Development Outreach Communications Specialist at USAID Nigeria

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Nigeria is seeking to employ a suitable and qualified candidate for the position below in the Program Office (PROG):Development Outreach Communications Specialist at USAID Nigeria

Job Title: Development Outreach Communications Specialist

Solicitation is open to: AID-620-S-17-00003
Location: Abuja, Nigeria
Work hours: 40 hours (Full time)
Position Grade: FSN 11
Period of Performance: Five years renewable.
Who May Apply: Nigerians Only (Resident in Nigeria).

Basic Function of the Position

  • The Development Outreach Communications Specialist (DOC) reports to the Supervisory Development Outreach Communications Specialist (S/DOC). S/he is responsible for supporting all outreach and communication for the USAID/Nigeria program. This includes serving as a main focal point for preparing outreach communications, planning and executing public events liaising with local press, participating in site visits, maintaining the Mission’s page on the Agency-wide website, reviewing project branding/ marking plans as assigned, and maintaining official records for the Outreach and Communications function.
  • The incumbent serves as deputy to the S/DOC and acts for the S/DOC when s/he is absent.
  • The incumbent collaborates closely with the S/DOC, Supervisory Program Officer, Deputy Program Officer, Mission Director, Deputy Director, Technical Office Team Leaders, and implementing partners (IPs), as well as staff of the U.S Embassy Nigeria Public Affairs Section (PAS) in Abuja and Lagos to implement the overall Mission communications strategy.
  • The DOC also serves as alternate principle liaison with the USAID/Washington Bureau of Legislative and Public Affairs (LPA) in the absence of the S/DOC.
  • USAID/Nigeria manages U.S government (USG) development programs in Nigeria, with a program budget of approximately US$500 million per year. USAID’s assistance program in Nigeria includes interventions in the areas of democracy, human rights, and governance; crises prevention and mitigation; economic growth (energy, trade promotion, water, agriculture and food security); health (HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, maternal and child health, reproductive health, family planning, and strengthening management in the health system); and basic education.
  • USAID also manages an expanding portfolio of humanitarian assistance and countering violent extremism activities in Northeast (NE) Nigeria.
  • The DOC is primarily responsible for collecting, investigating, managing, and distributing information associated with the USAID foreign assistance program in Nigeria and serves as the alternate USAID/Nigeria point of contact and liaison for information requests.
Duties and Responsibilities
A.) Communications Management and Strategic Planning:
  • The DOC is responsible for contributing to policies and procedures for USAID communications and outreach that clarify roles and responsibilities within USAID and with other U.S Embassy Nigeria sections and IPs, including templates for various communication tools, standards for creating and finalizing DOC materials, and guidelines for planning and managing events.
  • The DOC assists in annual updates to the USAID/Nigeria communications strategy, identifying objectives, messages, audiences, products, and developing plans in coordination with USAID managers and technical
  • teams consistent with the USAID development strategy and the overall U.S Embassy Nigeria communications strategy.
  • The DOC drafts public information products, ensuring that Mission communication products contain appropriate and consistent messages that support the approved USAID communications strategy. S/he provides control on all print and electronic public information materials such as the external website, organizational and information packets, and briefing books produced by the public relations contractors and other USAID staff.
Media Relations:
  • The DOC is responsible for USAID media activities; liaising with USAID, IP, or PAS staff to generate press coverage of USAID activities in Nigeria. This includes arranging and preparing for press interviews, press conferences, briefings tours of programs/projects/activities, and interaction with host-country and American journalists.
