CALL FOR CONSULTANTS - EDITORS, WRITERS, STRINGERS AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPER

Nairobi, Kenya
Apply by 10 February 2018
Full-time staff position
Posted on 11 January 2018

Job Description

CALL FOR CONSULTANTS - EDITORS, WRITERS, STRINGERS AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPER


Client’s Contact Details

Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA)

West End Towers, 4th Floor, Kanjata Road, off Muthangari Drive

P.O. Box 66773 Westlands, 00800 Nairobi, Kenya

Main Off. Tel: +254 (20) 3675 000


Contact Person

Head of Procurement at procurement@agra.org


BACKGROUND

The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa – AGRA, is an African-led alliance focused on putting smallholder farmers at the center of the continent’s growing economy by transforming agriculture from a solitary struggle to survive into farming as a business that thrives.

Founded in 2006, at a time when agricultural development was emerging from a 20-year decline characterized by minimal growth and investment in the sector, AGRA’s mission is to catalyze and sustain an agricultural transformation in Africa through innovation-driven productivity increases and access to markets and finance that improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers.

From the beginning, AGRA was positioned to tailor the research, technologies, and lessons of the world to the needs and opportunities of smallholder farmers in particular agro-ecologies and farming systems. AGRA’s approach was private sector driven and represented a more robust and sustainable way of addressing chronic, systemic failures in African agricultural development.

Together with its partners—including African governments, researchers, donors, the private sector and civil society— AGRA works to catalyze an agricultural transformation in Africa through innovation-driven and sustainable productivity increases and access to innovative finance and markets that improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers.

As the sector that employs the majority of Africa’s people, nearly all of them smallholder farmers, AGRA recognizes that transforming agriculture into a productive, efficient, and sustainable system is essential to ensuring food security, lifting millions out of poverty, and driving equitable growth across the continent.

AGRA will aim to catalyze and sustain inclusive agricultural transformations through integrated, country-based investment plans in 11 countries with high potential for take-off over the next five years. To deliver this transformation, AGRA and partners will draw on experiences gained over the last decade to implement a fully integrated set of activities in 11 countries located mainly in three high-potential, under-exploited agro-ecologies - the Guinea Savannah Zone (West Africa), the East African Highlands, and the Miombo Woodland (Southern Africa), where it has developed agricultural technologies, understands the landscape and has strong partnerships.

AGRA’s overall vision of success is centered on three headline goals to achieve by 2020 through its efforts to catalyze, convene, and align with an alliance of partners and grantees:

  • To support 11 African countries on a pathway to create and sustain agricultural transformation. The investment will empower AGRA to work through an ecosystem of public and private partners to work with government and private sector to overcome bottlenecks and unlock transformation. As part of this effort, AGRA will work to generate evidence and follow up with targeted technical, planning and coordination support.
  • To increase the incomes and food security for 9 million farm households through the direct result of activities of AGRA, grantees, and partners to increase productivity and access to markets and finance in six countries where it is seeking to catalyze an agricultural transformation. At this level, AGRA wants to help farmers adopt an integrated package of improved seeds, fertilizers, and agronomic practices that close the yield gap sustainably in staple crops, and consequently enabled to support and improve their families’ well-being – through increased food security and additional income.
  • To contribute to increasing the incomes and food security of another 21 million farm households through the contributions of AGRA, grantees, and partners to policies, programs, and partnerships that increase productivity and access to markets and finance in other countries where an agricultural transformation is already under way, but needs to be sustained.

In the attainment of these goals, AGRA will support progress towards transformation through integrated delivery approaches to achieve tipping points - the moment when the build-up of new activities, innovations, and solutions becomes self-sustaining and will no longer need AGRA’s support- at farmer, system and national level. This will minimize the philanthropic and public subsidy required from AGRA, while also ensuring these contributions are catalytic and create sustainable change at scale.

Communication has been central to this transformation and will play an even more crucial role in ensuring that our messages and stories of change and impact are pro-actively identified, packaged in formats that appeal and shared through multiple digital platforms optimizing, traditional, new and social media.

To complement our in-house capabilities and capacity to deliver a world class communication function, we are hiring consultant editors, writers, stringers and a technology developer. The consultants will be engaged for an initial period of one year based on performance. The consultant will be commissioned for specific deliverables.


