Communications specialist

Food and Agriculture Organization, Rwanda

Skill Required:, Media and Communication
Preferred Experience: 
3 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
5th July, 2021

Job Description

Reporting Lines

The Communications Specialist will coordinate the work of the communications unit at FAO Rwanda and work under the overall supervision of the FAO Representative to Rwanda, have direct engagement with the Assistant FAOR/Programme, project managers and maintain functional collaboration with the Sub-Regional Office for East Africa (SFE), Regional and HQ communication teams to align activities, plans and strategies.

Technical Focus

The Communications Specialist will be required to generate content from technical work, reports, and projects to enhance the visibility of FAO’s work to the Rwanda public and beyond. The incumbent will need to ensure coherence with FAO’s corporate communication policy and operational guidelines for all communication and information outputs. Furthermore, the incumbent will be required to provide technical advice in the design and implementation of communication and outreach products and ensure that the FAO brand is well represented.

Tasks and Responsibilities

  • Communication Strategy: Develop, implement, and track impact of country and programme specific communication strategies in consultation with technical teams.
  • Design and implement a Communication plan for the Representation, in line with the agreed Country Programming Framework (CPF) and the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) for the respective countries.
  • Communication Visibility Materials: Coordinate, produce and disseminate communication and advocacy materials, including brochures, project briefs, policy briefs, posters, and other visibility products in close coordination with focal points in RAF and in observance of corporate and branding guidelines. Publicize milestones through message packaging for various channels and diverse audiences.
  • Media Relations and Management: Develop a media database and partnerships with media organizations and journalists; interact and pitch stories/op-eds of interest; organize media field visits and sensitization of reporters and editors. Coordinate and collaborate with programme teams on media engagement during events and missions. Collect visual and audio footage in consultation with OCC and FAO audio-visual guidelines. Draft and disseminate press releases and talking points; organize press conferences; prepare media kits; provide information to querying journalists; keep track of FAO mentions/media coverage.
  • Corporate/Project Events: Manage flagship FAO events, in consultation with OCC, (e.g., World Food Day, and other international observances related to FAO’s mandate, project launches, workshops, etc.); update FAO-RWANDA website and coordinate developing of monthly bulletins.  Coordinate with programme teams while organising high-level and high-visibility events; Coordinate and manage media engagement for high profile events. Ensure FAO brand visibility during events.
  • Lead and promote communication processes for the benefit of small and medium farmers, fishermen, rural residents, and communities, using a variety of approaches, platforms, and products.
  • Ensure the presence in the media and in public opinion as an official source on rural development, food security, family agriculture and other priority areas of FAO.
  • Internal Communication: Sensitize FAO staff on importance of communication for publicity of FAO activities to different audiences including but not limited to branding, presentation skills, farmer engagement/extension strategies.
  • Technical/Science Communication: Synthesize and repackage technical reports, information, and events for the public and policy makers.
  • Support Country Communication efforts: Offer support to communication needs of various government Ministries and agencies that collectively implement FAO projects and programs, for example policy briefs development, Behaviour Change Communications (BCC), development and implementation of Communication Strategies, mass media engagement, risk and crisis communication, advocacy, among others.
  • Knowledge Management: Take lead in the knowledge management by transformation of tacit knowledge resources into explicit knowledge resources for seamless continuation of FAO programs. Document and share lessons learned, nurture Communities of Practice within the FAO national community for information sharing and adaption of innovative approaches to field challenges.
  • Digital Content Creation and Management: Coordinate and manage content, in consultation with OCC, production for traditional and digital media channels in compliance with corporate policies. Increase FAO Rwanda’s social media engagement. Coordinate production of stories, (in line with FAO’s storytelling guidelines, FAO style guide and relevant templates) from the field/web stories such as documentaries and photo essays; this includes drafting TORs for production team, writing script, conducting interviews, managing vendors, arranging logistics, etc.
  • Social Media Communication: Manage FAO Rwanda’s Twitter account, in line with corporate guidelines, to ensure good visibility and publicity of activities.
  • Donor Relations: Keep donors abreast of the impact of the projects they have funded, through success stories (photo, video, text); Donor Visibility during traditional and digital media engagement.
  • UN Communication Group: Participate and represent FAO in inter-agency communication meetings (UN Communication Group) and ensure FAO Representation and participation in UN events.
  • Emergency Communications: Coordinate and manage FAO country emergency communications, in collaboration with RAF and OCC/HQ. Gather information from project teams to respond to media queries and update talking points; schedule strategic media interviews for spokes persons; share status updates on digital platforms; coordinate documentation and disseminate digital content from the field on impact of emergency response.
  • Perform any other allied task as given by management as needed.

Minimum Requirements

  • University Degree in development communication, journalism, media, communication research, social science, public relations, policy advocacy, international relations or other related fields.
  • Fluency in the English language and one other UN language.
  • At least 3 years of relevant experience in communications, public information, advocacy and outreach activities at the country and/or international level.
  • Good knowledge of UN system, procedures and operational activities is an advantage.
  • Good working knowledge of English
  • Nationality of Rwanda or resident in the country with a regular work permit.

Technical/Functional Skills

  • Experience in working with the local media
  • Good communication and writing skill
  • Good interpersonal skill
  • Graphic design and documentary production skills would be an asset
  • Prior experience in working with UN agencies and/or international agencies on policy advocacy, strategic communication, partnership building and social mobilization is highly desirable
  • Analytical skills and ability to write stories and reports in English
  • Excellent communications, writing and editorial skills with good attention to detail.
  • Ability to use own initiative, work in a team, multi-task and excellent organizational skills.


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