Consultant: Senior Communications Specialist

Global Water Partnership - Southern Africa (GWP-SA)

Pretoria, , ZA


International Water Management Institute (IWMI) on behalf of the Global Water Partnership Southern Africa (GWP-SA), seeks applications from suitable candidates to undertake a consultancy assignment under GWP-SA’s Africa Water Investment Programme (AIP).

The Global Water Partnership (GWP) is an intergovernmental organisation established in 1996 to support countries in their efforts to implement a more equitable and sustainable management of their water resources. The network spans 13 regions with more than 3,000 institutional Partners in more than 180 countries. The global secretariat is in Stockholm, Sweden. The GWP Africa Coordination Unit is based at GWP Southern Africa in Pretoria, South Africa, and coordinates GWP Africa programmes across Africa. In addition, GWPSA hosts the GWP global theme on Climate resilience and is charged with providing global Senior leadership and coordination of implementation of the GWP strategy on climate resilience.

The Senior Communications Specialist will support the GWPSA secretariat and African Coordination Unit in development and implementation of a comprehensive communications strategy. S/he will lead the GWPSA-ACU network communications and provide communications support to GWP/CU Partners and key stakeholders. The Senior Communications Specialist will implement and maintain a communications strategy, which responds to needs and priorities of the GWPSA Africa Water Investment Programme (AIP).

Africa Water Investment Programme

In February 2019, the Governing Council of the African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW) adopted a Decision for transformation of Africa’s water investment outlook through increased partnerships and implementation of an African Water Investment Programme (AIP). The Ministers commended efforts of the Global Water Partnership and partners, “to establish, through the AIP, a partnership to release Africa’s Development Potential to achieve both the African Union Agenda 2063 in collaboration with AU, AMCOW, NEPAD Agency, African Development Bank (AfDB) and African Water Facility (AWF)”. The Ministers called for continued cooperation of GWP and partners to implement the AIP and AMCOW Strategy 2018 – 2030 in pursuit of the vision of a water secure Africa.

In response to the Ministers Decision, the Africa Water Investment Programme has been developed by Global Water Partnership and partners to accelerate the preparation of climate resilience water investments in Africa and enhance job creation through scaled up gender sensitive investments in water security and Africa’s industrialization. AIP will also support Africa’s efforts on the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement on climate change. In November 2019, GWP and the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD) signed an MOU to accelerate implementation of the water infrastructure projects under the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) in collaboration with the AIP.

AIP will be implemented by GWP in collaboration with key partners such as AUDA, AMCOW, AfDB, AWF and others. AIP will strengthen the business case for investments in water security and support preparation of bankable projects as instruments to stimulate transformative economic growth, and address the root causes of migration and youth unemployment. AIP will contribute to the goals of the AU Agenda 2063, the Africa We Want, and the AfDB High Five Priorities and objectives of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) brokered by the African Union (AU) and signed by 44 of the 55 AU member states. The AfCTA aims to create a single Africa market, deepen the economic integration of the continent and also encourage industrial development through diversification and regional value chain development, agricultural development and food security.

The goal of the Africa Water Investment Programme is to transform and improve the investment outlook for water security and sustainable sanitation for a prosperous, peaceful and equitable society. AIP aims to leverage $30 Billion in investments, by 2030, towards SDG 6 implementation. The overall objective is to enhance job creation through gender sensitive investments in water security, industrialization and climate resilient development. AIP will promote job creation through gender sensitive investments in water security, industrialization and climate resilient development and support continental efforts towards universal access to safe water and safely managed sanitation. AIP will be implemented through three interrelated programs as follows: (a) AIP Water Climate Development and Gender Transformation (AIP WACDEP-G) (b) AIP SDG Investments, water energy-food security, regional value chains & industrialization (AIP SDG WEF Investment) and (c) AIP Transboundary Water Governance and Investments (AIP Transboundary waters).

Key Performance Areas:

  • Lead GWPSA-ACU Communications: lead all GWPSA-ACU communications with key partners SADC, AMCOW, AU, River Basin Organizations in SADC region, other key partners and media networks. Develop, update and implement GWPSA-ACU communications strategy within the region and Africa working under the guidance of the global communications framework.
  • Develop key strategic messages, briefing notes and annual reports: leads development of the GWPSA-ACU Annual report, develops key messages, briefing notes for AIP, high level government officials including cabinet ministers.
  • Lead Knowledge management for GWPSA-ACU, AIP: Writes and edits material (for general public and specific target audiences) on the GWPSA-ACU Programme and its activities, including press releases, briefing notes, website updates, publications, newsletters, PowerPoint presentations, etc. This includes ensuring timely dissemination and exchange of information on the programme to key audiences, including Partners, donors, other GWP Regions, media, relevant organisations and institutions, governments and other key stakeholders.
  • Liaison with GWPO,GWPSA and CWPs on network administration: membership database maintenance – ensuring coordination and synchrony with country, regional and global databases; updates the information contained within the regional partners database and mailing lists, keeps up to date records of contact persons within the different countries by establishing a list serve (s) of the Country Chairs, Country Coordinators, CWP Partners per country; and liaises with GWPO Network Operations (to ensure up to date information is communicated to potential and new partners) and actively supports further development and refinement of the databases.
  • Regional Partnership information management: establishes, systematizes regional/country partner information, data entering, organising, archiving and keeping up to date records of the different country networks and member institutions, their membership skills and expertise, country & institutional profiles and track records, CWP Constitutions and other documentation relating to the country network governance, programmes and activities. Monitors and reports on GWPSA member institution involvement in GWPSA initiatives. Provides substantive guidance and country activity reports to the GWPSA Executive Secretary or the Chair and Board.
  • Develops and leads implementation of social media outreach as part of the communications strategy. Implement social media outreach strategy in the region, working collaboratively with GWP Africa communications staff and GWPO Communications team.