EDITORS

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Provide substantive editorial support (i.e., ‘heavy’ editing and rewriting where needed, content reorganization and, in limited cases, producing original draft text if needed) for key AGRA knowledge products;
  • Copy editing of the entire volume through detailed line edit, ready for final content approval;
  • Follow up as needed with authors to ensure clarity and inclusion of the latest available information, as well as the best photos available;
  • Ensure clarity and consistency of chapter abstracts, key messages and of all body text;
  • Editi the presentation style of the document and its suitability for intended audiences;
  • Advise on the continuity of style and content across/between different chapters, and the overall presentation of the report;
  • Proofread text and all tables and graphic elements;
  • Ensure that style, text citations and chapter references conform to the APA style;
  • Work directly with the graphic designer to develop cover and interior design options for the client’s consideration and selection;
  • Proofread the final designed publication for accuracy and clarity, and work with the designer to rectify any problems and/or provide any minor editing that may be occasioned by the final design.
  • Participate in write-shops for specific products
  • Provide writing/editing support as needed in the development of forewords, prefaces and acknowledgements;
  • Compile a list of acronyms;
  • Edit other content for AGRA, ensuring that text is informative and interesting and paying close attention to narrative flow, messaging, accuracy, tone and house style.

Deliverables:

  • Deliver short materials edited (typically news and stories for website no longer that 2 pages) not later than 2-3days after receiving the text;
  • Deliver longer materials/ documents within a timeframe agreed with the AGRA Communications team and/ or Programme Specialist;
  • Provide monthly summary reports of deliverables/ services provided

Functional Competencies:

  • Ability to think analytically, synthesize and clearly present complex processes and issues to service the information needs of heterogeneous audiences
  • Excellent writing skills – ability to write in a structured, lucid and concise manner
  • Demonstrated ability in substantively editing agriculture/development-related publications and/or reports
  • Results orientation and commitment to producing high-quality products
  • Ability to work under tight deadlines

Required Skills and Experience

Education:

University degree (Masters is preferred) in English or in any related field such as other languages, literature, social science, or political science.

Experience:

  • At least 5 years of progressively relevant experience as an editor/ proofreader or relevant field;
  • Proved experience in editing and proofreading of English texts;
  • Proved experience of editing (applicants will be required to provide samples of their editing work that was published)
  • Experience working with texts related to agriculture/development especially in Africa.
  • Progressive relevant professional experience in data analysis, report writing, and editing of research text on agriculture and development.
  • Understanding of Africa’s economic, social, cultural, and political context in relation to agriculture.

Language:

Professional fluency and writing skills in English required. Fluency in French is an added advantage.


WRITERS

Duties and Responsibilities

Planning:

  • Discuss with the communications team and the senior management to have the best understanding of writing requirements;
  • Pinpoint relevant content themes and create compelling content that will resonate with target audiences;
  • Undertake in-depth research to identify key trends to inform the production of thought leadership pieces

Generating Content:

  • Commission and edit news and feature stories for on African agriculture, reflecting AGRA’s communications priorities and key messages and liaising with the AGRA communications team.
  • Write, edit and create compelling Op-eds, fact sheets, white papers, blogs and any other content;
  • Repurpose content as needed;
  • Ensure all content is on-brand, consistent in terms of style, quality and tone of voice, and optimized for search and user experience for all channels of content including online, social media, email, video, print (whitepapers, case studies, fact sheets) and in-person.

Content Review:

  • Work with owners of particular content to review and sign-off
  • Conduct ongoing usability tests to gauge content effectiveness.

Functional Competencies:

  • Strategic vision and strong analytical capabilities;
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills;
  • Sound political judgment and highly developed inter-personal skills;
  • Must have strong organizational skills and attention to detail;
  • Ability to quickly adjust priorities to respond to pressing demands.
  • Strong editorial judgement, including ethical and political awareness.
  • Excellent communication and editorial skills.
  • Strong understanding of the global media environment, including grasp of social media.

General Requirements:

  • Highly developed writing and editing skills.
  • Proven ability to produce incisive, thought provoking and in-depth pieces.
  • Experience working in sensitive and fast-moving news, communications, advocacy and/or fundraising contexts.
  • Proven ability to conceptualize, plan and execute ideas as well as transfer knowledge and skills.
  • Excellent written, oral and comprehension command of English. Knowledge of French is an added advantage.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and manage multiple projects and deadlines simultaneously with a sense of urgency;

Required Skills and Experience

Education:

Master’s degree in marketing, communications, journalism, political science, international relations or a related field.

