Specialist, Communications and Information Design

  • Mid-level, Full-time staff position
  • Posted on 15 May 2021

Job Description

Chemonics seeks a Communications and Information Design Specialist in support of the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) to be based in Washington, DC. The Specialist will support efforts to effectively communicate information, analysis, and reporting to key audiences through mediums including monthly reports, special publications, multimedia platforms, traditional and social media, and external briefings, workshops, presentations, and events. The Specialist is also responsible for supporting efforts to build intra-team cohesion and cross-team sharing through various internal initiatives and will complete specialized tasks identified by FEWS NET’s Senior Management Team (SMT), as needed. We are looking for individuals who have a passion for making a difference in the lives of people around the world.

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) is an integrated set of activities funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and is intended to provide timely, accurate, evidence-based, and transparent food security early warning information and analysis. Created in 1985 in response to famines in East and West Africa, FEWS NET provides global coverage through a mix of presence and remote monitoring. FEWS NET’s work is implemented across several pillars by a team of partners that includes the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the United States Department of Agriculture, the United States Geological Survey, the University of California-Santa Barbara’s Climate Hazards Center, Kimetrica, and Chemonics International (Chemonics). Chemonics houses FEWS NET’s Early Warning Team (EWT), a team charged with integrated emergency food insecurity analysis through a Washington-based technical office and more than 20 field offices.

Responsibilities include:

  • Collaborate with the home and field office technical teams in conceptualizing, designing, and producing traditional and new products to explain and present to diverse audiences the results of the EWT’s integrated analysis and the methods and analytical processes that underpin it. Illustrative examples of these products include: website content to reflect new and/or evolving analysis initiatives, videos, articles for relevant websites or newsletters, infographics on special analyses, content on various social media platforms, etc. Specific tasks may include researching and drafting written content, writing scripts, producing and editing videos, advising on layout and design, compiling training materials, etc.
  • Contribute to communications and reporting of EWT activities for USAID and Chemonics, including the production of success stories and other impact-oriented materials, monitoring against an appropriate branding and marking plan, and synthesizing content for regular annual and quarterly reports, as requested by SMT
  • Manage and expand, as needed, intra-EWT communication mechanisms (such as FEWS News) to build and maintain team cohesion and to facilitate understanding and sharing of team-wide activities, successes, challenges and priorities
  • Support the EWT’s Decision Support Group (DSG) and sector advisors in improving the quality, clarity, and accessibility of reporting, including reviewing and editing project publications (e.g., alerts, special reports, press releases with partners, external briefings, and presentations)
  • Support the production of in-depth analytical products, including assistance as needed on design and layout, editing, and formatting
  • Provide one-on-one editorial support to analysts and advisors as requested
  • Review regularly and make recommendations for improving the content and visual appeal of EWT products
  • Create/update project templates and style guides, as needed
  • Provide targeted guidance to EWT staff on select communications-related topics (e.g., data visualization tools, presentation best practices, video best practices, how and when to include photographs in reports, writing with clarity)
  • Contribute, as requested, to efforts to improve the quality and effectiveness of broader EWT guidance materials and training approaches, including assistance in developing training materials
  • Collaborate with the Hub and other FEWS NET Pillar colleagues through inter-Pillar communications-related working groups and coordination mechanisms and other formal and informal arrangements to ensure that EWT products and messages are clearly articulated and communicated across the project, including through Hub-managed outreach (such as social media) and mechanisms (such as the web site)
  • Help manage Pillar 1 media inquiries and track media mentions in consultation with USAID and SMT
  • Support other communications activities consistent with and in support of the EWT, as directed by the DCOP-A


  • Bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline is required; an advanced degree in a relevant discipline is desirable.
  • At least two years of relevant experience (with PhD), four years of relevant experience (with Master’s degree), or six years of relevant experience (with Bachelor’s degree) is required.
  • Experience working in communications related to humanitarian programs and/or international development is desirable.
  • Demonstrated experience translating technical messages into non-technical products for diverse audiences.
  • Excellent writing, editing, and presentation skills are required.
  • Experience developing and delivering training, including communications training, is highly desirable.
  • Skills in desktop publishing and graphic design are required. Strong knowledge of MS Office applications, video editing/production, and InDesign (or other graphic design software) is required. GIS/mapping skills are desirable.
  • Knowledge of food security, humanitarian assistance, international development, and the operations of international agencies is highly desired.
  • Ability to work both in teams and independently to ensure timely, quality delivery of prioritized tasks.
  • Demonstrated leadership, versatility and integrity.
  • Fluency in English is required; additional language skills in French and/or Spanish are desirable.

Application instructions:

Apply through our Career Center at the job opportunities site by June 14th, 2021. No telephone inquiries, please. Finalists will be contacted.

About the Organization

Founded in 1975, Chemonics is an international development consulting firm. In more than 70 countries around the globe, our network of 5,000 specialists share a simple belief: that the challenges we face today are best solved through the right partnerships — sharing knowledge, expertise, and experience to deliver results. As part of our culture and values, Chemonics is proud to be named a “Best Place to Work” in the Human Rights campaign Foundation’s 2021 Corporate Equality Index. Where Chemonics works, development works. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter or visit us at www.chemonics.com.

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