  • The DOC tracks USAID program/ project/activity milestones and events to ensure that appropriate press coverage is provided; advises the S/DOC and USAID staff on press outreach priorities, and whether coverage is culturally and politically appropriate; oversees and produces media materials (including news releases, background documents, and fact sheets) designed to inform editors and reports of technical programs/projects/activities and their achievements; coordinates with technical offices to produce and release timely, accurate, and useful written material for the host-country and U.S
  • Media. Working in collaboration with the S/DOC, the DOC helps technical offices to identify activities for coverage, participates in filed visits to access
  • newsworthiness, and accompanies the press to interviews and site locations for filming.
Public Events and Visitors:
  • Working under the guidance of the S/DOC Specialist, the FSN DOC helps plan and oversee execution of activities to present USAID programs to the public and VIP visitors, including a range of communications tools and distribution to a variety of audiences.
  • The DOC prepares documents to support visits for high-level officials. These documents highlight key USAID programs/projects/activities and strategies.
  • S/he supports advance work for planning and scheduling by participating in meetings that include USAID staff of technical teams and support
  • offices or PAS staff and preparing schedules and /or planning notes.
  • S/he may prepare or oversee the production of briefing materials and be involves in troubleshooting during VIP visits. For project site visits or events that involve the Ambassador, Deputy Chief of Mission, and /or the USAID Director or Deputy Director, the DOC ensures that all event information (e.g., scene setters, talking points, speeches) have been prepared, and meet quality standards and time requirements.
  • The DOC coordinates and consults with technical offices on program/project/activity signing ceremonies or other milestone events, including finalizing press releases for submission to the clearance process and ensuring logistics are handled appropriately.
B.) Publicity Materials:
  • The DOC is responsible for the production of high-quality print and electronic communications products that translate complex messages and technical information into understandable, meaningful messages that resonate with a variety of audiences, both host-country and American. Working under the direction of the S/DOC., the DOC drafts or generates drafts of published and website materials, including information brochures, special publications, and materials for the external Nigeria page on the Agency-wide website.
  • As designated by the S/DOC, the DOC may also be responsible for overseeing or developing regular and specialized information materials for Washington opinion leaders and audiences, in coordination with the Regional Bureau and LPA colleagues.
  • S/he will also travel to USAID program/project/activity sites throughout the country and the region to interview beneficiaries and photograph programs/projects/activities for the USAID website and for news press releases.
  • S/he will serve as the USAID /Nigeria alternate Point of Contact for Agency Branding Graphic Standards, within USAID/Nigeria and among partners.
  • S/he is also responsible for preparing and keeping current packet of informational materials communicating USAID strategic priorities and focus areas.
  • S/he acts as editor for key reports and documents as assigned; ensures that public outreach products include people oriented success stories that “tell our story” to external and internal audiences, and are politically and culturally appropriate; and manages the Mission’s portion of the external Agency-wide
  • website under the guidance of the S/DOC, ensuring that information is “fresh”, current and inviting to browsers.
  • Finally, s/he is responsible for maintaining a photo library and official records for development communications, ensuring that electronic and hard copy files are maintained in accordance with USG requirements and that all documents are easily retrievable by USAID staff as needed.
  • S/he will work with the Program Office team annually to ensure that records are archived or disposed of in accordance with USAID and other USG requirements.
Qualifications/Evaluations Criteria
Note: All applicants MUST address each selection criterion detailed below with specific and comprehensive information supporting each criterion or the application will NOT be considered.

