Communications Officer (Adaptation at Scale in Semi-Arid Regions (ASSAR))

African Climate and Development Initiative

Cape Town, , ZA

Applications are invited for the post of Communications Officer (Policy, Practice and Influence) for the ASSAR (Adaptation at Scale in Semi-Arid Regions) project, at the African Climate and Development Initiative (ACDI). The ACDI is a strategic initiative at UCT that coordinates and enhances research and teaching on climate and development across departments and faculties. From Jan 2014 to Dec 2018, the ACDI is leading a multi-partner, CAD$ 13.5 million research project, ASSAR, one of four multi-partner projects in the CARIAA (Collaborative Adaptation Research in Africa and Asia) Programme, funded by IDRC and DFID.

Working with the ASSAR communications team under the direction of the ASSAR Consortium Coordinator and the ASSAR Principal Investigator, the main purpose of the Communications Officer is to strategically lead ASSAR’s communication efforts and to develop and maximise ASSAR’s research impact into policy and practice, within the project’s regional and global spheres of influence.

This is a full-time position, from October 2016 or as soon as possible thereafter to 31 October 2018 (end of the ASSAR project).

Minimum Requirements:

  • An Honours degree specialising in communications and/or marketing, journalism, climate change, development studies, or fields relevant to communication and influencing.
  • 3 or more years of communications, journalism and/or influencing experience.
  • Proven ability to develop and implement effective communications and influencing strategies.
  • Experience in targeting and developing communications for a range of audiences, from local communities in rural and urban settings to international policy-makers and donors.
  • Experience of working with different types of media channels and organisations.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English.
  • Strong organisational and planning skills with the ability to deliver on multiple priorities.
  • Advanced computer literacy including MS Office suite and social media tools

Advantageous experience includes:

  • Good understanding of the main processes and actors in the African and Asian development and climate change adaptation policy and practice domains.
  • Experience of working in a communications role in an applied research project.
  • Experience in tracking the impact of communications activities.
  • Ability to speak, write and understand French.
  • Ability to produce infographics, edit photographs and videos, and use web content management systems.
  • Ability to research and produce innovative communications products.
  • Network of media contacts desirable.


  • Support and guide the regional research teams and cross-regional synthesis teams in developing communications strategies that align with their desired impact targets.
  • Oversee the implementation of all ASSAR communication strategies, including through the selection, production and dissemination of all communications products and activities.
  • Work with the regional research-into-use coordinators to widen ASSAR’s sphere of influence and promote the uptake of key research findings.
  • Liaise and build relationships with different media organisations in order to promote and disseminate ASSAR research findings.
  • Develop and promote research and communication partnerships with other CARIAA consortia to maximise the value and impact of ASSAR’s work.
  • Align ASSAR’s knowledge management and communication strategies with CARIAA-level strategies.
  • Develop and nurture a network of key regional and global ASSAR audiences to maximise ASSAR’s sphere of influence.
  • Identify key regional and global fora, platforms and dissemination opportunities for promoting ASSAR’s work.
  • Develop partnerships with organisations and projects working in the climate change and development arena in order to increase ASSAR’s visibility and reach.
  • Co-lead the ASSAR knowledge management and communications working group.
  • Track the impact of ASSAR’s communications activities, and modify them as required.
  • Plan and implement communication/influencing events and campaigns.
  • Assist in other communications and influencing activities as the need arises.

The annual cost of employment is between R394,026 and R463,559.
To apply, please e-mail the below documents in a single pdf file to Rabia Karriem at [email protected]:
– UCT Application Form (download at
– Cover letter, and
– Curriculum Vitae (CV)
Please ensure the title and reference number are indicated in the subject line.
An application which does not comply with the above requirements will be regarded as incomplete.
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and may be required to undergo a competency test.
Telephone: 021 650 5598
Websites: and
Reference number: E60825
Closing date: 11 September 2016
UCT is committed to the pursuit of excellence, diversity and redress in achieving its equity targets. Our Employment Equity Policy is available at
UCT reserves the right not to appoint.