Title: Director of Communications
Project: Rwanda Soma Umenye
Soma Umenye is a five-year USAID-fundedactivity that aims to improve reading outcomes in Kinyarwanda for at least 1 million children in public and government-aided schools in Rwanda. Covering all 30 districts of Rwanda and working in close collaboration with the Rwanda Education Boad (REB) and the Rwandan Ministry of Education (MINEDUC), Soma Umenye will contribute to Rwanda’s Education Sector Strategic Plan (ESSP) and the Government of Rwanda’s national development priority of ensuring that Rwandan primary-grade students acquire the fundamental competency of literacy so that they can succeed in future schooling and, later, in the modern workplace.
Soma Umenye aims to achieve the following two goals.
- To improve reading outcomes in Kinyarwanda for at least 1 million children (unique direct beneficiaries) in public and government-aided schools in Rwanda by the end of P3; and
- To ensure that at least 70 percent of P1-P3 students are able to read grade-level text with fluency and comprehension.
To achieve the above goals, it requires close collaboration with all education stakeholders under the technical leadership of MINEDUC and REB.
Principal Duties and Responsibilities
The Communications Director will lead the project’s robust communications and media campaigns, and will serve as the external-facing member of Soma Umenye’s communications team, regularly liaising with Rwandan news and media outlets. Additional detail on specific tasks can be found in the below section. Specifically, the Communications Director will:
- Operate multiple media and communications platforms, coordinating the project’s approach with several media outlets and obtaining support from all necessary partners and stakeholders.
- Work closely with the monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL) staff to gather evidence of success, document success stories, and create linkages with local press and electronic media to broaden the media outreach for the project.
- If needed, work with Soma Umenye partners and stakeholders to design, implement, and manage reading campaigns.
- Work closely with USAID’s Development Outreach and Communications (DOC) specialists to ensure the project’s alignment with USAID/Rwanda’s communication efforts (and branding and marking guidelines).
- Train local professional staff, including subcontractor staff, in public outreach and strategic communications methodologies and processes, and USAID branding guidelines.
- As needed, advise technical team in effective use of video technology and SMS (text messaging) to demonstrate and reinforce teaching techniques that engage young readers.
- Draft and maintain appropriate communication templates, and ensure that the project and all technical staff abide by USAID branding and marking requirements.
- Supervise the production of press releases, one-pagers, fact sheets, and other write-ups (ensuring USAID approval as appropriate).
- Coordinate input from government and implementing partners and subcontractors for the development and realization of communications activities.
- Work closely with the chief of party to assist in the development of reports and deliverables.
- Establish guidelines for project reporting, media outreach (e.g., rules of engagement for project staff/subcontractors, authorized spokespersons, key messages, and most effective media channels); work with the chief of party to develop and obtain USAID approval for products and messages.
- Help plan and oversee project events such as workshops and conferences when required (ensuring appropriate USAID approvals are secured); liaising with other project staff as needed.
- Follow and document all media coverage related to the project.
- Other duties as assigned by the chief of party.
- 8-10 years of public awareness and communications experience including planning and implementing strategic communications, public outreach, and/or social behavior change campaigns.
- Experience with USAID branding and marking guidelines is required.
- Knowledge of local press and electronic media, and strong relationships with media agencies and journalists.
- Graphic design experience is required.
- Experience working with international development sector organizations and/or donor agencies is preferred.
- Successful experience designing and implementing public outreach campaigns.
- Excellent writing and editing skills in English and Kinyarwanda is required.
- Master’s degree in communications or similar relevant field is preferred. A combination of a bachelor’s degree and the required number of years’ work experience may substitute for a Master’s degree.
- Demonstrated experience successfully writing communications-related reports of more than three pages in English is required.
- Familiarity with the Rwandan education sector is preferred.
- Excellent interpersonal and communications skills.
- Demonstrated leadership, versatility, and integrity.
Location of Assignment
The location of assignment is Kigali, Rwanda with intermittent travel throughout the country.
The Director of Communications will report directly to the Chief of Party or his/her designee.