Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Capacity Development and Communications Specialist

International Potato Center
Ref.: 15- 63 CCS/IRS/SSA
Capacity Development and Communications Specialist
The International Potato Center (CIP) is seeking to recruit a highly skilled and experienced Capacity Development  and Communications Specialist for the Building Nutritious Food Baskets (BNFB) project.
The Center: CIP is a not-for-profit international agricultural research-for-development organization with a focus on potato, sweet potato, and Andean roots and tubers. Its vision is of roots and tubers improving the lives of the poor. CIP is dedicated to achieving food security, improved well-being, and gender equity for poor people in root and tuber farming and food systems of the developing world. CIP works with partners to contribute high quality science, technology, and capacity strengthening for sustainable science-based solutions. CIP is headquartered in Lima, Peru, with staff and activities in over 30 locations across Asia, Africa, and Latin America. CIP is a member of the CGIAR Consortium, a network of 15 Research Centers and 16 Research Programs mostly located in the developing world and supported by more than 50 donor members.
The Building Nutritious Food Baskets (BNFB) project: This three-year project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, seeks to reduce hidden hunger by catalyzing sustainable investment for the utilization of biofortified crops (vitamin A cassava, vitamin A maize, vitamin A sweetpotato and iron rich beans) at scale. The project will be implemented in Nigeria and Tanzania, to demonstrate how multiple biofortified crops can be scaled up together at country level. The project is led by CIP and is implemented by a consortium partnership of six core partners -  the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), the International Potato Center (CIP), the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), HarvestPlus and the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA).
The position: The Capacity Development and Communications Specialist will be responsible for coordinating and backstopping capacity building and training activities of all partners. S/He will work closely with the Regional Advocacy Advisor, the National Coordinators, CIP Communications team and representatives of partner organizations on all aspects pertaining to training and capacity building. The specialist will also be responsible for coordinating development of advocacy and behavior change communication materials and messages of the project.The selected candidate will be based in either in Dar-es-Salaam-Tanzania or Nairobi-Kenya with extensive travel in Nigeria and Tanzania. This position reports to the Project Manager and co-reports to the Head of Communications.
Duties and Responsibilities: A key part of this role will be to design and develop a capacity building plan and implement learning activities, contributing to the strengthening of individual, institutional and community capabilities to produce and consume biofortified crops. The Specialist also has the role to translate various formal inputs from the consortium partners into a series of advocacy messages, quality communications materials, learning modules and lessons learned. The specific duties and responsibilities include to:
Lead and coordinate the training and capacity building activities (60%)
  • Develop and implement a capacity development plan for the project;
  • Work closely with the Regional Seed Systems Coordinator and seed systems experts to develop training manuals on priority areas along the value chain for the crops, and implement training programs in the two target countries;
  • Work closely with selected  training institutions (national, NGOs, CBOs and private sector) to ensure capacity to produce and consume biofortified crops is strengthened;
  • Work closely with the Regional Advocacy Advisor and the National Coordinators and coordinate development of advocacy and behaviour change communication materials and messages of all partners;
  • Work closely with the Regional Seed Systems Coordinator, the technical team and national partners to plan, facilitate training events;
  • Organize, facilitate and backstop training programs in the two target countries;
  • Based on the capacity building objective, work with national training institutions towards strengthening their institutional capacity;
  • Coordinate the project’s major meetings and events.
Implement the communication strategy plan (40%)
  • Working closely with the Project Manager, develop and guide implementation  of the project’s communications strategy;
  • Effectively manage the project’s communications and knowledge management function including management of the project’s component on the knowledge portal on biofortified crops / Sweetpotato, online tools ( blog, facebook, twitter, flickr), print and audio-visual materials;
  • Work closely with the Regional Advocacy Advisor, the National Coordinators, the Seed Systems Coordinator and relevant target groups to ensure quality control for design and implementation of communication outputs (e.g. summaries of key findings, press releases, flyers, leaflets, fact sheets, stories from the field, journal articles, media kits, photographs,  videos, documentaries, radio programs, learning materials and training modules and booklet of lessons learned);
  • Support the dissemination of project information and materials through a variety of channels designed to reach diverse target audiences;
  • Strengthen and coordinate information and knowledge for the specific platforms (beans, cassava, maize and sweetpotato);
  • Maintain CIP branding standards;
  • Coordinate media relations;
  • Contribute to CIP’s organizational communications such as blogs, annual report, other publications and participate in monthly meetings.
  • Masters level degree in Communication, Journalism, Public Relations, Marketing, Biological Science or Development field. PhD degree in relevant field is desirable.
  • At least 5 years of professional experience, including at least 2 years leading training and capacity building activities.;
  • Demonstrated experience in managing communities of practice, online platforms and forums;
  • Exposure to video making, experience in web-based tools  online platforms, and moderating of communities of practice / discussion groups) would be an advantage;
  • Effective use of social media for technical application;
  • Good photography, radio and video, and media skills;
  • Excellent written and spoken skills in English and Swahili are a prerequisite;
  • Exemplary communication (written and oral)and advocacy skills;
  • Ability to work under pressure and prioritize assignments;
  • Proactive approach, with ability to find creative ways to solve problems or exploit potentials;
  • Teamwork and ability to work in multidisciplinary and multicultural teams;
  • Familiarity with international agricultural researches for development, CGIAR is a plus.
Conditions: Employment contract will be for a three-year term (with a 6 month probation period).Salary will be internationally competitive, paid in US dollars, and commensurate with experience. CIP provides additional benefits including employer-paid medical, life and disability insurance and retirement benefits. Allowances toward relocation, housing, home leave travel, dependents’ education and annual leave are also provided. CIP prides itself on its collegial and supportive working environment, which allows space for personal and professional growth.
Applications: Applicants should apply online through our CIP’s Job Opportunities website (, including a cover letter, a full C.V with the names and contact information of three references that are knowledgeable of the candidate’s professional qualifications and work experience. Screening of applications will begin on 05 February, 2016 and will continue until the post is filled. All applications will be acknowledged, however only short listed candidates will be contacted.
Learn more about CIP by accessing our web site at


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