Communications Officer

National Consultancy (NOB): Communications Officer for the African Coalition for Menstrual Health Management (MHM)

12 October 2018

UNFPA East and Southern Africa, Sunninghill, Johannesburg, South Africa

Background

Providing girls and women with the necessary information, resources, skills, social support, and water, sanitation, waste disposal and health facilities required to manage their menstrual needs and other types of vaginal bleeding through the life course from menarche to menopause is important for girls’ and women’s health, well-being, mobility, educational and economic empowerment, and dignity. Yet many girls and women in Africa, especially those who live in poor areas and those that have been displaced or affected by political, economic and social emergencies, have little to no access to age-appropriate information on menstrual health, skills, health and hygiene facilities (including disposal and waste management) and products that are accessible, effective, comfortable, convenient, affordable and safe to use and change. This hinders the ability of girls and women to understand and manage menstruation and to seek help and support when they experience menstrual health problems, thereby negatively impacting their self-esteem, sense of agency, and ability participate in daily activities, including school, social activities and work.

Today many countries in Africa are moving towards more holistic responses to menstrual health management (MHM) with strengthened efforts to ensure that the focus on menstrual health management is expanded from product availability as a stand-alone solution to integrated, cross-sectoral policy and programmatic responses involving gender, education (including CSE for in- and out-of-school youth), water and sanitation (WASH), waste disposal and health system strengthening with a competent workforce, both in development contexts and humanitarian responses. It is also increasingly recognized as an issue for research and learning, monitoring and evaluation. However, despite progress in some countries, many of these efforts remain undocumented, limited in geographical coverage, lacking a strong evidence-base, and are largely donor or charity dependent. More needs to be done to strengthen high-level policy commitment, coordination, knowledge sharing, and evidence-based programming. There is also a need to develop effective and innovative approaches to supply management and distribution, build commitment to strengthen education efforts, improve water and sanitation infrastructure in school and other spaces, and to ensure that multi-sectoral plans are costed and supported with adequate financial resources to sustain efforts, develop monitoring and evaluation, and bring programmes to scale across the African continent.

Organizational Setting

Guided by the Johannesburg Call to Action: Improving Menstrual Health Management in Africa and recommendations from the 2018 inaugural African Menstrual Health Management Symposium, the UNFPA Regional Office for East and Southern Africa is in the process of establishing a secretariat for the African Coalition for Menstrual Health Management Coalition (ACMHM, based in Johannesburg, with the aim of strengthening policy dialogue, knowledge management, partnership and coordination of MHM initiatives in Africa.

Main tasks and responsibilities

The consultant will work under the overall supervision of the Regional Director and daily supervision by the adolescent and youth programme specialist, in close collaboration with the African Coalition for Menstrual Health Management Regional Coordinator. The Communications Officer will lead all communication tasks on an operational level and is responsible for planning, implementing, and managing all communications activities associated with the coalition that include providing support for: Advocacy; Website management; Research and knowledge management; and overall Communications leadership and support.

Communications

Co-ordinate the various internal communications initiatives of the African Coalition for Menstrual Health Management, including, but not limited to:

  • Collate information, writing, editing and designing monthly newsletters
  • Manage he Coalition list-serve and database
  • Support the branding and visual identity of the Coalition

External media relations, outreach and monitoring;

  • Develop relations with the media to promote regular and appropriate reporting on Menstrual Health Management issues 
  • Conduct regular media scans and report on global, regional and national stories on Menstrual Health Management
  • Develop marketing and media materials, campaigns, and identify ACMHM promotion opportunities in conjunction with the Coalition members

Social Media

  • Develop content for various media platforms and manage related social media accounts
  • Implement periodic social media campaigns to attract new regional and global visitors to the website.

Website management

Lead the overall maintenance and management of the Coalition website and continuously maintain, develop and upload content for the website;

  • Ensure that ACMHM website is operational at all times and accessible from different countries and browsers
  • Ensure that the ACMHM website remains attractive and user friendly
  • Source contributions from UNFPA country office and Coalition members and partners to the human-interest stories to be uploaded on the website;
  • Generate and post news articles and updates from the ACMHM, other UNFPA Programme activities as well as relevant regional or global news.

Research and knowledge management

  • Map out and establish contacts and new partnerships with other MHM knowledge management partners and platforms for possible collaboration
  • Conduct literature/resource reviews to identify and document new evidence and best practices on MHM for the ACMHM
  • Work in collaboration with the regional coordinator for the ACMHM to compile, analyze and document findings and progress of coalition activities, including in written quarterly reports to UNFPA, other funding agencies, and Coalition members
  • Support the development and dissemination of knowledge products produced by the ACMHM members.

Duration and working schedule

10 October – 21 December 2018, full time.

Place where services are to be delivered

UNFPA East and Southern Africa Regional Office, Johannesburg, South Africa

Experience and competencies

Education:  University Graduate Degree or equivalent in Communications, multimedia, digital media, communications, or strategic journalism Marketing, Health Education/Promotion, Public health, Social sciences, or other field directly related to the substantive areas of this position.

Experience and skills

  • At least 3 years of relevant professional experience in communication and/or multimedia or similar work experience with government, UN or NGOs on issues related to SRHR, health education, adolescent health or related areas;
  • Solid experience in communications, marketing, website management and strategy and social media;  
  • Strong advocacy and networking skills with the ability to liaise with and engage government, UN agencies, CSOs, media and other stakeholders in a professional and friendly manner;
  • Strong communication skills and proven experience with the use of social media and other channels for effective advocacy, knowledge sharing and campaigning;
  • Excellent writing with a proven record of publications in technical areas of relevance to the assignment;
  • Ability to work with and within inter-disciplinary and multicultural groups;
  • Good computer skills, including for the establishment and maintenance of online databases and websites;
  • Fluency in English. A working knowledge of French and/or Portuguese is desirable.

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How to Apply

Applicants are requested to send a one-page motivation letter and CV noting “Communications Officer: African Coalition for Menstrual Health Management” in the subject line to Maja Hansen at mahansen@unfpa.org with copy to Puleng Letsie at letsie@unfpa.org by 12 October 2018.