Job Experience:

  • Minimum 5 years’ professional experience in journalism, communications, marketing or development work. Bachelor’s degree holders with extra 2 years’ experience are eligible to apply.
  • Proven ability to act with discretion and diplomacy.
  • Excellent communication and editorial skills.
  • Strong understanding of the global media environment.

Language Requirements:

Fluency in oral and demonstrated superior writing skills in English is required. Fluency in French is an added advantage.


STRINGERS

Duties and Responsibilities

Country Communications Support and Media Engagement:

  • Mobilize media in the priority countries to attend and cover major events and projects
  • Organize and manage media interviews before, during and after key events.
  • Organize and manage media field visits in the priority countries
  • Co-ordinate photography and videography for the events
  • Follow up with the media for coverage
  • Undertake media coverage tracking and provide coverage report including for print, broadcast and online media

Content Generation:

  • Produce content in English and other relevant local languages and distribute it to national and regional media.
  • Report and write news stories for AGRA from the field and grantees in the priority countries, striving for timely reportage that engages key audiences, respects protection concerns, and navigates political sensitivities.
  • Commission and edit news and feature stories on African agriculture, reflecting AGRA’s communications priorities and key messages in liaison with the AGRA communications team.
  • Clear news and feature stories with relevant country and regional offices prior to publication.
  • Collaborate with video, photo and social media colleagues to package multimedia content effectively and compellingly.
  • Write and edit other text as required.

Functional Competencies:

  • Contacts with national and international media in the priority countries
  • Experience producing, editing and disseminating multimedia content for online audiences ideally for media outlets, international brands, political parties, NGOs, or other international institutions.
  • Experience working in sensitive and fast-moving news, communications, advocacy and/or fundraising contexts.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and manage multiple projects and deadlines simultaneously with a sense of urgency;
  • Proven ability to conceptualize, plan and execute ideas.
  • Proven skills in organizing events, communication, networking, negotiation, and ability to relate to different audiences.
  • Excellent written, oral and comprehension command of English or French (Mali and Burkina Faso) and highly developed writing and editing skills.

Required Skills and Experience

Education:

University degree in communications, political science, international relations or a related field. Diploma holders with an extra 2 years’ experience are eligible to apply

Job experience:

  • Minimum of 3 years’ professional experience in journalism, communications, marketing or development work.
  • Proven ability to act with discretion and diplomacy.
  • Excellent communication and editorial skills.
  • Strong understanding of the national and regional media environment, including grasp of social media.


TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPER

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Code and modify websites from layout to function
  • Set up the front and back-end of a site
  • Testing and updating the site as needed
  • Research, document, rate, or select alternatives for web architecture or technologies.
  • Recommend and implement performance improvements.
  • Create searchable indices for web page content.
  • Design and implement web site security measures such as firewalls or message encryption.
  • Ensure compatibility to enhance mobile access

Functional Competencies:

  • Strong understanding of UI, cross-browser compatibility, general web functions and standards.
  • Experience in planning and delivering software platforms used across multiple products and organizational units.
  • Deep expertise and hands on experience with Web Applications and programming languages such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, JQuery and API’s.
  • Deep functional knowledge or hands on design experience with Web Services
  • Being familiar with a variety of coding languages such as HTML, JavaScript, Ruby on Rails, and C++

Required Skills and Experience

Education:

  • Bachelor’s degree/equivalent in IT and graphic design
  • Basic knowledge of HTML/CSS

Job experience:

  • 2 years professional design and coding experience


SUBMISSION

Qualified and interested candidates are encouraged to submit detailed copies of their CV and their financial proposal saved as 2 files separately to procurement@agra.org by 10 February 2018, 5PM (East African time).

Clearly indicate the consultant position you are applying for in the subject of your application email.


DISCLAIMER

AGRA reserves the right to determine the structure of the process, number of short-listed candidates and the right to withdraw from this process at any time without prior notice and without liability to compensate and/or reimburse any party.

About the Organization

The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) is a partnership that works with governments, donors, NGOs, the private sector, and African farmers to significantly and sustainably improve the productivity and income of resource-poor farmers in Africa. Founded and initially funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation, AGRA supports interventions aimed at improving seed systems, soil fertility, input and output markets, policies, and other priority sectors, with the overall objective of reducing food insecurity. AGRA aims to achieve these goals by: supporting and building capability of farmers and enterprises across the agricultural value chain; being a thought-leader on African agriculture by collecting, packaging, and disseminating knowledge; and creating strong partnerships with public, private, and donor actors to drive change within the sector. AGRA is headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, and has an office in Accra, Ghana.

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