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Communications Coordinator for Africa

Nairobi, Kenya


Organization Description

The Center for International Forestry Research is a nonprofit, global facility dedicated to advancing human wellbeing, environmental conservation and equity. We conduct research that enables more informed and equitable decision making about the use and management of forests in less-developed countries.

Our research and expert analysis help policy makers and practitioners shape effective policy, improve the management of tropical forests and address the needs and perspectives of people who depend on forests for their livelihoods. Our multidisciplinary approach considers the underlying drivers of deforestation and degradation which often lie outside the forestry sector: forces such as agriculture, infrastructure development, trade and investment policies and law enforcement.

The Communications Coordinator for Africa will lead the implementation of a well-funded and far-reaching communication program to raise awareness of CIFOR’s research in the forestry sector in Africa. The Coordinator will work closely with CIFOR scientists across Africa to create uptake pathways for research findings, with the goal of maximizing outcomes and impact for specific research projects to target stakeholders include government officials, the private sector, civil society, donors, media and the research community.

The Coordinator will collaborate with CIFOR’s communication teams globally, especially those based at its headquarters in Indonesia. This internationally recruited position will require substantial travel, especially across Africa. He or she will report to CIFOR’s Media Liaison and Outreach Manager.

The ideal candidate would have a passion for science communications, with broad experience and familiarity with emerging social media tools and trends. He or she would be a strong writer and take pleasure in taking complex research findings and making them understandable and accessible for a wide-ranging audience, especially policymakers. The successful candidate would be bilingual in French and English and would be experienced in managing a complex, geographically diverse communication project.
Duties and Responsibilities

Reporting to the Media Liaison and Outreach Manager, the Communications Coordinator for Africa will be responsible for:

  • Updating, expanding and overseeing the implementation of a communications strategy to deliver research findings to key stakeholders in Africa and elsewhere;
  • Coordinating implementation of the communication component of the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (liaising closely with communication focal points at research partners);
  • Working closely with CIFOR’s communications units. This comprises of a large Outreach team with officers and consultants in Asia and Latin America; a Multimedia unit, which overseas CIFOR’s many web platforms and publications; and a Data and Information group, which coordinates data-sharing and CIFOR’s publication repository;
  • Being the focal point for CIFOR’s media relations in Africa;
  • Drafting and editing press releases, talking points, op-eds, blog stories, multimedia packages and corporate communication documents;
  • Building communication plans and budgets into research proposals and projects;
  • Taking the lead in organizing conferences and workshops in Africa.



Education, experience, technical skills and competencies

  • Master’s degree in journalism, communications or a related discipline;
  • At least eight (8) years experience in science communications and/or top-tier science journal;
  • Experience as a project manager and in coordinating a team;
  • Proven strong writer;
  • Experience in event coordination is an advantage;
  • Knowledge of African communication networks;
  • Fully bilingual in English and French.

Personal attributes and competencies

  • Be self motivated, outgoing and welcome the opportunity to work with significant autonomy;
  • Have the ability to work independently, multitask and strategize at a macro level;
  • Be a team player and have outstanding interpersonal communications skills;
  • Be able to operate independently in parts of Africa that have little infrastructure and few basic services;
  • Desire to learn and excel in a high-performance team environment;
  • Strong client service approach.

Terms and conditions

    This is an internationally recruited position. CIFOR offers attractive and regionally competitive compensation and benefits, commensurate with skills and experience.
    The contract will be for two (2) years with the possibility of extension contingent upon performance, continued relevance of this project and position, and available resources. The position will be based in Nairobi, Kenya.

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