Consultant, Strategic Communications job at WFP

negotiable / YEAR Expired 4 weeks ago
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WFP seeks candidates of the highest integrity and professionalism who share our humanitarian principles

Selection of staff is made on a competitive basis, and we are committed to promoting diversity and gender balance

Job Title:Strategic Communications Consultant

Type of Contract: Regular Consultant

Division: ARC African Risk Capacity

Duty Station (City, Country): Johannesburg (with a possibility to relocate to Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire within the contract period)

Duration: 11 months with the possibility of extension

Reporting to: ARC Director General with some workstreams reporting to the Chief Operating Officer, ARC

African Risk Capacity (ARC) is a Specialised Agency of the African Union[1] that offers an African solution to two of the continent’s most pressing challenges: climate change and disease outbreaks. It is mandated to work with AU member states to help plan, prepare, and respond to climate-induced disasters and disease outbreaks. The ARC mechanism, a continental early response mechanism and index-based weather risk insurance pool, is designed to improve the continent’s preparedness to respond to these threats by building the capacities of countries to effectively manage these risks towards the protection of lives and livelihoods of their most vulnerable populations. The ARC Group’s value proposition brings together four critical elements of preparedness for member states: capacity building, early warning, risk pooling, and risk transfer, with the aim of managing weather and disease risks by transferring the burden away from African governments to international markets. In addition to empowering member states with the skills they need to respond effectively, it also directly links insurance payouts to pre-defined contingency plans for disasters exceeding an agreed threshold, giving member states access to funds to facilitate early response. In the process, the goal is to incentivise governments to plan for and implement best-practice response mechanisms, and ARC’s mission is to serve African governments and their communities in reducing the financial impact of natural catastrophes. Pan-African solidarity in the creation of insurance pools like ARC is financially efficient as it provides immediate liquidity through the provision of insurance through the ARC Ltd, the insurance affiliate of the Group. Since being founded in 2012, ARC’s reach and impact has grown significantly, covering more people with a diversified and innovative product offering that protects against droughts, tropical cyclones and outbreaks and epidemic, significantly contributing to improving food security and driving for sustainable development.



Over the years, ARC has garnered extensive expertise and knowledge in the dynamic space of climate change, and with a goal is to provide world class service to member states and other stakeholders. The organisation has progressively become a strong and credible voice in the Disaster Risk Management and Financing (DRMF) space in Africa and globally. The Group Director General leads as the face of the organisation responsible for positioning the Group and showcasing ARC as an authority in Africa’s resilience-building journey. To this end, the primary role of the Strategic Communications Consultant will be to anchor the GDG and ARC leadership’s efforts by ensuring that the organization keeps abreast of developments in DRMF and can stay on top of new thinking in an era of a growing climate crisis and increasing incidents of disease outbreaks. Using innovative research tools and knowledge-share platforms with stakeholders, the function will elevate ARC’s understanding of this dynamic space and showcase the Group’s unique expertise and leadership in shaping Africa’s response to better serve our member states. It will play a strong advisory role in the strategic positioning of the ARC Group by working closely with the GDG’s office and ARC leadership to strengthen thought leadership, knowledge share, and strategic communication. In the process, it will make recommendations for message and information development, selection of communication methods, and scheduling of messages. The role will ensure that ARC remains a leading voice on the African continent and globally by developing targeted messages to strategically position ARC in the DRMF environment, with the goal to influence policy and support informed decision-making on the continent.

Additionally, the Strategic Communication Consultant will be influential in the development of the ARC Group Strategy and other supporting strategies to guide the organisation’s work and meet the needs of ARC member states with world-class solutions, ensuring that all strategies are integrated, progressive and reflect new thinking when communicated to stakeholders. It will also support other ARC Agency functions by ensuring that the reporting to key stakeholders (the AU, donor partners, and the Board and its committees) showcases the evolution of the organisation, its value in decreasing the vulnerability of African communities to disaster risks, and its impact in building Africa’s resilience, ensuring timely, accurate and quality reporting. The Consultant will ensure that the organisation’s reporting is accurate, professional and timely, and that all documents developed within the organisation maintain excellent standards. The role will also support ARC Agency’s fundraising efforts by co-developing proposals with Senior Staff and ensuring high standards in all documentation to ensure ARC is positioned as a partner of choice to the donor community. Lastly, the Strategic Communications Consultant will work with the Group’s communications function to advance ARC’s communications and advocacy efforts towards, and enhance the Group’s communications function. To accomplish this, the role will also support the development and implementation of the Group’s Communication Strategy, ensuring that the needs of stakeholders are fully understood towards finding suitable world-class solutions. It will also ensure that ARC stories are told and shared by collating and consolidating these in a monthly newsletter.


The accountabilities and responsibilities of the Strategic Communications Consultant can be categorised under three sections:
(i) Workstreams to provide expert strategic communications advise to the Group Director General’s office towards anchoring ARC’s leadership in the DRMF space;
(ii) Workstreams to provide strategic support to all Group functions to showcase ARC’s work and contribute to the positioning of the organisation;
(iii) Workstream to enhance the Group’s communications function towards increasing brand visibility, strengthening the Group’s advocacy efforts and supporting the telling of ARC stories.

