World Bank is accepting applications from professionals and qualified individuals across Africa. The schedule of the 2016 World Bank Communications Officer is as follows:
August 7, 2016: Applications due
End of July – September 2016: Review applications and update application status to candidates
August – September 2016: Contact all shortlisted candidates and conduct interviews in Washington, D.C. and locations in Africa
At least 5 years of relevant experience + advanced degree
The World Bank’s strategy to help end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity in Africa takes shape across an array of programs tailored to the circumstances and needs of each country. Working with governments and other partners, the Bank is supporting delivery of basic services, extending safety nets, ensuring food security, strengthening small farmers, and supporting enterprise development. Investments in human capacity and in strengthened institutions underlie development strategies.
Africa’s recently robust growth rates are slowing due to lower international prices for oil and other commodities on which a number of countries depend. Meanwhile, stability and security concerns shape the Bank’s work in eighteen countries categorized as Fragile and Conflict-affected States (FCS), where programs aim to accelerate state rebuilding and lower economic disparities among regions and groups.
The Communication Officer will be based in the World Bank office in Bamako and will be responsible for communications, outreach and dissemination efforts in Mali and Niger. Both countries are addressing high levels of poverty, significant climate change impacts and high population growth. Mali’s gradual recovery from civil conflict and its vulnerability to eruptions of international terrorism add to the complexities of supporting a successful development strategy there. Niger, prone to political instability, chronic food security, and natural crises, notably droughts, floods and locust infestations, also faces pressures related to refugees flows from conflicted areas of Nigeria and Mali along with returning migrants from Libya.
To be effective, a Communications Officer will need to understand the surrounding political and social context, and possess a capacity to engage various stakeholder interests in the two countries. At the same time, the Officer will need fluency in written and spoken English, along with experience in using the full array of modern communications tools, including social media and on-line media channels.
The World Bank has a portfolio of 21 operations in Mali, of which seven are regional projects, representing a commitment of $892 million. The largest commitments are in energy, rural development and transport. A recently adopted strategic framework in Mali will require a well-aligned communications strategy to advance results. In Niger the Bank manages an active portfolio of more than a dozen projects across different sectors, the largest being rural development. Rapid population growth and high youth unemployment present special challenges.
Africa External Communications and Partnerships (AFREC)
Africa External Communications and Partnerships (AFREC) employs an extended team of professionals in World Bank Headquarters and across country offices to support the overarching goal of advancing inclusive growth in Africa. AFREC uses the full array of communications tools and methodologies to build awareness and understanding, and mobilize support for development goals.
Work programs cover dissemination through traditional and online media, relationship building, analysis of political and project risks, and design of programs to manage those risks.
A strategic renewal within AFREC emphasizes closer alignment with operations in the region, and coordination with the Bank’s External and Corporate Relations network, to ensure that AFREC services are critical to regional and corporate priorities, and that they employ state-of-the art communications tools to disseminate information, build understanding, and connect the Bank to a variety of actors involved in poverty reduction and development.
Recognizing that Africa’s economic and social context is rapidly changing, and that communications technologies have revolutionized the ways that information travels, AFREC is building a team of dynamic and innovative professionals prepared to use traditional and digital tools, including social media and multi-media production, to shape the debate on development priorities and trade-offs.
Location of work
The Communications Officer will be based in the Bank Office in Bamako, strengthening the communications program there, with particular attention to providing strategic communications support to complex development projects the Bank supports in Mali and Niger. Given the context of political and security threats, it is crucial that a communications officer in Mali be equipped to provide timely political analysis to the Country Manager, and to design communications interventions appropriate to the context of fragility.
Working with AFREC professionals in the region and in Washington, the Communications Officer will also support corporate communications priorities, including dissemination of World Bank flagship publications, executive visits to the region, and the Bank’s Annual and Spring meetings.
As part of the larger AFREC team, the Communications Officer will interact regularly with colleagues in Headquarters and in other field offices, as well as with operational teams in the Mali and Niger offices. A willingness to share knowledge, draw on expertise and help create a supportive work environment is critical. The Communications Officer will report to AFREC’s Communications Manager based in Washington, D.C.
Note: If the selected candidate is a current Bank Group staff member with a Regular or Open-Ended appointment, s/he will retain his/her Regular or Open-Ended appointment. All others will be offered a term appointment.
