The Feed the Future Southern Africa Seed Trade Project (the Seed Trade Project) facilitates seed trade across the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region by providing technical assistance in the implementation of seed variety testing, registration and release, seed certification and quality assurance, and quarantine and phytosanitary measures for seed. The Seed Trade Project supports activities in Feed the Future focus and aligned countries in the SADC region, including Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe.
Key external factors informing project activities include: 1) the current status of efforts by the government ministries and agencies of member-states to domesticate the SADC Harmonized Seed Regulations (HSR); 2) the current activities and thinking of seed companies and national seed associations to use the SADC varietal registration and seed certification scheme in their business operations in SADC countries; 3) the status of SADC member-state domestication of SADC harmonization and seed company plans to use the SADC varietal registration and seed certification scheme; 4) the presence and programs of other donor and organizational initiatives that are currently working to harmonize seed regulations, build capacities of public seed certification agencies, public phytosanitary inspection and quarantine for seed pests and diseases, private seed inspection and certification services, and improved customs handling and reporting of seed traded across SADC borders.
In the project’s final year, there will be special attention and resources dedicated to the implementation of a strategic communications plan that result in the development and dissemination of multiple internal and external communication materials in an effort to showcase the projects success’s and overall impact. To this end, the Sr. Strategic Communications Advisor will work with the CoP and project team to integrate cross-cutting communications support across all work-streams to better serve the project’s annual work plan.
The Sr. Strategic Communications Advisor will oversee this initiative. He/She will report directly to the Chief of Party and liaise, as needed with USAID regional and country mission representatives, other USG organizations, SADC and bilateral national partners and stakeholders.
The Sr. Strategic Communications Advisor is responsible for planning, initiating and managing the full breadth of the marketing and outreach activities of the project, with a strong focus on capturing and promoting the reach and impact of the project This includes the development of effective scalable communications materials and building stakeholder awareness, engagement and buy-in for the SADC region on the Harmonized Seed Regulations (HSR).
Responsibilities and Key Tasks:
In collaboration with the Strategic Communications Advisor and Chief of Party, Sr. Senior Strategic Communications Advisor will oversee the project’s communication strategy portfolio and provide leadership and day‐to‐day management of the project’s strategic communications, reporting, and outreach to inform the project’s stakeholders, beneficiaries and partners. Additionally, he/she will support Seed Trade-sponsored events, such as national and international conferences and events, by organizing, branding, and producing required informational materials and facilitating business participation.
The Sr. Strategic communications Advisor will be responsible for, but not limited to, the following detailed tasks:
- Develop the project’s Communication Strategy in collaboration with the Strategic Communications Manager and Chief of Party to ensure a clear integrated regional strategy, including engagement with project stakeholders (e.g., SADC regional staff, national government staff, seed trade associations, and other private sector partners).
- Develop key messaging and communication tools to showcase the impact of the project, and local stakeholders.
- Provide input and management (as needed) in the quality delivery of regional and country-level initiatives and activities, including ceremonies, openings, forums, and other high-visibility events.
- As delegated by the CoP, represent the project at large-scale events and meetings and liaise with relevant stakeholders, including institutional and private sector partners, to increase visibility and maximize coordination.
- Provide oversight regarding production and release of on-demand information requested by USAID or other stakeholders.
- Coordinate on-demand information requested by USAID or other stakeholders.
Reporting and Content Development
- Review and finalize all project deliverables, including draft written materials, fact sheets, success stories, press releases, and other regular reporting requirements (USAID weekly, quarterly, annual reports, etc.).
- With the support of the Strategic Communications Manager engage technical staff in developing and producing high quality deliverables that demonstrate impact of key objectives.
- Develop content for social media platforms, for internal and external communications.
- Oversee development of innovative communication products to inform and engage the project’s diverse set of stakeholders across the SADC region, including institutional and private sector partners.
- Monitor press coverage—including news wires, local newspapers, television and radio. Serve as the point of contact for local media inquiries.
- Provide quality assurance on USAID branding and marking.
- Other duties as assigned
Coaching and mentoring of the Communications Manager.
Place of Performance and Reporting:
Sr. Strategic Communications Advisor may be based in Zambia or remotely and will report to the Chief of Party.
- At least 12 years of progressively responsible experience in communications, reporting, communications product development, and knowledge management for USAID or other international donor-funded programs.
- Demonstrated experience designing and securing buy-in of strategic communications plans, developing and implementing knowledge management tools or systems, and developing content for social media platforms.
- Experience working collaboratively with institutional and private‐sector partners and stakeholders in a multi‐country setting, preferably in Southern Africa.
- USAID project experience and USG client relations experience.
- Fluency in English to include excellent written and oral communications skills; demonstrated experience preparing well-researched reports.
- Proficiency with MS Office (Word and Power Point), graphic arts and desktop publishing software a plus.
- Master’s degree in communications, international relations/development or business/marketing is preferred.