coherent organizational structure that is consistent with agency practices and appropriate to programme needs.
  • Ensure the Country Office complies with all Save the Children Management Operating Standards and Standard Operating Procedures.
  • Ensure that all required support is provided promptly, at scale and in line with the rules and principles during humanitarian responses, working closely with the Regional Office

 

Advocacy

  • Lead the development and implementation of a campaign andadvocacy strategy for the Sierra Leone Country Office. Support thematic directors/advisors to articulate their top priority advocacy objectives in line with the  Country Strategic Plan (CSP), the Country Annual Plan (CAP) and programme strategies.
  • Ensure advocacy coherence and reinforce strong and effective synergies between programme and advocacy to maximise Save the Children impact.
  • Identify key strategic opportunities and events in Sierra Leone for Save the Children to position itself as the leading organisation for children’s issues in the country. 
  • Ensure that Save the Children receives national recognition for achieving proven and innovative national impact from well-managed child development programs and humanitarian response.
  • Oversee advocacy efforts by thematic specialists and other program staff in their work, including development of a plan for achieving their priority advocacy objectives in both a humanitarian and development context.  This should include guidelines on the meaningful and safe participation of children in advocacy.
  • Build capacity of programme staff to undertake advocacy through training, development, and implementation of advocacy strategies.
  • Work with the Senior Management Team to build a culture of developing advocacy strategies that are funded for all thematic areas as part of our Theory of Change and ensure that programme staff are held accountable for advocacy.
  • Support programme staff to develop appropriate campaign and advocacy messages across thematic and programme areas, and ensure the CO has a set of advocacy messages as required for thematic/strategic areas.
  • Work with senior programme managers for the development of large grant proposals and ensure that advocacy is included in the grants and advocacy resources are adequately budgeted in line with Save the Children’s key performance indicator and management indicator.
  • Provide high level representation for the advocacy work, with media, partners, coalitions, and beneficiaries.
  • Develop and maintain an in-depth understanding of key advocacy issues and of the positions of key actors, including key ministers, political, civil society and economic leaders, influencers, donors, and media.
  • Lead in identifying and managing potential risks associated with Save the Children’s public positions and design strategies to mitigate the risks that have been identified.
  • The post holder will ensure that a percentage of total grant expenditure for Advocacy and Campaigns is agreed upon to deliver on our Theory of Change 
  • Use a strong project management approach in planning activities, maintaining financial control and cost-effectiveness of advocacy activities. 
  • Develop and nurture relations with key advocacy coordination groups across the organisations and ensure that Save the Children’s advocacy work in country is informed and guided by Save the Children global campaign strategy and the Global Policy Advocacy Campaign Steering Group steer.
  • In a humanitarian situation, lead on the development of advocacy messages and, if required, a complete advocacy strategy (in line with Save the Children’s humanitarian procedures and categorization of emergencies) and work with the Humanitarian Advocacy Working Group and other stakeholders in SCI and SC Members 
  • Establish monitoring and evaluation processes of advocacy work and ensure that advocacy implementation and impact are effectively monitored and evaluated (including as part of the Country Annual Reporting process)

Advocacy tactics

  • Establish an annual advocacy calendar with key moments and key opportunities for advocacy. Be alert, to seize advocacy opportunities when and as they arise.
  • Lobby decision-makers at high level in line with Save the Children agreed advocacy messages.
  • Undertake and/or commission research on specific issues to inform present and future advocacy choices to build Save the Children’s position and coordinate high-quality briefings, letters and other written material for internal and external use.
  • Produce policy briefing papers, policy position statements and public communication including speaking out related to key advocacy issues.
  • Work closely with the media country team to advise on media lines and media strategy and make optimal use of national and international media to influence key advocacy targets and public opinion.

 

Media 

  • Liaise and maintain contact with members and implement communication activities including facilitating media visits and working within incoming media & communications.  
  • Ensure that the branding and communication guidelines of Save the Children are uniformly and consistently followed across the Sierra Leone Country Office. 
  • Build capacity of programme staff to handle media through training and simulation of various media opportunities.  
  • Develop media briefing documents  for various audiences, including country briefs, programme briefs and update these regularly.
  • Lead the management of Sierra Leone-specific communications materials.  