Main Duties and Responsibilities

  • Lead the GWPSA-ACU communications and knowledge management division
  • Lead all communications of the Africa Water Investment Programmes (AIP)
  • Provide leadership to the GWPSA-ACU communications team and mentor staff as appropriate
  • Lead strategic communications and engagement between GWPO (Stockholm) and the Regional and GWP Country Secretariats of GWPSA on partnership records, operational policies and procedures; as well as develops and maintains the GWPSA partner’s database by coordinating membership applications and liaising with GWPO Network Operations and the CWPs;
  • Facilitate information flows among GWPSA-ACU Partners, CWPs and all governance structures, CWPs RECs, and GWPO (submitting the Monthly Report and annual Progress Review and annual report);
  • Support GWPSA Executive Secretary on high level communications with the GWPSA Chair and Board
  • Assist CWPs to strengthen their institutional systems and practices for communications;
  • Working with the GWPSA programme teams, relevant stakeholders and strategic partners, prepare relevant and targeted communications
  • Supports the GWPSA Executive Secretary in guiding and coordinating country inputs for CWP progress reporting twice a year (to be included in RES reporting to the two GWPSA Board meetings each year);
  • Works with the programme team in sourcing stories from the CWPs for publications, progress reports and website uploads;
  • Provide quality assurance to reporting on the programme’s progress and results (activities, outputs, lessons learned, and outcomes) on a regular basis, working with the programme team and the RES.
  • Works with technical GWPSA-ACU Secretariat staff on thematic / technical content to prepare for GWPSA participation in exhibitions (promoting GWPSA and the Pan African programme) at scientific symposia, conferences (e.g. WaterNet – GWPSA annual symposium) and other key events;
  • Lead the communications aspects of the key regional events (such as the SADC Multi-stakeholder dialogue) with the SADC Communications expert and key pan-Africa events
  • Arrange outsourcing as necessary for services such as translations, design, printing, video production etc. for regional activities and events;
  • Establish and strengthen a strong GWPSA media network covering all SADC member countries
  • Represents GWPSA in GWPO organised Communication Officer meetings, workshops and training and ensure that GWPO communications and graphical policy are properly utilized, and that the GWP brand and reputation is maintained and enhanced throughout the regional network;
  • Establishes and maintains the GWPSA e-filing system and populates it, to ensure comprehensive GWPSA records (excluding financial) are kept, effectively stored, for easy retrieval and sharing via the website and other means.
  • Undertake necessary travel to execute above duties at key events and in the field visits, as required;
  • Undertake any other task requested by the Regional Executive Secretary.


Duration: 2 years renewable subject to performance and availability of funds

Interested applicants should submit a one-page motivation letter which addresses GWPSA’s requirements stated above, curriculum vitae, and contact information of three professional referees who may be contacted if you are short-listed for the position. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

Please note that only short-listed applicants will be contacted.


  • Relevant education with Master’s Degree required and at least 10 years’ experience in communications, media, journalism, international relations and public administration
  • Experience in managing and leading communications teams, working with relevant media networks in southern Africa region
  • Experience in high level strategic communications to senior government officials and international NGOs
  • A comprehensive understanding and commitment to GWPSA’s Vision, Mission, goals as well as structure, systems, values, partners, and work ethic;
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with stakeholders from diverse institutions, stakeholder engagement processes at local, national and regional levels
  • Good oral, editorial and written communication skills, conveying messages to different audiences using diverse media
  • Ability to develop TORs, appoint and manage consultants ensuring high quality delivery
  • Fully computer literate – skilled and confident in using office applications such as MS office (word, excel, power point, project), database, calendar and email applications as well as familiarity with relevant social networking tools such as Facebook, Twitter etc.
  • Flexibility in fast paced environment of ambiguity, rapidly changing priorities and tight deadlines
  • Excellent organisational capacity with ability to prioritise among tasks within deadlines
  • Ability to manage multiple responsibilities simultaneously
  • Proactive approach to meeting deadlines and delivering results with limited supervision
  • Flexibility, creativity and effectiveness in working in a multi-cultural environment
  • Ability to deal with discretion on sensitive issues and to respond positively to challenges
  • Affinity for learning, sharing and using knowledge
  • Outstanding interpersonal and teamwork skills and impeccable service culture
  • Demonstrated ability to manage professional relationships
  • A willingness to work nonstandard hours and/or occasional weekends and to travel internationally when required
  • Demonstrated experience in developing communication materials (on-line, media/press releases, publications and reports)
  • Experience in working with journalist and media networks in the regional and continent and ability to develop, nurture and maintain existing and new media contacts
  • Experience in organizing policy dialogues and engaging with policy makers.





IHE Delft Institute for Water Education - MSc in Water and Sustainable Development