Consultant (Strategic Communications Advisor)

Global Water Partnership (GWP) Southern African and Africa Coordination Unit

Pretoria, , ZA


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 2,400 institutional Partners in 158 countries. The global secretariat is in Stockholm, Sweden. More information:

GWP Southern Africa (GWPSA) is the regional arm of the Global Water Partnership and was launched in June 2000. Over the years, GWPSA has grown rapidly into a regional network of over 350 Partner organizations concerned with water resources management. GWPSA Partners have formed a number of Country Water Partnerships (CWP) – 12 out of the 14 SADC countries now have their own CWP.

In addition to supporting governments in the Southern Africa region, GWPSA hosts the GWP Africa Coordination Unit (CU) for the Water, Climate and Development programme (WACDEP) and supports implementation of the global WACDEP, working closely with GWPO HQ.

The Strategic Communications Advisor (SCA) will support the GWPSA Secretariat and African Coordination Unit in development and implementation of a comprehensive communications strategy. The SCA will lead the GWPSA/CU network communications and provide communications support to GWP/CU Partners and key stakeholders. The Strategic Communications Advisor will implement and maintain a communications strategy, which responds to needs and priorities of GWPSA and the Africa Coordination Unit.

The Strategic Communications Advisor is expected to engage with communications of GWPSA Partners at national and regional levels as well as serve as GWPO liaison on partnership administrative and communication matters.

The SCA is expected to develop and maintain positive working relationships with GWPSA and Africa Coordination unit staff, GWP Africa communications staff, GWPO communication groups and media networks. The SCA must adopt a service culture for all Partners and GWPSA governance structures – in particular the CWPs, relevant stakeholders, strategic partners and other constituencies that are important to the success and impact of the regional, national and local programme implementation and delivery.

S/he will advise the GWPSA/CU team and CWPs on how to embed strategic communications and ensure that partnership activities and results are visible to internal and external GWP partner and stakeholders.

The SCA will work also closely with CWP host institutions, CWP Steering Committees and CWP strategic partners (academic, private, non-government and government sectors), RWP Communications officers in the 4 other GWP regions.

Key Performance Areas

  • Strategic communications (global)-support communications related to the global water, climate and development programme and work closely with GWPO communications for a coordinated and coherent communication messages
  • Strategic communications: support to GWPSA/CU and key partners SADC, AMCOW, AU, River Basin Organizations in SADC region, other key strategic partners and media networks. Develop, update and implement GWPSA/CU strategic communications within the region and Africa working under the guidance of the global communications framework.
  • Develop key strategic messages, brieng notes and annual reports: leads development of the GWPSA/CU Annual report, develops key messages, briefing notes for high-level government officials including cabinet ministers. Writes and edits material (for general public and specific target audiences) on the GWPSA/CU program 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 program to key audiences, including Partners, donors, other GWP Regions, media, relevant organizations and institutions, governments and other key stakeholders.
  • Liaison with GWPO 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 (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 RES for 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, Africa working collaboratively with GWP Africa communications staff and GWPO Communications team.

Qualifications and experience

  • Relevant education with Masters Degree and at least 5 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
  • 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 rapidly changing priorities and tight deadlines
  • Excellent organisational capacity with ability to prioritize 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.

Duration of the consultancy will be 2 years and the consultant will be based at Pretoria, South Africa.

Applications should be submitted to the GWPSA Executive Secretary Mr. Alex Simalabwai ([email protected]) and copied to Mr. Tendai Gandanzara ([email protected]) and Ms. Karen Gunter ([email protected]). Your application must include a one page motivation letter, copy of your curriculum vitae, including previous experience and project assignment related to this consultancy, together with a cover letter and the names and e-mail addresses of three professional referees.

Closing date: March 05, 2017, 17:00 hrs Pretoria, South Africa local time.