  • A Bachelor's of Art Degree in Journalism, Public Relations, Communications, English, or a related field is required.
Prior Work Experience:
  • A minimum of five years of progressively responsible experience in communications, public relations, or journalism, in an English-language work environment is required. This experience should provide assurance that the DOC is skilled in disseminating information to a variety of target audiences. Previous work in international development organization is highly desirable.
Post Entry Training:
  • The incumbent will receive on-the-job training on established USAID procedures, regulations, and policies governing USAID interaction with the media, implementing partners, other USG agencies, host country government officials, etc.
  • The Specialist will attend USAID regional Development Outreach and Communications Workshops, subject to course offerings, availability of funds, and supervisor and Mission concurrence.
  • The incumbent will also complete online and/or classroom orientation programs as designated by the supervisor and the Agency.
Language Proficiency (List both English and host country language(s) proficiency requirements by level (II, III) and specialization (sp/read):
  • Fluency (level 4) in English.
  • Both written, reading, and oral is required and may be tested.
  • Fluency in at least one widely spoken local language(s), both written and oral, is desirable.
Job Knowledge:
  • The DOC must have a thorough knowledge of the principles, methods, practices, and techniques of communication, and skill in applying such knowledge to develop written and video information materials for dissemination through a variety of media, in order to determine and effectively use the most appropriate means for transmitting information, and to evaluate the effectiveness of plans developed to communicate with targeted audiences. This includes an understanding of the use of written communication in developing news releases, feature stories, background statements, fact sheets, media spots, and scripts that effectively transmit information about complex programs/projects/activities and functions.
  • Knowledge about USAID programs, policies, and operations is highly desirable.
  • The work requires an excellent knowledge of English grammar and U.S. word usage and spelling; a good knowledge of graphic design, printing, and publishing processes, and the ability to oversee printers and/or publishers; good knowledge of social media outlets; a general understanding of procurement processes; and a broad understanding of issues related to international development.
  • A solid understanding of website design is desired.
Skills and Abilities:
  • Work requires skill in developing and maintaining effective relationships with professional colleagues within USAID and other USG entities, with staff of IPs, media representatives, and the public affairs personnel of organized groups, and in establishing and enhancing communication between USAID and its audiences using media and groups. In addition, skill in making oral presentations designed to seek cooperation of specialized groups and media in providing fuller coverage to USAID/Nigeria programs/projects/activities, and to encourage open communication between USAID/Nigeria and its audiences is required.
  • The incumbent must also have strong analytical skills to participate in analyzing the effectiveness of communication plans once implemented, and developing recommendations to change the nature of the USAID/Nigeria public affairs program.
  • The work requires excellent oral and written communications skills, including news and technical writing, editing, and research skills; strong organizational and project management skills, that may be applied within a multicultural work environment; and, the ability to work independently, taking initiative once guidance is provided, and managing several activities simultaneously and under pressure to meet deadlines. Applicants may be asked to take written test(s) to demonstrate communication skills.
  • The DOC must have strong interpersonal skills.
  • The ability to establish and maintain collegial relations with press and media contacts, as well as Embassy and IP counterparts, and to exercise sound judgment in representing the USG is demanded, along with the ability to manage interactions with high-level dignitaries and officials with maturity and confidence.
  • The ability to travel throughout the host country, in order to organize and implement outreach events and visit project sites, is a requirement of the position.
  • The ability to travel throughout Nigeria in order to organize and implement outreach events and visit project sites is a requirement of the position. Strong computer skills, including the use of MS Office, MS Outlook, MS PowerPoint, and Word are required.
  • In addition, a basic familiarity with Web design, Dreamworks, Acrobat, and other web site design software is highly desired. The work also requires excellent photography skills.
N11, 581,095 p.a. (starting basic salary). In addition to the basic salary, all allowances will be paid in accordance with the Mission Local Compensation Plan.

How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should submit their Applications which must include all required documents stated below to:

Required Documents
  • Application for US Federal Employment (DS-174) - pdf; or a current resume or curriculum vitae that provides the same information as a DS-174.
  • Click Here for Instructions for Completing DS-174 (PDF 2.40 MB) 
  • Any documentation that supports or addresses the requirements listed above (e.g. transcripts, degrees, NYSC certificate/exemption etc.).
  •  A type-written and signed application letter specifically applying for this position, and addressing the minimum requirements as advertised. Please reference the job title and announcement number on the application letter.
  • Limit all electronic (e-mail) submission to one entry/email not larger than 5MB. Please submit attachments in PDF and Word formats, not pictures.
  • E-mails received without the appropriate subject line and incomplete applications will not be considered.
  • Only short-listed candidates will be notified
  • Mailed (paper/hard copies) applications will NOT be accepted.
  • This solicitation is open only to Nigerian Nationals.
  • Applications with insufficient information to make a determination will not be considered.
  • Any/All application submissions after the closing date will not be considered.
  • No in-person appointments or telephone calls will be entertained.
  • Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
Application Deadline Date
21st December, 2016.

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