 

Communication

  • Proactively develop a high profile for Save the Children in Sierra Leone through the production of high quality, well researched, and well written products and communications content (in a variety of mediums) reflective of the dual mandate portfolio, responding quickly and appropriately to external requests for information. 
  • Develop and deliver a clear and effective system for internal and external communications including the dissemination of newsletters and other documents and publications for internal external stakeholders.
  • Update the Sierra Leone profile on the various SCI platforms and establish knowledge management systems that allow staff to have shared access to documentation related to the CO. 
  • Lead the Country Annual Reporting Process and support the dissemination of strategic programme findings including evaluations, research, programme success stories.
  • Coordinate field visits by member staff, donors and others as needed, in close liaison with admin, logistics and field office teams.   
  • Establish Standard Operating Procedures for the management of all visits to the Sierra Leone CO programs including standards for briefings, debriefings, evaluations, and communications. Disseminate and train staff in the implementation of these SOPs.
  • Keep abreast of current programme portfolio including attending programme visits and develop strategies to link evidence from programme to advocacy work.

 

Staff Management, Mentorship, and Development 

  • Ensure appropriate staffing within CO to undertake Advocacy, Campaigning, Communications and Media Relations work.
  • Ensure that all staff understand and can perform their role in an emergency.
  • Manage Advocacy, Communication and Campaigns Team; define expectations, provide leadership and technical support as needed, and evaluate direct reports regularly.
  • Ensure the recruitment, training, and promotion of staff as appropriate and ensure availability of appropriate professional development opportunities for staff.
  • Incorporate staff development strategies and Performance Management Systems into team building process.  Establish result-based system and follow up.
  • Manage the performance of all staff in the advocacy, campaigning and communication work area through: 
    • Effective use of the Performance Management System including the establishment of clear, measurable objectives, ongoing feedback, periodic reviews, and fair and unbiased evaluations.
    • Coaching, mentoring and other developmental opportunities.
    • Recognition and rewards for outstanding performance.
    • Documentation of performance that is less than satisfactory, with appropriate performance improvements/ workplans. 

SKILLS AND BEHAVIOURS (our Values in Practice)

 

Accountability:

  • Holds self accountable for making decisions, managing resources efficiently, achieving and role modelling Save the Children values.
  • Holds the team and partners accountable to deliver on their responsibilities - giving them the freedom to deliver in the best way they see fit, providing the necessary development to improve performance and applying appropriate consequences when results are not achieved.

Ambition:

  • Sets ambitious and challenging goals for themselves (and their team), takes responsibility for their own personal development, and encourages others to do the same.
  • Widely shares their personal vision for Save the Children, engages and motivates others.
  • Future orientated, thinks strategically.

Collaboration:

  • Builds and maintains effective relationships, with their team, colleagues, members and external partners and supporters.
  • Values diversity sees it as a source of competitive strength.
  • Approachable, good listener, easy to talk to.

Creativity:

  • Develops and encourages new and innovative solutions.
  • Willing to take disciplined risks.

Integrity:

Honest, encourages openness and transparency.

QUALIFICATIONS AND EXPERIENCE

  • Masters degree in an area of social development, communications or equivalent. 
  • A general appreciation of the issues concerning the INGO sector with an in-depth knowledge in communications, marketing and/or fundraising. 
  • Recommended a minimum of 7 years management experience in a corporate or an NGO environment, with experience in successfully leading the development and implementation of communication and campaign strategies for an international humanitarian organisation, preferably in Sierra Leone or the West Central Africa Region.
  • Demonstrable track record of leading change which has led to significant results for the organisation and their stakeholders.
  • Highly developed interpersonal and communication skills including influencing, negotiation, and coaching.
  • Highly developed cultural awareness and ability to work well in an international environment with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures.
  • Strong results orientation, with the ability to challenge existing mindsets.
  • Ability to present complex information in a succinct and compelling manner.
  • Experience of building personal networks, resulting in securing significant new opportunities for the organisation. 
  • Has a strong international network within media and marketing to draw from.
  • Excellent writing and presentation skills in English. Similar skills in Kiswahili and other local languages an advantage.
  • Preferred: experience and skills in using computer software, publishing packages, web-design and knowledge management systems to produce and manage high quality communications materials for presentations, publications and internet.
  • Ability and willingness to dramatically change work practices and hours, and work with incoming surge teams, in the event of emergencies.
  • Willingness to travel to Save the Children’s field offices and operational areas on a regular basis.
  • Experience of solving complex issues through analysis, definition of a clear way forward and ensuring buy-in.
  • Understanding of Save the Children’s vision and mission and a commitment to its objectives and values.

Job Description

Find out more about this role by downloading the job description

Job description

29 Jan 2024

12 Feb 2024 - 23:59 GMT

Worldwide

Advocacy, Campaigns and Policy

Permanent

Full-time

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