PURPOSE OF POSITION:
With overall responsibility for the strategic direction of all aspects of the East and Southern Africa regions’ communications and public engagement work, the Director of Communications & Public Engagement will lead efforts to improve and grow World Vision’s reputation and influence, building trust with key audiences for greater organisational impact. The Director will provide oversight of core communications business across all countries where World Vision works in the regions, ensuring quality delivery of communications resources for local to global audiences, in support of the organisation’s key priorities.
Strategy and Operations:
In partnership with the Regional Offices and the Global Communications and Public Engagement team, the Director leads and executes an integrated communications strategy to build World Vision’s reputation and brand with key audiences.
Directs improvements to the regions’ communications operating model to optimise ways of working, increase stewardship of resources and strengthen the quality of communications deliverables for the Partnership.
Directs delivery of high-quality, child-focused content/multi-media packages to meet World Vision’s priority audience needs, including advocacy, external engagement, grant acquisition and other resource development activities at regional level. This includes production of high quality content packages from within the team as well as oversight of content produced from across the region for global use.
Directs an aligned and engaging online presence that leverages World Vision’s strategy through oversight of regional office digital platforms, managed in-house, and quality assurance of national accounts.
Engages media at regional level, in coordination with Partnership media managers, to maximise positioning opportunities with targeted outlets, developing regional spokespersons and messaging as needed.
Directs humanitarian response communications, with a particular focus on fragile contexts, to ensure Partnership media and fundraising needs are met through talent mobilisation and provision of targeted content, proactive and reactive messaging and media spokespersons.
Works closely with Regional Office focal points to advance communications work around the global campaign It Takes A World to End Violence Against Children, agreed Global Moments, disasters, fragile contexts, and key regional engagement initiatives.
The role performance manages together with the West Africa Communications Director, a core bureau of communications specialists and associates from within the region. Together they will deliver a focused portfolio of first-class content, media and engagement work covering development, humanitarian affairs and advocacy ministry that supports income and influence goals.
Region-wide coordination and management national teams, through a matrix relationship (18 field offices) will include coordination with national leadership to ensure that teams are high performing, delivering on Partnership priorities and advising on capacity gaps.
Peer facilitation will be provided to clusters of like-context national communications teams for learning, sharing and accelerated delivery of communications objectives.
As the regional focal point on reputation risk management in East and Southern Africa, the role will identify, assess and coordinate World Vision responses to current or potential issues. The Director will escalate major issues and messaging to Global Centre risk specialists as part of the Integrated Risk Management approach.
The Director will socialise a proactive risk management approach with leaders across the region, identifying opportunities to build reputation and decrease impact of specific risk issues.
Strategic communications support will be provided to essential Regional Office business needs.
KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS & ABILITIES:
An advanced university degree in Communications, Journalism, Marketing, Public Relations, or other related field.
Excellent leadership, organisational and management skills.
A demonstrable track record of critical and analytic thought that influences organisational direction and change, and forges strong partnerships
Excellent presentation, written, verbal and numerical skills.
Proven ability to provide authoritative input and solutions on strategic issues.
Strong track record in media relations, creating constructive relationships and having the confidence to represent the organisation in the media
Ability to react very quickly to disasters and provide strategic and operational advice on handling them.
Demonstrable track record of developing and executing external communications within scope and budget to positively impact the organisation’s influence and visibility.
Ability to identify and understand different audiences and utilise appropriate communication channels and content.
Demonstrated experience leading effective digital communications, including social media and an understanding of relevant tools and trends.
Ability to define and strengthen organisational brand awareness and reputation through multiple channels. Experience leading/managing multiple and/or overlapping content production assignments across multiple contexts that engage, compel and demonstrate knowledge, impact and expertise.
Proven ability to effectively team and project manage to deliver outcomes on time.
Experience linking communication outputs with fundraising, especially in a non-profit setting.
Demonstrated understanding of international development and humanitarian (relief) systems, and communication/donor networks working in fragile contexts.
Fluent English is essential; knowledge of one or more regional languages is an asset.
Preferred Skills, Knowledge and Experience:
At least ten years of progressively responsible and relevant professional work experience in communications, marketing/PR, journalism.
Experience leading a team in the international humanitarian sector. Background/familiarity in disasters, particularly political, protracted, or slow-onset.
Leading and supervising, formulating strategies and concepts, relating and networking, persuading and influencing, entrepreneurial thinking.
Adopts thinking that is informed by context and practice, and shows consistency of treatment and a clear strategic focus. Able to select and evaluate critical information to plan and manage communications and public engagement for local/regional entity.
Able to enable an efficient, effective and transparent flow of information, across entities and with key stakeholders (requiring high levels of written communication and reporting as well as clear and persuasive verbal presentation style).
Ability to manage multiple requests and prioritise according to strategic needs, applying an agile approach to decision-making and execution.
Experience negotiating with multiple business units in a large (40K+ employees) federated structure, preferably in a matrix management environment.
Solid/advanced work experience at a similar level, leading communications and public engagement strategies in the NGO or private sector.
The position requires ability and willingness to travel domestically and internationally up to 40% of the time.
This position demands responsiveness to context, openness to working flexibly, and willingness to adjust according to operational realities.