These are elaborated on as follows:

Workstreams to support the Group Director General’s office (reporting to GDG)

  • Provide expert advice to the Group Director General as the leading face of the organisation to facilitate ARC’s positioning and guide ARC ‘s participation in continental and global events/platforms as opportunity for advocacy. The role will ensure adequate preparation for such events to optimise the platforms;
  • Ensure that all documentation/ concept notes/ speeches/ facts for any event inspire confidence in the GDG and ARC leadership when representing the organisation at the different fora, further strengthening the positioning of the organisation;
  • Undertake and manage extensive research aligned to the organisation’s work and to current themes in the DRMF landscape towards collating credible information that will enable informed decision making, influence policy decisions and aid in the understanding of the dynamic climate space;
  • Manage strategic communication from the Group Director General’s office through the development of researched thought leadership pieces and public relations content to position ARC as a leading provider of capacity building, early warning systems, risk analysis and risk transfer services to member states;
  • Anchor ARC’s fundraising efforts by leading the development of funding proposals/concept notes on identified leads in line with funder guidelines, ensuring quality proposals, timely submission of all documents and accurate responses to questions raised;

Workstreams to provide strategic support to the ARC Group Reporting and Advocacy (under the supervision and/or coordination by the COO)

This role will support the Group as follows:

  • Work closely with all functions to design, develop and implement an inclusive Group strategy that is aligned to the ARC mandate and responds to the needs of member states, donor and technical partners and other stakeholders;
  • Ensure timely reporting by the Group by consolidating key reports, ensuring accuracy of information, driving for professionalism in reports and adherence to set criteria;
  • Lead the development of documentation to support the positioning of ARC and showcase the different expertise within the organisation;
  • Provide strategic support to enhance the work done under the different ARC functions
  • Contribute to effective organisational and timely preparation and distribution of information on ARC (products, solutions, workstreams, etc.), ensuring stakeholders always have the most updated information;
  • Work with Senior Management to produce the ARC Annual Biannual Donor Reports, including content collection, editing / writing, design, and dissemination of the progress made towards achieving ARC’s vision and mission;
  • Support ARC knowledge management initiatives and ARC client database management, including the development of effective instruments and tools to ensure appropriate up-to-date information for internal and external use;
  • Lead the production of reports, briefs, concept notes, and correspondences from relevant units, including copywriting, copyediting, and proofreading donor reports and strategy documents;
  • Work with senior managers and technical experts within the organisation to develop research papers aligned to ARC’s work – clearly outlining the objectives of the work and ensuring the credibility of these papers before publishing;
  • Develop Country Strategy Papers (CSPs) in collaboration with senior managers to identify the challenges in a country and guide in-country work, thereby enabling customised solutions to member states.

Workstreams to enhance the Group’s communications function

  • Support the implementation of ARC communications and advocacy strategy, including the Institutional Communication and Communication for Development goals by working closely with Country Engagement teams and other units on the ground;
  • With the Head of Comms, facilitate ARC’s social media plan by developing social media content, and utilising platforms, networks and partners to enhance coverage and support of ARC’s activities;
  • Work with the Communications function to collate ARC stories into the monthly ARC Newsletter;
  • Support the development of ARC’s contributions to publications and relevant fora,
  • Generate donor specific visibility content including, text, photos, videos and audio for use across a range of integrated online platforms, in order to support ARC donor-funded activities, ensuring consistency with corporate messages;
  • Support communications activities that enable informed decision making and ensures consistency of information presented to the media and other stakeholders;
  • Ensure capacity building of ARC staff on all aspects of communication by providing advice and guidance in order to ensure that all activities meet desired standards of consistency, quality and impact.

Qualifications and experience required


Advanced University degree and relevant professional experience in communications or in a related field.


• A minimum of 8 – 10 years in a professional communication role or related field;
• At least 8 – 10 years in a strategic role that contributes to the overall vision of an organisation and supports the Executive Team’s communication goals.

Knowledge & Skills:

  • Strong writing skills in English is required;
  • General ability to draft ideas and concepts, clearly and concisely, in written and oral form
  • Proven ability to research, analyse, evaluate and synthesize information
  • Strong planning and organisational skills
  • Proven ability to effectively manage relationships with media representatives, government officials and other partners
  • Knowledge of relevant software, internet navigation and various office applications
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a multicultural environment and establish harmonious and effective working relationships, both within and outside the organisation


• Fluency in oral and written English is required
• Fluency in oral and written French is an asset

Deadline for applications: 28 June 2024

Ref.: VA No. 833396

Qualified female applicants and qualified applicants from developing countries are especially encouraged to apply

WFP has zero tolerance for discrimination and does not discriminate on the basis of HIV/AIDS status

No appointment under any kind of contract will be offered to members of the UN Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), International Civil Service Commission (ICSC), FAO Finance Committee, WFP External Auditor, WFP Audit Committee, Joint Inspection Unit (JIU) and other similar bodies within the United Nations system with oversight responsibilities over WFP, both during their service and within three years of ceasing that service.

Johannesburg, South Africa
This job has expired.