Duties and Accountabilities of the Communications Officer
The Communications Officer plans, develops, and implements effective communications and outreach strategies to support the WBG’s corporate, internal, and operational priorities, using the full range of modern communications tools including social media, digital publishing, and multi-media production. It is critical that the communications officer be equipped to gauge risks associated with complex projects and to design and implement strategies to minimize those risks.
- Strategies: Responsible for significant portions of planning, design, and implementation of strategies to promote effective communications with external and internal audiences on Bank-financed operations, research products, and campaigns. Must be prepared to employ the full array of modern communications tools, including social media, to reach key audiences.
- Risk management: On high-risk operations in the country, must monitor perceptions, track shifts in opinion, and respond to inquiries, while publishing and updating key facts about project goals and milestones. Must be able to interact with operations staff and project teams, organizing meetings with media and civil society as appropriate. Must be able to take the pulse of the country and advise country teams, with analyses on the political economy, especially during election years, and regular monitoring of the media.
- Relationships: Must be prepared to identify opinion leaders and influential organizations in Mali, and guide a strategy of engagement with these various stakeholders, which might range from parliamentarians to faith-based organizations to business associations. Must have experience mobilizing, and at times shifting opinions, around critical issues. Must have experience in advocacy work, particularly around strengthened governance, fiscal management and transparency. Products: Responsible for planning and delivering a range of written products on the Bank’s operational goals, results and knowledge. Must be capable of writing clearly and concisely. Outputs range from traditional press releases and Op-Eds to web features, brochures, Q&As, briefing notes, and speeches. Responsible for updating the World Bank’s internal and external websites for the country.
- Events: Coordinates communications activities and events ranging from press conferences to large seminars and town hall meetings, involving external and/or internal audiences.
- Representation: Must be prepared to represent the Bank, and Bamako office, before external and internal audiences, explaining WBG policies and operational goals.
- Technical and advisory support: Advises Bank managers and project teams on trends, news developments, or changing circumstances in the political economy that may impact the WBG and its work. Having identified such trends, must be able to fashion strategic responses that mitigate risks. Provides regular communication support to WBG operational teams and government implementing agencies to assure that project goals are well-explained and that affected stakeholders are engaged. Must be able to make strategic use of public opinion research.
- Resource management: Employs appropriate methodologies for handling simple and complex procurement tasks and/or issues. Manages specific line items of unit budget.
Typical candidates will possess a Master’s degree in Communications, International Relations/Public Affairs, Journalism, Political Science or related disciplines, with 5 years of experience, or equivalent combination of education and experience.
- Communication Strategy and Execution in International Development:
Demonstrates a working proficiency to lead the planning, development, and execution of a communication strategy for moderately complex projects. Leads research efforts to identify and map project stakeholders or intended audiences; leads media and audience outreach, identifying audience needs. Independently implements communication strategies for moderately complex projects and can use feedback from evaluation tools to strengthen programs. Helps others develop this competency.
- Broad Business Thinking:
Capable of distilling an in-depth understanding of the long term implications of decisions, both for Mali and for the Bank. Involves the key players in identifying operational needs, challenges and immediate solutions. Ensures that decisions are supported by relevant stakeholders and can explain the business case for decisions.
- Client Understanding and Advising:
Looks at issues from the client’s perspective and advocates for clients. Works with others across the VPU to define client needs and develop the best approaches to meet them. Asks probing questions to understand unmet needs. Focuses on achieving sustainable results for clients, and proposes solutions to mitigate risks.
- Content Development and Editing:
Takes full responsibility for the development of content for timely dissemination. Can ensure the development of communications products meeting WBG standards on structure, clarity, and persuasiveness.
- Social Media, Information Channels, and Communication Tools:
Demonstrates mastery of current media channels and tools, including social media. Modifies communication strategies and products to leverage innovative communication tools and channels. Must have experience choosing communications tools and channels based on audience research and strategic goal-setting.
- Relationship Management, Political Awareness and Diplomacy:
Builds strategic relationships with critical internal and external constituencies, fostering partnerships that strengthen support for development objectives and mitigate reputational risks. Maintains and leverages high-level communication networks and contacts within key constituencies. Provides guidance to other internal WBG groups on how to best manage critical relationships.
- Lead and Innovate:
Contributes new insights into development challenges and fashions solutions to complex problems. Adapts as circumstances require.
- Collaborate Within Teams and Across Boundaries:
Appropriately involves others in decision-making and communicates with key stakeholders. Approaches conflicts as common problems to be solved. Actively seeks and considers diverse ideas and approaches, displaying a sense of mutuality and respect. Integrates WBG perspective into work.
How to apply
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