Communications Specialist (USAID Water Project)

Kathmandu, Nepal
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
Private Sector
Experience Level: 
10+ Years
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)


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Position: Communications Specialist

Level of Effort: Full-time, 8 months

Period of Performance: On/about November 2, 2020 – June 30, 2021

Base of Operations: Kathmandu, with field travel to PANI target river basin areas

1. Background

The Paani Program—also known in Nepali as the “USAID Water Project”, युएसएड पानी परियोजना—is a 5 year, $25 million USAID-funded Project in Nepal. Water is the single most important natural resource underpinning Nepal’s economy and livelihoods. The sustainable management of water resources in Nepal depends on addressing climate change and protecting healthy, biodiverse ecosystems. Paani aims to enhance Nepal’s ability to manage water resources for multiple uses and users through climate change adaptation and the conservation of freshwater biodiversity. Paani employs an integrated, whole-of-basin approach with activities under four “intermediate result” (IR) areas at the watershed, river basin, and national scales, to reduce threats to freshwater biodiversity and strengthen the resilience of targeted human and ecological communities in the Karnali, Mahakali, and Rapti river basins through improved water management.

2.  Responsibilities

The Communications Specialist will serve as a member of the program’s key strategic team, supporting the Chief of Party (COP) to achieve Paani’s focused initiatives and strategic approaches, in particular those related to platform building to create a common vision in target river basins. S/he will be responsible to implement and refine Paani’s Outreach and Communications Plan and lead the communications, outreach, and coordination aspects and staff/consultants of the project. She/he will be an expert in the principles, methods, practices and techniques of communications and stakeholder coordination for diverse stakeholders.

Essential Duties: 

  • Lead implementation of Paani’s Outreach and Communications Plan, including the communications, outreach, and coordination aspects of the project. 
  • Manage Paani staff including the Capacity Building and Higher Education Specialist Communications Officer and consultants, including the STTA Graphic Designer and Illustrator, and others as applicable, to ensure they deliver high quality work that meets Paani program objectives.
  • Provide input on a variety of technical documents, grant proposals and scopes of work related to river basin planning, advocacy and sustainable hydropower and other strategic approaches
  • Manage final production (including editing) of technical documents and sub-products for dissemination to key stakeholder groups. 
  • Manage a wide range of communication tools to advance Paani objectives, such as: FCOE, the Paani Facebook page, site visits to Paani’s target landscapes and rural municipalities/municipalities, success stories, beneficiary testimonials, professional photography, public service announcements, videos, webcasts, group e-mail lists, press releases, press conferences, media interviews, etc.
  • Serve as technical lead and/or convene multi-stakeholder for a.
  • Lead the development of a bilingual civil society guide to healthy rivers, climate resilience, and sustainable hydropower—giving CSOs the information they need to strengthen their voices in policy discussions – and organize a formal launch of the guide. 
  • Lead development of the Paani Freshwater Center of Excellence (in person and online platform) to be housed by TU-CDES to ensure that Paani-produced studies are available in the public domain to inform the broader freshwater resource agenda in Nepal and internationally, while recognizing that different groups access information differently – women and men, urban and rural populations, higher and lower caste members, etc.
  • Draft speeches and talking points for senior USAID staff for Paani events and submit advance requests to USAID for all public and media documents, speeches, and events in accordance with USAID/Nepal’s outreach and communications procedures
  • Coordinate preparation and ensure submission on time and in accordance with proper branding and marking guidelines of high-quality Paani deliverables including Annual Reports, Quarterly Reports, Weekly Updates, Annual Workplan and technical studies.
  • Serve as Acting Chief of Party or Deputy COP as required

3.  Level of Effort/Timeline

The Communications Specialist position will be based in Kathmandu, Nepal, with travel to the Paani target river basins. The position will be full-time from on/about November 2, 2020 until June 30, 2020.

4.  Supervision

The Communications Specialist will work under the direct supervision of the Chief of Party and in close coordination with the Deputy Chief of Party and technical, cross-cutting, field and operations teams.  The Communications Specialist will supervise the Communications Associate.

5. Qualifications

  • Master’s degree is preferred.
  • At least 10 years of experience in relevant experience working with programs that are of a similar scope and scale to this program
  • Experience working effectively on multi-disciplinary, multi-cultural teams
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to establish, maintain, and manage relationships with diverse groups of stakeholders
  • Preferred: Experience with biodiversity and/or climate change adaptation projects
  • Preferred: Experience in Nepal or South Asia
  • Expatriate candidates currently residing in Nepal are encouraged to apply
  • Professionally proficient and fluent in written and spoken English. Proficiency in Nepali is preferred.